What a weekend at Mid-Ohio as BCR competed with our #25 TA2 Camaro driven by Misha Goikhberg, while also under our tent was the #43 of Roberto Sabato in his TA2 Mustang. The weather held off, no rain, and as usual it was a first class event at a premier race track.
Our weekend started extremely well, with great test day lap times where we were able to evaluate a number of set-up changes. Official practise was even better, placing us P5 and P3. We were super excited for qualifying as we felt our car was definitely a top 3 contender! Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in, and expecting rain, we went with an in-between set-up. We only managed 11th…..
We were excited for the race, knowing our car is fast but also anxious as Mid-Ohio is a very difficult track to pass on, especially with the TA2 cars as they are so equal in performance. Misha did a great job at the start, picking off cars, about 1 a lap. Sadly, as he was passing a car, he made contact at the tire, causing an immediate flat. By the time he limped all the way around into the pits, and the crew changed the tire, we were 4 laps down. We finished the race and even passed the car that eventually finished 5th, so the pace was there.
Misha will drive for us again at Road America in a couple of weeks. We appreciate the great job he did this weekend at a very difficult track. Watch a few laps from the start of the race:
A great test day at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, organized by Roberto Sabato, proved to be a wonderful day of testing for BC Race Cars’ 2018 TA2 car, based on a Howe chassis.
Canadian driver Misha Goikhberg (who won the Watkins Glen 6 hours a few weeks ago overall in a prototype) was piloting our #25 Trans-Am TA2 car, eventually achieving a lap time of 1:20.690 in a mock-qualifying run! We believe this is the fastest a legal TA2 car has ever achieved at Mosport race track. A big thank you to Misha for an incredible drive, not just for that lap but the entire day of testing; consistent, fast, and excellent feedback which made the engineering easier.
But no success comes without hard work: the crew of Eric Miller and Mike Nelson did an amazing job in the sweltering heat of 32° C, with numerous changes of shocks, springs, anti-roll bars, even an entire steering rack! Thank you guys for your hard work and dedication.
To put this lap time into perspective, a new GT3 Cup Car, costing more than 3x of this TA2 car and running on much wider tires is only a few tenths faster. For those who would be interested in trying this incredible car, or having one built for them, please contact Blaise for details.
Despite some earlier forecasts, Round 2 of the SCCA Trans-Am series ran all weekend under nearly ideal weather conditions at Road Atlanta, GA. BC Race Cars entered two TA2 cars, the #25 house Camaro driven by Misha Goikhberg and the #48 Camaro of Mike McGahern.
Mike struggled a bit, both with set-up and coming to terms with the daunting turn 12 at this super-fast race track. He managed a respectable 20th in qualifying and was looking forward to a good race. He passed some cars early on and worked his way up to 17th, having some great battles that lasted many laps. A slight touch of a curb on lap 19 launched the car and destroyed the nose as it landed off-track, ending an otherwise solid day for Mike.
Misha, a newcomer to sedan racing, adapted quickly to driving a heavy car, a vastly different technique than the prototypes he is used to piloting. Helping along was his driver coach, Bob Perona (who incidentally also coaches James Hinchcliffe) who proved of to be invaluable in both coaching Misha and helping to make set-up changes to the car. By the time qualifying came around, we had a great car and Misha pulled a wonderful lap, qualifying 3rd, only 0.042 seconds behind second place.
The race proved to be most exciting, the top 5-6 cars fighting a fierce battle close together. Misha dropped back twice to 5th, but managed to make it back and was running in 3rd for a good portion of the race. He complained on the radio that his tires were giving out, but so was everybody’s as Misha set fastest lap of the race! On the last lap, he was in 4th and the 5th place car made a last moment desperate move in the turn 10 braking zone, punting Misha off the track and into the gravel. Trans-Am penalized the driver, but of course could not give back our 4th place.
Overall a great and exciting weekend. Misha is an amazing driver to have accomplished what he did the first time in the car and hope he will be back to pilot our #25 Camaro.
Race lap with Misha Goikhberg in BC RACE CARS #25 TA2 race car at Road Atlanta , March 31, 2018
BC RACE CARS is proud to announce that fellow Canadian Misha Goikhberg will make his debut with the Trans Am series presented by Pirelli at the Road Atlanta, March 29-31, 2018. Misha will join the TA2 field in BC RACE CAR’s new TA2 #25 Chevrolet Camaro.
