Romak Scores Dominant Overall Race 2 Win in Masters Endurance Legends; Plucinsky Brings BMW the GT Victory
Race 2 of Masters Historic Endurance Legends concluded the racing action at the 2021 Monterey Pre-Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The 40-minute race came to a close with Stephen Romak scoring a dominant overall victory — his second of the day — and Thomas Plucinsky carrying the BMW banner to the GT win. The race was completed without any flags breaking the action.
Romak speaks of his 2011 Pescarolo Morgan with the same newfound enthusiasm a child might hold for a recently-unwrapped Christmas gift. After acquiring the long-sought-after Prototype last December and shaking it down under less-than-ideal conditions, he found his groove with the track time provided this weekend.
“It’s on rails,” said an elated Romak. “It’s fantastic. It’s clicking away laps. It was as quick as the other [Formula One] car but way less work. You just listen and count gears — up two, down 1, up 3, down 2 — and it was real consistent every lap. We ran on medium compounds this afternoon, and it was just stuck. It was a really nice weekend for us to be out here.”
Romak, to the possible delight of his competitors who hope to take the checkered flag next weekend, is one of the few participants at the Monterey Pre-Reunion who won’t also be attending the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Only two other cars finished on the lead lap. Spencer Trenery valiantly returned from the mechanical issues that plagued his chances in Race 1 to come up from the back of the field and finish second. Danny Baker, whose No. 34 2011 Oreca FLM02 LMP2 posted the quickest individual lap times next to Romak’s, continued to have bad luck during the race with a spin on Turn 11 of the second lap that set him back. However, Baker continued on and worked his way up to third.
William Hubbel (fourth) and Travis Engen (fifth) finished the race one lap down. Pit strategy didn’t have a large effect as all of the mandated two-minute stops were completed in the window under green-flag conditions.
The sixth overall driver was GT leader Plucinsky. Plucinsky was beaming after a great drive in the No. 56 2011 BMW M3 GT that bested the other full-bodied marques. A representative of BMW North America, Plucinsky is happy to fly the company banner in a solid outing that precedes a celebration of the M3 and M4 models at this coming week’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
“It was fantastic out there,” said Plucinsky. “It is great to be here. The Masters setup is really great. The 40-minute races really give you a bit of a workout in the car. It’s a blast. It’s fun having the Prototypes pass you and getting a chance to pass other cars out there. You have to be on your mirrors all the time, but that’s part of the fun of having a multiclass group which is authentic to when this car originally raced.
“This is the year of the M3 and M4. We just launched the sixth generation of the car and have one here in the paddock. We’re here this year to celebrate everything M3. We brought two E92 M3s, which are fourth generation. We’ll have an E46 M3 that was a Grand Am winner in 2004. We’ll have a DTM car from Europe here for display. We’re going to unveil the brand new M4 GT3 to North America. It will be a weekend of lots of M3 and M4. That’s why we’re here. The BMW fans love to see these cars running here, and that’s why we do it.”