BMW Fest Northwest ’88 – May Update
Last year we celebrated the first BMW Fest Northwest. This year, the second annual BMW Fest Northwest will take place on July 8, 9 and 10. Actually, Fest Northwest isn’t really an event, it’s a series of events. By jamming BMW related events into a three day period, we make it convenient for our far-flung members to visit Seattle and participate in a number of varied club events. It’s also a good time for locals tojoin in, especially if you’ve never attended a club event before.
This year’s Fest Northwest is a little less elaborate than last year’s. This is partially to make it easier on the Puget Sound Region organizers and partially because some things were found to be unnecessary last year. This year’s Fest will not be centered around a hotel. We found that many of last year’s out-of town visitors had friends to stay within Seattle or a favorite place to stay. Advance registration is not necessary for any of the Fest Northwest ’88 events except the dinner and the driv ing school. Thus, you can attend as many or as few events as you like and make your decisions on the spur of the moment.
Included in this month’s Zundfolge are articles about each of the events. Next month further information will be available. Plan now to participate in BMW Fest Northwest ’88. Keep in mind that it is possible to take part in all Fest Northwest events. The driving school is an all day affair on Friday. The autocross and Gymkhana are separate events held on adjacent sites. They are very different events but both are a lot of fun. The autocross is a one person event, the gymhkana requires a driver and “navigator.” After all these events,Saturday night’s dinner offers a relaxing respite. Sunday morning you can enter the Ralley which is a gim mick type ralley and requires no expe rience. It also is an event for the whole family and, best of all, ends at the site of the Concours d ‘Elegance. The Con cours is our biggest and best event each year . The Concours ends in early afternoon allowing those who have a long drive home to make their trip dur ing daylight hours. All the events are fun. The more the merrier!
The first event of the 1988 version of BMW Fest Northwest is a high per formance driving school at Seattle International Raceway. The school will be all day on Friday, July 8th. This school will be different than any held by the club in recent years. Our usual novice schools feature drills at a number of stations in the morning and driving the full track in the afternoon. This school will feature full track driving all day long; no stations. In this way we hope to accommodate drivers of all experience levels. Novices who have never driven at a race track will receive slow and gentle introduction to S.I.R. from our experienced instructors. Those who have driven at S.I.R. before but have not yet achieved Level 1 can work on their skills. And those with lots of prior track experience can just come out and hone those skills. But, remember, this is a school and instruc- – tion will be provided to all levels of students. And advance registration is required. This is not an open track day, just a school without stations. We plan on seven hours of open track. And with July weather, this is sure to be a great way to play hooky from work and spend a Friday. This format should also accomodate members of other BMW clubs who have prior experience but who are unfamiliar with S.I.R.
Next month’s Zundfolge will pro vide detailed schedules and a checklist of things to bring. For now just plan on attending the driving school and plan on attending a ground school/ tech inspection the night before. Ifpossible, start making arrangements for a helmet as they are required on all particpants. And register now using the form in this issue. This special school is sure to fill to the 36 car limit.
Autocross and Gymkhana
BMW calls their cars Ultimate Driving Machines. That implies that BMWs are meant to be driven and enjoyed by their owners. In that vein the club will again be staging an autocross and gymkhana as part of the annual Fest Northwest activities. The location of these events will be the Sand Point Naval Air Station. The autocross course will be fairly short and simple. For those of you that have never auto crossed before this will be a great opportunity to try it. There will be plenty of experienced autocrossers present to provide you with tips and advice.
An autocross is simply a course set up with traffic cones as markers for turns. Autocrossing has lots of turns, putting a premium on both car and driver reactions instead of raw speed. There is also a timed practice run prior to the three timed runs. There are dif ferent classes for different cars accord ing to model and modifications. That way 735s won’t be competing against full race 2002s.
The cost to participate is $10 per person, and you will need a helmet to run. If not having a helmet is the only thing keeping you from coming out don’t let that stop you. Somebody will be more than happy to loan you one to use.
While the autocross is taking place, we will also be running a gymkhana. The gymkhana is a team event requir ing a driver and a driver’s helper or “navigator.” Each team is timed through a course which may include sections run in reverse or in circles. The helper may have to do such things as ring a bell or throw balls through an old tire, all while the driver tries to parallel park! Fun to watch and more fun still to participate! Bring your spouse, friend, or just show up. There will almost certainly be someone who wants to either drive or ride. You don’t even need a helmet to participate, and cost is just $2 per team for two runs. Two of our club’s craftier veterans, Bill Muse and Ted Rodgers, are putting together the course. So come join the fun at both events!
This article was originally published in the May 1988 edition of Zundfolge