BMW News

Motorsports Column  

The Editor-in-Chief gets to know his new M2 under the best possible circumstances: in heavy rain. Low friction surfaces force the driver to be smooth with all inputs and are an opportunity to be cherished. Photo by Christian Bouchez
The Editor-in-Chief gets to know his new M2 under the best possible circumstances: in heavy rain. Low friction surfaces force the driver to be smooth with all inputs and are an opportunity to be cherished. Photo by Christian Bouchez

Hey Drivers, there are three more track days left: July 14 and August 25 at Pacific Raceways, and September 30 at the Ridge Motorsport Complex. Put these dates on your calendar!

Do you want to see how your call will handle? Then come to the Car Control Clinic. You will get a chance to experience the Ultimate Driving Machine’s performance in a controlled space and maneuver your car around a series of cones. You don't need to be a BMW club member to participate in the Car Control Clinic, or even drive a BMW! All you need is to be at least 16 years old and have a valid license. 

By the time you all read this column, we will have had two track days, tours, and the Triple XXX Burgers and BMWs in Issaquah. Clearly, the driving season is on and in high gear. Our first track day in May was a bit wet for a bit of the day. Okay, it was wet. However, we live in the Northwest and we do get rain. In fact, all of us drive in the rain for most of the year. We drive at highway speeds in pouring rain at times. I noticed the track was pretty empty when it was raining. We do not stop driving on the highway when it is raining. So, why stop driving on the track when there is water? This will be a topic for another day, but do remember that we can still all learn in the rain.

We will have both a HPDE and CCC on July 14, and August 25, but only the HPDE event at the Ridge on September 30. Currently, the configuration of the paddock at the Ridge is not conducive to holding a CCC and having room for everyone to park. Remember to get your car inspected if you have not done so this year. Car Control Clinic participants do not need an inspection.

For new drivers to the HPDE, remember to take advantage of the $25 discount for your first event if you complete the eCourse by Ross Bentley. This on-line ground school is really helpful and will be important when going on-track with your instructor.

We are entering the warmer time of the driving season, something we all have been waiting for! Remember to take care of both yourself and your car at the track events. We provide water, but toss in a cooler in the morning with some water or other drinks to keep hydrated as well as something to eat. Several stores around the area sell BMW-size popups. Believe it or not, the Northwest has a high rate of skin cancer because we all think we are not getting sunburned on cloudy days or there is not much UV getting through the clouds; not true at all. Bring sunscreen! Check your radiator fluid in your car and keep an eye on the temperature gauge. Also, invest in a decent pressure gauge to monitor tire pressures.

Okay, get yourself ready for some seat time and register for the HPDE and CCC events!

See you on the track,
--Steve Libby, Driving Events Coordinator, Senior Instructor

BMW Centennial Books

By David Lightfoot

It is sad to see that there aren’t many books published any longer about BMW. The trends for ink-on-paper remain grim but BMW’s centennial year gave us the gift of a number of books to celebrate 100 years of BMW. We were fortunate to see so many fine volumes appear in 2016, so we better enjoy them while we can.

Most of these centennial books were factory efforts although the first one was privately published.

The BMW Century by Tony Lewin, published by Motorbooks, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA, Inc., 2016, 240 pages, hardbound in a large format. Available from Amazon for $50.

This is a big, spectacular coffee table books that covers the 100 year history of our favorite car company. The subtitle is “The Ultimate Performance Machines” and the foreword is written by Tom Purves, former head of BMW NA.

While a coffee table type of book with lots of well-produced color photos, the text is also well written. There is a lot of ground covered with 100 years of BMW products, including cars, motorcycles, and airplane engines. Plus, the corporate adventures and misadventures of BMW’s history are told. Only in the last couple of chapters does the author mention the future for the company. At $50, this book is a bargain.

BMW Group, 100 Masterpieces edited by Andreas Braun, published by Hirmer Verlag, 2016, 236 pages, hardbound in a large format. Available from Amazon for $44.25.

Dr. Braun is the Curator at the BMW Museum in Munich. . The book was written to accompany a special 100 year retrospective at the BMW Museum. This book was written in German and translated to English; both languages are in the print version. Sometimes the English suffers in these efforts but the English is good in this case. But the book has one major oddity.

I would expect the “100 Masterpieces” to be 100 BMW products to showcase the company’s history. A highlight film on paper perhaps. But instead the “100 Masterpieces” include BMW products but also significant achievements or milestones in the company’s history.

