When Grand-Am ran the second event of its 2012 season at Barber Motorsports Park, BimmerWorld’s Greg Liefooghe and David Levine won the Street Tuner class in the CTSCC race while Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished third in the Rolex Series race.
BimmerWorld, a strong contender for the 2010 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series Street Tuner title, had a rough year in 2011, when it ran cars in both the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes. The team’s decision to refocus on its ST effort in 2012 appears to be working well; Greg Liefooghe and David Levine, who finished on the podium in race one at Daytona, won race two at Barber in their #81 E90 3281. It was the team’s first win since the Mid-Ohio race in 2010. They hold a one-point lead over Kia racers Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson, who won at Daytona and finished second a Barber.
Rum Bum, winners of six CTSCC races in their Grand Sport M3 in the past two seasons, switched to Porsche at Barber and won the race. Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi scored an overall and Grand Sport win in their first outing with the Porsche. The best BMW finisher in GS was the third place Fall-Line M3 of Al Carter and Hugh Plumb (Matt Plumb’s brother). The Aston Martin Vantage of Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell finished second in class.
The 75-car CTSCC pack spent the first twenty minutes of the race under yellow for cleanup of a five-car incident on lap one. The track went back to yellow soon after cleanup of the first incident was finished; much of the first hour of the 2 ½-hour race was run under yellow. Near the end, under another yellow, the Mazda MX-5 of Marc Miller and the Insight Racing 328i of Tyler McQuarrie were running first and second in ST, but they were penalized a lap for passing the pace car. When the track went back to green with three laps left in the race, Liefooghe, who had been running a strong third, moved into the lead and held off the competition for the win. He said "I had a mirror full of plenty of cars on the last lap. Fortunately, I had a teammate behind me to keep everybody behind them for a little bit. The last lap was a little bit more comfortable than the second-to-last lap."
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, winners of the Rolex Series race at Barber in 2008, 2009, and 2011, finished third this year in their Ganassi Riley-BMW, behind the winning Corvette DP driven by Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia and another Corvette DP piloted by Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty.
Rojas, who led for a time, was penalized for avoidable contact; he dropped to fifth, but had moved into fourth when he pitted to hand off to Pruett. Pruett, running fifth near the end of the race, elected to pit for tires during a caution period that began with just nine minutes remaining. When the track went green with just three minutes left he was able to move up to third; he was challenging Gurney for second when the race ended.
Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana, and Billy Johnson finished fifth in GT in their Turner Motorsport M3. Jon Bomarito and Sylvan Tremblay, who lapped the GT field, won the class in their Mazda RX-8.
Grand-Am competition resumes at Homestead on April 27-29.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News