Motorsport News - US
Bryan Sellers Back in BCKSTGR BMW at Monterey Sports Car Festival
7th September 2012
Factory Driver Eager to Restart CTSCC Season with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
After a month off the track, the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) returns to competition on September 8 with the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival presented by Mazda. That will give Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Ga.) the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of the No. 46 BCKSTGR/Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 he shares with Mark Boden (Winnetka, Ill.) and pursue the team's first victory of 2012. Adding to the thrill of the season re-starting is the location of its return: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS). Universally accepted as one of the sports' premier facilities, the Monterey, Calif. racecourse will challenge Sellers despite his extensive experience there.
The 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course is one of the most popular circuits on the schedule for drivers and fans alike because of its mix of beauty and technicality. The signature turn may be the three-story drop known as "The Corkscrew" but the track presents multiple challenges to the drivers and teams. The track surface is extremely smooth with little abrasion translating to the tires. This allows for great longevity in the tire but makes it difficult to build heat in the rubber. Therefore, in racing conditions, he who can control his car on cold tires early in a stint holds a great advantage. Sellers' excellent car control and precision out-laps - the first lap after leaving the pits - give he and the BCKSTGR BMW an advantage. In addition, the BMW has excellent braking and its weight balance and handling characteristics show on long, sweeping turns, of which MRLS has several. Less wear on the tires will help the team with pit strategy and give them greater options as to how to "run" the race.
The month-long break leads into the penultimate CTSCC event of 2012 - Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Sept. 29. Entering his eighth race of the season in the BCKSTGR/Fall-Line machine, victory in the GRAND-AM support series has eluded the former open-wheel racing champion thus far this season. He has challenged for race victories - leading the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course-round and taking a podium at the season-opening race at the Daytona International Speedway - but the top-step of the podium has been the primary objective since championship aspirations ended early in the year. Inspired by the most recent CTSCC race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - where Sellers had one of the quickest cars before a penalty would drop him back to sixth at the checkered-flag - and his recent victory on the streets of Baltimore in the American Le Mans Series, the two-hour and 30-minute Sports Car Festival could prove the ideal setting for that first victory.
CTSCC practice begins on Friday for the Grand Sport (GS) class which Sellers' BMW M3 competes in. Qualifying will be held on Saturday morning with the race taking the green flag later that day at 2:30 p.m. PT.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival will air live on www.SPEED2.com with a tape-delay broadcast showing Sunday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. (ET) on SPEED. Live timing and scoring of the event can be found at www.GRAND-AM.com.
On the race:"Laguna Seca is a great track and the Fall-Line Motorsports guys have had a lot of time to go through the BCKSTGR car and improve it. That will give us a great chance at a win. I can't wait to get going. The CTSCC has great head-to-head racing and that's what I love to do more than anything. The traffic will be very difficult. Just like so many of the other CTSCC races, managing traffic will be significant. I really like that aspect of CTSCC. It forces you to think outside the box.
We need a win this weekend. We have been so close with multiple opportunities this season. We finally need to convert on one. I would love to give the BCKSTGR/Fall-Line guys their first win of the season to show them what their hard work has done."
On how the BCKSTGR BMW will perform: "I actually have no idea how the BCKSTGR BMW M3 will perform at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It is one of the few tracks I have never driven the BMW on. I suspect we will be strong because of the long duration of the corners and the importance of handling. Unfortunately, the downside will be torque. It will be very important to exit the corners strong and we will lack in that area."
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