Friday, May 10, 2013

Day Seven Wrap Up

Pittsburg International Race Complex is in our rear view mirrors and a fading memory.  We had a another good day at this track as we did nothing to hurt us.  We brought the car out of the serious competition events shiny side up and undented.  I ran the afternoon in dry track conditions and finished 22nd fastest. With the effort we maintained our 17th over all position in the standings and we locked up third in the luxury sedan class.  That is a one, two, three finish for the BMW marque in luxury sedan in the 2013 Tire Rack One Lap of America.  Where's our check BMW NA?

After leaving the track a large group of us headed to Fat Head Brewery in North Omsted, OH.  If you ever find yourself in the area and want a great selection of hand crafted beers and some good food, stop by.  The atmosphere is also fun and the wait staff attentive.  Thanks Dick Clark and Woody Hair for finding a wonderful spot to sit and rest for an hour before continuing on to South Bend.

Currently, we are 50 miles from South Bend - we can smell the barn from here.  The weather has turned decidedly cold and nasty.  It's 49 degrees according to the car temp gauge and misting!  It could be a nasty day on what is supposed to be the final event - dry skid pad.  Just in case you are wondering, rain or shine, we run the skid pad.  May be Robert can place better than 45th this time - jeez Bobby G....really, 45th is the best you could do a week ago?  May be we should go by the Tire Rack tonight and get some practice in - ROBERT?!

We are both excited to have clawed our way back to a top 20 finish over all which was a goal.  Finishing third in class frankly was a surprise as we thought we'd be duking it out for 4th.  We beat Woody and Neil in the over all - check.  The car is fine - check.  We had a ton of fun and too many laughs to count between ourselves and our One Lap friends.  In every way a fantastic adventure.

More tomorrow as we are both very tired and I have caught some nasty cold with a wicked cough.  Some drugs may be in order this evening while watching the CAPS game.

From left to right - Woody Hair, Robert Grace, & Ben Schaut

Beaver Run Morning Results

The track was wet this morning, but drying.  Robert drove and we purposely set up the run group so that all four luxury sedans were together not giving anyone an unfair advantage in later run groups.

Robert ran 24th fastest.  He ran fourth fastest in class, but still ahead of the Porsche, so we increased our lead by another five points.  If we keep the shiny side up this afternoon, we should have no problem finishing third in the luxury sedan class.  Way to go Robert!!!!!

The fight for the luxury sedan win though is on full scale though between Mike Renner in the BMW M6 and the Schauts in the super-charged E90 M3.  They are currently tied for first with two events remaining (Beaver Run this afternoon and dry skid pad tomorrow at the Tire Rack).  The Schauts currently hold a small (3 seconds) over all cumulative time lead over Renner.  This is important as it is the tie breaker should they split the last two events.

Stay tuned! 

Evo Takes a Licking & Keeps on Ticking

Talk about trudging on.  There is an Evo in the field that has seen some rather nasty abuse.  At CMP  it came through the very fast kink and went off driver's left.  Not sure if the driver tried to save it or what, but the grass was wet as it was the opening session.  The car came back across the track and went through the tire wall.  It sustained some minor body damage, but the rear diff oil pump was a different matter.  No worries, the team with some help from other One Lappers pulled the car together in time to run the afternoon.

The Evo post tire wall break through at CMP.

Unfortunately, CMP was not the last time the Evo would see a tire wall.  On the North Course at VIR it went off at the start of Hog Pen (turns 17a and 17b which lead on to the front straight).  The car went straight off and buried its nose in the tire wall, but not too far or enough to damage it beyond being able to continue.  In a way, no harm no foul other than a DNF and zero points for the session.  I will say though that the car's mishaps did help us move up to 17th other all.  Just sorry it had to happen that way, but also glad the team is able to continue.  Great works gents!

The Evo on grid this morning at Beaver Run.

1M Update

The 1M was repaired at the Arial Atom shop on the grounds of VIR late yesterday afternoon.  After additional diagnosis on the car, it was determined that the entire oil cooler would need to be replaced.  The shop having several spare cars around finally sourced one, although slightly smaller than what was currently on the car, it would fit and work just fine.  The shop patched up the car and Woody and Neil were headed north by 6:00 pm.

