ATLANTA, GEORGIA — It was the final race of the season: the grueling Motul Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta. Driver Nick Galante set the tone and the pace, grabbing the ST Class pole position — the team’s ninth this season — his BMW proudly sporting its Racing to End Alzheimer’s livery covered with 126 names of Alzheimer’s victims being honored by their friends and family.
From the start, the No.81 led the pack and maintained the lead for most of the race. “It was a good opening stint,” said Galante. “Right at the start, I was getting pressure from Max Faulkner in the Bodymotion car. He put a great outside pass into Turn 1 and blew by me for the lead, but I found a good opportunity a couple laps later on the restart after a caution. We got him going into Turn 10 and repassed him…”
Galante maintained the lead for most of the stint, then pitted for a driver change at Lap 28. Devin Jones strapped in for the second half. Said Jones, “We were in a great position, just like we’ve been in almost every race this year. Nick kept it up front and kept it clean.”
Cautions fell at tricky times for the team, and it was tough spacing for them. Even so, either Galante or Jones held the lead for an incredible 60 of the 71 laps.
Running on empty
Painfully, calculations revealed that the car was about 10 minutes short of fuel. “I can save fuel,” Jones clarified, “but I can’t quite save 10 minutes. We went from saving to just going for it, and hoped some other guys would run out, too.” Holding onto the lead with just over 6 minutes left in the race, Jones had to do a quick fuel stop for a splash-and-go. And, unfortunately, the stop wasn’t quite quick enough. Two other cars managed to sneak ahead.
In third place, back by only 0.686 second, Jones roared to a podium finish. And that was enough to clinch the Season Championship for the No.81 Bimmerworld/Veristor/Legistics/YouRulz BMW 328i.
According to Devin Jones, “This team has come together really well. It’s been a pleasure to drive with Nick and race this car. It’s been just an incredible season.”
He adds, “I have to thank the Racing to End Alzheimer’s campaign. It’s been a big deal. We had the names on the car again at Road Atlanta, with even more added since the Laguna race.”
A championship season
Nick Galante had this to say: “I want to thank Phil Frengs from Legistics who created the Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation, the guys at Veristor, who have been with us all season, and everyone at BimmerWorld – James Clay, Tyler Cooke, the whole entire team — Trent Brown, Wayne Yawn, Jason Marks, Dave Simpkins. The entire team is amazing.”
We want to add our own gratitude to the 126 generous donors who honored their loved ones and who helped raise over $100,000 to fund the care and the cure for this terrible disease that affects millions of families.