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Concerned about track insurance at a drivers' school?
Each year, BMW CCA Chapters organize many high-performance driving schools throughout the country. Over the years, we have earned a tremendous reputation for putting on educational, safe, and structured events. They epitomize what BMW CCA members are most passionate about: appreciating fine automobiles in a way that just can't be recognized in daily street driving.
Don't miss the NOCBMWCCA Memorial Day Weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
- Published: 06 April 2014
North American Challenge RACE: May 23-25, 2014
The Chapter is beginning the registration process for the Memorial Day Northern Ohio 2014 Club Race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
If you are planning to attend, please register AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to reserve your space.
North American Challenge Race: $525.00
Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro Race Sponsored by Turner Motorsports: May 23, 2014
The Chapter is beginning the registration process for the 2014 Harvey Roggers Memorial Enduro at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
If you are planning to attend, please register AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to reserve your space.
Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro: $525
(includes a dinner for drivers and crew after the race)
High-performance Driving School (HPDE): May 24-25, 2014
There also will be a HPDE (high-performace driving event) that weekend. The goal of an HPDE driving school is to provide a safe and controlled environment where members can learn the skills it takes to become better drivers. Remember, everyone was a beginner at one time. Improve your driving skills and have some fun both on and off the track at a BMW CCA Driving School!
Minimum requirements for the HPDE are a track-worthy car and approved helmet. Cars do not have to be BMWs, as all makes and models meeting HPDE criteria are welcome.
Space is limited so register today!
HPDE School Fees: $435 BMW CCA Members; $485 Nonmembers
(includes $48 membership)
All participants must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years of age. Northern Ohio accepts only Snell 2005 or newer helmets. A race car is not necessary in order to participate. Complete details and registration forms at motorsportreg.com.
President Message, Spring 2014
- Published: 05 April 2014
As your new President, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank outgoing President Brian Nawrocki for his willingness to step in and help the Chapter through the past 18 months of challenges.
As a twenty-five year member of CCA, former Buckeye Secretary, founding member of Northern Ohio, and its longest-termed Secretary, I have spent years with core members and officers from our corner of the state as well as with those from other Chapters: Great people joined by the enthusiasm for the marque.
So, "let's look under the hood" at some of the Chapter mechanics. In case you don't know, a portion of your membership dues is rebated back to support local events. This pays for web hosting, a portion of newsletter publication and postage (no longer supplemented by National), and covers drive insurance fees (at this time, each insurance fee can be rebated back in full, if requested within 30 days of the event).
However, to host major events, you need a stable, substantive source of income. Our only revenue-generating (and our major) event is the Memorial Day weekend Drivers' School (HPDE) and Club Race. In order to sustain Chapter operations and any other activities, it is essential that the weekend be a financial success. Last year, the Board had a short time to sort out event management, and, frankly, we missed several critical details, which significantly impacted the Chapter. If we are to continue our existence, we must "get it right" this year. That means, providing an enjoyable, informative driving experience on the "school" side of the event. And, hosting the North American Challenge race—the major event of each race season and something a Chapter does usually only once in a decade—is important to us and all of Club Racing.
So, if you have time to assist with registration and check-in tech, drivers' school activities, or race assistance, please contact a Board member and plan to be at Mid-Ohio during Memorial Day weekend. If you've always wanted to do a school or know someone who has, plan for this year and contact a Board member for information. The story of my first time appeared in the March, 1998 Roundel (we'll be posting the text shortly on our web site for you "younger" members to read).
What's the Chapter have for you, if track events aren't your fortè? We have a very active ZBimmer group, doing a drive per month during the season. Roundel Weekly columnist (and local Chapter member) Chris Doersen and I are planning a limited-attendance Connoisseurs' Vintner Visit to Harpersfield Vineyard in Geneva for late April. Now wait! If you don't want to spend that much time with a vintner or don't make the cut-off, I'm planning the regular winery drive for early June! As well, I'll schedule other events for summer and fall, and we'll finish our drive season with a brewery run in October.