I just happened to be awake when they pulled in to the motel noting it was 1:30 am.  What a grueling day it must have been for them, but in true One Lap fashion they trudged on.  What must be really disappointing for them is they had taken the first two events at VIR against the Scion and had a strong chance of taking the third.  These wins would have made for today at Pittsburg (the former Beaver Run) and the dry skid pad on Saturday very interesting.  Nothing like great and spirited competition.

Way to go Neil and Woody.  Great to have you back in the fold!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

1M Woes

Quick story on Woody and Neil in Neil's BMW 1M.  Woody did very well on both the south and north course events this morning.  Just what they needed to do.  While preparing the car for the BMW photo opportunity, Neil noticed a small amount of oil under the right front half of the car.  After doing so more digging it was discovered that the oil cooler hose fitting was leaking.  Nothing huge, but certainly an issue to be looked at and dealt with if possible.

Neil jumped in with both feet as did Woody and Dan Schaut.  Within 30 minutes they had completed what was thought to be a successful repair.  The full course event was gridding up and upon taking the car to grid, Neil noticed the leak had become even bigger.  There was no way to run the car.

Neil made arrangements for a flat tow to a shop near VIR (actually on the grounds).  Last report was that the front bumper was off and that the culprit was a bad o-ring.  Hopefully Neil and Woody are back on the road soon.

Triage on the 1M

The 1M getting a lift.

VIR North and Full Course Results

I suited up for the North Course event.  Second session of the day.  North Course is just what it says....uses a good portion of the full course and is 2.26 miles.  I ran 18th fastest over all and also beat the 4th place Porsche Panamera in our class which was our main goal today.  So far we are two for two against the Porsche and putting a small gap between us and them in an effort to secure third place in the Luxury Sedan class.

After a fine lunch brought to us by Robert's parents, Seth and Julie, and his younger sister Diana we say around the paddock set up and chatted about the morning results.  Thanks Grace family for coming down and just being there.

Next came a photo shoot for all BMW's entered in the event at the bridge straight.

Robert was scheduled to drive the afternoon session which is the Full Course - 3.27 miles of track fun.  He again did a splendid job and finished 10th over all.  The BMW M6 driven by Mike Renner was 11th and the supercharged BMW M3 was 12th.  That placed Bobby G's time as fastest in class.  WOW!  The Panamera was 4th fastest in class.

Today's effort put a gap of 45 points between us and the Porsche.  We are way out of contention for 2nd in class, but we knew going in it would be tough to compete with the two other BMW's.  We remain 17th in the standings over all.

All in all an absolutely fantastic day.  We need to solidify our lead over the Panamera tomorrow at Pittsburg International Race Complex in Wampum, PA.  As I write this, we are north bound with 375 miles to go.  Current arrival time per the GPS is 9:30, but with stops my guess is more like 10.

Thanks again to everyone who came to see us at VIR!!!!

Thanks Suze!!!!!


VIR South Course Results

We arrived at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) at 7:45 am after a 7 hour good nights sleep.  Rare by One Lap standards.  Camp was set up and we then headed to the paddock at South Course.  Robert was first up today with driving duties.  The South Course is 1.64 miles and uses the south end (hence the name) of the full course.  While Robert has driven 50% of the south course he had never driven the whole course.

Results came in and Bobby G again kicked some butt with a 16th fastest time.  It was good enough for third in class and maintains our position at 18th over all.

Great job again Bobby G!

Day Five Wrap Up

Sorry for the late post on yesterday's results at the BMW Performance Center.  Robert thrashed the M3 around the tight circuit and finished 15th.  A great result as it moves us to 18th over all and maintains our third place position in class.

We arrived in Danville at a little past 9:00 pm and headed straight to Jake's on Main Street.  The wives were already there and waiting on our arrival.  Jake's normally closes at 9 pm on weekdays, but Woody's friend Roslyn convinced the owners, Jake and Connie, to keep the restaurant open.  We had discovered this wonderful little restaurant back in March while attending the NASA Mid-Atlantic March Madness event.


