Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Lap of America Round 10 - Tire Rack Dry(ish) Skid Pad

Coming into the last event, we were sitting in 5th overall, with the 997 Turbo in front of us and the GT3 RS behind us. We were not expecting a very good skidpad performance, if using our wet skidpad result (53rd) as any indication. We got to the Tire Rack early and got the car emptied out before taking it to a parking lot to test the balance. It was cold and cloudy, but dry. While it was oversteering at first, if I could manage to get the rear tires just a bit warmed, it was neutral to just a slight push. I decided that we couldn’t improve on this balance and I would just need to try to get some heat in the rear tires before the run, so I headed back. No sooner did I shut off the car than it began to downpour. Kevin and I threw everything in the trunk that we didn’t want to get wet and jumped in the car, soaked.

With the wet conditions, we figured we were screwed. Before the skidpad event, though, we had to line up for our group photo. They lined up the top 6 in front, which was an amusing sight: Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Porsche 911 Turbo, Corvette C6 Z06, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 GT2, and a 1990 BMW 325is.

It had stopped raining, but was still wet. This was when we started to hear grumblings of some very good news. It seemed that they were going to grid the cars in reverse order. This meant that, instead of running 7th, we would run 7th from last, so all the previous cars would surely dry out the track!

When it came show time, I gave it all I had in the skidpad, lighting up the rear tires before the run and scrubbing back and forth on my way in. I stayed tight and held the car on the limit, never letting it waver more than 3' from the cones, but trying to keep it within 1'. I was so focused on such a fine edge that I wouldn’t even take a full breath, for fear that it would upset my hand inputs! I did my 2 laps, turned around, did 2 more in the same way, and pulled off. It was good for .995 AVERAGE G, in sub-40 degree weather. It was also good for 7th overall. It sounded like we wouldn't lose a position after all!

When it was all over, we had the opportunity to be turned loose on the skidpad for some exhibition. Kevin had the car half-packed, but we emptied it back out so I could go put on a smoke show. Despite forgetting to engage the high-boost power mode, I had no trouble lighting up those big Michelins and putting on a pretty good drift show!

We headed inside for the reception and I was excited to see that Brock Yates Sr. was in attendance. I managed to get a few autographs from him before we sat down for lunch. When it came time for awards, we did better than we could have fathomed...

4th Place OVERALL
1st in Class - SS GT2 Small Bore
BMW Marque Award - Highest Finishing BMW
Rookies of the Year

We were just simply astounded! By the time we got to the Rookies of the Year award, Kevin and I welled up a little. We just couldn’t believe it. I dedicated that award, as well as our tactically acquired traffic cone, to Glenn Dodd and all the other One Lap veterans who had come before us.

We headed back home to real life, but it may never be the same. This may very likely become an annual event for us! I’m glad to have these recaps and plenty of pictures and video to reflect on, but I’m also writing the article for Roundel (the magazine of the BMWCCA). Look for it in the July issue!


A special Thank You to our sponsors: Michelin Tires, Ireland Engineering,, Extrudabody, Clutch Masters, 034 Motorsport,, APR Performance, Forgeline Wheels, DTM Fiberwerkz, Cometic Gaskets, FastTech Limited, Lamin-X,

-Anthony Magagnoli
-Kevin Kreisa

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