Here is how it plays out. There is a page or two on groundbreaking BMW cars such as the 328, 507, Isetta, New Class, 2002, M1, Z8 and all the other significant cars one would expect. Similarly, there are many significant beamers. And concepts such as the pioneering E1 electric car and the X Coupe that introduced flame surfacing. All of this makes sense to me.

What came as a surprise was the “100 Masterpieces” include such achievements as the introduction of BMW healthcare,  the introduction of market research, the legendary shareholder meeting of 1959, introduction of flexible work schedule models, the foundation of BMW Bank, the first corporate environmental officer, introduction of corporate identity and the South African HIV and Aids policy. These are all masterpieces? Significant events, certainly, but masterpieces?

This is all interesting if one is interested in the history of BMW as a business but less so if one’s interest is confined to the company’s products or just automobiles. Still, I highly recommend the book at this price as it big and beautiful, filled with a lot of great photos.

Driving the Future edited by BMW AG, published by Piper Verlag GmbH, 2016, 144 pages, hardbound. Not available commercially but copies available on eBay.

A copy of this book was given to each employee of the BMW Group in the United Kingdom. It was printed in Germany but I have not seen any copies in German. But there are plenty in English available on eBay. The book was given to each employee in either a red or black canvas bag with the Next 100 Years logo on it. So if you find a copy on eBay to buy, there is a good chance it will come with one of these bags.

The messages of this book are that BMW is a worldwide company and they employ a diverse group of employees. The story starts via biographical snippets of BMW employees worldwide. The next chapter is a short history but then gets into many reasons on the theme of why BMW is such a terrific employer, such as healthy food at the company cafeterias and fitness programs.

The final chapter gets into the company’s strengths in terms of technology, innovation and progressive practices. There is quite a bit about the company’s youth initiatives. It is a bit of a brochure for the company. You should be able to find a copy for about $25 including the bag. At that price, the book is heavily subsidized by the company, as are most of these publications.

BMW Group The Next Hundred Years notepad.

This was the first publication of the centennial year, probably because there wasn’t any text to write or lay out. This is simply a journal-sized, hardbound notepad of blank paper with a sliding metal clasp. I think it is a dealer item for under $20.

Centennial Six Pack

Early in 2016 BMW announced that they would be doing an installment series of books and then tying all of these installments into one volume. Or something like that. As near as I can tell, six small, soft-cover books were published by BMW Group and produced by Hoffmann und Campe Verlag GmbH. These six titles then were included, verbatim, as chapters in a much grander book I’ll tell you about in a moment.

The six titles are:

  • Where is the BMW Group Headed? Based on interviews with BMW senior staff about the direction of the auto industry and BMW in the future.
  • Back to the Future. Subtitled ‘100 Years of Forward Thinking at the BMW Group.’
  • Every Mini is My Mini is the story of the Mini concept vehicle that was done for the centennial and its theme of personalization to the driver’s tastes.
  • The Grand Sanctuary is about the Rolls-Royce concept vehicle presented in 2016.
  • The Great Escape is about the concept motorcycle that BMW Motorrad created.
  • The Ultimate Driver is the story of the BMW Vision Next 100 concept vehicle.

I don’t think these books were made commercially available. They don’t have ISBN numbers and can’t find any for sale except rarely on eBay. It appears these six books, along with the Centennial notepad, were given as a package to members of the press. I found mine on eBay with the seven books as a package. Never fear, the contents and more are included in…

The Next 100 edited by Adriano Sack, published by BMW Group and produced by Hoffmann und Campe Verlag GmbH, 592 pages, hardbound in a large format. Available new from eBay sellers for under $100 including shipping.

Subtitled ‘Ideas, Views and Visions of Tomorrow’s World.’  This six-pound tome is BMW’s ultimate present to itself on its 100th birthday. It has eleven chapters, six of which I mentioned above and are incorporated in this book, except this book is bigger so the layout is a bit grander than in the smaller, single-chapter publications. The other five chapters are:

  • Where Do we Go from Here? About what the future might look like and what are the opportunities it will offer.
  • Meeting of Minds features thought leaders from science, research and art talking with BMW Group executives and board members.
  • Fast and Curious is an exploration of innovative forms of mobility from the past, real and imagined.
  • The End of the World was Yesterday is a compilation of essays about various visions of the future.
  • Out of the Box. My favorite chapter. A host of surprises from the BMW Group Archives. Consider the cases of the BMW 531, three-wheeled delivery vehicle, motorized plow and Rolls-Royce soapbox racer.

