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Disappointment in Sebring for Burton Racing

Sebring, Fla. (20 March 2015) – After executing a perfect pit strategy that saw the No. 23 BMW Automotive Chemicals/Excelda BMW 128i run up the pack from their 26th starting position to fifth, Burton Racing faced disappointment in the Visual Studio 150 when the rear left wheel broke with just under 45 minutes remaining in the 2.5-hour race.

The team opened the day playing host to a great group of BMW Club members, with the Burton Racing drivers hosting a Q and A session and letting the Roundel fans get an up close and personal look at the BMW 128i ahead of it taking to the track. 

In the close to 90 degree midday heat, Mike LaMarra took the green flag for the Visual Studio 150 focused and prepared to make his run up the pack. An excellent start saw him move up four positions within the first five laps of the race. He then settled into the BMW machine to maintain pace with the field through an opening stint that featured multiple caution periods.

Unfortunately, contact from a pursuing competitor knocked LaMarra back during a longer green flag run which cost him a few positions. Without a competitor directly in front of him, LaMarra focused on running clean and consistent laps around the 3.74-mile challenging road course.

However, three full-course caution periods in short succession slowed the team to make the most of the yellow to maximize their fuel strategy and when LaMarra pitted with just under an hour remaining to hand over the car over to co-driver Terry Borcheller, the team was able to take just a splash of fuel and cycle out ahead of the rest of the pack, still completely refueling.

Perfect pit stops by the crew and excellent drives by both drivers positioned Borcheller in the top-five when issues with the rear end stemming from the previous contact began to appear. As the rest of the field sped on, Borcheller was forced off track and Burton Racing's race day came to an early end with just under 45 minutes to go and settled for a 26th place finish.

“It was a bit of a disappointing day, to be sure,” commented Team Manager, Keith Burton. “I have to congratulate the guys. After qualifications we sat down and worked everything out and we knew we were going to have to do something drastically different from what everyone else was going to do and for a while the race was really going our way and the guys and Mike (LaMarra) and Terry (Borcheller) all did a great job. But this is a track that is really unforgiving on equipment and you just can’t have contact like we had today. We will take what we have learned about the car here and apply it going forward and see what we can do.”

The team will now utilize a short break in racing action to prepare their BMW machine before Round 3 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on May 2.

Be sure to follow @Burton_Racing on Twitter for updates!













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