Monday, September 2, 2013

June 2010

I've decided to to a ChinMotorSports DE Event on July 5th. BUT, I needed a car to drive the event. After talking to friends about my plans we talked about cars. It was agreed that the best car for me was a 1997-1999 BMW 328i. We checked Bimmerworld everyday for a decent car. Usually on BimmerWorld the cars are well taken care of and has a minimum of owners. The biggest issue is that they are from all over the United States and were far away, and if it was a good deal, they were GONE.

It was getting closer to my DE at VIR and I knew I had to act quick. One Saturday I went to work with my Brother who recondition's headlights, we went to a used car dealership and guess what I found on the lot?

A 1999 Silver, one owner, BMW 328is in my price range. I had it checked out and it passed inspection. I got it 10 days before my VIR event. Whew!!

Now I have to drive it as much as possible to know the car inside and out before the event.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

VIR 2010, the next chapter

One of our team members brought a POS Porsche (dweymer, aka Donnie) in his trailer that was in a previous race. The engine was a goner but it had a cool chicken head on the roof and lots of feathers glued to the outside of the car.

If you ever get to race in a ChumpCar race, make sure you meet John, and Lloyd. John and Lloyd are all about the racing...they came over immediately to access the situation. Let me tell ya, you could not find two of the most professional and proactive guys in charge of an event. They told us, if you can get that car up and running, you can go out and finish the race. That's all it took. We grabbed wrenches and screwdrivers and attacked that engine like a race depended on it.

First let me tell you about this porsche. Not only did it have a Chicken head on the roof, but it had several issues, just to name a few, it didn't have a seat, safety harness, lights, rear view mirror, steering wheel or a working engine. But with the can do attitude of the team, it didn't stop us from giving it our all.

We started about 2pm on Saturday, tearing down the engine. Donnie had a spare head that was used to replaced the damaged head from the previous race. The engine was rebuilt just after dark, I had the honor of starting up the engine for the first time, Yay Me!. Now that the engine was up and viable, we needed to get the rest of the car ready for the race.

Between stripping the Camaro for the steering wheel, seat, rear view mirror, and asundary other parts, and support from the other racers and most of all the staff of the event, we were able to get the car race worthy. It was about 1 am when it was declared complete. By then we were exhaused. We decided to cook some burgers on the grill for a much needed break.

Donnie took the Porsche out for the maiden run about 2am. He made a lap or two and came in, the car was working great, but with the lights on the car, it was not bright enough to navigate the curves and bends of the track. It was then decided to get some sleep and run a few hours at daylight.

The previous night, John had offered his Miata to the team if the car was not ready by 8pm if we wanted to race during the night. The offer was more than generous and just kinda blew me away.

Up to this point, I had not driven in the race, and I was sooo ready to get some seat time. The next morning (Sunday) John came back over and offered the Miata to the team once again. It was decided that Donnie would drive his Porsche and I would drive the Miata for the final two hours of the race.

I jumped in the Miata and I was off to the races. By this time, the other teams were comfortable with the course and had become regular pros. Since this was my first race and the first time on the course, I stayed on the line and out of their way making sure I didn't interfere with their lap times

I have to say, the guys on the other teams were cool, however it didn't stop em from leaving my ass in their dust. This was when I saw Tony Stewart coming up behind me on the bend, passing me on the left gliding ever so smoothly in front of me, leaving me watching his tail lights ride off into the horizon.

I was having SO much fun, that I didn't realize that the two hours came and went, I passed the Stop/Start line and saw the black checker flag as I passed it by. I took the last lap on my own, since everyone had already left the track, taking the corners like a pro, setting up the turns and turning at the apex and roaring down the straight way. Then I came in...

So, a personal thank you to Captain Rat, ( Mike) dweymer (Donnie) and John (just another Chump, organizer of the event) for giving me the opportunity of a life time.

There was an award ceremony for the winner, the Jetta and then it was time to pack up and leave. When I got home, I carefully folded my racing suit, packed my shoes and helmet and took a long nap.

VIR April 2010

Little did I know this particular VIR (Virginia International Raceway) would be so historic.

This was the first 24 hour endurance race EVER at VIR.
Second, there were some NASCAR drivers who participated in the race, I know that Tony Stewart was there in car 14 (Stewart-Haas Racing organization, I know it was him, cuz he passed me quite a few times, also, I think there were other drivers, but I can't speak from personal knowledge so if anyone knows for sure I would appreciate clarification.

The Camaro, Ramrod Racing, had some mechanical issues, we kept burning oil, a plume of smoke followed us around the track, no hiding that we were there...everyone saw and smelled us. Our first driver took the car out for the pace laps, but the smoke from the oil pouring out...was really bad, and when I say was bad, he came in before we were black flagged. We, well not me...I was the gopher, but the guys worked on it for awhile, then we went back out...and saw smoke again, he came back in and they worked on it for a second time. They made modifications to the engine...I know there was a lot of blue silicone, new hoses and coffee cans...don't was pretty cool.

We went back out....and dang it...more smoke. He came back in and the guys jumped back on the car. Finally, they found the the oil leak, made the adjustments and the next guy on the team jumped in a off he went. He made it about 3 laps when it just died a peaceful death on the straight way, just past Start/Go flag. Sooo sad to see the tow truck drop the car off at the paddock.

Rockingham March 2010

I recently discovered ChumpCar Racing. My first experience was riding with John Condren (...just another Chump from at Rockingham (The Rock) in March 2010. He graciously took me as a passenger in his Miata during an actual race. Let me tell you, this Man can DRIVE. I was hooked.

I had several challenges before I could race. First I needed a safety suit, and a team for seat time.

From the ChumpCar forum, I found Bob from Competition Safety Gear, 408-410-9352. I got a great deal from him, brandnew safety gear at a fantastic price. He was great to deal with.

Next I needed a team, I was introduced to Captain Rat from the ChumpCar Forum. He has an 87 Camaro called Ramrod Racing. You could not find a nicer guy than Mike and his brother Kevin. They offered me a seat with some very cool guys.

With the new team, I was off to the races at VIR in April 2010.