Rollin' the dice

Well we all struggled throughout the run up to race one at Lime Rock... The race wasn't much better.  We all improved our position and we all are in the top ten in points but we are not overly happy with not being up at the front.  All three of us are capable and these cars are capable of running at the front.  Normally we would test big changes but we are going to roll the dice with a big setup change tomorrow and see how it goes.  A ten minute qualifying doesn't leave much time if we blow it so it will be all or nothing.  Stay tuned!

1 down, 1 to go.

WEll, first race down. I had a great start, but just wan't able to keep up. Passed Galati, dropped a spot to Saini and the car placed where it should have in 7th based on laptimes. Seth was in front of me but slipped back, Nick was just behind.

Not satisfactory. Nick and I are going to gamble big in our Mon 10AM qualifying session and put completely new setups on the car, Seth will remain relatively close to the Saturday setup. Hopefully this will help us locate some of the missing speed.


Busy day...

Nuts day today. We usually have a test day with 3-4 sessions, then a day of practice with 2 official sessions, then a day to qualify. Instead, due to the double race weekend and special issues at Lime Rock, we have no test day and had three sessions, with the last a qualifier for tomorrow's race, starting at 12:45 and ending by about 5.

We started with 3 fairly different setups on the 3 cars and oddly enough, there wasn't a clear winner. All of us have tuned our own and they are all working. This made it a TON easier for the guys with no spring changes or scaling required at this point. And, we kept the cars out of the walls, which helps a lot too...

My qualifying session was going to be awesome - had a great lap 1 and was showing a low :58 on the dash. Then a Mazda in front of me slid wide in West Bend, tapped the wall, and headed back my direction across the track. I checked up and swerved, got back on it going down the hill, but the damage was done - 0.5 sec on that lap. My next one was blown when I overcooked T1, meaning my sticker advantage wasn't capitalized on. The balk lap was my fastest until late in the sesion when I went out with Seth and Nick in tow and powered on to click a :58.8 on my own on about 10 laps on the tires. The best thing I am finding about a double race weekend is I will get to qualify again Monday morning and get it right this time!


Got it right

Lime Rock is one those tracks where you are either on it or you are way off. As I began the weekend I was fighting the setup for some very minor problems, mainly understeer. Using our Motec data and some good calculations from our engineer the setup came together for qualifying. On the magic lap of the Toyo 888 everything was great. The front was turning in and the rear was slightly loose, the right combo. That left me 5th on the grid and the fastest BMW. With the race tomorrow it is time to get some rest for a great race!


Its May 22 so I must be at Lime Rock

Transporter back at 5AM Tuesday, cars unloaded, gone over fully, parts changed, and new setups put on and reloaded and back on the road Wednesday at 3PM - the guys did an awesome job!

Nothing like a little pressure. 20 minute practice session tomorrow, then 2 qualifying sessions, each no more than 2 hours apart to fix the cars and change setup. So as a driver, you better get up to speed immediately. And all this at Lime Rock with walls right up agains the track at many places. Pull the pin and toss...


Ahhh, Utah - Sucked.

No updates because I was busy chashing my tail. The team was working like a well-oiled machine, the cars were good here, and like VIR, I felt like we really had the setup on the cars where we wanted it. We didn't creep up to a solution - we spent the test days circling it and learning even more and really hit it right. Almost. Unfortunately, one final guess for my car was wrong and killed my in qualifying. I came into the pits for a change and was 0.7 sec faster by turn 7, but I caught Seth, then got over-anxious to make up for it in turn 23 and got greedy on the power. I started sliding about halfway to the trackout and it was either lift and blow the lap or stay in it and maybe pull it out. I stayed in it, looped it big, and got stock in the gravel. Turns out, that was good practice...

The race was fair. I got balked in Turn 1 by a car that went in too hot and looked like he was coming back and possibly in front of me. After checking up, I was never able to get back on Seth's tail (in front of me) and catch the draft. I punched my own hole in the air, slowly fell back. Had a nice little battle with Chip along the way. Then 2 laps until the end, I came into Turn 21 and in a split second my brake pedal went soft, my accelerator went wide open, and I launched off the track smoking all 4 tires at over 100MPH to get stuck in the gravel for the final time. I beat Galati though, who had similar luck. I won't name Tilton (oops, I mean the pedal manufacturer responsible for the launch) publicly though. Oh well - poor engineering there that grossly magnified the small leak in a caliper line. I figure if it had happened 3 laps later, that would have been lap 1 at Lime Rock and my car would be destroyed in a wall, so I guess there is a bright side.

Ahh, Utah!

Well the afterglow of VIR for me has been nice. Not a win, but a podium is OK. Certainly makes me look for better things.

So in my time off (right)... I jumped right out of VIR into a couple of days in the office to catch up, then headed out to One Lap of America. Lots of driving, lots of racetracks, and NO sleep.

Luckily, it was a TON of fun with some good friends! I left Thursday night for that, spent over a week on the road, got back in on Sat night.

Now a smarter person would have slept for two days straight. I, on the other hand, played catchup in the BimmerWorld office (got kind of close this time!) for 2 days. That wild dash ended at 11:30 last night, head to Charlotte to jump on a plane at 7AM this morning, fly to Salt Lake City, eat some REAL Mexican food, then off to the track.

Rig gets unloaded:

Cars all snug in their garages. Time to go for a trackwalk.