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      01-10-2011, 01:11 AM   #1
jeremydgreat
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So Cal track day - next weekend!

Is your 135i a garage queen? Do you always mock your muscle car friends and brag about the handling of your fine german automobile? Are you putting carbon fiber parts on your car and you have never even been to a track? Are you a sissy who is afraid of pushing your daily driver too hard? Are you a tool who drives 100mph on the freeway because that's what you think people with fast cars are supposed to do?

Have I got the solution for you...

Chuckwalla Raceway is having open-session track days next weekend.

I would LOVE to see some other 1'ers there. There's only like 10-15 cars going at the moment which means around 5-7 cars are generally on the track at once.

Here's the track: http://www.chuckwallavalleyraceway.com

Here's a video of the track (shot by yours truly):

Here's where you register/pay ($150 for a day): http://www.starcarsports.com/events

Here's the highlights of the event:
  • The track is brand spankin new and it's amazing.
  • OPEN SESSIONS! This means no drive-your-butt-off-for-40-min-and-sit-for-2-hours. It's just drive on and drive off, whenever you feel.
  • People and the atmosphere are very chill.
  • There is plenty of runoff into nice, cleared, compact dirt desert floor. The "punishment" level is very low at this track.
  • It's winter still. Go to the desert tracks while you can.

So there you have it. It's perfect for beginners because it's not crowded, people are relaxed, and if you go off the track or spin out... chances are it won't be a big deal. Like, for reals.

It's out in the middle of the god forsaken desert though, so if you don't live fairly close, I'd find a cheap hotel in Palm Desert friday or saturday night. I'm going on Sat, so if you want to join, PM me. If you're nice, I'll even share my EZup with you.
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Last edited by jeremydgreat; 01-10-2011 at 01:23 AM.
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      01-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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Interesting..can you tell me how this track compares to buttonwillow?
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      01-10-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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Compared to Buttonwillow:

Different:
- The track has less looooong straights in it. I consider that a plus.
- The pavement is way smoother. No patchwork.
- There is an actual bowl (incline) rather than just a long tire shredding turn.
- The facilities at CW are very limited. There's the track, a gas pump, paddocks pavement (no shade) and a trailer with bathrooms (not outhouses). That's about it.
- There is no timing facility at CW. Bring a stopwatch.

Same:
- There's very little punishment on either track, but I'd say there's even less at Chuckwalla.
- There is a twist that goes over a crest at Chuckwalla and it is very similar to Buttonwillow's turns "Cotton Corner" and "Grapevine".
- In the middle of nowhere.
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      01-10-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Yeah i saw ur video...track looks like glass compared to buttonwillow and it looks safe as there's plenty of run-off space..im interested but it is a drive from L.A....im trying to decide. Anyone else in L.A. considering?
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      01-10-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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Someone else from San Diego will be driving up. So that makes two 1'ers going on Sat.

Join us. Join the dark side of the force. We have cookies.

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      01-18-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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So, as a follow up... you guys missed a great time.

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      01-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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Great vid, Jeremy! You're becoming the most experienced Chuckwalla guy around. Hopefully we'll meet up this season, compare notes and have some fun with our 1s.

Any recent pics of your beast? It's like an entirely different car since I saw it last Spring.

Not sure if you've seen this, but online mag Auto Eclectic hosted a fastest lap Chuckwalla challenge between the TrackHQ.com studs (local SoCal Speedventures track rats) vs. professional drivers, including GT3 Cup champ Bob Faieta. Our local amateurs kicked the pros' arses! You'll see all of the vids from the link and can see the lines they run and lap times:

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      01-18-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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Awesome video Jeremy! Going to that track was one of the best times I've ever had and now I'm hooked! I'll see you at the next one.
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      01-18-2011, 10:57 PM   #9
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i NEEEEED TO GO !!!!!!!!
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      01-18-2011, 11:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 350zpilot View Post
Awesome video Jeremy! Going to that track was one of the best times I've ever had and now I'm hooked! I'll see you at the next one.
I keep forgetting your 1Addicts handle David! You tore it up out there as well, and I'm not even just being polite.
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      01-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisthetes View Post
Great vid, Jeremy! You're becoming the most experienced Chuckwalla guy around. Hopefully we'll meet up this season, compare notes and have some fun with our 1s.

Any recent pics of your beast? It's like an entirely different car since I saw it last Spring.

Not sure if you've seen this, but online mag Auto Eclectic hosted a fastest lap Chuckwalla challenge between the TrackHQ.com studs (local SoCal Speedventures track rats) vs. professional drivers, including GT3 Cup champ Bob Faieta. Our local amateurs kicked the pros' arses! You'll see all of the vids from the link and can see the lines they run and lap times:

That is wicked! Watching these videos now. I have to say that first one made me feel pretty good about my laptime- and Emilio was in an Evo X! When he got in the Z06 on slicks though... whoah. Under 2min! I'm not sure our 1'ers could ever match that. Well, I know I couldn't.
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      03-01-2011, 06:05 PM   #12
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If you guys missed it, the San Diego chapter of BMW CCA is holding a TWO DAY weekend at Chuckwalla on March 19th and 20th:

BMW CCA San Diego Chapter Chuckwalla Valley Raceway weekend

Instruction provided for on both days. Sign up by end of day today before prices go UP!
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      03-02-2011, 03:20 AM   #13
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Price are going UP from $425? That feels like it's out of my range (though I understand it's more than just a track day. It's meals, instruction, a raffle, etc).

A few quick questions about the event:
- What's the instruction like?
- Can you take passengers? (With helmets of course)
- Will there at least be point-by passing, or is this geared towards new drivers?
- Sessions or open track?
- Can you just come for one of the two days, and if so, price?
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      03-02-2011, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremydgreat View Post
Price are going UP from $425? That feels like it's out of my range (though I understand it's more than just a track day. It's meals, instruction, a raffle, etc).

