Sunday, May 6, 2012

Welp, I decided at the last minute to make the trek up to Watkins Glen for a BMWCCA Club Race.  I had just did some wrenching on the car to fix an oil leak and wanted to make sure I had fixed it.  Since it only leaked while on track, I did not want to wait until Hyperfest to see if the fix had worked.

The C-Modified class was light on the heavy hitters this weekend and I actually had a shot at winning it.  The thought of winning overall was enough to convince me to go :)

Unfortunately, the fastest CM driver there, Jean Luc Bergeron was actually way faster than he was in the past.  I did fire off a 2:03.8 in qualifying which was a personal best.  I knew I would have to stay close to Bergeron to be a factor since he could motor away.  In the race, he took the green and raced over to the left and got on the brakes early leaving a HUGE opening for me to take.  I did not hesitate and got in front of him in T1.  I held him behind me all the way up the esses, but he had way more power and I had to take a defensive line.  We played the game of who would brake later.  That was enough to force a mistake with Bergeron doing some lawn mowing.  I stayed fairly close afterwards but he slowly was pulling away.  Then all of a sudden, he started slowing down.  Something must have been wrong I thought.  Turns out, his grille was filled with grass and he was overheating.  He would have to pit in and therefore I got the win!

Video of start to Bergeron's pit in:

Once again, I was on stock calipers with stock ducting.  No issues with fade at all with my Performance Friction 01 pads (available through ;) )  I cannot say the same about my Hoosiers though.  After ONE 45 minute race, I ended up cording the left front.  I guess there was a LITTLE bit of understeer, but me forcing the car to turn killed the tire I guess :O  The picture to the left is the aforementioned front left tire and the left rear for comparison.

In the remaining races and enduro, I would be no match for Bergeron.  He took the wins in those races and I came in second. I thought I had a chance in the enduro because of a double yellow, but Bergeron also got the "golden pit" as they call it.  On the restart, I was a few cars behind and traffic kept us close.  Was some really fun times passing 3-wide up the esses.

Was super fun hanging out with all my familiar BMWCCA faces and look forward to it again.  Though next time it may be in GTS4 (or GTS3)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Summit Point Showdown w/ NASA

What a weekend.  Going into it, weather forecasters had been predicting 60% chance of showers which meant packing all my rain tires (full wet, intermediate) as well as dry tires.  The thought of having to put the car on jackstands and anxiously looking at radar maps was not very appealing to me.  However, as I arrived at Summit Point on friday, the weather was absolutely perfect.  Latest forecast was now delaying the rain!  For those of you who don't already use it, NOAA's "forecast discussion" feature is very informative.  Written in some cryptic government worker shorthand, it provides valuable discussion on how the fronts are moving, etc.  Anyhow, enough of my newfound meteorological skills.

I had relatively low expectations going into this race.  I had some old friends over at RRT (FYI: under new management now) corner balance the car and tweak my alignment settings.  I pretty much just wanted the car to perform ok given that it was down on power the previous shakedown at VIR (BMWCCA Race weekend).  There was an oil leak in the oil separator o-ring which I hoped would be gone with its replacement.  For the first session out, no dice.  I could smell burning oil again from it dripping onto the headers.  I decided to just run with it and run with it I did.  I was clicking off 1:19s in qualifying which was good enough for a new GTS3 track record.  Now all I had to do was replicate that in the race.  That typically is a little bit harder to do since there tends to be traffic.

In the race, I leapt out to an early lead and being light on traffic, I decided to go for the flyer lap.  1:19.3 is the new GTS3 Summit Point track record now.  My logger showed possible 1:18s!  (though high 118s ;) ).  I was in pretty good position to win the race, but on the last lap in the last corner, a Mustang spun out in front of me.  At first I made a quick decision to go for it, but as the car came back around from its spin, I could tell the driver did not have "both feet in" as they say, and the car started rolling back.  Not looking to destroy my front end, I checked up fairly hard.  Unfortunately, my competition from behind was coming at full speed.  I lost the lead and finished in 2nd place 0.4 seconds behind :(


On Sunday, I qualified with a 1:18.8!!!  I knew the 1:18s were there!  With a solid time, I had no worries about the upcoming race.  However, at the start, Scott Bresnahan in a 996 leapt ahead.  I was slightly worried I would end up getting stuck in 2nd place again not being able to pass a more powerful car down the straights.  I gambled with a more risky pass inside the carousel and my dive plane paid the price.  I would eventually get a fast run out of T10 to make a quick pass and then never really looked back after that.  Being a 40 minute race and being on Hoosier A6s meant I had to nurse the tires a bit so I just maintained my lead.


Despite running no brake ducting, continued testing of my brake fluid of choice, Wilwood EXP600, proved it could handle the heat.  The fluid is fairly "value priced" and in my opinion, better than Motul RBF600.  I had also been using PFC01s all around on stock sized rotors and PFC DirectDrive rotors.  All of which can be purchased through  :)