We had a wonderful dinner and too many laughs to count.  It was really nice to have our significant others with us and I can't thank my wife enough for coming down from Arlington, VA.  She also brought Dick Clark's wife, Jan and Woody's friend Roslyn with her last evening.  So again....thanks Suzie.....hugs and kisses.  Miss you.

Robert and I were back at the motel by 10:30 and hitting the hay by 11:00.  Thursday is VIR!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CMP Results

The results are in for Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC.

Robert drove the am session and was an incredible 11th fastest!  He was first in our class.  Along with a couple of DNF's for a Porsche GT-3 that was wrecked at Daytona in the bus stop chicane and an Evo that had an oops this am at the "kink", we moved up to 20th in the over all standings.

I was behind the wheel for the afternoon session and the slower course (there are two configurations of the CMP circuit).  I placed the M3 21st for the event and was 4th in class.  The effort keeps us in 20th over all.  We moved up to third in class as well with the effort ahead of the Panamera and Mercedes.

We are currently at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC for what I deem an autocross event on steriods.  Bobby G is driving this event.  We need to stay ahead of the 4th and 5th place cars in our class.  This is turning in to a great One Lap and a wonderful fight for 3rd place in the Luxury Sedan class.

More to follow later this evening as we head north to Danville, VA and Virginia International Raceway.  I can't wait to get there as my better half (Suze) will be there and hanging with us tomorrow during the three time trials (south, north, and full configurations).

 The M3 exiting turn one at CMP.

On Grid at CMP

Liam Dwyer and his Mustang Boss 302 - Racing 4 Vets

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day Four Wrap Up

Please excuse typo's as we are currently headed north on I-95 in South Carolina toward I-26 and eventually Kershaw, SC at a rather rapid rate of speed on what must certainly be the worst stretch of highway in all of the lower 48.  I am not behind the wheel obviously so it's not my hide or $$$'s if pulled over by an unfriendly.  The radar detector has also just gone haywire so Robert is driving a bit exposed.  It will be an early night though as we are due in at 10:30 pm - a great deal earlier than the 2:30 am this morning!

So the results.  We had a good day.  Robert drove this morning and was 18th.  I drove, if that is what you want to call it, and placed 26th.  Our combined effort took us to 24th over all in the standings.  We are still hoping to reach our goal of top 20 over all.  There is some seriously tough competition though and there are a string of much faster cars and extremely competent drivers in front of us.  This is my 7th One Lap, and I have never seen a tougher field.

We are 4th in class and are now behind the third place Porsche Panamera S by 15 points.  We really need to pedal hard tomorrow at Carolina Motorsports Park (CMP) and the BMW Performance Center if we want to stay in touch with them.

Woody and Neil in the heavily modified BMW 1M also had a good day and have moved up to 35th over all and are only 20 points behind first place car in their class.  The two seniors can still hustle a car around a track.

We left Daytona International slightly later than expected as there were two small incidents within one run group.  I sat on grid, being in the next run group on track, for a delay of 30 minutes give or take.  The next stop was Grassroots Motorsports offices in Daytona for a sticker stop.  The only requirement is to stop and get your sticker or skip it and lose 50 points.  We can't afford to lose points.

Next stop was Critz BMW where the dealership had arranged a small gathering of BMW enthusiasts to see the One Lap cars.  I thought it would be fun as those of you have followed this blog over the past few years will remember the story of how Critz replaced the oil cooler on the E92 M3 after I shoved an armadillo through it at 80 miles an hour.

For today....goodnight.

Day Four Pics From Daytona International Speedway

Robert holding court prior to going on track.

Bobby G at speed through the tri-oval.  
He saw 170 MPH in 6th gear.  Giddy coming off track (chubbed up)
Good-bye speed limiter.  Thanks RRT!!

45th on the wet skid pad....
26th at Talladega.......
Running the high banks of Daytona in any finishing place - priceless.
Thanks Robert!
Close up through the tri-oval.


