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Amish Country Drive
Saturday, September 28, 2013
The intrepid group started out from the plaza into the back roads along the Portage Lakes and into the cornfields. There were lots of T-intersections, leisurely esses, and crop test fields on the way to Lehman's Old-Time Hardware Store in Kidron. The group took about an hour to explore the store and nearby Heritage Center before snaking through many more cornfields and around buggies. There was a change of scenery when the entourage reached the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife area, a quiet stretch of drive into the wilderness. The drive ended at The Pine Tree Barn south of Wooster, which uniquely combines a Christmas tree farm with a furniture store and a restaurant. After lunch, travelers explored the gift shops and furniture offerings before either heading into Wooster or toward home—many with lemon crumb muffins in hand.
NOCBMWCCA Invades Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Memorial weekend
Submitted by Brian Nawrocki, president NOCMBWCCA
By the time you read this I hopefully will have taken delivery of a new Lemans Blue 135is. I'm excited to pick up my first new car ever! (Being President has its privileges!) Only kidding. The board doesn't get paid for doing what we do, we do it because we love driving the BMW marque, and, most of all, the wonderful people involved at the events we participate in.
Our Chapter's driving events, destination events, and beer and winery drives have a little of everything to meet the fancy of our most discerning members. August featured a family fun night at Fun-N- Stuff in nearby Macedonia, Ohio.
Attendees enjoyed the best part about being a BMWCCA club member—driving your BMW to meet with friends. This was a very cost-effective way to enjoy a variety of activities including mini golf, go carts, bumper boats, and much much more. In addition, our group discount made this a tremendous value to our club members. If you didn't clear your schedules to attend this event tailored to families with members of ALL age groups and interests this year, look for its return in 2014.
Sadly, our first two HPDE events of the year did not garner the attendance seen at past events; due to this, our treasury has taken a slight hit. Increasing track fees and lower attendance coupled with the improvement of our chapter website has hit us all in short order. If we don't consider our expenditures for the remainder of this year, our ability to put on two HPDEs in 2014 may be in jeopardy. In order to ensure the continued success of the Chapter, some tough decisions are going to have to be made in order to maintain two driver schools in 2014.
Rest assured the Chapter officers have evaluated some options and will be taking steps to ensure the continuation of the entertaining events you are used to participating in.
Some of the identified topics up for discussion are the following:
- Increased attention to advertising: The new website should help to spread the word. Our use of social media will need to grow as well to keep the younger crowd interested and showing up to our events.
- Evaluation of HPDE Pricing: BMWCCA's, especially Northern Ohio Chapter's, events have been among the best values in terms of track-time-per-dollar. Our HPDEs are among the lowest costs of any HPDE style affairs. Event pricing will be under review to ensure we achieve maximum value to our participants while maintaining at least a breakeven venture for the Chapter.
- Fund Raising events: The club will evaluate additional revenue-generating activities that can replenish our coffers. Being a not-for-profit organization does not mean our events must turn losses. In order to continue to hold the events that generate high levels of participation but deplete our reserves, I propose we must offset our expenses with events that can allow us to operate at least as at a breakeven level.
One of the by-products of the May HPDE/Club Race events this year was the creation of a full-color T-shirt logo by our Newsletter Editor Rich Loney commemorating the inaugural Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro. The shirt is available for a limited time through our Gear Shop. So, check the website or in this newsletter for details on how to order your shirt.
We also thank Liz Colwell for her several years as Treasurer to the Board as she steps down as an officer but remains on the Board. And, we welcome long-time BMWCCA member and former National Treasurer Kathy Lyle as her replacement.
Ending on a bright note, our other driving events this summer have been a tremendous success! Both our On the Lake Winery Drive and our Endangered Zoar Tour had tremendous turnouts! I would like to recognize both the organizing members at each event as well as all of the participants who showed up to drive and share in the camaraderie at these events. Your participation is what continues to make our Chapter a success. Although this transition year started out with some large expenses to the club, our team fully intends to carry on with all the same enthusiasm you've come to expect from Northern Ohio Chapter BMWCCA.
We look forward to your continued participation and support. Remember to check in with our new website on a regular basis for continued updates on club happenings.
