Bandish drives BMW to podium finish


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Bryce Bandish, a 2011 Brattleboro Union High School graduate, finished third in his class and fourth overall in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association's premier event for 2018.

When asked how it felt to podium in such a prestigious and competitive race, he replied, "It feels good to be the only driver younger than his car."

Starting in eighth position at the start of the race, Bandish overtook two cars by turn two on the 2.4-mile course at Watkins Glen International Raceway. By the third lap he had salted away a Lotus, leaving only a Porsche to battle for third place. Trading places for the next three laps, his tires eventually reached enough heat to grip the turns at speed. He took the lead for third for good at the infamous Bus Stop (a series of S turns) with three laps remaining. Faking a hard break at the Boot (turns 6-8), the Porsche flinched, over braked and could not recover. At the checkered flag, the BMW M3 driven by Bandish was a full two seconds ahead — good enough for fourth overall and third place in his class.

The event featured two days of testing and one day of time trials to determine pole position. Bandish chose to run older tires for the time trial, switching to new race tires for the final race on Sunday. The event was marred, however, by the number of crashes. From priceless Jaguars, Aston Martins, Ferraris and Porsche Cup Cars, and a handful of marquees, the intensity of road racing took its costly toll.

Bandish currently lives in San Jose, Calif., where he works in the tech industry.

His next scheduled event is a BMW sanctioned race at Thunder Hill Raceway in California. He holds licenses in several categories, including SCCA and VARA.



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