BimmerWorld’s James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie Reflect on Emotional Enduro Win

BimmerWorld’s James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie Reflect on Emotional Enduro Win

The inaugural three-hour Lonestar Enduro at Circuit of The Americas was an important event on the calendar for the Pirelli GT4 America field, but it held extra significance for the Pro-Am class winners James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie. The BimmerWorld duo not only had on-track hurdles to overcome throughout their journey to victory, but had personal factors at play that made the win even more special.

“Our time at COTA was awesome,” echoed Tyler McQuarrie. “This was a great opportunity for all the competitors to be able to experience an endurance event. I absolutely love longer races, it adds another element on the strategy side. For us at BimmerWorld, we made a few mistakes but were able to recover. It was a very good race for us overall.”

The intense Texan heat played into their favor, as their No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 G82 performed very well in the hot temperatures.  

“We really benefited from the high heat,” explained McQuarrie. “The BMWs weren't the fastest in qualifying, but we seemed to stand out over the course of the race compared to some other cars. To be able to come out with a win was a dream scenario.”  
The win was not only important to them in regards to the championship implications, but also in their personal lives, as James Walker Jr. had to miss his daughter’s graduation in order to be able to partake in the endurance event in Austin.  

“Gosh, what a mess that was!” exclaimed James Walker Jr. “My family knows that this is more than a hobby for me, I’ve been racing for 28 years. We got off to a remarkably good start this year by winning the first race at Sonoma. We had momentum and every intention of winning the Championship this year. When the conflict came to light, it wasn't even a struggle to decide where I would spend my time that day. Everyone was disappointed that there was a conflict, but my daughter and wife supported me because they know what it means to me and the crew. The whole team couldn't be there if I didn't show up. It's not just a decision affecting me, it affects everyone at BimmerWorld.”

As a parent himself, McQuarrie sympathized with the difficulty of the decision, stating that “when we saw the schedule come out, we immediately knew there was going to be a conflict with James's daughter's graduation. As a father of a high school aged daughter, I felt for him because I know I wouldn’t have wanted to have to make that decision.”  

Though it wasn’t a struggle for James Walker Jr. to decide where to be that day, he did everything he could possibly think of to be at both places; “It was in a town about two and a half hours away from the track,” explained Walker Jr. “The problem was graduation started at 7:30 PM and the race ended at 8:00 PM. With her being a Walker and one of the last kids to walk across the stage, we figured that she wouldn't be up until 9:00 or 9:30. We looked at every conceivable option to make both events, but there was no way to do it. Ultimately, we focused on the race, and everyone understood the decision.”

While completing his final stint in the race, McQuarrie was focused on reaching the finish line, but also had the Walker family top of mind.  

“There's no better way to thank them than to give them a win. I wasn't thinking of the championship at that moment, I was thinking about how badly we needed to win this for Shelby and the whole family. To be able to do that and just see how happy it made him, it made it all worth it, honestly. It was just like the perfect outcome, but it also showed his commitment to the series, to the team, and to the whole program.”  

James Walker Jr. is lucky to have a family that is involved in his racing career, his daughter even went as far as to make a friendly threat to her dad; “She told me point blank that if I didn't win, I couldn't come home. She even stole the trophy when I got back. She came into my room while I was unpacking, grabbed the trophy, took it to her bedroom, and said, ‘It’s mine now.’”   

With half the season under their belts, BimmerWorld’s main goal is to win the Championship. Walker Jr. was adamant about the fact that they were going to do so while bringing home a lot of first-place trophies.  

“We’re not aiming for third-place finishes to piece together a Championship. You can't expect to win every race, but we’ll do what we can every weekend to put the car as far to the front as possible. The combination of Tyler and me is our secret sauce, and we just have to do what we know to do. The podiums, wins, and hopefully, the Championship will follow.”  

The Championship fight is tighter than ever, with James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie in second place, only 15 points behind leaders Curt Swearingin and Kay van Berlo in the No. 7 ACI Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Catch all the action from Pirelli GT4 America at VIRginia International Raceway from July 19th to 21st. Tickets are on sale now!