This is a monumental book and really oriented to the future of BMW as a company. There are conversations between many thought leaders and BMW leaders, mostly members of the supervisory board. Included in these are the most public profiles I’ve ever seen of the Quandt family members who own 46.6% of BMW’s stock. The youngest generation of Quandts, Stefan Quandt and his sister, Susanne Klatten, are both pictured and quoted; quite a break from the past. Stephan interviewed neuroscientist and Nobel Prize winner Thomas Sudhof on the Sanford University campus. Suzanne Klatten shares a conversation with Carlo Ratti, an Italian architect and engineer who teaches at MIT, at BMW Welt in Munich.

At $100 this is really, really a bargain! Almost 600 pages, heavy paper and great production values. You should get it, if the topics interest you. Some chapters are a bit out there, but I like it. And BMW isn’t going to be doing it again.


2017 Q3 Zündfolge

Download the new Zundfolge here!

E9 SIG Now Adding E3s

BMW E9s on Tour
E9s on tour

The E9 Special Interest Group, the classic BMW coupes from 1968-1975 have decided to add the E3s, the big four-door cars of the same era. The models are typically thought of as Bavarias in the U.S. but include the 2500, 2800, 3.0S/Si, 3.3Si, 3.0L and 3.3L/Li.

This is a great group. They do several group drives when the weather permits and also they are a wealth of restoration and maintenance information.

If you would like to join the group, contact Ken Olsen at There is no cost to this relatively informal email list, so you really should join if you have one of these cars.

Award Winners

Two of our BMW CCA Puget Sound Region club members have received National awards!

Lance Receiving National BMW CCA award for Outstanding Volunteers, by Christian Bouchez

Lance Richert

Lance Richert is the first Puget Sound Region Chapter recipient of a National BMW CCA award for Outstanding Volunteers. Lance has founded and organized several events that have grown to be annual staples on the chapter calendar. These include Burgers & BMW at the Triple XXX in Issaquah, the E30 Picnic Weekend, the largest E30 event in the world, and M Car Day. He has also been the main promoter of PRO3, the E30 racing series that has had amazing success in the Pacific Northwest.

Lance was nominated for and received this award for his years of dedication and hard work on behalf of our chapter. The award was presented by chapter President Ed Walker at Burgers & BMWs on May 28th. Simply put, Lance is a stalwart of the club.

BMW CCA is made up of 68 chapters organized within five regions and representing about 70,000 members. Puget Sound Region with over 2,200 members is part of the Pacific Region. Only one volunteer award was given out this year per region, a total of five nationwide. In other words, this is a big deal. Congratulations Lance!


Mi Ae Lipe

In our last issue we mentioned an award won by Zündfolge and Roundel columnist Mi Ae Lipe. Mi Ae has subsequently traveled to Charlotte, NC for the Public Service Awards ceremony on March 27 at the 2017 Lifesavers Conference. Mi Ae is pictured here with Jack Danielson, acting Deputy Director of NHTSA.


Speed Secrets for HPDE Participants

Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets Online Course,

HPDE Participants! Here is your chance to learn from the best!

Welcome to Puget Sound BMW CCA and our HPDE driving school at Pacific Raceways. I’m Steve Libby Driving Events Coordinator, and your classroom instructor during the driving school.

Our first event of the year will be on May 12, 2017! For those of you are participating in your very first HPDE event, we are strongly encouraging you to take this on-line course. We want to make your first performance driving school experience exceptional! We will take good care of you, you will have a great time, and you will learn a lot! 

We want your first performance driving school to be a fantastic experience, so your Puget Sound BMW CCA has arranged for a lifetime subscription to the Speed Secrets PERFORMANCE DRIVING 101 eCourse, a $79 value – at 50% of its normal cost. So for just $39.50, you can prepare to make the most of your track driving experience. Once you complete the eCourse, show us a copy of your completion certificate and Puget Sound BMW CCA will reimburse you $25 towards your first HPDE event.

This easy and fun online learning tool features Ross Bentley, America’s premier performance driving coach. Ross de-mystifies the fundamental principles of performance driving with graphics, video, and easy to understand language. You will learn at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home or office. And because fundamentals never go out of style, you will be able to refer back to the course content throughout your performance driving career. 

It is easy to redeem your eCourse discount and begin using it:

  • Go to Read the introductory material, watch the video, get excited(!), then click on the red GET PERFORMANCE DRIVING 101
  • In the Coupon Codebox enter “bmwccaps-vip” (without the quotation marks) and click the Apply Coupon 
  • Enter your information in the Billing Detailssection to complete the purchase and create your account. Click the green Place Order button, and get ready to learn to be an even better driver.

