This was a great track weekend, with good friends and a well running car. I just started my new job this week, so I wasn’t able to take off early on Friday to get everything ready. So, true to form, I spent the evening getting ready although this time with no car prep needed, it was just fetching the car, loading on the trailer, and packing. However, that still managed to keep me up past midnight. Since I was driving out in the morning, I was up at oh-dark-thirty and rolled in just in time for the instructor’s meeting. The timing worked out, but next time I will aim for more buffer.
It turns out there were only three run groups (A,B,C) plus the instructors which meant 30 minute sessions all day long. Very convenient for keeping a simple schedule, but those extra 5 minutes are noticeable on the track. I had been assigned two students who were sharing a car but they were a no-show. Halfway through Saturday I got a B student who was moved to the C-group. It was his first time at a track ever. However, he and his BMW 335i rocked and we more than held our own in the C-group. His son was also in C-group as a first timer to the track as well and we passed him several times over the course of the weekend (each brought their own car).
As for my car, it ran flawlessly, except for a check engine light that came on. It was so nice to be able to load the car on the trailer without any night-before prep. Well, except for the new rims that went on the X5. This was the second weekend on my new Toyo R888s and they were terrific, providing good communication and feeing grippier than the old Yoko A032Rs. Thanks to Kiran at Gran Tursimo East in Atlanta for the great recommendation! Running in the A-group and instructor sessions, I was surprised with the relative parity of traffic, with the exception of some very fast Corvettes and a 911. Although I was passed plenty of times, I found myself often exiting T4, T5, the kink, and T15 and wondering why so many people had lost significant ground. I’d like to think I was flying through the turns, so please don’t burst my bubble. I only got stuck behind my nemesis in the 944 racecar for one session. Everybody else did a great job watching out for faster traffic. While there were relatively few wrecks, there seemed to be more than the typical number of mechanicals, resulting in several cars parked safely off the side of the track waiting for a tow at the end of the session.
Paddock camping was allowed, so I stayed in Das Boose with the E3 storage crew on Saturday night. Sunday was similar to Saturday, HOT! More good driving, pushing the car hard, and getting some fun laps in. I should have lots of data and video to put together. Here are some links to some video clips I pulled from the last session:
- Early in the session, chasing an E36M3 and a Panoz.
- Later in the session, trying to keep up with some fast company.
- Weekend photos on Flickr
Thanks to the Heart of Dixie BMW CCA for putting on a terrific event. It was a blast to see so many good friends out there at the track and I can’t wait for Octoberfest!