Homestead-Miami Offers Chance to Get Sports Car Challenge Year Back on Track
In 1513 famed explorer Juan Ponce de Leon traveled to Florida in search of the mythical "Fountain of Youth". Bryan Sellers has no such interest. He returns to Florida in search of his first Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race win of 2012 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). The Braselton, Ga.-resident opened the season impressively at Daytona International Speedway leading the race in the No. 46 BCKSTGR/Fall-Line BMW M3 Coupe he shares with driver/owner Mark Boden (Winnetka, Ill.) before the pair finished third in the GS class. After an early race accident minimized their point-take at the second race of the season, Sellers and Fall-Line Motorsports hope to return to their podium ways in round three of the Grand-Am-sanctioned series, the April 28th Kia 200.
The young factory driver is far from needing a "fountain of youth". However, the two-hour, 30-minute race does take Sellers back to his early career. The 2.3-mile, 11-turn road course cut through the HMS oval was the site of the Ohio-native's first-ever sports car race in 2005. He won the pole position then and set a career-changing transition from open-wheel to sports car racing in motion. A return to that success would certainly rejuvenate the year after the accident at Barber Motorsports Park hurt the program's point take.
Unlike Barber Motorsports Park, the HMS track offers the V8-powered M3s a possible advantage against the competition. On one hand, the BMWs enjoy strong top-end speed and therefore the track, which uses all but a small portion of the oval, is ideal. However, on the other hand, the stock gearing of the car does not offer the best ratios for the tight infield portion that sets-up much of what occurs on the rest of the circuit. In addition, the CTSCC continues to enjoy massive fields, a boon for the fans but a daunting challenge for the drivers working their way through constant traffic. 30 GS cars are entered with an additional 39 ST-class cars running at the same time. Traffic on the compact track will be constant and passing opportunities will be at a premium. Therefore, Sellers and teammate Boden will need to take advantage of the banked areas of the course to maximize passing opportunities and gain enough of a gap to fend-off any challenges for position before returning to the top-speed run down the straights.
SPEED will air the Kia 200 on Saturday, May 12 at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). Live timing and scoring of the event can be found at Grand-Am.com. MRN Radio Network will cover the race live. Check local listings for affiliates and times. Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Friday, April 27. The race will go green at 2:45 p.m. (ET), April 28.
On the strengths of the BCKSTGR BMW at HMS: "Homestead should be another good chance for the BMWs to rise to the occasion. With the length of the oval it helps to add to our strength of top-end in the car. However, the infield is very tight and is wrong for the stock gearing that comes in the car. Overall, I would say Homestead has been a good BMW track and should allow us a chance to get back on the podium with the BCKSTGR/Fall-Line M3. It will be all about managing our losses through the infield and maximizing our advantages on the oval."
On the Traffic expected in the 69-entry field: "I suspect that traffic will be very difficult at Homestead. With the small infield, the track gives very little opportunity to pass slower cars. The large field and difficulty of passing will really put a premium on race strategy as well as how you handle the traffic through the race. The best opportunity to work our way through traffic is the oval, which is also not an easy chore.Unlike a track such as Daytona, Homestead does not easily allow side-by-side racing through the oval. There is one good line and any other line is a big compromise in speed."
On readiness of the No. 46 after the major incident at Barber: "I have no doubts in my mind that the car will be in proper running condition. The boys at Fall-Line are some of the best I have ever worked with and their determination to win races is high. They will leave nothing to chance heading into the race, especially not car prep! The BCKSTGR BMW will be as strong here as it was for our first test at Daytona."
On returning to the site of his first sports car race: "I think anytime you have success at a track there is a little more meaning when you return. I will always remember that first sports car race and it has a very special place to me. I always look forward to coming back to Homestead because of that one reason!"