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Aug 10, 2014 - 02:28 PM
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Burton Racing Brings BMW Back to Victory Lane at Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 10, 2014 - 02:23 PM
Sports Cars
Burton Racing Brings BMW Back to Victory Lane at Road America


Defending IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge champions Burton Racing were back in familiar territory on Saturday as the No. 23 BMW Automotive Chemicals/Excelda BMW 128i of Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra won the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.

 

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LaMarra opened the race from 13th on the grid and moved up to fourth in the order before turning the car over to Borcheller, who was able to take the lead and then hold onto the first position through a thrilling green-white-checkered flag finish.

“It feels good to be back to victory lane,” said team owner Keith Burton.”We knew that it was going to be tough to come back and defend the championship, and it proved to be every bit of the challenge that we expected. But we’ve been gradually improving, and with Mike and Terry’s driving, and the team, race after race, putting out the product that we know we are capable of, we thought we could be on the podium here. It is great to be back on the podium for all of our partners and of course even better to take a win.”

It was a case of highs and lows for the two-car team, as the Indianapolis-based organization looked to be on the way to a potential double-podium finish late in the two hour, thirty-minute race, but it wasn’t to be.

After a strong start in the No. 22 Gold Eagle BMW 128i with Greg Strelzoff making up significant ground early in the race, Connor Bloum was dueling for fourth in the closing laps only to be punted off course under braking. The duo were credited with an 11th place finish, which didn’t reflect the strong performance from both drivers.

“It is really frustrating to see Connor get taken out like that, and I was disappointed that there wasn’t a penalty for the other driver,” said Burton. “He and Greg had an ideal run going and it was another big performance from both of those guys. So to see it all go away in one corner is frustrating, but it was good to see the performance there and hopefully we can close out with some strong finishes for the No. 22 car.”

Driver Comments, Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, Road America
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Round 9

“It has been coming together for the last few races,” said Borcheller of the winning effort. “We had a rough few races to start, but this team never gives up. I just really happy for the team. They work so many hours at the shop to prepare this BMW, which really was the ultimate driving machine today. The car was so good and Mike just did an amazing job at the start of the race, so this was a really good day.”

“I was calling the green when we came off the yellow, and there was nearly as much pressure doing that as there was when I was driving!” joked LaMarra. “It worked out. Great job from the whole team. It has been a tough year but we’ve been working hard to continuously improve. We are really happy with this result, to be on the podium with a win and now we’ve got more tracks that we should be strong on to look forward to so I’m really excited.”

“The end to our race was heartbreaking, I am pretty disappointed for the whole team,” lamented Bloum. “I had such a great stint and was having a lot of fun out there. Thanks to Keith (Burton) for calling a great strategy and the whole team for giving me an amazing car. I was able to just drive all out and pass so many people and I know our car was capable of a podium. So our luck was not good at the end, but we are ready for the next one.”

“I am gutted for Connor (Bloum), he was doing so well out there,” said Strelzoff. “It would have been amazing to get a double Burton podium but it just wasn’t in the cards today. My stint was great, the car felt absolutely amazing and I was able to just consistently increase my speed and pick people off and hand the car over to Connor in good position. Congratulations to Mike and Terry on their win, that’s great for the team. Hopefully we can have a strong outing in these last few races to close out the year.”

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will be televised August 17 at 12:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.

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