Misha Goikhberg, a well-known Canadian race car driver currently competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship with JDC-Miller MotorSports LMP2 car, joins Trans Am with an abundance of racing experience in open wheel and sportscar competition. With a successfully overall finish of 7th place last weekend at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Misha Goikhberg added, “I am very excited to try TA2, and I have high hopes for the future of this championship. The car isn’t anything that I’ve driven before, so I will keep my expectations in check and try to learn as much as possible in the first weekend”.
Fellow Canadian Roberto Sabato, a common friend to Misha and BC RACE CARS and a Trans-Am competitor, arranged the opportunity to join forces. “We feel so fortunate to have had Ave at Sebring and now Goikhberg joining us to show-case and further develop our cars. We look forward to working with another professional driver and introduce him to one of the best classes of sedan racing in North America”, states Blaise Csida, team principal at BCR.
BC Race Cars Inc. showed up to the inaugural Trans-Am event at Sebring International with high hopes; a brand new TA2 car, a completely rebuilt TA car and the old, reliable TA2 # 48 Camaro.
Tony Ave was the driver for the new TA2 build, and as expected, his driving and input were invaluable. The car was super quick out of the box, Tony posting top 3 times in practise on Thursday. But he did point out some brake issues and being slightly down on power. The brake issues were mostly resolved for qualifying, and Tony posted a top 5 lap time, one that he was not satisfied with. A subsequent spin flat spotted the tires, which meant new tires for the race and starting from the back of the 32 car field.
Katech resolved our engine power issues by race day and Tony put on a show: he made it up to the top 10 within 9 laps, posting incredible lap times even in traffic. Unfortunately, a left rear tire exploded, probably due to a cut while being forced off the track while passing a competitor, ending our otherwise exciting debut.
Mike MacGahern in the #48 TA2 Camaro was making steady progress thru the weekend. We resolved some handling issues, and the crew had to jump into action to repair some damage on the car. We picked up 3.5 seconds in lap time by qualifying, a solid mid-pack effort. A broken transmission input shaft ended our race early, a frustrating end to an otherwise good run after not competing for over a year!
Blaise Csida in our #15 TA car also enjoyed a good weekend, solidly in the top 10 thru 3 practise sessions. We made good progress with the suspension adjustments thru the weekend, but qualified poorly in 11th due to yellow flags on the hot laps. We were looking forward to the race as we knew our pace was far better than we were able to show. A radiator burst on race day, while warming up the engine, and with 30 minutes to the race, we could not repair the car in time to compete.
Watch a few laps of pro driver Tony tearing thru the field…….
BC Race Cars is excited to announce Tony Ave as the inaugural driver for its new TA2 Trans-Am Camaro at Sebring, 2018. Tony needs no introduction; he is well known for his driving talent as well as his involvement in Trans-Am as a premier manufacturer and previous share holder.
With a successful racing business, Ave Motorsports, the opportunity to prepare one of his own race cars for himself and actually race it as planned is often put on the side lines so that his customer’s needs come first. “Being personal friends with him and Julie, we have often discussed Tony running our TA2 car in a Trans-Am race for well over a year now, but conflicting schedules got in the way”. Timing could not be any better, as BCR is trying a different set-up philosophy on this new TA2 race car, and Tony’s background as a test driver will be a real advantage! A win- win situation where both of our teams can work together to accomplish two tasks at the same time.
We are stoked to have Tony and thank him in advance for his expertise. Now if we can only complete the beast in time…
As a dealer for Howe Racing Enterprises in Ontario and our satisfaction with our previous TA2 cars, BCR is pleased to announce the arrival of our new Howe 2018 Trans-Am TA2 Camaro. As a house car, it will be available for rental in both professional and club racing events.
The decision to build a new car came in December, after our beloved “Snot” was sold to friend Rod D. The folks at Howe outdid themselves by pulling out all the stops to get a chassis and body together in such a short time, and we are grateful. They did a beautiful job, and the 2018 improvements should prove to be an advantage.