A quick update from last night - not much to report other than we arrived as planned and were horizontal by 2:30 am.  There were a significant amount of deer grazing on the side of the road as we headed south on I-95.  Don't they need to sleep?  It was 2 am in the morning for Pete's sake.  We also have a possible exhaust leak (it's Robert's current assessment) which we will continue to monitor.  The car runs just fine and the motor is strong.  We may be stopping by Critz BMW later today, so may be they can give it a quick look.

We set the alarm for 6:30 which came awfully early.  UGH!  But today is Daytona so well worth the lack of sleep.  Robert will drive first this morning.  Good luck Bobby G!

All for now as first cars role off grid at 9:00am.

The M3 headed to grid at NOLA.

Monday, May 6, 2013

NOLA Paddock

Pic from today's paddock.  I also want to thank Mark and Judy Keen, very good friends of mine from the DC area for stopping by today.  They were in town for Jazz Fest in New Orleans and came out to see the event.  It was great to see a dear friend.

Day Three Wrap Up

I certainly knew this going in, but I am not Robert Grace behind the wheel.  This afternoon's result at NOLA proved it.  My effort was only good enough for 26th fastest in the session.  While Bobby G brought us up two notches this morning to 24th in the standings over all, I dropped us back down two spots to 26th.  At least we did not drop lower than where we started the day.

In class we are tied for third with the Porsche Panamera - each with 80 points.  Dan and Ben Schaut are battling it out for first in our Luxury class and are currently tied with 115 points each.  The Merc is 20 points behind in fifth.  Our battle is for third and a spot on the podium.  We cannot let the Panamera escape us tomorrow at Daytona.  That could be tough as the Porsche, while bigger and heavier has a lot of power and torque as compared to the M3.  The Merc has also been well prepared and has significant power.  It's problem in my opinion is it can't stop.  In any case, we'll put our best foot forward!

Woody and Neil are currently third in class.  There are only three cars in their SSGT2 Small Bore field.  In the over all standings, car number 36 is falling back and sits in 42nd.

Liam Dwyer and Brian Hair are 14th over all and not sure where they are in class.  I will bring them in to the reporting tomorrow.  I do know this though - despite Liam's loss of his left leg and sever damage to his right leg and arm while serving his country in the Marines, he is one hell of a driver.  Not only that, he is a great person.  I am happy and extremely priviledged to have met and know him.

Today's fun was at Neil's expense.  We had told him at dinner last evening that while in transit there were sparks coming from under his car.  Robert suggested it was coming from his diff and the cooling fins that appear to be very close to the ground.  Neil stated he would look at it this morning.  He did that and declared all was right with the world.  In the meantime, I took a small amount of motor oil and poured it under the diff.  He saw it and was not concerned - at least initially.  Once he told us he was going to jack up the car and take a closer look, I could not contain my laughter nor did I want him to spend time on a prank.  He took it all in good fun.  I am sure my time is coming - pay backs are hell.

As I write this, we are headed to Daytona and are somewhere in the panhandle of Florida - 100 +/- miles from Tallahassee.  We still have 335 miles to go and the GPS shows an arrival time of 2:00 am EST.  Getting out of New Orleans was extremely painful as we sat in a traffic jamb for an hour plus due to a bad accident.

I will sign off for now.  I need to assist Robert with looking for suicidal armadillos as we are most definitely in armadillo territory!

Until tomorrow.....good night.

Shout Out to Redline Design

Justin.....thanks for the great graphics.  Including a picture of Liam who says hello from NOLA.

NOLA Results

Nothing more to say other than Robert kicked ass!!!!!  13th fastest over all and first in class - beating a supercharged M3, the new M6, the turbo'd powered Porsche Panamera, and the C63 Merc.  Who says a normally aspirated motor can't run with the big boys?  We have a moderate Dinan tune and some H&R sport springs.  Effort moves us up to 24th over all.  We are slowly clawing our way up.

The pressure is on me this afternoon to keep pace.  I hope to live up to anything close.

Robert at speed.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day Two Wrap Up

Talladega Grand Prix Raceway and day two of the 2013 Tire Rack One Lap of America is complete.  It has been a great day and we hope to continue the momentum tomorrow at NOLA Motorsports Park.

