The last race of the season in was in the BGB Motorsports Group Porsche Cayman GT4 at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend. It was filled with emotions; both good and bad. Practice on Wednesday brought lots of frustration. The car was oversteering on transition corners, and nothing seemed to fix it. Come Thursday, the same problem still existed. After another practice session, we found out that the car was bottoming out in the rear just enough to where I couldn’t really feel it. We raised the ride height and it was all fixed. Now that it is solved, we had only one 45 minute practice left to put the hammer down on set up. The BGB crew worked super hard with sweat dripping down their faces all day. After all that hard work, we got the car very close to the balance that it needed for the race. I was very impressed with how quickly we were able to get the car ready.
In the race, Jim Cox started and I finished. Jim did a great job staying out of trouble and working up the field car by car. There was a caution just after the 45 minute mark in the 2 hour race. We took that opportunity to do a driver change, fill up on fuel, and put four new tires on. I went out and worked my way up to 4th place out of 38 cars. With about 19 minutes to go, I could start to see a Mustang approaching me from behind. I knew he had a little more grip and torque than me, but I had a faster top speed. He caught me with 15 minutes to go. We were racing very hard and very close for the position. We were nose to tail for almost 10 minutes straight. He finally tried to go to the right of me coming out of turn 3. Running side by side all the way down the esses at Road Atlanta, neither one of us were going to give an inch. Coming out of turn 5, we were still even, but then his torque pulled him away from me. I still didn’t give up because I knew I had a faster trap speed. Coming out of turn 7, I got a good run and pulled beside him. Once again, we were side by side all the way down the back straight. Braking into turn 10, he got around me. We caught lapped traffic. He got around them just before the corner, and I was held up.
With 4 laps to go, we were still running great, then my left front tire popped coming out of T10B. I came into pit lane to change it, and went back out on track. After I got on track, race control came on our radio and said I ran over our air hose. We had to do a drive through penalty on the last lap. We lost many positions and ended up finishing 19th in GS.
It was a very eventful year and I learned so much from all of this. I can’t thank Jim Cox enough for this incredible opportunity. I am looking forward to next year with Jim and all the future rides that come from this. Thank you Jim!
BGB worked extraordinarily hard every single time we were at the track. This year would not have been possible without their help. Thank you John Tecce and the rest of the crew for all of the hard work you put in this year. I am proud to have my IMSA debut with them.
I’m looking forward to my next race, which will be on January 6 at Daytona International Speedway in the Ligier LMP3 with Dr. Mike Thompson.
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