Finally, after ordering the car on 12/29/09, driving it all over Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic in early April, not hearing from a dealer for 2 weeks after the car was delivered to Boston, it finally parked in my driveway as of late May.
The car is amazing, powerful, smooth, playful, and fun. I could go on, but after the run-flat tires and original suspension are changed, it should be even more fun.
Weekend racers can now buy BMW Motorsport parts at four locations in the U.S. Parts catalogs are available at BMW Motorsport or by visiting one of four BMW centers in IL, GA, NH, and OH. Catalogs are available for the 2008 BMW Z4, 1995-present BMW M3, and 2006+ 3 Series Sedan. Read more here.
The schedule of events for 2010 has been posted. The team is busy getting the #49 car ready and planning for the new 135 that Lana will be picking up soon. In addition to autocross events, there are a number of schools where Hank and Lana will be instructing and a few track sessions at NHMS.
we were asked to come to that event as instructors. NESHOC is an amazing club. with more than 30 novices registered for the event, i was asked to instruct no more than 5 times for the whole day…. I guess my priorities on competing, improving, and winning do not have to match all other clubs’ priorities.
It rained for all of the morning runs and, understandably, the cameras were all packed away. Thanks to Eddie Savage for capturing the following during the afternoon. Click on any of them to see larger versions in our Flickr photo gallery.
It was one of those days… You wake up on a rainy morning and stare out the window for a while because you are not sure what you want to do with your day. If you decide to skip the event so that you can close your eyes and sleep a couple more hours, you know that you will beat yourself up later for being weak. The pillow and the cover are so attractive and they are already here for you. They are still warm… You also know that if you drag yourself out of the bed, you’ll be soaking wet in the first half hour at the site and soon after that you’ll be wandering the course with your friends while asking yourself, why did i come here? It’s so miserable! The rain seems to be in love with this particular little town!… This is why the pillow and cover looks so much more appealing at 6am on a rainy day.
However, something inhuman pulls you out of your bed. You wash your face hoping it will help to wake you. It doesn’t, but at least you tried. You finish packing the car and get a couple of bites of something. You don’t remember what it was and somehow you are OK with this. Your brain is still sleeping. Somewhere in the middle of your commute to the site you realize that you are awake! Check mark. Your brain runs through the list of important things to bring to the event. Amazingly, you managed to bring everything you need. This means that your autopilot is still functioning. Check mark. You get to the site, unpack, cover yourself in layers of rain protected clothes… It’s still raining. You walk the course while asking yourself why on Earth you came.
Then it’s your time to run. That is the moment when you know WHY you came to the event on that rainy morning and why you abandoned your bed. It’s fun!!! Especially in the rain. Your autopilot is not needed any more and your body silently turns it off. You don’t even notice how smooth this change happens. You are in control. Hopefully… Hopefully you are controlling the car that tends to throw its butt around…
We got our morning runs in the rain. By the end of the run group the rain was stopping, but the pavement was still wet… Driving in the rain was something new to remember, learn and appreciate.
Lana didn’t get to finish her afternoon runs at the 1st BMW event because the left front wheel bearing started to make noise. A few days after the event I brought the car to Nick at Ace Performance Systems to have both front wheel bearings replaced. Nick is a BMW Technical Training specialist, is BMW Master Level 1 certified and an all-around great guy.
While there, I mounted some tires and Nick also installed the UUC underdrive pulleys. I had been planning on installing them myself, but Nick has all of the right tools and is a much better mechanic than I will ever be. I haven’t had the car on a dyno since last year and can’t provide any accurate “before and after” results, but UUC Motorwerks claims a 4-11 hp increase. The M3 can use every bit in it’s battle with the Evo and STi in the SCCA STU Class.
I’m happy we struggled so much. At least now we know it was a car setup issue, not our hands shaking. 😉 I’m looking forward to the next event.
You can see the results here.
Both of the fog light lenses are cracked, one of them has a broken bulb and I am tired of taping them for each event. The solution? I ordered this set of fog light covers from Turner Motorsport and will install them tonight. They should be more durable than the fog lights (I know, stop hitting cones..) and I never turn the fog lights on anyway.
Some other STU competitors have suggested that I will have to tape weights to them so that they weigh the same as a fog light. Wait! I can replace the whole front bumper with an aftermarket one, but I can’t replace the fog lights without equalizing the weight?! That doesn’t make sense. I think an “aftermarket” bumper made out of carbon fiber might be in my future. LOL.