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Chocolates and Cheese and Lunch, Oh My!
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EVENT OF INTEREST: 2017 Z-FEST
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Submitted by Bob Perritt

You know you’re addicted when:

  • You own more than one BMW but you are still looking at BMWs for sale at AutoTrader
  • You won’t drive your car in the snow but take it to

HPDE events

  • You start trailering your car to the track because you need room for tools and fresh “stickies”
  • You search for the net HPDE before you go to the last one scheduled
  • You decide your track car needs better safety gear such as harnesses and a roll cage
  • You start taking weight out of your car to help go faster or even go on a diet (ha-ha!)
  • You decide to take the BMW Race School just for the experience
  • You realize you have enough track time and passed race school
  • You sign up for your first of many race events
  • You figure out how to get the fastest qualifying time out of fresh “stickies”
  • You make friends with fellow drivers and all you talk about is how you still get to play with cars with friends

If and when you become a racer, you think about:

  • How to be faster
  • How to be a better driver
  • Suspension
  • Bigger brakes
  • A tuned chip
  • Sizing a differential for the track
  • Corner-Balancing for the car
  • Removing weight from the car
  • Building your engine’s horsepower
  • Coaching and data
  • Seat time and practice time on a wet track

We haven’t had as much seat time so far this year; our car(s) has/have a few minor issues. Well, that what we thought—that we just needed a head gasket. As it turns out, we replaced a couple of suspect valves, milled the head, got some new pistons, and so forth. The car motor had some miles on it, and I guess it was ready to be freshened up. $$$. When I look back at logging things down, it was time. I guess we were thinking we were good to the end of the season.

So, I brought out the other car for an event. It hadn’t been on track at all this year. I checked her out, got the annual inspection done, and all was good. Well, not really. The anti-lock brakes gave us issues during a practice before qualifying, and we weren’t going to be able to race safely that weekend. Parts weren’t going to be available, so I made the call not to race. I always want to put safety first with the car(s). That’s what’s expected! I mentioned car(s), because I realize it’s hard enough to keep one car going let alone multiple cars. It takes a lot of time; there’s money involved. We weren’t alone; this past event I believe 7 or 8 cars didn’t race either that weekend.

We did manage to get to a couple of my favorite tracks—Mid-Ohio and The Glen; they were a blast. Those tracks are a must on your bucket list. But, I feel that way about all tracks. Obsession! The Glen is tough because the weather is so
unpredictable. One qualifying group went out on a dry track and the next group had a wet track. Yet, weather radar showed nothing. Now, wet changes the game, changes the track, changes where you can drive safely. It’s tough, but it’s still fun; it’s something different. Wet helps you drive better. You have to be smooth on shifting, throttle, and braking. It makes you a better driver, a safer driver. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a dry track as you can go faster!

The motor should be back in by the time you read this. We should have had the time to break her in, and be ready to race. We still have three months of events, so I hope to see you at the track.

Bob #57, #54, #135