IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge stalwart BGB Motorsports is set to switch to the new Porsche Carrera Cup North America series after this weekend’s Daytona four-hour race.
Team owner John Tecce, a former venture capitalist who left the world of Wall Street to found a Porsche prep shop in nearby Ormond Beach, Fla. in 2004, has stuck with the series through multiple sanctioning bodies, title sponsors, and reversals of fortune.
While he hopes that a reunion is on the cards for the future, the team is currently planning to switch its focus to Porsche’s new regional single-make competition.
“This is the only form of racing that I’ve ever known,” Tecce told Sportscar365. “I come from a Wall Street background and the Cayman has essentially jumpstarted my retail business.
“We operate as a retail operation that sells parts, builds cars, and goes racing. I love the Pilot Challenge series. When it almost died on the vine a couple of years ago, it was a little disheartening.
“But to see 11 Caymans back again in 2019 was awesome. I think it’s some of the best racing around. While in some series it’s the same car over and over again, in ours any half-dozen cars can win.
“I want to see that series do well, but it’s important to me to follow the customers to stay viable.”
Tecce will be co-driving with Thomas Collingwood and Roar pace-setter Spencer Pumpelly at Daytona this weekend in what could be the sendoff for the team’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
BGB then hopes to enter two cars in Carrera Cup NA this season, one for Collingwood and one for a “young gun”, with Collingwood eager to gain mileage in a 911 model in order to prepare him for a future Rolex 24 program in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
In the meantime, Tecce said he will keep looking for customers to keep the Cayman viable in its final year of homologation, but added that he expects more interest to come in 2022 with the introduction of Porsche’s next GT4 challenger.
“It’s been really hard to keep my interested gentlemen because of the perception that if you’re in the Cayman and you’re not Jan Heylen you won’t have success,” he said. “It’s been a hard sell.
“It’s hard right now for the Cayman because you’re in the final year of the Clubsport and in ’22 you’re going to see a new car. It’s tough to get guys who want to make the capital investment for a year.
“I hope in ’22 I’ll have another Clubsport customer wanting us to take delivery of a new Cayman.”
Despite BGB’s plans to step away from Pilot Challenge after Daytona, Tecce says the series looks as strong today as it has in over a decade.
“I don’t like to call myself a veteran in the industry but I’m coming up on 20 years and a lot of us regale each other about the 2007, 2008 era when we had 100 cars at Daytona,” he said. “From that perspective, we’re at half capacity.
“But as a guy who used to make his living building these cars the ability to take delivery of that thing, and only [needing] two to three days to get it ready for the Roar, is really awesome.
“Being in a fixed format with GT4 really keeps you from getting lost and over-engineering the car.
“You can do paralysis by analysis with the setup, but that format really allows you to be ready at the drop of a hat and it’s a car that lets you go to multiple series.
“I think the series is still great. There’s a ton of interest, and I think as things unfold with the economy the more expensive the higher tier stuff gets I’m hopeful you’ll see teams coming down and doing both weekends like Wright Motorsports is doing this weekend.
“I think the series is probably as strong as its been since 2008 and we’ll have to wait and see, but as more manufacturers want to have turn-key race cars it’s only a positive.”