We still have a lot of work to do to complete the car for its first race at Sebring, March 2-4. As we pride ourselves in the engineering and construction of race cars, the car is basically a chassis and body with suspension pieces custom built to BCR specs. Driveline, steering, electrical, safety, comfort, plumbing, wiring, etc. are yet to be done. The crew will be taxed to the maximum to pull this one off in 5 weeks, but we are motivated; we have an incredible driver. Announcements to follow……
BC Race Cars Inc. delivered our TA2 SCCA Trans-Am race car to its new owner, Rod Darmaga of Ontario, Canada this past week.
Built in 2014, the #07 Green Machine was affectionately nick-named “Snot” due to its colour, factory green, and became well-known in both Trans-Am circles as well as local regional racing. In its four-season professional career, it achieved a remarkable 24 professional starts with only 2 DNFs due to mechanical failure, and usually ran top 10 with a best finish of 3rd at Daytona this year at its final Trans-Am race.
In addition, it ran numerous Ontario club races and testing days, winning the local GT-1 championship in 2017. It served at least 20 different drivers thru the years, from first-timers to professionals. All who drove loved the car for its balanced performance, speed and set-up.
We are excited to keep this wonderful machine in Ontario and have the opportunity to service and look after it for its new owner Rod. We hope he loves and enjoys Snot as much as we enjoyed building, developing and racing it.
Josh Bilicki in our #25 TA2 Camaro gave BCR our first podium in TA2 Trans-Am competition at Daytona International Raceway at the final round of the 2017 racing season.
“We have been so close so many times, but the podium has alluded us. I have always believed our cars and set-ups are top notch and capable of winning, and Josh was able to deliver in extremely difficult conditions” stated Blaise, team principal at BC Race Cars Inc.
Josh was quick out of the box, asking for no changes till he learnt the car and track. With a minor rear spring change, he topped the charts in the 1st official practise and placed 6th in the second on a full fuel load run. In qualifying, he pulled off a beautiful lap, placing second in a tight field where the top 6 were separated by only 0.6 secs, missing the pole by 0.171 of a second!
Race day looked scary as the track was wet and the oval does not require a wet set-up. After lots of head scratching, we backed off the dry set-up just a little. It was a super exciting race, watching the different cars and set-ups do well and struggle later as the track dried. Josh was never out of the top 4 and finished with a well-deserved 3rd place after an epic battle in the top 5!
BCR looked after 2 other cars, both in the TA class. It was almost a Cinderalla story as Steve Kent Jr., piloting our BCR #15 TA Corvette was also incredibly quick all weekend and almost pulled off a double podium for the team.
As a top-notch TA2 driver, Steve was quick in the TA car as well, coming to grips with the additional power and placed 3rd and 6th in the official practises. Qualifying did not go our way, as he was compromised severely by some TA2 cars on his hot laps, ending up 8th.
The race was even more daunting for the TA drivers, trying to negotiate the wet conditions with the wide tires and crazy horsepower of these cars. Steve did an amazing job, keeping out of trouble and getting faster and faster as the conditions improved. He made is his way to 2nd where he would run the second half of the race, some 43 seconds ahead of the third place car. With 2 laps to go, a cut water pump belt took him out of the race and robbed him of a well-deserved podium finish!
Jed Copham in the #5 BCR C7 Corvette had a horrible accident during Thursday’s practise where he touched with another car on the front straight at over 190 mph, spun sideways and flew up in the air coming down on its roof and crashing into the soft barriers. Jed was OK, in fact walked away with just a minor bruise on his arm, a testament to how well the TA cars are built. A scary moment for all that witnessed it!
Watch a few laps in qualifying with Josh Bilicki in the BCR #25 TA2 Camaro:
New Jersey Motorsport Park was the setting for round 11 of the SCCA Pro Trans-Am series, and BCR participated with one TA2 car, the #78 of Harry Steenbakkers.
With lots of practise sessions and great weather, we had the chance to truly experiment with various set-ups. We made great progress and were usually 3-5th in all the sessions. Unfortunately, qualifying did not go our way, and ended up in the 6th starting position.
Race day turned out much better. We took a penalty for new tires and started 8th, but Harry made quick work and picked up 3 positions on the first lap. In the next few laps he secured 4th, but had lost the top 3 cars at that point. He would end up running an uneventful race, a solid 4th without any challenge from behind.
Watch Harry’s first few laps from New Jersey:
race car preparation, fabrication, engineering, driver training and coaching.