"I'm a co-driver in the GTR. Had to get on here to defend our honor. We're really sorry to hear Leh is out, he's a great guy and has run really well. I have to say I'm impressed with how fair y'all have been, for the most part. To set the record straight:
Leh is right, the LC was cutting out after Tony set it. He practiced launch a couple of times, but apparently when you're inching up to staging, tapping the brake, it doesn't like that. After the first run, Tony tested it again before lining up. Worked perfectly. I watched him. I suggested maybe he should just put it in full auto and stand on it, but he'd seen what it could to. C/D tested THIS car last week and ran 11.7 -- however, it laboratory conditions aren't the same as on the strip. Anyway, second time he tried setting it after getting up to the staging area (good thing they just count ET, not RT!), but still no luck.
A Nissan engineer who happened to be in the area came out to BMW yesterday and tried to replicate it, but couldn't. We weren't with him when he tried it out, so I don't know how similar his attempts were to staging on a drag strip.
A few other items, FYI:"
1. Yes, Tony IS a grandpa. As someone pointed out, it IS great to be doing what he's doing at his age or any other.
2. Yes, he's been racing for years and has now done 32 24-hour races. But some of these tracks he's never been on before--few drivers have been on all of them.
3. Yes, the car is bone stock. Many others aren't, but it's not true that only pro drivers win. Mark DaVia is not a pro and has won four times. His ABS went out yesterday.
4. No, we haven't had the car for a month. Got it a week before the event, but Tony had a cast on his wrist until Weds and we left for the event Friday. No seat time on a track until Road America. Tony won his class there at the June Sprints last year, and knows it well.
5. Yes, these tires aren't good in the wet. But it was raining like mad at TWS -- some of those photos were taken before we started. After the first run group it really stared pouring.
We're at VIR now, and it's raining. Tony looked at the rain and said "God must hate me." We'll see! We look forward to meeting any of you who come out and now I have to run