Motorsport Column

BMWs approaching Turn 5A at Pacific Raceways, by Michael Lake

Can you believe it, another perfect day for the July 17th HPDE and CCC at Pacific Raceways! Clear skies and warm weather, what more could you ask for? Rick Gulstrom guarantees that August 14 will be another perfect, rain free day at Pacific Raceways! (It rained buckets—Ed.) Yes, we need some rain in the Puget Sound that is for sure. We could use rainy track day just to polish the wet-driving skills. We have been having great turnouts at our events this year, although the last CCC was under attended. Spread the word about the value and fun of doing the Car Control Clinic! You get to a) drive your car around cones as fast as you can and to the limit of your tires’ grip, b) get as many hot laps in instructor cars as you can stand, and c) get qualified to drive in a HPDE! So, come on out!

This year, we have been paying special attention to the A, B, and C-group drivers. We have group leaders for each of these groups who talk before and after sessions; we call them “downloads.” Why do this? By having the groups of drivers talk together and share experiences-techniques, the groups will build a mutual trust. This is important in the let-by zones; you need to work as a team to get the passing done in the allotted zones. I have been in charge of C-group and gather this bunch as many times as possible. We have lunch together in the “popup condo,” hang out with other instructors, keep out of the sun, and just discuss driving. I have made large laminated maps of each sections of the track so that each corner can be discussed. My goal is for drivers to be comfortable on the track, trust themselves and trust their car. So you C-group drivers will continue to get a lot of attention from me!

One important concept that all instructors should keep in mind is that this is not racing and that every person who comes to the track does not want to be the next James Clay. People come to the track for different reasons, but some come just hang out and drive on the racetrack. This is perfect and we are glad you attend our driving schools. So regardless of what your goal is as a driver, come out and participate in a BMW event.

By the time you read this, the August 14th event will be over, but our next event in September 13th at the Ridge Motorsport Complex! If you have not been to this track, you are missing a great experience! Due to the configuration of the paddock, there will not be a CCC. However, there is a go-kart course that is just completed that mimics the full track!


So, come on out and experience your Ultimate Driving Machine!


See you on the Track!


Steve Libby

President Puget Sound BMW CCA


BMWs rounding turn 8 at Pacific Raceways, photo by Michael Lake
Turn 8 at Pacific Raceways, photo by Michael Lake