A few quick questions about the event:
- What's the instruction like?
- Can you take passengers? (With helmets of course)
- Will there at least be point-by passing, or is this geared towards new drivers?
- Sessions or open track?
- Can you just come for one of the two days, and if so, price?
Hey Jeremy,
I sent an email to the organizer asking literally just about the same questions, so here are the answers:
1) CCA instructors will be riding with you during the event. You may be able to get signed off to drive solo on day two if your skill level is deemed appropriate.
2) No passengers allowed.
3) Not sure on point-bys. It's a DE event, not a time trial, so not sure. There will be no official timing, but your own in-car data aquisition is allowed.
4) Sessions. You'll get eight 25 min sessions over two days.
5) Weekend package only.

Doesn't look like my schedule will allow it, but I do want to get out to Chuckwalla at some point.

Doug
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      03-02-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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Chuckwalla is amazing Doug and you should definitely go!

Anyway, it looks like this event isn't a good fit for me. Man, the fact that BMWCCA doesn't allow passengers, means I can't take my Dad with me (he loves hitting the track with me, has his own helmet, etc).

BMWCCA if you ever read this: you need to reconsider this. SCCA autocross events, private groups (like SpeedVentures)... no one else has this restriction! I would go to at least twice as many events if I didn't have to go by myself. And I could take other new friends/BMW owners to your events and introduce them to the sport (without having to make them stand on the sidelines all day. Boring!)
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      03-02-2011, 03:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremydgreat View Post
Chuckwalla is amazing Doug and you should definitely go!

Anyway, it looks like this event isn't a good fit for me. Man, the fact that BMWCCA doesn't allow passengers, means I can't take my Dad with me (he loves hitting the track with me, has his own helmet, etc).

BMWCCA if you ever read this: you need to reconsider this. SCCA autocross events, private groups (like SpeedVentures)... no one else has this restriction! I would go to at least twice as many events if I didn't have to go by myself. And I could take other new friends/BMW owners to your events and introduce them to the sport (without having to make them stand on the sidelines all day. Boring!)
No one is allowed to take passengers for liability reasons. BMW CCA has a long standing record with our insurance policy riders, and no passengers unless it's driven by an instructor is dictated by national policy, which is in terms dictated by the national insurance policy.

Private groups such as SpeedVentures has different insurance policy and because they're smaller groups (BMW CCA National is a HUGE organization) their liabilities and assets does not extend as far and as much as the CCA. And frankly, after what happened with Ferrari Club at California Speedway, I personally do not believe in participants taking passengers myself.

And no one has to sit on the sideline all day. They can get rides from various instructors in instructor's personal cars, and they'll range from 750,000 mile 2002s to 500+ HP C6 Z06es.
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      03-02-2011, 05:02 PM   #17
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No one is allowed to take passengers for liability reasons. BMW CCA has a long standing record with our insurance policy riders, and no passengers unless it's driven by an instructor is dictated by national policy, which is in terms dictated by the national insurance policy.

Private groups such as SpeedVentures has different insurance policy and because they're smaller groups (BMW CCA National is a HUGE organization) their liabilities and assets does not extend as far and as much as the CCA. And frankly, after what happened with Ferrari Club at California Speedway, I personally do not believe in participants taking passengers myself.

And no one has to sit on the sideline all day. They can get rides from various instructors in instructor's personal cars, and they'll range from 750,000 mile 2002s to 500+ HP C6 Z06es.
Okay, I understand this when it comes to full track days. I see your point. You're hitting speeds of 130mph and rubbing elbows with other cars on the track (sometimes).

My main complaint is directed at BMWCCA Autocross events. This is an event in a parking lot where the cars generally don't go over 50mph. SCCA allows passengers, no problem and I'm pretty sure they are a HUGE national organization as well. I'm just saying- it's a bummer.
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      03-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #18
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Okay, I understand this when it comes to full track days. I see your point. You're hitting speeds of 130mph and rubbing elbows with other cars on the track (sometimes).

My main complaint is directed at BMWCCA Autocross events. This is an event in a parking lot where the cars generally don't go over 50mph. SCCA allows passengers, no problem and I'm pretty sure they are a HUGE national organization as well. I'm just saying- it's a bummer.
Really? I was not aware that AX has same stipulation. I've been to a few local AXes and can't recall that rule being in place or being enforced.

Weird. Maybe I'll ask around and see if that's the case. There seems to be some mis-understanding regarding AX and what they allow or don't allow (for example, people still think that convertibles aren't allowed in AX).
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      03-03-2011, 12:03 AM   #19
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Thanks! If somehow we figure out that this rule wasn't necessary for AutoX events, I'd pretty much be at every single one (with a friend too!). :-) In general, BMWCCA AutoX events go smoothly and there's not a million people running their cars. Lunch is usually great and the trophies at the end are fun.

I've done SCCA AutoX a few times and WOW... it's just so crowded it's not even fun. (At least in San Diego CA where there's quite a large AutoX community).

Anyway, thanks again for looking into this!
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      03-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #20
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I'm a regular at CCA autocrosses, and the strict no passenger rule (other than instructors on board) is absolutely enforced, just the same as with DE track events. I agree it would be fun to be able to ride with friends and competitors, but it's more fun to ride with the instructors!
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      03-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #21
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I think if you're there to learn, check out different cars, etc then yes... driving with an instructor is great. And it's a blast if you're just visiting too.

At the same time... would you invite a friend to Disneyland if the park didn't let you ride the roller coasters with your friends? The rides would still be fun, but doing things WITH your guests is approximately 250% better.
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