Robert drove the 1.4 mile TGR this afternoon for the very first time and placed 28th fastest (this is pending as the number one/winning car for the afternoon was listed as having run three laps in 33 + seconds - no way).  Our assumption is that Robert was actually 27th.  The effort was also good enough to move us up two more spots to 26th (again, this is pending as the aforementioned car may drop out placing us in a tie for 25th).

Bobby G is slightly frustrated in the time, but everyone was running slower times in the afternoon (on average 2 seconds over three laps) as compared to the morning as the sun was out and the track surface was heating up - heat equals more slipping and sliding.  It's only day two - great job Robert!

We packed up the car and headed to Steele, AL for the bracket drag racing portion of the program.  All day, 97% of the OLOA competitor's wished it would rain so the drag races were cancelled.  The 3% of the field that wanted to do the drag racing was Neil Simon, Dick Clark, and Liam Dwyer.  Well, today the 97% had their wish granted.  As we made our way 50 miles north from Talladega, it started to rain - harder and harder.  Pulling in to the Alabama International Drag Strip, the rain had let up, but only briefly.  Within 10 minutes the rain had returned in force and the event was cancelled.  We jumped back in the cars and headed toward New Orleans.

Along the way, we stopped and had a decent dinner with friends (12 of us) at the Outback in Meridian, Mississippi.  We did not rest too long as we had another 200 plus miles to our final destination.  I am happy to say we made it safely as I am writing this from our motel room.  A motel and room that might as well be the Ritz as compared to last night's hole.  I did see Robert scratching and digging at certain body areas though for most of the day.  He must not have used the shower mold as directed?

The weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny and 75 degrees.  Sounds like a great day is in the works.  We hope our driving can

Talladega Results - Morning Session

Results are in.....posted a total time for three laps of 3.26.54.  Good enough for 21st fastest.  It moved us up 10 spots to 28th over all.  Liam Dwyer in the 302 Boss Mustang was 20th with an elapsed total time of 3.26.37.  The Panamera which is our class was another 2 tenths of a second in front of Liam for 19th.  That is less that half a second between three places in three laps on a 1.4 mile track.  WOW!

We are 4th in class.  Beating the well prepared Mercedes C63 feels good for now.  Tomorrow may be a different story as New Orleans favors the bigger horse power cars.

Bobby G will drive this afternoon and for now the weather is holding off which hopefully means another dry track.  Robert will be going up against Brian Hair in Liam's Boss.  Will be fun to watch!

Neil had a mistake at the beginning by passing a red flag at the start/finish line and it cost him 10 seconds in penalties.  It placed him in 40th for the session.  Sans mistake, he would have finished 28th. Neil and Woody now sit in 36th over all.

More this afternoon.

A Potential New Low

We arrived at our motel in Oxford, AL at approximately 10:45 pm local time last evening.  We had driven a fair amount of the 600 miles in heavy to moderate rain.  The Z2's were okay at lower speeds (65-70 MPH), but there were a few moments at 75 or higher that caused pause.

In route to our motel, we passed by Talladega Speedway.  What a scene!  NASCAR is at Talladega this weekend and the field outside the track that is directly adjacent I-20 was a mile long PARTY.  OH MY!  We were wondering where the nude mud mosh pit could be found.

Pulling in to the Liberty Inn parking lot, I looked over at Robert and declared, this is a One Lap motel if I have ever seen one.  After checking in and unloading the car of valuables, we entered what was no doubt the bowels of some nasty beast.  We could do nothing but laugh.  I exclaimed that we have reached a new low in accommodations - certainly ranks in the top or bottom three depending on your view.

Looking over the shower facilities more closely, we noted a fine moss colored furry mold growing on the walls.  We figured that would not be a problem in the morning as it would kill the bed bug critters we were sure to wake up with.  I will say that neither of us thought about it very long as we were tired and the alarm was set for 5:15 am.

As of this post, I have driven the first session at Talladega Grand Prix.  A short track and a hoot to drive.  Results to follow later.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day One Results

Robert drove the wet skid pad test this morning.  Tire Rack went through some effort to fix whatever was ailing the sprinkler system supplying the "wet".  This is my 7th One Lap and I have never seen so much water on the skid pad.  Neither has Robert.  He was conservative and it cost him time.  The effort placed us 45th of 61 cars starting.  Not great, but not terrible either.  We have a long way to go and it's only day one.

