SUCH - Tarheel Chapter BMW Car Club of America

tarheelbmwcca.org

SUCH - Tarheel Chapter BMW Car Club of America

CLUB RACING REPORT

BY PAUL HOECKE

It isn’t often that we get to watch two big

events at VIR back-to-back. But that’s what happened

this spring. Having seen our homegrown

track warriors battle with visitors and one another

– not to mention the weather – on our home track

in April, we were fortunate enough to return there

in May, to cover the pros in Round Four of both

the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental

Tire Sports Car Challenge.

It was an interesting experience, to say the

least. The races were a real treat, not only because

we don’t all that often see the pros compete

in our neck of the woods, but also because

we got to watch the BimmerWorld guys in action,

live and in color as it were. What’s more, it allowed

us to draw some interesting comparisons

between the whole pro racing scene – the level of

technical expertise; the general atmosphere and

inevitable hoopla; and the racing itself – and the

way our ‘amateurs’ (read: Club racers) do it. It was

enlightening and, in some ways, surprising too.

We won’t go into detail about the Rolex race,

other than to say that this big-bucks series lived

up to expectations. It included only three BMWs

– the Ganassi Team and Aim Autosport BMW/Rileys

in the Daytona Prototype (DP) class and the

lone Turner M3 that ran in the GT class. But they

acquitted themselves well, especially the Ganassi

and Turner teams, despite a rainstorm that made

much of that race a water sport spectacle of sorts.

If you were one of the many club members who

packed the Tarheel Corral at the track, you know

what we’re talking about. If not, you’ll get to read

the whole story in the ROUNDEL one of these

Twice is Nice

days.

We feel the Continental Tire (CTSCC) race

deserves more attention in this context. For one

thing, the cars in this series’ classes – Grand

Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) – are a lot closer

to what us mere mortals drive (relatively speaking

of course) than those high-testosterone beasts

in the Rolex group. Plus this race included a lot

more BMWs in both classes – ten in GS and eight,

plus four MINIs, in ST. And mainly, BimmerWorld

(BW) had two E92 V8s in GS and two E90 328i’s in

ST. ‘Nuff said.

The CTSCC fi eld was pretty big, even by VIR

standards: sixty-one cars, ranging from VW GTIs,

Civics and Mazdas all the way to Boxsters, Camaros

and Mustangs. A series of mishaps, either mechanical

or off-course during practice and qualifying

kept spectators entertained on Friday. Some

of those incidents were almost funny – speaking

from an onlooker’s standpoint, not the drivers’ of

course. In one case, a car spun in NASCAR, did

a 360 and ended up backwards into the tire wall

– whereupon the next car also slid off the track,

trundled through the grass and – get this – poked

its nose directly into the other car’s front! The

guy couldn’t have aimed better if he’d wanted to!

Fortunately, the entire event happened in slowmotion,

sort of, so neither driver nor the cars suffered

real damage (except to egos maybe). And by

the way, neither car was a BMW.

Despite all this minor mayhem, things apparently

got fi xed pretty quickly, as everybody

showed up for the race Saturday. Thankfully, the

weather stayed dry. When the green fl ag fl ew

6 TARHEEL CHAPTER FOOTNOTES http://www.tarheelbmwcca.org

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