Charlie Postins and James Clay of the No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 were crowned Pirelli GT4 America AM Class Champions after a tremendous season of wins. The duo wrapped up their honors in Race Two at Sebring International Raceway before sliding into a final podium appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Postins and Clay collected seven wins in total during the 2023 race season. Nearly all seven were strung together consecutively, a single second-place finish separating the impressive run. With five podium appearances in addition to the seven wins the driver pairing finished 12 of 14 races on the podium in some fashion.
Optimism is a key feature of any start to the season. However, Clay knew it wouldn’t be speed alone, but how the BimmerWorld team handled challenges that would lead to their overall success.
“While I think we have a good program and proven driver pairing, we also entered 2023 with a new car and some other unknowns, one of which proved to be the increased number of class entrants and level of competition in 2023,” Clay said. “My focus in racing is always to be the absolute best we can and maximize our preparation, performance, and decision making, and things will fall where they fall. I think we executed well in 2023 to make it happen.”
A new car comes with many unknowns. While the ultra-competitive AM Class provided challenges, the unknown of a new car presented internal tests. However, both drivers well familiar with the BMW brand made quick work of understanding their BMW M4 GT4.
“I would say our biggest challenge was realizing the true potential of the car in qualifying,” Postins said. “A few times, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb, but thankfully, more often than not, we rose to the challenge.”
Postins recalled feeling as though he and Clay were on shaky ground at the opening rounds at Sonoma Raceway. While Race One resulted in a third-place finish, Race Two was one of the two finishes the No. 36 BMW wouldn’t earn any points. Head down, the drivers leaned into a key component of their success.
“I guess it is trusting our all-around team and driver package,” Postins said. “We know that one of our key strengths as a driver pairing is the consistency between James and me. Therefore, we know that if we do our laps time, execute well in the pits, and make high percentage moves, we should end up towards the front of the AM class. I guess we did that seven times! Which, coincidentally, is the same number of wins we had in 2022.”
In hindsight, Clay will remember the year as successful beyond wins.
“We had a great season, and aside from results, I truly enjoyed the year,” Clay said. “We got collected in a couple of incidents that I would prefer to avoid, but I don't think that changes our approach or thinking. I don't think I would do much differently - continue to put our heads down and focus on small bits of continuing improvement.”