Side note - I am still convinced that the best all around tire for this event is the Michelin Super Pilot Sports.  While the Michelin's may not be up to other dry weather tires such as the Dunlop Z2's, the Z2's are no match for the Michelin's in the wet - at least heavy wet.

We departed South Bend around 9:45 am and headed south to Grissom AFB - approximately 85 miles due south.  The SCCA was setting up the autocross and running the event.  We arrived at Grissom at approximately 11:20.  Woody Hair and I took a quick walk of the course.  It was going to be fast!  I was also happy there were no "tricks".  I hate that stuff!

The entire field runs through 3 times.  You take your best time.  My third time through the time trap was my best with a 59.783.  It was good enough for 27th over all.  It was also good enough to beat Woody!  I gloat only because beating Woody in an autocross never happens.  The effort brought us up to 38th over all in the standings.  We'll keep clawing our way up the board.  We are only five positions behind Neil and Woody who are in 33rd.  Remember, we need to beat those two old hags.

There are four other cars in our class.  Another E90 M3 with a super charger and aero goodies, a C63 Mercedes, the new BMW M6 in stock form, and a Porsche Panamera.  As of today we are all tied for first with 30 points each.  This should be fun.

It is roughly 5 pm and we are just north of Louisville, KY.  The GPS has us arriving in Oxford, AL at 11 pm which is very optimistic.  I will sign off for now, but will post pics and some autocross video later this evening.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Round and Round We Go!

Tech and sticker day on the One Lap of America means it's Friday.  That means tomorrow is Saturday and the beginning of another grueling week of highway driving from one track event to another.  Seven days of fighting the utter lack of meaningful sleep and a half way decent meal.

Tomorrow begins in South Bend, IN heading as far west as New Orleans and eventually as far south as Daytona Beach, FL.  Only then do we head back north through South Carolina, the Commonwealth of Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and to the familiar grounds of the Tire Rack in South Bend.

The opening event tomorrow is the wet skid pad.  Robert (Bobby G) will be at the helm for this first and most critical test of driver, machine, and tire.  All must work in unison at their limits.  In the end it really is the human dictating history - too much right foot equals lost time.

From South Bend we head south to Grissom Air Force Base in Peru, IN.  A mear 82 miles where I (Chicken Hawk) will hunt down orange cones, but hopefully not kill any.  That's right you guessed it, an autocross.  From there we have a 600 mile drive to Talladega, AL.  We expect to arrive at our motel in Alabama at 1:30 am EST.  I am tired thinking about it seeing the alarm clock is set for 6:15 am.

So, for today.......goodnight.  Tomorrow starts the real test and of course the fun.  We'll post updates and results more often, pics, and videos.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

West Bound to South Bend

The first leg of the 2013 One Lap of America is complete.  It started at 6:45 this morning with me uncharacteristically leaving a few packing items until the day of departure.  Most if not all of the "gear" had been sorted out last weekend and was stored in the foyer (my wife loved that!), but some minor adjustments were needed and my "essentials" duffled.  From there it was another 15 minutes to pack the car.

After a few hugs, good-byes, and good lucks I dropped off Suze (that's my better half) at the public transportation hub that is Metro.  From there it was a short drive to Woody Hair's house - the official departure point for the trip west bound.  Four One Lap teams were leaving from Harwood's abode - Liam Dwyer and Brian Hair in a Boss 302 Mustang, Dick and Jerry Clark in a ZR-1 Corvette, Robert Grace and myself in the BMW E92 M3, and Woody in a BMW 1M sans Neil Simon who would be meeting us in South Bend on Friday after a business trip to Louisiana.  

Wheels were officially up at 9:15.  The next significant stop was lunch at the Kettle Brew Pub in Strongville, OH.  This has become a regular stop for what is a very late lunch in route to Indiana.  With bellies full we depart the brewery at 4:15 pm with another 250 miles to drive.  As Woody has had to drive thus far by himself, Robert volunteers to help out and drive the 1M for awhile giving the senior Hair a rest.  I drive the M3 solo.

