ALL RACING, ALL THE TIME!
With an almost seven week gap between the 12 Hours of Sebring and this week's events at Circuit of the Americas, it would be easy to assume that the CJ Wilson Racing drivers would be taking advantage of the early season down time. In reality, however, the racing season is already in full stride with every major series now under way across the Globe and there has been plenty to keep all of the CJWR drivers occupied both on home soil and across the Atlantic.
CJ and his crew competed at Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park in rounds three and four of the Porsche GT3 Cup. A solid ninth place finish in the first race of the weekend didn't fully prepare the rookie for the challenges of an extremely wet race track on Sunday morning.
"I felt Race 1 went pretty well for me insofar as I was pretty conservative and I also figured out a way to get around some people," the two-time MLB All-Star explained. "Driving in the rain in Race 2 on Sunday was a major challenge. I made a huge mistake on the warm up lap as I tried to accelerate too hard out of Turn 5. I spun the car and subsequently I started last and the proceeded to have probably the most fun I’ve had in a car for about 36 minutes as I drove through the pack from the back. I moved up through the field really well but I made a mistake going into Turn 7 and I got beached." Wilson summed up his weekend in a candid Instagram post after the event (below).
The experiences in Round 4 have left Wilson with no illusions concerning the task in front of him this season. "The moral of the story, I feel like I’m getting closer to the guys that I feel like I should be racing with but I still have some way to go."
Damien Faulkner's 2017 schedule sees him attempting to win titles on two Continents. Not content with contesting the 2017 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with teammate, Russell Ward, the Irishman is also competing throughout Europe in the Blancpain Endurance Series driving a GT3 Mercedes. He and his teammates, Mike Skeen and Michael Avenatti finished sixth in the Pro-Am class at the opening event, the 3 Hours of Monza.
Till Bechtolsheimer was also in action across the Atlantic at the Donington Historic Festival in the UK. The New York based Englishman competed in four classes in an almost bewildering array of vehicles spanning six decades. His insanely packed schedule was as fraught as it was rewarding. Two class victories were countered with some eye-opening mechanical woes.
The most extraordinary example of which took place during Bechtolsheimer's outing in the Historic Touring Car Challenge in his 1984 DTM spec MG Metro Turbo (above). "Our Sunoco Turbo fuel didn't arrive in time for qualifying in the Metro Turbo so I had to start from the back of the grid. The same was true for Patrick Watts in the other Metro Turbo so we decided to hunt in a pack from the back. Half way through the race I had climbed up to first in class. Unfortunately it was not to last. I lost power and had to come in. It turns out that three of the four brackets that hold the engine in place had broken off and the engine was about to fall out. Not ideal but it was fun while it lasted."
All three drivers will be competing this weekend at the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of the Americas and all will, no doubt, be double checking that their engines are properly attached to their Porsche race cars.