To reduce future organizational obstacles, new board member and long-time Bimmerphile Jon Stupar and I are reviewing our by-laws and code of regulations. In late spring you will receive proposed by-law changes to bring us into the 21st century; we will need your votes of approval.
Finally, starting this summer I shall compile our 20-plus years of governance decisions into an accessible electronic format to be distributed to all Board members; this will include event checklists and timetables, so those "critical details" should not be missed again. Now, it's going to take a while; there's seven bank boxes of treasury records, a file drawer of minutes, and enough event and presidential records to have filled the trunk and back seat of a 540.
So, if you enjoy the events we host and our enthusiasm for this marque, please share some of your time and energy in 2014. I can highly vouch for the returned rewards of good experiences and long-lasting friendships.
Hope to see you soon!
C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president
Things Never Go as Planned. It’s Just Elemental.
- Published: 04 April 2014
Submitted by Rich Loney
If you've been a member of Northern Ohio Chapter for any period of time, you may have read a few of my ramblings back in 2010 about my oldest son Ryan's quest for the holy Grail of young adulthood, a driver's permit. You may also have read about my somewhat obsessive search to find him that "perfect" first car, wielding my smart phone and the craigslist app. If you have time to burn, these and other articles from all contributing writers are posted to www.nocbmwcca.org. Now, jump forward to 2014 and it's son number two, Kyle, who has grabbed that learner's permit golden ring. Man, time flies! That "Life comes at you fast" commercial where the attractive young lady watches her equally attractive young boyfriend jump in one end of the pool and emerge from the other end as a weathered and worn 70-year-old man is so spot on!
Kyle will be 16-years- old on May fifth (Cinco de Kyle, as it's known around Casa Loney). Ohio law states that drivers-to-be must get their temporary permits 6 months prior to taking the road test. So, the multi-part plan was set in motion. Part One: Take Kyle to the local DMV on November 5 for his temporary driver's permit, providing me with a leisurely 180 days to embark upon my online safari effort to hunt down and bag that rare, low-mile trophy vehicle.
So, test day comes and Kyle passes the written exam with flying colors; part one of the plan is accomplished. (Truth be told, he got down to the final question with no more wrong answers available, suddenly creating for himself a high-pressure pass-or-fail exam. Good for him, I say! Those are the types of situations that build one's character!)
Part Two of the plan was scheduled for January. Enroll Kyle in the local drivers' school. Things were going beautifully! With all the days off school, due to bad weather, he was able to burn through the in-class sessions without missing any homework or after school football workouts.
Oh, and making things better, I had just downloaded an updated version of my craigslist app, so Part Three, "Big-Game Online Vehicle Safari, The Sequel," would commence as scheduled with no timeline pressure whatsoever. The plan was rolling out so flawlessly, that I was beginning to strain my shoulder muscles from patting myself on my back.
What's that you say? Hadn't I totally forgotten that you never ever taunt the "I-have-a-plan gods?" Yes, indeed, I got sloppy. I let my guard down, and that's when it happened. The family and I were headed to yet another of my son's basketball/football/game/practice/scrimmages (you pick; they all blur together) when we drove by my buddy Steve's auto care shop. Sitting way in the corner of his lot was a Rallye Red Honda Element with a greasy thumb stained "For Sale" sign in the front window.
My brain synapses trigger in rapid-fire succession. Honda reliability, check. All-wheel drive, check. Larger safer size, check. Being sold by a trusted party, check. But what about "The Plan?" It was only January and "the K-man" didn't need wheels for another 5 months! Then I thought to myself, no worries. The seller is probably asking way too much for the Honda and I bet is has 200K on the clock. So, I call Steve to get the skinny on the big red box-of-a-car on his lot (a now very trendy vehicle style). Turns out the car belonged to his niece who graduated college and moved out of town a few months back. Since it was no longer needed, Steve's brother-in-law wanted to get it out if his driveway. So, the "why it's on the market" side of the equation made solid sense. Steve, being the car's caretaker, had years of documented serviced records, so the mechanical history checked out as well. As did the mileage; this '05 Element had logged a low 78K in the past 9 years. Best of all, it was priced several thousand under book value.
