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Upcoming Club Events

Winter Sport: GoKarting Social 02
01.27.2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

First-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
02.17.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

2019 Cleveland Auto Show -- TENTATIVE
03.03.2019 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Second-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
04.07.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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Local News

Our 9th bdetroit 14us trip to the NAIAS departed from the Independence Holiday Inn on January 19, 2014 with an enthusiastic load of NOCBMWCCA members and friends. The trip did not disappoint. In addition to the huge variety of domestic and import manufacturers in attendance, BMW unveiled their new 235i Coupe.

Submitted by Brian Nawrocki, NOCBMWCCA president

Brian PresI'm writing to you fresh off a trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA show (see my editorial on Page 11), then over to California where I added a 2002 X5 to our fleet of cars. This one is for my wife, though. The extra room should help facilitate her transition from super mom to soccer mom in a safe and roomy mode of transportation. By now you are asking why buy a car so far away? In California BMWs are as plentiful as Hondas are here; only, you can get a 12-year-old or older car whose body and chassis look like they just rolled off the assembly line. As we all know, a well-maintained BMW will run for many hundreds of thousands of miles, provided the body holds up. Excluding my 135, our last three BMWs have been driven home from NorCal. To thin the herd, we will be selling Little Neillo, Josie's 325i, in the spring.

During our November board meeting we discussed a plethora of issues including the Holiday Party, Mid-Ohio in March and May, and the continuation of our hard-copy newsletter. As I stated in our last newsletter, it's slim pickens in the treasury department. Rest assured the board is assessing each expenditure in order to keep bringing you events like our Holiday Party at Tangiers this year, as well as how we are going to pull off driving events at Mid-Ohio next season.

Look for a poll out soon about the continuation of our paper newsletter. It costs us upwards of $3 grand per quarter to print and mail news letters to our constituents. This cost is under heavy scrutiny as we try to manage a shrinking treasury. So, please respond to the poll as you should receive the opportunity to voice your opinions via an email coming shortly. Please consider rising postage costs as you vote whether to continue on with the print edition.

As for the driving events, we are working behinds the scenes to prepare for a Memorial Day HPDE and Club Race. Details and registration will follow, so check the web site and motorsport.reg for registration.

That is all I have for now. Please feel free to get involved with the club events! You are welcome to join any board meeting, providing you are a current club member, and we are always looking for dedicated volunteers to help facilitate our driving schools and social events. Remember that the Northern Ohio Chapter BMWCCA is more than just about BMWs, it's about the friendships and camaraderie we have all learned to cherish at each of our affairs.

Submitted by Bob Perritt, NOBMWCCA member

Where to start? Well? Um? The Glen is a great place to be and a better place to race. BMW HPDE and Club Race events are always a good time, but being at the Glen was really special. This being my first time driving at this track, I had a different approach to prepare. We usually like to prepare for a new track by finding a club HPDE event at that track 30-60 days prior to the club race. During the HPDE event we get video and data of #57's likes and dislikes of the track, get the suspension setup to match some of the track's many changes, and feel how she handles with my driving style on a new track. But as it turned out I wasn't able to prepare that way for the Glen: We weren't able to drive at a prior HPDE event.











Pictured: Justin and Jeff at the winners podium with the beautiful Turner ladies, O-Fest 2013.

Plan B: Review the map of the track. (We carry a hard copy of most tracks and times that our class runs in our trailer.) I should be able to close my eyes and visually drive that track without being behind the wheel. Next, we download this track to our race simulator and drive. Sometimes (most of the time), I take vacation days at work so I can practice on the simulator. LOL! Once we get a feel for the track, we try to find sections of the new track that are similar to other tracks we have driven. We find U-Tube videos that really add to this training process or talk to someone who has experience there.

So, our first time on track there was the Friday before the weekend races. Practice was actually very short sessions, so we didn't learn as much as I was hoping to learn. Well, some time is better than no time on track. The data and video was good to review and to see where #57 liked and didn't like the track–or, at least, where I thought she liked it (The simulator only does so much). Well, I've got to tell you: . . Boy, this is a fun track–elevation changes, off camber and fast! When not on the track, we were able to get to all the turns and watch how those cars set up for their apexes, braking, and throttling. It's so hard to watch someone else on the track; that's the hardest thing for me–watching! But important!

