LEXINGTON, OHIO — Unpredictable traffic on an unfamiliar track made for a wild ride at the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race on May 5th.
With five years since the last series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, some of the drivers had never raced on the highly technical 2.258-mile track – and many others were feeling the pressure of getting reacquainted with the quirks of the course after such a long hiatus. Intermittent rain over the weekend meant that conditions were changeable, adding another level of uncertainty to the mix.
Despite the challenges, the BimmerWorld #81 BMW 328i sponsored by Legistics, Veristor and Racing to End Alzheimer’s (r2endalz.org), had an impressive run. Driver Nick Galante was blazing fast all weekend, setting a new ST track record with a time of 1:34.309 to earn the class pole.
On race day, Galante led for the first 15 laps before pitting for fuel on lap 17. In fifth place after the pit stop, he battled back to third by lap 30 – and reclaimed the lead on lap 36. Five laps later, Galante pitted to turn the wheel over to co-driver Devin Jones.
Starting his stint in fourth place, Jones soon found himself in heavy traffic, with some cars violating yellow flag procedures, causing confusion and congestion on the track. Even though he was a novice on the tricky Mid-Ohio course and dealing with adverse conditions, Jones set a solid pace and kept the car out of trouble, earning the BimmerWorld team another trip to the podium with a third place finish – and more points in the hard-fought battle for the ST season championship.
The next race for the Legistics/Veristor/r2endalz.org team will be over the June 28–July 1 weekend in Watkins Glen, New York.
SEBRING, FLORIDA — Sebring International Raceway has a reputation as a rough ride. The historic track in the heart of Florida is 3.74 miles of jarring bumps and unpredictable turns. There’s not another track like it, and the two-hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series race in mid-March posed unique challenges for even the most experienced cars, drivers and crews.
The track was already hot when the #81 Legistics/Veristor/YouRulz/r2endalz.org BMW 328i driven by Nick Galante started the race from third position and quickly took the lead. The run up front was short-lived, however, as the 2nd place Mini made contact in an effort to pass – and both cars spun out.
“I had some pressure from the No. 37 Mini and out of nowhere, I got hit,” Galante said. “It seemed like it came from very far back, so I didn’t see it coming. Luckily, our car wasn’t that damaged. It went from 100 percent to about 95 percent. The contact knocked some toe out of the rear, which may have actually helped it turn better in some of the turns. I hunted down the other ST cars and regained the lead again four laps later.”
Overall, the #81 led a total of 14 laps through the race. But fate had other plans for the BimmerWorld BMW. The team was forced to pit for emergency fuel under a yellow flag while the pits were closed. That drew a 60-second penalty. A few laps later, the car made its only scheduled pit stop, and co-driver Devin Jones took the controls. Hoping for another yellow to give them a fighting chance after the costly drive-through penalty, the team discovered that they had a sensor issue and were running low on power. They finished the race in 5th place.
“It was just one of those days,” Jones said. “The BimmerWorld guys did a great job getting the car prepared, and we’ll get back up there for Mid-Ohio. The car has the speed; we just have to work some of the kinks out of it and we’ll be good.”
Despite the disappointing finish at Sebring, the team is still in second place in the championship standings going in to the next event May 4-6 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Stay tuned – the season is just getting started!
March came in like a lion this year at the 6th Annual COPi Cup Invitational Pro-Am golf tournament sponsored by Legistics. While the weather was sunny and clear, it was the blizzard of giving that distinguished this bracing weekend of “Competition, Camaraderie and Charity.”
Held on the legendary links at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill from March 3-5, the interclub COPi Cup event attracted 21 teams vying for the trophy and its attendant bragging rights. Amid fierce rivalries and friendly ribbing, the quartet of Ron Skayhan, PGA pro and members Marc Myers, Buddy Pepp and Arnold Rosenstein from Hillcrest CC emerged victorious. Separately, John McMullen, Director of Golf at Hillcrest CC, was the low professional.
But the competition on the links was only one part of the story.
Through sponsorships by Legistics, and with support from clothier Matte Grey; donations from COPi Cup alumni and friends; tournament entry fees and on-site scholarship pledges (matched again this year by SCGA Foundation President Phil Frengs and several other SCGA Foundation board members: Scott Chernoff, Matt Lyons, Pat Baxter, Suzanne Kelley, Keenan Barber and John Kobara), the 2018 COPi Cup raised a record $213,650 for the Junior Scholarship Fund of the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA Junior).
Funds raised through events like the COPi Cup have enabled the Foundation to award over $1 million in scholarships over the past ten years to deserving Southern California students.
"We're thrilled about the growth of the event and the wonderful generosity of our donors and players in their support of the SCGA Junior Scholarship fund," said Phil Frengs. "The bottom line is that more kids will have the opportunity to complete their educations and achieve their loftiest goals. That’s a big win for all of us.”
DAYTONA BEACH — The action-packed season opener for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series – the 2018 BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway – took place on January 26th in Daytona Beach, Florida. For four hours, competitors in the Street Tuner (ST) class battled for strategic and power advantages on one of the racing world’s most iconic tracks. In the end, it all came down to teamwork.
For the No. 81 Legistics/Veristor/YouRulz/r2endalz.org BMW, the day started well. Driver Devin Jones won a prolonged shoot-out in the final seconds of qualifying to grab the pole and qualify for the race in first position. Taking full advantage of that prime positioning, Jones got a clean start and led the field for the first quarter of the race. After a couple of pit stops, Jones found himself in third, but he soon hunted down the pack and reclaimed the lead.
With an hour and forty minutes left in the race, Jones pulled into the pits for a full stop – fuel, tires and a driver change. The BimmerWorld crew executed the stop flawlessly, and co-driver Nick Galante roared back onto the track to take up the charge. Galante went on the defensive, aggressively protecting the lead as the other cars kept up relentless pressure, turning the track into a virtual obstacle course. Never surrendering its dominant position up front, the No. 81 flew across the finish line in first place for the win. A great start to a brand new season with a brand new team!
The next race in the high-stakes IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series will be on March 17th at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.