It was the annual trip to the VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) but a first for the Toyota GR Cup North America program. Ready to tackle the fast and flowing facility, BSI Racing entered Steven Clemons, Jr. for the third event weekend of 2023 as he looked to continue his upward trend and constant progression toward the front of the field.
“It was a good weekend in Virginia,” explained Clemons Jr. “While the results were not what we wanted, nor deserved, the continued growth that we have as a team is second to none.”
After performing well and showing speed in practice, Clemons Jr. was hoping that he could lay down a solid lap in qualifying one. Leaving the pits and heading out on track, the ABS warning light came on which is not uncommon. However, usually, after the car completes the warmup procedure and is on track, the light turns off, but it did not on this occasion. Power cycling the car to get everything working again, Clemons Jr. needed to get a lap in during the short session and clocked a time that would see him line up on the outside of row seven for race one.
Falling from P14 to 17th on the start due to some checking up in front of him on the opening complex of corners, Clemons Jr. was able to push his way forward to 12th and have a battle for the 11th position for the last 15 minutes of the race. Making a move to P11 on the final lap, Steven was able to sneak by under braking and steal the position just before the checkered flag flew.
Improving during qualifying two that set the grid for race two, Clemons Jr. secured a better starting spot for the second wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend in P11.
Clemons added, “It was a better qualifying session, but still not where I wanted to be. Also, the race start was another wrong place wrong time scenario, and I fell back to just inside the top-15 before the end of lap one.”
Working his way back forward and into the top-ten, Clemons Jr. battled hard to secure the ninth position, only to lose it late in the race. Looking to set up his competitor and get a better run out of the last corner, the BSI Racing driver did just that but was unable to get by before the finish line. Crossing the line tenth, less than a tenth of a second behind the ninth-place finisher, it was another top-ten for Steven Clemons Jr. and BSI Racing.
“Although top-ten is a very respectable place for a true rookie who was doing track days just over a year ago, I really want to push to see top-five and podiums in the near future,” Clemons continued.
Next stop for the Toyota GR Cup North America program is August 4-6 at the Music City Grand Prix on the temporary street circuit in Nashville, Tennessee.
Stay tuned to the BSI Racing social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the event weekend.
For more information on BSI Racing please contact RTD Media and Management via email to Mike@RTD-Media.com.
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Photo Credit: Halston Pitman – MotorSportMedia