Motorsports Q2 – 2019

Motorsports Q2 – 2019

by | Apr 11, 2019

Spring is finally here! The snows of February are a distant memory. Now, it is time to think about the first track day of the year, May 17 at Pacific Raceways!

What have you done in the off-season to get your car ready for the track? What have you done personally to get ready for performance driving this year? I subscribe to Ross Bentley’s “Speed Secrets” and get a bit of performance driving literature every Tuesday. Ross has topics geared to the full-on racers to those of us who enjoy performance driving. Many of the articles touch topics like the physics of driving, the psychology of driving, and the mental-physical preparation needed for driving. Ross also has a new book out that is definitely worth ready.

Why do I write about this? With newer cars having a lot more horsepower than TRAKCAR (318is four-cylinder) you will be going fast on the track and demanding more from yourself and your car. Plus getting into shape and learning more about your car and some car dynamics is good for you!

For those of you who have not been to the track before and thinking about doing so; just do it! There is no real barrier to bringing your car to the track and driving it with the help of one of our very talented and experienced instructors. For the first time drivers, we ask that you attend our Car Control Clinic to learn some fundamentals of car control, some driving terms, and see if you really like pushing yourself and your car a bit. The Car Control Clinic is held at Pacific Raceways in the large asphalt paddock. There, you will be guided through a series of exercises demarked by orange cones: slalom course, accident avoidance, braking, a mini-autocross, and skid pad. These exercises will acquaint you and your car! We want you to experience what your car will do under hard braking enough to engage the ABS system, how well the suspension holds your car to the pavement, and frankly just how stable a BMW really is! Complete the Car Control Clinic (or one similar offered by other clubs) and you are ready to drive on the racetrack!

What do you need to drive on the racetrack? Nothing but a car that has passed inspection, a SNELL 2010 or later helmet, an open mind, and a full tank of gas. You do not need race brake pads, R-compound tires, a roll cage, special racing stripes, or a fire suit. The Ultimate Driving Machine is designed to be driven to track, put down some hot laps, then be driven home again and pick up a cold six-pack at the end of the day! That is it!

For the 2019 track season, we will be running four groups as we have in the past: A-advanced solo, B-solo, C-intermediate, and D-novice. You will have an instructor assigned to drivers in D and C groups. We will have a B-group check ride at the beginning of the year just to dust off cob webs, then you are free to run solo after the first session. A senior instructor will be assigned to both B and A groups to discuss technique after each session. We will have an instructor assigned to C and D groups who will hold download sessions throughout the day. We want to encourage all the drivers in the run groups to communicate and talk about their experiences.

So, what is preventing you from coming out to the track and driving your car like the BMW engineers meant it to be driven? The answer is nothing.

See you at the track,
Steve Libby