The remainder of the trip is painless and we all arrive in South Bend and our home for the next day around 8:00 pm.  The One Lap crowd is a little light at this hour with teams slowly arriving from all points on the map.  Robert and I have other thoughts though and head to the motel bar to watch the Washington Capitals game and have a beer or two.  During the game we catch up with Mike Renner from the BMW performance center and Steve McGuire from United BMW near Atlanta, GA.  Brock Yates, organizer of the One Lap, also joins the conversation.  Nothing like a group of males sitting around talking about cars and going fast.  It's good to be back in South Bend.

With the CAPS having secured a victory and our beers finished, Robert and I say goodnight.  Tomorrow starts another day in what will become a long and tiring week.  So until tomorrow - goodnight!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

10 Days and Counting

"Testing" at VIR was completed in March.  The Dunlop Z2's have nice grip - although not having time to take the tire pressures prior to going out for a 25 minute session left me wondering after just three laps.  Somewhere in lap three the tires started to go off and by the end of the 5th or 6th lap were frankly quite greasy.  Checking the pressures immediately after arriving at the paddock showed 50+ on the gauge.  Well no wonder the car was losing grip!  Minor issue as setting the pressures appropriately at the start will cure that.

Robert Grace, 2013 co-driver, also drove the E92 M3 and provided some feedback on the brakes or brake pad selection.  I have been running CarboTech's for the past 4 years on the previous 335i and now the M3.  After having driven Neil Simon's 1M with PFC pads, Robert believes they may be better.  We'll look in to that and discuss with BimmerWorld prior to departing for South Bend.                                                         Everything else worked perfectly with the car having been prepped before going to VIR - THANKS RRT Racing!!!!

Yesterday, Justin Good, owner of Redline Design Graphics, arrived from Tampa Florida to sticker up the M3 with this years corporate sponsors.  Justin has been graciously providing the vinyl graphics for our ZERO and One Lap of America efforts in fighting prostate cancer since 2008.  His work is always extremely professional and he is just a great person to be around.  Next year, we've decided the M3 could use a little more "pop".  As Redline Design is in Tampa, appears a road trip during the winter of 2014 may be in order - although Justin obviously travels occasionally to assist customers in the DC Metro area.  RRT Racing provided the garage space allowing us (Justin) to complete our work in comfortable confines.  Robert even showed up to lend an opinion or two.

Yesterday's efforts - Huge Thanks Justin!

In 10 short days, we'll be headed to South Bend and the start of another One Lap of America.  Both Robert and I are excited to get on the road.  As in previous years, we'll be providing stories as the adventure unfolds.  There are three others teams and friends leaving from the DC area so there will be a spirited competition during the event.

And finally, let's not forget why we have been competing in the One Lap of America for the 7th straight year.  Our efforts have been to raise awareness in the fight against prostate cancer in honor of Tom Holcomb, a close friend and driving mentor who lost the fight against this terrible disease.  Our travels have taken us across much of the United States and since 2007 we have traversed nearly 30,000 miles and met hundreds of people interested in and passionate about the cause.  Through every one's gracious and generous donations, we are making a difference in support of ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer.  To Tom, we miss you!  To all those fighting and surviving prostate cancer, don't give up the fight.  To all the donors - HUGE THANKS for your support.  ZERO could not do it without each of you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Early Planning!

The team is set.....Robert Grace and I will be taking on the 2013 Tire Rack One Lap of America.  This is the seventh year I will have participated in this event in an effort to raise awareness of and fight the battle against prostate cancer.   For our new readers, this battle against prostate cancer started for me eight years ago when I lost a dear friend and driving mentor, Tom Holcomb, to this terrible disease.  The goal in my life time is to lose zero friends to prostate cancer and to find a cure.

Early planning for the event is starting in earnest with motel reservations being made, registrations completed, and fees paid.  Serious car preparation is two months away, but we'll be taking the 2011 E92 M3 BMW to VIR full course in late March for a little shake down and seat time specifically for Robert.  I'll issue another post after that event with some lap times and Robert's general impressions of the car.