So, without a single online search, I jumped on it and in early January the "Kylemobile" was added to our stable of vehicles. Best of all, I'm now experiencing a "Holy Grail" moment of my own. I waxed the jet black paint on my 135i, carefully rolled on the car cover, and parked her in the garage, because, for the first time in my life, I officially have a "winter beater!" At least, until Cinco de Mayo rolls around.
Well it’s racing season, 2014
- Published: 03 April 2014
Submitted by Bob Perritt
Finally, the race season is about to begin in our region! Or is it? I know I should have done the ice racing at Mosport (Canada). Looks like those conditions might be here for the start of the season. How does one practice for that? Easy, buy a beater 5-speed for the winter and have a blast! Oops, my beater turned into a Chumpcar this winter. Anyone selling a '94 or '95 BMW, let me know. Wait! Well, maybe. Yes, I'm an addict. Can't have too many BMW's (four), but one's mama's car; that is, it's a street car—for now (ha-ha!)
We weren't able to make Winterfest Sebring this year (close to being ready, but not quite). We were actually installing new suspension in #57 along with a few other things—you know, that off-season stuff. Working on the car is fun but driving is so much better, so missing track time, we do the next best thing: IRacing!
IRacing is live practice, time trails, qualifying and racing on the computer with other people. One's simulator could consist of three screens, computer, steering wheel (of course) with paddle shifter or manual stick and pedals. One can practice heel/toe and left foot braking without destroying your car. Well, you do destroy your car on IRacing, but it gets fixed for free and quickly—just hit the escape button, and you're back in the pits. Too many crashes get you kicked out--kinda. They start you out with a rookie's license in a Miata. Once you have enough points built up by not having accidents or going off track, you get bumped up to class D (classes A-D). Now, your skill rating comes into play and you get to race with other people with similar skill levels. Once you have been classed, you get to purchase different cars (really fast ones) and time on different tracks. I tried to run tracks on which we plan to race this year to keep current with layouts. You want to be able to close your eyes (while not driving) and visualize the track turn by turn. Track layout is something you need to know like the back of your hand: No second guessing where the next apex is.
We did a track in Japan and it was a blast; some of my friends found me practicing and joined. We ended up racing for 4 hours that night (until about 2:30 a.m.). One of the guys hosted an event at VIR for a couple of hours and we got to run GT3s. Talk about fast! That car and that track were fast! FYI, VIR did repave their track and we hear it's even faster this year. Sorry, back to practice, practice, and more practice. A saying here is: "Perfect practice makes for better more often!" So, the practice we get from IRacing helps keep our eyes up, coordination in tune, and our adrenal spiked.
I just spent time racing at Summit Point— IRacing, of course. The hosted event actually got setup with foggy conditions. I was not sure how that was going to play out, but it sounded like a great way to test myself on knowing the track. There were many obstacles (crashed cars) on track; I was able to participate incident-free. Glad I knew this track well.
Back to preparing your car. IRacing gives you the ability to adjust ride height, camber, caster, toe, spring rate and shock settings for each track. It's not the same as your car, because you can't feel what the car is doing, but, after your session, you can view your laps and everyone else's. In this way, you can see what those changes might have created for you. And it keeps you thinking about your racing setup in the off season.
So, in the off season, you still need to be focused—keyword is "focused"—on what your car needs. Take the time to go over every item on your car. Something as simple as a brake light switch failure can keep you out of a race. So, develop your check list and abide by it. Have a spare parts box or two, carry those nuts and bolts. You might not need them, but the guy you are racing with that weekend might. That's what we do at the track—keep all of us racing together. That's what's it all about: Racing with your friends and being safe.
See you at the track, Bob #57