This track has eleven turns, 3.4 miles of fast with virtually no run-off. We were able to keep her on the track for practices and qualifying–no spins. Front straightaway going into a right hander, Turn 1, especially at the start of a race, is a blast! Not sure how many cars can run wide at Turn 1, but you need to sort that out by the time you get to the esses–Turns 2,3 and 4. We are full throttle and in fifth gear through the esses; we almost need another gear for the straightaway that follows (or to change the rear end to fit the track). You are headed to the "Bus Stop", as they call it. The first time through I left some time there, but I did figure out that you can carry a lot of speed, if you have grip! Turn 5 is a fast right-hander and when wet not fun (See next section for more details).

In preparing for a track, we talk about sections, as you need to break down a track into sections and master each of those sections. If you goof up a turn in a section, you probably gave up a second of your lap time. I have seen drivers (rookies) try to pick that time up before they finish that
section. The outcome usually has bad results. The "Boot" can be one of those sections–Turns 6,7,8 and 9. When you do well coming through Turn 9, you end up with so much speed that you need to tap brakes to set your suspension and weight transfer to continue full throttle thru Turn 10,
a left-hander. That is one turn that has run off, if needed. Then you have Turn 11 into the front straight. When you come into the front straight, you can only wonder about all that racing history at the Glen; it is so cool! Watkins Glen, the town, is fun, too. Good food, good people, and, well, micro-breweries–they are always good.

Now for the rest of the story. My crew has nicknamed me "Crash," after that event. We needed frame work, but that wasn't going to happen at the track (Plan C), so our weekend racing was over pretty fast. I had a great start into the race; we picked up six spots in three laps. For us, that was great, as we have the least amount of HP in our class. At least this is my excuse to convince my better half I need a built 3.2 engine. (Maybe you can call her on my behalf?) Number 57 was amazing. It could have been the song. Radar Love, the crew played on my headset for a brief second, but she liked the track. I liked the track.Everything felt good.

Lap Four was looking good: Entering Turn 1, being full throttle through Turn 2, setting up for Turn 3 is just turning the wheel an inch. Then it happened: Left rear tire lost grip. We ended up head-on at 100 mph into the guardrail wall to the left. We got the car straight and limped back to the paddock somehow. I tried to find a spot to pull off but that wasn't found. This is something I will look for prior to a race event in future–pull-off areas. The Glen really only has two safe ones and I already had passed one by the crash site after Turn 4. After looking the car over, we saw tie rod failure. Reviewing the video, we think we saw a wet spot on track that we got into. We had other drivers view this with some of the same conclusions. I look to eliminate one-by-one what went wrong, and I start with the driver, thinking driver error first, because one needs to learn from every situation.

The good news is she was ready 3 weeks later for my next race at Mid Ohio. (Oh, I forgot to mention I wasn't hurt, but it's a heck of a way to test safety equipment). That Friday at Mid-Ohio was a great practice day. She felt great and drove well all weekend. It only took a few practice sessions to get confidence back, trusting my car, and the work that was done. We really have great talent in this sport–drivers to the workers and everything in between. Thanks!

See you at the track, Bob

There was always a lack of cargo space when BMW designer Max Reisböck would travel with his family. So, he created a new car to fit his lifestyle. On his own time, he used a wrecked 3 Series to engineer a prototype of the Sports Wagon. Watch the video for the whole story.

It’s more than driving – it’s about living!

Street-Survival-LogoThe primary emphasis of Tire Rack Street Survival is a “hands-on” driving experience in real-world situations! We use your own car to teach you about its handling limits and how you can control them.The students will become more observant of the traffic situation they find themselves in. They will learn to look far enough ahead to anticipate unwise actions of other drivers. As the students master the application of physics to drive their cars, they will make fewer unwise driving actions themselves. They will understand why they should always wear their own seat-belts, and why they should insist that their passengers wear seat-belts, too!

October 27, 2013
Revere High School • 3420 Everett Rd ª Richfield, OH  44286
8:00am - 4:00pm

Contact Pete Sedlak 216-289-0840

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The brew tour started out in Solon and wound through the South Chagrin Reservation before reviewing the Polo Fields and homes along Chagrin River Road. We made a quick stop at the Nature Center in the North Chagrin Reservation, traveled north in the Reservation and then roamed some secluded riverside roads, including Pleasant Valley with its historic one-lane Whipple Truss bridge.

Our northbound entry into Willoughby kept us along the Chagrin River into the historic downtown. Since we arrived a few minutes early, many explored local shops and antique stores near the Willoughby Brewing Company. We regrouped to make those tough decisions about beer tastings and lunch, while admiring the repurposed century-old interurban maintenance building, which houses the brewery.


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.


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!

Submitted by Bob Perritt

perritt813aThe 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,