Race Report: BMW Club Race @ Buttonwillow, July 19/20
We spent the weekend enduring (cars, drivers and crew) the hot (near 100 deg. F) and dry, dusty conditions at the very technically challenging Buttonwillow #1 Clockwise configuration (includes the Bus Stop, Lost Hill and Star Mazda). The conditions and the track took their toll on man and machine throughout the weekend (and our team was no exception), but the goal on such a weekend is to just survive it and try to stay as comfortable as possible. Our M3 had an expensive off-track excursion, then overheating SMG and even the 135i was falling victim to the dreaded limp mode under that heat. Even the legs of the EZ-Up were sinking into the asphalt.
But the car is starting to come along. For this event we were able to get about -2 deg. of camber on all four corners and we got those BBS 17x8.5 et 38 CHs (and BBS wheel studs) on all 4 corners with the 255/40x17 Nitto NT01s. Just those changes made a huge difference from how the car handled at the last event at Willow Springs. By the Sunday afternoon race, Ralph was able to establish an H-Stock class record of 2:11.000 (for reference, the D-Mod winner on slicks did 2:00.xxx). Tire wear was much better and a lot more even and hot tire pressures were within .2 psi. The car still understeers, but it's getting better.
Ralph had to alter his driving to keep the car from going into limp mode The interesting thing is, by making some adjustments, he was actually able to reduce how many times it would occur. He even managed to finish ahead of cars that we were finishing behind at Willow Springs. So through it all, the car was a lot more fun to drive and finished all 6 sessions and got through the weekend without damage.
I'll have some more pics coming soon. For higher res versions of all on track photos, see this photo album: