The Hazards of the Bullring
LIME ROCK PARK, LAKEVILLE, CT — There are many ways to define a good race. When it comes to the short, tight “bullring” Lime Rock Park circuit (with seven grisly turns over 1.478-miles), just crossing the finish line unscathed can seem like a significant achievement. That was certainly the case on July 21st at the bruising IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series race in Lakeville, Connecticut.
By the time this two-hour brawl of a race was over, multiple teams were loading up mangled cars that had gotten caught up in heavy contact and unintended off-track excursions. Fortunately, the #81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (sponsored by Legistics, Veristor, YouRulz and Racing to End Alzheimer’s) wasn’t one of them. Drivers Nick Galante and Devin Jones managed to maintain impressive speed all weekend while expertly avoiding the hazards and navigating the full-course cautions that were such bad news for other teams.
Galante was the qualifying driver and got the pole with a time of 0:59.543. He led the first 48 laps of the 113-lap race before pitting during the first full-course caution. Jones, who had set a new track record with a time of 0:59.262 in practice, exited the pits in second and battled with the Pombo brothers in a pair of MINIs through his entire stint. Finally, on Lap 86 with 31 minutes left in the race, Jones got past Mark Pombo and was just 2.505 seconds behind the leader, Mat Pombo.
A second full-course caution was thrown on lap 91 with just 25 minutes remaining. The track went green on lap 98 with only 14 minutes to go, and Jones crossed the finish line in second place, just .650 behind class winner Mat Pombo.
Saturday’s second-place finish (the team’s fifth podium in six races) extends their lead in the ST class championship points battle – with the next race of the hard-fought season at the iconic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.