May 27, 2012 – Willow Springs International Raceway, Calif.
With Geoff Sykes working on the east coast on Friday and Saturday, it seemed like he would have to miss the BMW race at Willow Springs in California. However the plan was made for him to fly back Saturday evening, in time for Sunday’s practice, qualifying and race. But as it turned out, Sykes worked Saturday late into the evening in N. Carolina, ending up on the first flight back to LAX on Sunday morning, which meant driving straight to the track, missing all the practice and qualifying sessions and then having to start the race at the back of the pack in 12th place.
“The race started well with me moving up 4 positions by turn one, 7 positions by the end of the first lap, and by the third lap, I was in the top 3, battling with Ralph Warren in his E92 M3 G-Prepared car and Maury Gentile in his E30 M3 D-Modified car,” said Sykes.
With speeds up to 135mph heading down the back straight into Turn 8 and 90-100mph in several of the other turns, it was a thrilling race for Sykes and Gentile as they traded positions a couple of times, both hounding Warren for the overall lead as they ran nose to tail in and out of lap traffic.
However the climactic finish between the three cars was not to be… “In lap 8, a faster class of cars caught up with our group, and it was then that a GT3 Cup car dived for a pass on me going into Turn 2. I held my line but the GT3 drifted into the E46, with the Porsche’s front left corner contacting the right rear of the BMW. Result was the Porsche spun out and I ended up developing mishandling issues for the rest of the race so had to back off and give up my fight for the win.”
The good news was that because of the distance Sykes had been able to already put between himself and the other C Modified cars, he was still able to win his class. After the race, Geoff was presented with the BMW Spirit of Club Racing award. “It’s a great honor that capped an exciting, fun and unpredictable day that is always a part of racing! Thanks BMW CCA for an awesome race series!!”