Ohio-Native Bryan Sellers Leads Mid-Ohio GRAND-AM Sports Car Challenge
Bryan Sellers led ten laps in the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on his way to a sixth-place finish. The Centerville, Ohio-native, who now lives in Braselton, Ga., ran the last two hours of the two-hour and 30-minute GRAND-AM-sanctioned Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race first taking the lead with one-hour, 35-minutes remaining. It was the first laps led of the season and the best finish for the No. 46 BCKSTGR/Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Coupe since the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in January where the team finished third.
Team owner/co-driver Mark Boden (Winnetka, Ill.) qualified and started the BCKSTGR BMW fifth overall on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio road course setting the stage for a strong race for the team. When Sellers took the blue and white No. 46 over from Boden the car was running 23rd amid the pit stop shuffling. When the car re-entered the race, the Falken Tire factory driver began his march toward the front of the pack. A well-timed caution flag while Sellers was running third set the stage for his dramatic move into the first position. As the green flag waved, the former open-wheel racing champion sprung on second-place taking that spot entering Turn One. He targeted and passed for the top spot entering "The Keyhole" turn. Despite the spectacular nose-to-tail fight with multiple cars, Sellers held the lead relinquishing it only when he was forced to make a pit stop.
Sellers' racecraft and Fall-Line's pit strategy had the Chicago-based team back in the top-five with 30-minutes to go. Sellers fell from fourth to eighth among a multi-car mêlée but quickly went on the offensive again moving to sixth before a late caution stunted his progress. The green flag flew with two minutes to go but there was not opportunity for Sellers to improve his position.
SPEED will air the EMCO Gears Classic on Saturday, June 17 at noon (EDT). Additional news of the event can be found at Grand-Am.com.
On his lead-taking pass from third to first: "It was a very good restart. The BCKSTGR/Fall-Line car was very strong on cold tires and I was able to get a good run into Turn One and pass one car. Then, heading into 'The Keyhole', I was able to pass the leader under braking. We were very good out front and able to take advantage of the clear track and that kept us out front until the stop."
On the EMCO Gears Classic: "It was a good race for us. Mark had one of the best drives I have ever seen from him. He was absolutely flawless. Track position is very important in Mid-Ohio so the job he did made my life much easier. We are in a very difficult position with the performance balancing in the Series. The BCKSTGR BMW is very fast when we are running alone. However, when we are in traffic we are very slow in a straight line, which makes passing difficult. All the passes we made today were high-risk moves but they worked and we were able to advance. I was either going to come out looking like a hero or a chump. I guess we did OK."
On the remainder of the CTSCC season: "We really need a lot of help from GRAND-AM. We are not in a great place speed-wise. We need some sort of performance break. We have some very difficult tracks ahead so if we do not get some concessions it will be a very difficult middle part of the season. The positive side is that Fall-Line Motorsports is the best team in the Series so we will make the best of it!"