Thursday, May 7, 2009

CMP, BMW Performance Center & NC's Finest

We arrived in Kershaw, SC at 10:00 pm after having dinner with Dick Clark and Tucson Jerry at Sam Keller's in Camden.  Early by One Lap Standards.  As we leave the restaurant, Woody and I flip a coin for picking rights on tomorrow's first or second drive at Carolina Motorsports Park (CMP).  I win the toss and take the second session.

We are up early as Woody wishes to scooter the track as he has never driven it.  Off he goes after we unpack the car in our covered garage area.

A long time passes before Woody's run group hits the track.  I guess we are in the all remaining cars category after all.  The car launches itself off the starting line like a snail running from the caviar cannery.  It is rather impressive to watch just how slow it is in limp mode.  Woody cannot even grab third gear by the first turn....go, go, go!  The entire session seems to take an eternity, but at last the pain is over.  Woody posts a 6:34.052 which is good enough for 46th.  It maintains our over all 45th position.

As we are lounging around, Doc Hill arrives.  He is a BMW enthusiast of the highest magnitude and an all around good guy.  Doc drove in from Pinehurst, NC just to see us.  Doc has just purchased a new E92 M3 BMW.  Absolutely gorgeous car.  I ask Doc if he would let me take it for a test spin.  He agrees and wow, what a car!!!  Woody also gets a chance behind the wheel and on the track to boot as part of some charity laps.  Lucky dog.  Thanks Doc for all your support and the seat time.

Lunch having been consumed, it is my turn to take a few laps on the track.  To catch everyone up, there are two configurations of CMP.  The original layout which has two turns that make the track times slower.  The new layout eliminates those turns and makes them in to a long right hand increasing radius sweeper.  Woody ran the original course in the am and I had the new, faster one in the afternoon.  Oh, and due to the faster track, Woody and I, after some research and asking some of the local hot shoes for confirmation, agree to a 12 second (4 seconds per lap) handicap to be subtracted from Mr. Hair's over all time.

I too (s)nail it off the line.  The G forces are almost to much to take.  Lucky it is over soon?  I post a 6:15.565.  Good enough for 45th place in the session.  It does drop us however to 47th over all as there were a few cars that were faster in the afternoon.  On the inter-car competition though, it is 19 seconds faster than Woody and with the handicap adjustment, 7 seconds faster.  End of day two competition...Robin 2, Woody 0.

We pack up quickly and head to Spartanburg, SC and the BMW Performance Center for an autocross on their teaching track.  We arrive at 4:30 just as the first cars are starting their time trials.  It is two hot laps after one re-con lap.  Hit a cone and it is a 10 second penalty...ouch!  Woody runs in his group as we are anxious to get on the road with a 560 mile drive ahead of us.  In one short hour we are headed out.  Harwood runs the two laps in 3:06 which is 35th for the session.  It also moves us up to 44th over all.  We are kicking some ass out Nissan GTR.

We are quickly out of South Carolina and are merging with I-77 in Charlotte, NC when NC's finest, Johnny Law, in an unmarked Dodge Charger pulls up next to us, pops his siren, and points me over.  His next victim, a One Lap Porsche GT3 car, needs to be chased for approximately a mile or so before pulling over.  I finally catch up and pull in behind the Trooper.  "I have you doing 82 mph sir and him, 85."  "License and registration please."  10 minutes later I have a ticket and a mandatory court date June 16th in Charlotte District Court.  Anything over 15 mph is a mandatory court date.  "So sorry says the officer."  Great....if I could only have told him I was limp and 82 mph next to an impossible speed...ha ha HA!  Any one know a good lawyer in North Carolina?  I am dead serious.

It is now 9:30 pm and we still have 305 miles to go with the GPS showing an arrival time of 2:36 am.  Woody is behind the wheel.....faster Woody, faster!  I'll sign off for now and see about getting some shut eye before my turn comes up again.

ps:  will add photos tomorrow morning after down load.

Good night all!


mposter said...

It was great seeing you all yesterday at CMP – and Woody burning up the track – I won’t say which car. What a Bummer with the NCHP. Sorry I don’t know any lawyers in CLT, but will see if I can surface a name for you.
Keep the internal competition going between you and Woody. Now you can begin a new category, and Woody still trails – traffic violations - Robin 1, Woody nil.
Kill Bubba, kill.

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget about that 10-second penalty I suffered at the Performance Center in 2008, the first time we visited the track, and the first time non-BMW's ran on the course! I would've placed 2nd overall, but settled for 8th in the M5. Oh, it was making all 500 hp, too. Sorry you guys have had to limp around this One Lap. I told you, Robin, you should've bought the E46 M3. Now you want an E92 M3, huh?

Love you guys... try to stay in the top 50 overall. Don't let Amanda beat you in a pickup, well, I guess that might be fun.