Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Afternoon at Highland Rim

Thanks for the update on the last posting Woody.  I wanted to add that we are working to sort out our engine malfunction.  It starts with Dan Schaut who is running an E90 M3.  Dan had disconnected the rear sway bar for the wet skid pad event.  Great strategy, but in the process of running the skid pad it tore the CV boot.  Dan and his son, Ben make a temporary fix that they hope will hold until they can get to a BMW dealer.  

This is where Steve Maguire with United BMW of Roswell, GA, a co-driver with Mike Renner of the BMW Performance Center, comes in.  As I speak to Dan I learn Steve has made arrangements to have the CV boot replaced in Roswell.  The suggestion from Dan is to speak with Steve who just happens to be paddocked right next to us.  After discussing our problem with Steve, he graciously agrees to make arrangements for us to take the car to his BMW shop as well.  So, late Monday afternoon after we leave Talladega, AL we'll head to Roswell with the goal to download the fault code and hopefully determine what the issue is.  Sound familiar?

As I am discussing the issue with Steve, Woody arrives with a gentleman, Jay Chamberlain, who is wearing a Dinan sport shirt.  Appears Woody has mentioned our problem to Jay and Jay is a Dinan representative.  I lay out the whole story again and Jay agrees we are doing the right think by getting the car to a BMW tech.  Jay and I discuss a few of the other Dinan goodies on the car with me mentioning how successful the Dinan oil cooler is.  Worth every penny!!!  Jay does not have any decals for the car (lord knows I would not know where to put them anyway), but does return with two Dinan hats and his personal Dinan license plate holder for our rear.  He even brings his own screwdriver and installs it.  Thanks Jay....Steve....Dan!!!! 

Moving along, our next venue is/was to be the 1/4 mile at Highland Rim Speedway (HRS) just north of Nashville, TN  and approximately 3 miles west of I-65.  After leaving Florence Kentucky we take a somewhat leisurely pace to HRS as we will gain an hour moving to central time.   Even with a slower speed relatively speaking we arrive at the speedway exit at 2:30 local time and pull in to the only gas station lot.  A few cars have already made it to the track and back.  Apparently the gate is not yet open and there is no room to queue.  So, we'll just sit and wait and watch the rain fall.  It has rained for the past 200 miles in route.

We are not waiting long before Brock Yates arrives and informs us that there is a patch of clearing weather headed our way.  We will wait until 6:00 pm and then make a determination on whether to run or not.  Oh joy!!!

It is now 3:00 pm and we have 3 hours to kill.  Woody's significant other, Kay, has family in the area and they were scheduled to come to the track for a look at the spectacle that is One Lap.  With the weather as it is, Woody will go to them.  I opt to hitch a ride with Brock out to the speedway and wait it out with about 20 other teams.  I am armed with a folding chair and an umbrella.

The folks at the track are either milling about discussing the autocross or watching Brock and a couple of the event timers drive the small oval in an attempt to dry it out.  I am doing both with an occasional stop at my chair with the umbrella over my head.  Eventually it stops raining, but only for the time being.  At 4:00 pm Brock announces that if it is raining (there is currently a hard mist falling) at 5:00 pm he will call the event at HRS a wash.  I call Woody on his cell phone to pass along the news/status.

Another 30 minutes pass by and more teams are arriving to await a verdict.  Woody also arrives after his short, but pleasant "family" visit.  Not long after Woody's arrival, the autocross results are posted.  Yahoo.....Woody's time of 42.733 seconds lands him an 8th place finish.  It also moves us up in the overall standings from 18th to 15th.  At this posting we are not sure where it puts us in our class, but the time was the best for our class so we are guessing we have moved back in to second on our own.  As Woody points out, we still have a long week ahead of us.

Sorry for the blow by blow here, but the 5 o'clock witching hour finally arrives and the verdict's RAINING!  Brock provides the all clear and we are dismissed.  En masse, we load up in our cars and hit the road.  Next stop is Talladega, AL and the Talladega Grand Prix Raceway.  Chance of rain.....50%.  Oh joy.  Hopefully we'll stay out of limp mode for the event.

Tucson Jerry has just called and a dinner garden spot serving barbecue has  been located in Decatur, AL.  Another 45 minutes and may be we'll have some descent chow.  The GPS has us arriving in Talladega (without stops) at 9:30.  My guess is well pull in around 10:30....a nice early night and much needed as tomorrow night will be a long one having to drive 60-70 miles out of our way and then wait for the diagnoses and possible fix on the 335i before a long haul to Sebring, FL.

It may only be 6:30 here in Alabama, but I am saying good evening until tomorrow.  Besides, Woody needs the company as it has been raining hard since departing HRS.


Anonymous said...

how about some pictures, boys??

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing. I wanted to show a friend the difference in the number of stickers from the '08 to the '09 car.
Keep up the good driving, and I'm looking forward to no more engine malfunctions.

Woody's Son

Victor Hall said...

Way to ROCK the autocross Woody!!! I'm telling folks back home that I taught you everything you know about autocrossing ;)