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Pirelli Paddock Pass: John Tecce & Tom Collingwood

This week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass featuring John Tecce and Tom Collingwood…

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

John Tecce is the director of the Florida-based BGB Motorsports team, which for the last 15 years has campaigned Porsches in North American GT competition.

This year, Tecce co-drove a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport with his new co-driver, Tom Collingwood. The pair went on to finish third in the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX East Am standings, picking up a win at VIR.

John, you’ve been running Porsches at a high level since 2004. What makes Porsche work for you?

“We started with Porsches and there weren’t a lot of guys specializing in building them for racing. I wanted to be in an arena where there weren’t a lot of guys doing it.

“We’ve benefited from having a racing pedigree that has bolstered our retail business and given us the credibility to work in this industry.

“We’ll always be Porsche guys. Tom’s a Porsche guy and that’s how we met. I think if we stopped racing Porsches, we would hang this whole thing up.”

Bringing Tom in, how did you find your first full season in GT4 with John? 

“We did the East Am series this year. I did it just to feel what it was like to race against other models of cars because I’ve club raced for three years against only Caymans. So to come and race against McLarens, Musangs, Camaros, I really wanted to see where I would fit in with those cars and that higher level of drivers.

“To come here and do the whole East Am was something to learn with, but we also actually did very well. It was very interesting to see how fast I progressed through this series, just trying to keep up with the high level of competition.”

Back to John, what made you contest the nationwide SprintX finale in Las Vegas, after your East season ended? 

“We finished third in the Am East championship, but we wanted to go to the end-of-season awards gala so we decided to run in the Vegas event. We ran in the Am overall category there.

“We didn’t have to, but Tom wanted to run at a track that he’d never been to.

“We’re very gracious that we got to head out there and run. It wasn’t really scheduled, it was an impromptu deal, but we were happy to add it into the schedule.”

And it turned out to be a good way to round out your 2019 season?

“It was our second-best finish of the year. We finished ninth [overall] at Road America and 10th on Sunday in Vegas.

“Tom and I liked the Vegas track because none of us had been there before last weekend. Tom has been driving for three years and I’ve been in this business for 15 years, but we’ve been getting a lot more seat time this year, so coming to at track that none of us have seen was really cool.”

What were your impressions of the track?

“I think it was fine. I know a lot of people didn’t like the layout of the track, but I’ve run on rovals a lot, since we’re based in Daytona. You’ve got to have a venue with all the infrastructure and the hotels for the end-of-season gala, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway had it.”

What are your plans for next year?

“We’re probably going to do a limited GT4 schedule, and Tom’s probably going to do a whole season in IMSA GT4. When I met him, I said you’ve got to set a five-year goal.

“His goal is to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in a GT3 car. So his goal is to run in the IMSA series, just to get used to the procedures of running over there.

“The beauty of GT4 is that when you run this car, you really just change the tires and the stickers. As a guy who started from a business running these cars, it’s nice to have a car where you can just go from series to series.”

And Tom, how about your vision for 2020?

“Not only will I do IMSA next year, but I also want to do some select Pirelli GT4 America events, at some fantastic tracks like Indianapolis and St. Pete that you just can’t say no to. Actually, this year, we did the Watkins Glen IMSA race in the Porsche to test and tune for the Watkins Glen Pirelli GT4 America round, where we got a podium.”

Back to John, how have you found the latest generation of the Cayman GT4, which debuted this year?

“We ran the 981 when it first came out and we also ran the 718. Porsche has made great improvements.

“The reality is that Porsche ignored the Cayman as a viable racing platform and the current model is only their second iteration of it. Who knows what it will look like in the next few years, but we think it’s a great car. It has great reliability and the only thing that holds it down is the rules.”

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