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Hard-Fought Race Day In Canada For Burton Racing
Posted by: newsla on Jul 17, 2014 - 06:21 AM
Sports Cars
Hard-Fought Race Day In Canada For Burton Racing

After taking a hit in the opening 20 minutes of Round 7 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the No. 23 BMW Automotive Chemicals/Excelda BMW 128i piloted by Mike LaMarra and Terry Borcheller fought back to take an eighth place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, with the No. 22 Gold Eagle BMW 128i of Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum coming home to the checkered flag not far behind in 11th .


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LaMarra and Strelzoff started the 2.5-hour race behind the wheel of their respective BMW 128i machines, moving up early before settling into a race pace to work through the traffic-filled field.

Unfortunately for the No. 23 entry, that upward mobility suffered after contact from another ST car at high speed near Turn 5 forced LaMarra off track and caused significant damage to the front of the car as well as costing eight positions on the spot. LaMarra was able to keep racing with the stricken car, staying out on track to make the most of what he had before pitting as the race neared the one hour mark with the first full course caution, turning the car over to Borcheller in 19th position.

Running a similar strategy as the No. 23 car, Strelzoff’s stint in the No. 22 played out much less dramatically. After jumping up two spots from his starting position at the drop of the green flag, he then fought his way through the field, consistently improving his lap times even in spite of wearing tires before he handed the car over to Bloum in 22nd position at the 1.5-hour mark.

Quick pit stops on both Burton Racing machines saw them both cycle out positions ahead of where they entered and both Bloum and Borcheller made the most of the restart as Borcheller hopped up to 14th while Bloum moved up to run 19th.

Borcheller and Bloum quickly began working their way up the field while keeping an eye on fuel levels, trying to conserve in what looked to be shaping up to be a fuel strategy-dependent finish. However, multiple yellows in the second half of the race allowed both Burton Racing machines to drive full-out without worry of fuel. Borcheller and Bloum drove to the limit, consistently besting their lap times and even laying down their fastest laps in the last five minutes of the race.

“It was definitely an exciting race, and ultimately a good one,” said Team Manager Keith Burton. “The No. 22 car started a little farther back so they had a bit of an uphill battle to face, but both Greg (Strelzoff) and Connor (Bloum) did a great job and Connor was even putting down his fastest lap times in the last few laps of the race. The No. 23 car was also doing really well and it’s unfortunate that the Mazda got into them. But Mike (LaMarra) did a good job of keeping the car out there and Terry (Borcheller) ran well to the end. All in all it was a good day and we got some solid points, so now we are looking forward to Indianapolis. That is our home race and many of our friends, family and sponsors will get to come out and see what we do and we won there last year, so we are looking forward to showing them a good result.”

At the drop of the checkered flag Borcheller brought home the No. 23 to an impressive eighth place finish, in spite of fighting a difficult car his entire stint thanks to contact early on. Bloum brought the No. 22 car home to a solid 11th place finish.

Burton Racing now looks forward to successfully defending their big 2013 win at the track in the home race in Indianapolis on July 24-25.

Driver Quoteboard:
Terry Borcheller, No. 23 BMW Automotive Chemicals/Excelda BMW 128i – “Mosport is a hard place to race anyway just because of how fast the track is and how few places there are to pass. It is definitely a fun track, but it is hard to race, especially with how different all the cars in this series are. And with our car hurt it made for a pretty frustrating race. It made it very difficult to advance and it was very difficult even to defend. But all in all for the condition of the car and the difficulty that Mike (LaMarra) had in his stint I think we came out pretty lucky with eighth place points.”

Mike LaMarra, No. 23 BMW Automotive Chemicals/Excelda BMW 128i – “The guys did a great job getting the car ready. The engine was strong and the handling was good. I was getting some nice runs on the back straight in the draft. I was running some really good times and there was a long line of cars that was really fun to run in. The No. 74 Honda and I were drafting each other in the back straight and we got alongside Pombo underneath the bridge when he moved over and got into my front right which put me off track on the left, and onto the apron which gave me some flat spots in the tires. I was able to gather it up and re-join, but at that point the vehicle dynamics had changed due to the front end damage. But I got back out on track and was able to keep the car at a competitive pace and hand the car off to Terry. The crew did a great job on the pit stop and then Terry did a great job of being out there and hanging on with the car. All things being equal eighth is a pretty great finish.”

Connor Bloum, No. 22 Gold Eagle BMW 128i – “It was a tough race. There were a few cautions there at the end and thankfully we got lucky with the fuel on that so we could run to the end. We were a little down on the power, but the handling of the car felt pretty good and I was able to make my way up the pack and hopefully we can get some more things figured out for Indy. I really love this track though, it’s probably in my top-three favorite tracks now, so it was fun to get so many laps around here.”

Greg Strelzoff, No. 22 Gold Eagle BMW 128i – “My stint was a lot of fun! This was my first time here at this track, but I really like it. Honestly, I wish I had more laps around this track. We had that long green during my stint and I was actually going faster on older tires, so that was really good. The guys did a great job and gave me such a good car, so thanks to them and Connor did an amazing job during his stint as well so I am pleased.”

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