Now get out, enjoy your car, and drive the rest of the summer months away in style. Happy motoring!
PASSING SAFELY ON THE TRACK/OFF THE TRACK
Submitted by Bob Perritt
The recent club race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Beaver Run), hosted by Allegheny Chapter BMW along with VRG group, turned out to be a great event with all proceeds going to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.
This was my first time on this track, so having Friday for a test-and-tune before the Saturday and Sunday races was definitely needed. This track has 12 turns and is only 1.6 miles--a fast track. At Turn 1 you are coming off a long straightaway braking uphill before making the left-hander. (Braking late here will put you in the grass; a few cars tried it.) Turns 2 and 3 are full-throttle, hit them correctly, just hold the wheel, and go. There's light braking at another right-hander, Turn 4, then comes Turn 5, a right-hander uphill followed by a left-hander, leading into the infamous blind, downhill with a twist turn at 7. Throttle too early and you will snap spin; anyone following you won't know until it's too late. Throttle late and you will lose fifteen car lengths. Between Turns 7 and 10 is the fastest part of the track. It sets you up for the carousel at 10. Turn 9 is a right-hand chicane. Getting right tires on the curbing allows you to stay full throttle. Get off by a foot? Well, you're in the grass to the left. (It's a narrow track and there's some safe-run-off, but not there. That's bad even in the dry.) There's the carousel at 10 and Turn 11 is right-handed and uphill. Finding the best way for your car is a must here; a race can be won or lost very easily. The final turn at 12 is a left-hander leading onto the front straight where you start all over again.
I was being chased by another car in my class the whole race. I had a great run in carousel, but so did the guy behind me, and he has more horsepower for the front straight. As I approached 12, a third car was losing power. I committed to a left pass, while the other car—a few car lengths back--committed to right pass, splitting the slower car. Suddenly the slower car suggested a point-by for me on the right. Well, that wasn't going to happen at that point; it couldn't happen. The slower car moved left, forcing me to pass with two wheels in the grass and two on the track about 12 inches or so from guardrail. Not wanting to cause any problems, I was able to keep full throttle, complete the pass, mow the grass with my splitter, keeping my position (second) to finish the race. Passing off the track safely was my first concern, knowing if I lifted, I might have caused an issue. I'm not suggesting a pass in grass, but, in each situation, you need to make a quick decision, knowing you put the odds in your favor (being safe) and not endangering the cars around you. It has to happen quickly and efficiently.
In another race, as I approached Turn 1, a slightly blind turn, to my surprise I see oil on the curbing. Maybe a blown motor? The debris flag wasn't out yet. As you can imagine, my car didn't like that at all. Going through the turn, seeing a part of the track one would not normally see, wasn't how I envisioned that turn, but we were able to keep #57 on the track and lost only less than a half second that lap. A couple of other cars behind me weren't so fortunate. They did manage to not hit anything, although they lost a little more time. Anything can happen. Trying to make the best of each situation can help you win your race. It's not all about winning. (Yeah, right. Well, maybe it is.) It's learning to race with your friends, it's being predictable and safe.
I have to tell you, that, this being my first time at this track and not knowing what it was like, it's going to be another track we need to visit annually. (Just like most tracks—all tracks). They say if you haven't visited the track since they paved the paddock or upgraded the buildings, you should come. Even the entrance road is paved. (I guess it was a dirt road; being up hill, it was a real problem before.) We noticed they have started on the new 3-mile track; it should be a really fun, too! Hopefully, they'll make it wider (driving three wide and wider is a blast), as I don't want passing in the grass being the best option. LOL! (Check out the photo of my grille: Grass, grass and more grass).
See you at the track,
Don't miss the FUN!
End of Summer Festival
The calendar may say that summer ends in September, but we all know that once school starts, summer is really gone. So, to enjoy one of the last weekends in summer, we've arranged an outing among the many attractions at Fun-N-Stuff on Friday, August 23, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Among their attractions are two miniature golf courses, go-karts, climbing wall, laser tag, bumper boats, bungee bounce, roller skating, and bowling.
Pre-Registration Required. Check must accompany Registration Form. Payment: $20 per person.