Motorsport News - US
Bryan Sellers Counting the Days to Again Chase Dream of Indy Win
30th July 2012
Works Ace Overcomes Penalty, Rain to Finish 6th in GRAND-AM CTSCC Brickyard Race
Bryan Sellers came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge on July 27 to fulfill a childhood dream of racing at the world famous racetrack. For his first year at "The Brickyard", rather than kissing the yard of bricks, the Braselton, Ga.-resident would have to do with a sixth-place finish in the inaugural GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC). An early race penalty would set him back in the field but an inspired drive brought him within striking distance again before a late-race caution would halt the effort. Now with the taste of Indy success on his lips, Sellers is counting the days until returning in 2013.
The former open-wheel racing champion came to Indianapolis with no previous track time on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn road course. Sellers, who set Indianapolis in his crosshairs as a young go-kart racer, had a previous commitment and missed the early July test at the new-to-the-Series racecourse. With a full weekend of on-track activity - practice, qualifying and two-hour, 30-minute race - compressed into a single day, Sellers had little time to come to terms with the track and the No. 46 BCKSTGR/Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Coupe he shares with Mark Boden (Winnetka, Ill.). The single, one-hour practice in the morning gave him time behind the wheel before Boden qualified the car eighth.
Sellers would take-over the wheel of the No. 46 30-minutes into the race. Shortly thereafter, with one-hour and 45-minutes remaining, Sellers was part of a pack of cars came down the long main-straightaway - running the opposite direction than that of the Indianapolis 500 - towards the road course's turn-one. Setting his line for the entry of the turn, Sellers moved the No. 46 to his left making unintentional contact with the No. 96 BMW of Bill Auberlen. The No. 96 was in Sellers' blind spot and he was not aware Auberlen was there. However, GRAND-AM officials called the Falken Tire factory driver in to serve a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact. The penalty was a setback that ultimately cost a potential race victory, but Sellers was not willing to give up and settle so easily.
With hot conditions turning quickly stormy, the native of Ohio would soon have his hands full. He steadily marched the car into the top-10 before a storm-front pounded Central Indiana with rain. The deluge forced the Fall-Line team onto rain tires and the race into a red flag condition. When the sun returned, the track dried quickly and Sellers, now on slick tires, raced his way back into the top-10. Racing sixth with six minutes to go - a gain of four positions in less than five minutes and eight spots in less than 15-minutes, Sellers was eyeing a significant move into the top-five and a podium finish. A yellow flag just behind him would bring the race, and those aspirations, to an end.
Sellers will next race the CTSCC with the BCKSTGR/Fall-Line BMW at Watkins Glen (NY) International on August 11. He will have to wait 365 days to get his chance at vindication at "The Brickyard".
The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge will can be seen on tape-delay, Sunday, August 5 at Noon (ET) on SPEED.
On his Brickyard Sports Car Challenge: "It was a rough stint; one of the more difficult that I can remember in recent history. I had contact early in the run with the number 96. He was to my left entering turn one and I wasn't able to see him. After watching the video, I moved over too far and into him. This put us behind before we even started, as we had to serve a penalty for contact. The BCKSTGR/Fall-Line car was good and I knew I needed to get things back under control and drive to the front.
I was really hoping that we would get a win today. We were great in practice and were good at the beginning of the race. It would have been very cool to win here at Indianapolis. It was very surreal to race at Indy, a dream come true for me. Pulling into the circuit takes your breath away and I can't wait to return next year! We have some unfinished business here."
On the contact and resulting penalty: "It's always difficult to say what happened while you're actually sitting in the car. I can say after seeing the video what happened. I moved-up on him because I wasn't aware he was still there. I wish I could say it was a racing incident but I will take blame for this one. I suppose it is a situation that you have to learn from it and prevent it from happening again."
On the BCSTGR/Fall-Line BMW's move to the front: "There wasn't one moment in particular the spurred the surge. I knew I needed to drive to the front, especially after the penalty, and drive as hard as I could to get there. The car was very good and it allowed me to make my way back through traffic and into the top-10."
On how the red flag for standing water impacted his race: "The red flag was very inappropriately timed for us. We had just switched back to dry tires and everybody in front of us, excluding two cars, were on wets. If we would have gone green we were closing on them more than two-seconds per lap. I would have had a podium run. The BCKSTGR/Fall-Line guys did a great job with the tire call. Unfortunately, the yellows fell wrong and it hurt us."
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