Woodbridge, Ont. (August 22, 2011) - AIM Autosport's BMW-Riley DP car sponsored by GAMMA88 finished seventh in Saturday's Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. At the beginning of the event, on Thursday, the car was at the low end of the time sheets, but the crew spared no effort in transforming it over two days into a responsive race car that the drivers enjoyed racing. Unfortunately, it did not have the speed in the race to achieve the podium finish the team had targeted.
Burt Frisselle, who qualified the car in sixth place, was in the driver's seat for the opening stint and held the position with good pace when running alone, but was slowed significantly when caught in GT-class traffic.
Races at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are often slowed by full-course cautions in the early laps, but that didn't happen this year. That was unfortunate for AIM, as an early yellow would have allowed it to play a strategy made to take advantage of the great fuel economy of the GAMMA88 car's BMW engine.
To avoid being held up in another pocket of GT traffic, Burt was called into the pits with 43 minutes elapsed. During the stop, he handed off to co-driver Mark Wilkins while the crew fueled the car and fitted fresh tires. When the work was done, Mark left the pits and rejoined the race in sixth place.
Mark drove hard, but, like Burt, could not gain position and with 50 minutes remaining in the two-hour race, he pitted for service. The car was fueled to the brim and new tires were installed. To tweak the handling, a different gurney flap was installed and then Mark was on his way in seventh place.
With 15 minutes remaining, the race's only full-course caution-a three-lap yellow-was issued. On the restart, Mark tried to make the most of the bunched up field and attempted to gain a position as he headed into the hairpin. Unfortunately, he was squeezed into the wall, incurring damage to the nose fasteners. He dashed into the pits where the crew quickly replaced the nose and had Mark back on track without losing a place. With time running out, however, Mark didn't have another chance to gain a place and finished seventh.
GAMMA88, which joined AIM Autosport as the primary sponsor for two races back in the spring, was so happy with the results that arrangement was increased from two to five races, culminating with the Montreal 200. GAMMA88