oh yeah, we have a blog... -David White
6/23/10

At the beginning of the season, James asked me to blog about my rookie season and I told him "I'm on it". Even though I've never been much of a writer, I figured I would give it a shot since we thought it would be interesting for readers to "see" the experience through the eyes of someone making the jump from club racing to professional racing. I stayed somewhat on top of it through the first few race weekends but, as I'm sure most that know me expected, I've been way too slack about blogging since.

since my last entry:

VIR - I had never looked forward to a race as much as our race at VIR. It's my (and BimmerWorld's) home track and we would have plenty of friends there to cheer us on. Disaster struck early when our #80 car was taken out on the promoter test day (James covered that nicely in his blog entry so I'll skip the details). This was a crushing blow but we were fortunate enough to secure another car to use for the weekend thanks to our friends at RRT Racing.

I feel that we were very lucky to end up with a top 10 finish at VIR after losing our car in testing but I came away from that weekend very disappointed with my performance. I had my worst qualifying performance of the year so far (by a long shot) and a very mediocre race stint. Luckily, James was on it and with some solid pit strategy, we salvaged a decent finish. It was pretty amazing to see how hard the BimmerWorld crew worked to put both cars in the top 10!

Lime Rock - My first trip to LRP was in 2007 (before it was repaved) and it was a miserable experience. When I left, I said I'd never return...until 2010 apparently. My second trip there was an open test day where I drove my buddy Tyler's E36 328 ITR race car so I could re-learn the track. I came away from that test day really liking the track and looking forward to our CTSCC race there on memorial day weekend.

Our race weekend at LRP was a short one with no promoter test day so we had to work quickly to get the cars and drivers dialed in. Even with split classes, qualifying was hectic with 35+ cars on a 1.5 mile track for 15 minutes. I somehow found a decent gap and was able to qualify 5th, a few tenths off of the pole time. The next morning, the crew discovered a mechanical issue with the #80 car about an hour before the race and began thrashing to get it resolved. It's a sinking feeling when you're sitting in the car on jack stands as you watch the other cars go out for their recon laps before they take the grid. We missed the grid and lost our 5th place starting position but there was still time to make the start. The crew got me on my way during the formation laps and I had to quickly make my way to pit lane which is no easy task on race day since the paddock is crowded with fans. I make it to the end of pit lane in time for the start and I begin working my way forward from 35th place and pit from 15th place to hand the car over to James. James was forced to pit under green to replace a cut tire and we ended up a lap down. Another race for us where the result did not match the performance. Bill and Seth ran an awesome race giving BimmerWorld it's first CTSCC win!!

Watkins Glen - Our WGI race was the very next weekend but at least we were back to a "normal" schedule with plenty of test/practice time to dial the cars and drivers in. We are very optimistic that this race will be a good one for us since fast, sweeping tracks like WGI really suit our cars and the cars have been getting better each time we drive them. We have a great showing in qualifying and up with 2nd and 4th place spots on the starting grid.

I got a great start and ran strong in the opening laps but I was too focused on getting by the leader instead of running my race and conserving my tires so I started tumbling down the order. I think I pitted from 10th to hand the car over to James. Valuable lesson learned - focus on running smooth, consistent laps and don't worry so much about leading early on. I think my teammates have covered what transpired at WGI causing us to miss out on possible podium finishes, so I'll defer to their blog posts.

Mid-Ohio - Ready to redeem myself from my poor showing during my WGI race stint, I was focused on running smooth and consistent laps at Mid-Ohio. Our cars were pretty dialed in from the beginning of the weekend which made life easy for us. I was happy with my lap times and consistency right out of the box but found a few areas that needed some improvement. We spent most of the test day experimenting with very small setup tweaks and I made sure I was on pace.

Time for qualifying - Bill and I go out together and found a pretty decent gap. My first lap is a good one until i have a nice drift through the carousel...oops. Still a good lap and fast enough to put me in P1, briefly. Another car edges me out by less than a tenth of a second so I give it another go, focusing on being smooth and hitting all my marks. I dropped a couple of tenths on that lap and secured my second pole position of the season! I won't lie, it's a pretty big deal to me and worth all of the ensuing "pole" jokes...

Race day - One more short practice before the race allows us to make sure we're happy with our race setup. I think this might be the first time that everyone on the team has agreed on something - good sign! Mid-Ohio is a very tough track to pass on so I know I need to get a good start, then put my head down and click off some good laps to stay in front. I do just that and take the lead for the first 16 laps until I somehow managed to cut the main fuel pump off as I'm downshifting in to 3rd gear for the entrance to Thunder Valley. The car bogged down, I wondered if the motor had just let go, pulled to the right to avoid getting hit, noticed the low fuel pressure alarm on the dash so I turned on the spare fuel pump and the car came back to life. This all transpired in under 4 seconds and luckily, I only lost one position. While the situation sucked, it could have been much worse. I put my head back down and worked on reeling in the new leader. I caught him and made a few attempts to pass but was unable to get by before I got the call to pit for fuel, tires, and driver change. James ran a solid stint against some tough competition and we finished 4th. Congrats to Bill and Seth for picking up their 2nd win of the season! Great work everyone!

So there you have it - plenty of highs and lows packed in to 4 race weekends. This month has been a crazy one with 3 races in 4 weeks and a few other trips to race tracks sprinkled in. Going forward, I hope to be more "on it" with the blog updates...but I guess we'll have to wait and see how that pans out.