Classic BMW/Fast Track Racing’s Karl Wittmer was the man to beat, leading opening practice and qualifying for Saturday’s TC races at Lime Rock Park on Friday (May 25).
In qualifying, BERG Racing’s John Weisberg originally won the pole in his Mazda MX-5 TC Spec. However, Weisberg was DQ’d in post-qualifying inspection for a technical infraction. As a result, Wittmer ascended to the pole with a lap of 57.164 seconds (92.828 mph).
Wittmer’s teammate Matt Travis qualified second, just four-hundredths of a second back. Unfortunately, Travis went wide in the Climbing Turn while trying to improve his time and clipped the tire barrier with a couple of minutes remaining. Travis’ stricken BMW topped on the grass just before the West Turn and stayed there under a local yellow for the remainder of the session.
For Wittmer, he’s likely looking for some redemption at Lime Rock. Last year, Race No. 1. ended in a somewhat unusual place for the Canadian racer.
Practice No. 1
In the morning practice session, Wittmer was once again fastest with a lap of 57.664 seconds (92.023 mph). Wittmer’s time, which was set early in the session, was nearly one-third of a second quicker than Nimkoff.
Johan Schwartz in the Rooster Hall Racing BMW was third quickest, just seven-thousandths of a second slower than Nimkoff. Travis and Weisberg rounded out the top five.
Practice No. 2
Wittmer actually sat out the second practice session Friday afternoon. That allowed Nimkoff to top the charts with a lap of 57.623 seconds (92.088 seconds). The time was nearly three-tenths of a second faster than Travis. Kozarov was third fastest, followed by Weisberg and Ricca.
The session ended a couple of minutes early after Steve Bottom crashed his Nissan 370Z in the Diving Turn. When asked about the incident, Bottom was honest.
“I tried to go through the [Diving Turn] flat, and ran out of talent,” Bottom told Frontstretch after the crash. “I just went wide, got out in the marbles and off I went.”
Bottom’s Nissan had damage to the left front corner. The damage really wasn’t all that bad, but Bottom doesn’t have a lot of spare parts. He skipped qualifying on Friday, but will race Saturday afternoon.
TC Race No. 1 is scheduled to go green at 12:45 p.m. EDT. The race will be streamed live on World-Challenge.com.