It can take a couple of hours to go through all of the course content (at least it should – don’t rush it, as we want you to be as prepared as possible when you get to the track). You can finish it in one sitting, or spread your learning out over several days (recommended). Once you have completed the course we ask that you email your graduation certificate to and bring a printed copy with you to the track. Please complete the eCourse before arriving at the event. Our classroom sessions at the event will assume you are familiar with the course material. 

This offer is for D-drivers who are driving with Puget Sound BMW CCA for the first time. All you other veterans will have to pay the full price. But it is money well spent. We all can learn something!

I look forward to hearing from you between now and the event with any comments or questions you may have. New drivers, we will make sure you get a notice for this eCourse.

See you at the track! 

Steve Libby
Driving Event Coordinator
Senior Instructor

PRO3 Line, Q2 2017

2016 September IRDC G1SR 838

by Jim Cissell and Bill Eckert

Race season is almost upon us. If you’re reading this, you probably have some interest in the Ultimate use of these machines—RACING! If you’ve already done driver education classes--Car Control Clinic (CCC) or High Performance Driving Events (HPDE)--you know the thrill and pleasure that pushing your car can bring. Well NOW is the time to take that fun to the next level. In one short season you can go from track driver to Licensed Race driver!

So, how do you start? First, go to Click on the Getting Involved tab. Then click Novice Program if you want to be a driver or race official if you want to be a volunteer worker--or do both! Ten simple steps and you can become a real racer! Volunteers should contact ICSCC President Mike Tripp. Info for all officers is on the website.

Then go to Check out the Driver Bios and reach out to the ones who seem most interesting to you. They’re all more than willing to share their passion. WARNING: co-authors Bill Ecker and Jim Cissell will talk your ears off!

To learn more about the sport before taking a financial leap, become a volunteer. Volunteers are the oil that makes the race machine run. You’ll learn the sport inside and out--all the pieces necessary to make the show work. You’ll have the very best seats in the house, and EVERYONE is grateful to see you.

Start/finish gets you as close to the action as you can get. Photo by Therese Lombardi.
Start/finish gets you as close to the action as you can get. Photo by Therese Lombardi.

If you are ready to try door-to-door racing, you’ll need to attend a school and then gear up (personal safety equipment). Next, you’ll need to drive an actual race-car, so either buy one (several very good ones out there right now) or rent one from some of the top builders. This way you can test out different cars and find the setup that works for you.

Upcoming ICSCC schools are:

25 March at Oregon Raceway Park

8-9 April at Western Speedway

22 April at The Ridge

5 May at Portland International Raceway

What Do You Get Out of It?

First, more fun that you can shake a stick at. Seriously, there is nothing you can do with your clothes on that will put a bigger smile on your face than car racing. Ask anyone who’s ever done it. And even if you are an “A” driver at HPDEs, moving into a race car will elevate your driving skills more than you can imagine.

Second, you’ll make friends that will last a lifetime. Having really gone through something together—team sports, college, the military—you’ll feel closer to your fellow racers and workers than your oldest friends or closest relatives. You'll be hanging with people while they're doing what they love, who have a passion for this, and there's just nothing else like that.

Third, you’ll face a real challenge—probably unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. There’s the challenge of driving a car at speed and you must discipline yourself to be the calm in the eye of the storm--smooth, precise, and in-control--while the world around you is raging with G forces. We’re talking a real adrenaline rush here! Add the fact that there are more PRO3 cars than any other class and you’ve got a sport that is ULTRA competitive and fulfilling.

Fourth, you’ll have a passport to travel the world and enjoy your passion. In 2016 there were 16 Conference races over 12 weekends in WA, OR, and BC. Plus, PRO3 drivers were invited to three special events with another 15 races--the Pacific Northwest Historics, the Rose Cup at PIR, and the BMW 100th Anniversary Cup Races at Laguna Seca. If you’re a turn worker with some experience under your belt you get invited to work races all over the world—Daytona, Sebring, COTA, even LeMans!

Fifth, even if PRO3 doesn’t land you the next Formula 1 driver seat, it could be the launching pad for a new career. Several former PRO3 racers are making a living as drivers and/or coaches. PRO3 co-founders Wes and Ken Hill, and Ted Anthony Jr and Steve Schaeffer come to mind. Steve recently took part in filming the opening sequence of The Grand Tour, starring the hosts of the original BBC Top Gear.

Sixth, if you don’t know how already, you’ll learn to fix things. That’ll come in handy. Maybe even save you money on your street machines.

For veterans and newcomers alike--it’s time to GET STARTED! The first Enduro is April 23rd at the Ridge--less than six weeks away! The first sprint race is May 6th at PIR and the second is May 20th at Pacific. For the complete schedule go to

You may have heard that amateur racing is in trouble. True--car counts are down and volunteers are harder to come by. But for you, that makes it a great time to get involved! You’ll be more appreciated than ever! Like investing—you want to get in at the trough, not the peak.

Plus, the PRO3 champs for the last three years--Olivier Henrichot, Chris Hart, and Charles Hurley--all sold their cars to race Spec E46’s on a national scale--or to set land speed records at Lake Mirage. So, there’s never been a better chance at a podium finish! And fan favorite Randy Blaylock retired in September. SOMEBODY has to fill his shoes. 2017 is a great time to join the greatest sport on earth. See you at the green flag!

#04 2016 PRO3 champion Olivier Henrichot. Photo by Doug Berger.
#04 2016 PRO3 champion Olivier Henrichot. Photo by Doug Berger.

P.S. Thanks to PRO3 driver Mark Estes for stepping up as 2017 License Director. Maybe he feels guilty that Trump got elected?

P.P.S. Jim Cissell posted some new PRO3 videos.

Race 13 at the Ridge-

Season highlights-

Close Calls & Direct Hits-

Need More Quality Car Time? Here are a Few More Car Events

If the chapter doesn’t provide you with enough quality time around nice cars, there are plenty of other events that might interest you. Here are a few options, both nearby and far away, and free to really expensive.

May 26-28, Concourso e’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Italy

This elegant concours d’elegance is held each year on the shore of Lake Como in northern Italy. One of the world’s best car shows, the BMW Group has been the primary sponsor for years. If you’d like to attend, make your reservations now and BMW (Bring Money in Wads).

June 24, Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic
Maloney Estate in Sequim, WA.

For the Classic Car Club of America, a Grand Classic is their big car show and includes only Grand Classics, cars from the accepted list with the newest being built in 1948. You’ll be able to see some spectacular cars from the era of coachbuilt cars. The location is the estate of Brown Maloney. Some of you may remember a club tour that stopped at the Maloney Estate where we saw Brown’s interesting collection, including a 507 he had at the time. Cost will probably be free or close to free and it’s an easy day trip from Seattle.

July 9, Ferrari Club Concours d’Elegance
13200 Lake Kathleen Road SE, Renton, WA 98059

Celebrating 70 years of Ferrari. The Northwest Region of the Ferrari Club of America will have their big summer show on July 9th. Time is from 10:00 to 3:00. The show is free to the viewing public.

August 2, Crescent Beach Concours d’Elegance
Blackie Spit Park, Surrey, British Columbia

This show is held annually just over the border to Canada in South Surrey, BC. The park is on Boundary Bay. This is a concours where one can look at both cars and marine wildlife. A pleasant way to start the Labor Day weekend. The event runs from 10:00 to 3:00 Saturday. Tickets are $10 Canadian.

The Elvis 507 crosses the awards ramp in front of The Lodge at Pebble Beach. ©2016, Sam Cobb

August 18-20, Monterey Car Weekend
Monterey Peninsula, California

The big kahuna when it comes to car events, the Monterey Weekend is actually a week-long series of incredible events culminating in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the world’s top show. Legends of the Autobahn on Friday is free. Most of the other events are very expensive and worth it.

--David Lightfoot, Editor-in-Chief

2017 Q2 Zündfolge

Get your copy of this quarter's Zundfolge here!

Would You Like to Get More Involved?

It will come as no surprise that our chapter runs as well as it does due to the efforts of a few dedicated volunteers. And while we’ve got a good group, we could use more help, for a variety of reasons. First, more hands make certain that no one does too much and gets burned out.

Second, we’re making some changes, particularly in our transition from print to electronic communication, that require new skills. If you have expertise in creating videos or working on websites, we’d like your help. And finally, it is always good to get fresh ideas via the input of new people getting involved.

We think you will find your involvement in the chapter is rewarding. It is a good group of people on the Board and that makes all the difference.

To get involved or to see what it might entail, come to a Board meeting; they are open to all members. Or talk to any Board member at an event. We can tell you the expectations and the amount of time it takes.