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Winter Sport: GoKarting Social 02
01.27.2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

First-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
02.17.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

2019 Cleveland Auto Show -- TENTATIVE
03.03.2019 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Second-Quarter Board Meeting 2019
04.07.2019 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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Local News

by C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president

Greetings everyone!
Summer has fled rather abruptly and now we’re moving rapidly into fall weather and the last of our driving season. By the time you receive this the Lincoln Highway Liverpool Pottery drive will be imminent, if not past, and the final drive of the year, our October brewery tour to the Rocky River Brew Company will be right on its heels.

At the recent meeting the Board approved the suggested changes/updates to our by-laws, so look for a special e-mail blast in October with directions on how to vote electronically on the proposed changes which will bring the Chapter into the 21st century. Please make certain you vote, as we need majority approval to implement the changes.

Later in the fall we shall also be asking you to decide if you wish to receive your newsletter in print or by electronic delivery. While it’s great to receive that glossy newsletter, producing four print issues of it per year is costing the Chapter approximately $12,000. So, we are asking each member to consider if you could read it in an electronic format each quarter to help us reduce costs. We’ll cover the specifics on the web site and e-mail blast later in the fall.

Also, despite my best efforts, our newsletter editor, Rich Loney, has indicated that other obligations will require him to turn over the reins in 2015. So, we are looking for someone who can start working with us to plan that transition to an electronic format and who could still support any print requirements we may have. If you’re interested and have time, please send either of us a resume and get in touch for more details.

Early in November I’m planning a Saturday morning vintage village visit to the shops on Medina’s Public Square and nearby area, so that members can check out the architecture and do a little pre-holiday shopping. We’ll have some type of activity in December to fulfill our Chapter obligations as well, but dwelling too long on that at this moment conjures up visions of that nasty “four-letter word,” so check the web site and look for e-mail blasts to update you on those later 2014 plans!

As I know winter can’t be far away, I’m heading out to our western region to collect those final archival boxes in the next week or two. I’ll spend the snowy months on our collective history, hoping to create an electronic, searchable record of our governance decisions over the past almost 25 years. And, I shall be finalizing the checklists and timetables for upcoming 2015 activities.

It’s not too early to start planning for the holidays by “gifting” someone (or getting someone to “gift” you) with a slot in the 2015 drivers’ school, a seat on the bus to the annual NAIS Detroit Auto Show, a membership or a membership renewal, Chapter “gear,” or a fun evening at the holiday party in January!

Remember, this Chapter is a collective effort to serve Bimmerphiles of northeastern Ohio. We need your support and participation to continue the level and type of service you have received during the past 25 years. Plan on attending an event in the near future. If there’s an event you’d like to suggest, plan, or with which you’d assist, please contact any Board member. As always, I can attest that your efforts bring you fun experiences and good friends in return.
Now, get out for a drive to enjoy the colors and exercise that car!

Keep the shiny side up!

C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president


by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot editor

ryanIn the fall issue of the Bimmer Pilot you may recall my excitement to have scored a great deal on an ’05 Honda Element for my youngest son Kyle. Not only was it a somewhat underpriced low-mileage vehicle, but I found it in late January and Kyle wouldn’t get his driver’s license until May. Beautiful! For the first time in my existence, I’d have a bona fide all-wheel-drive “winter beater.”  Kyle’s birthday (Cinco d’Kyle) arrived, and, upon the successful passing of his driver’s exam, the keys to the Honda were officially transferred from my pocket to his. So far it’s been an awesome father-son bonding experience. We’ve logged many amazing hours of garage-time togetherness modifying his new ride with projects ranging from bolting on nerf bars and a flashy billet aluminum grill, to installing a black acrylic hood guard and hula girl dashboard ornament. We even teamed up on a brake pad and fluid change with the finishing touch being painting the calipers bright red. It’s been a blast spending time with him. 

Which brings us to today, Sunday, August 17. In exactly one week I’ll take possession of my next winter beater. No, I didn’t find this one on Craig’s List or parked in the back of a buddy’s service station lot.  Truth be told, I’ve actually owned my new winter ride for close to 10 years. When the snow starts falling and salt saturates our roads I’ll park the 135i and saddle up in our family’s trusty ’03 Toyota Highlander. However, as thrilled as I was in January when the Honda was added to the fleet, when I drive the Highlander it will be with a bit of a heavy heart and, quite possibly, a tear in my eye. You see, in a week my oldest son Ryan heads off to The Ohio State University and will leave behind both the Toyota and a mom and dad who are totally stunned by how quickly time has passed.

Cars and the time you and your kids share with them are special. I cherish each of the memories. My only wish is  that I had a thousand more memories. Ryan was probably 14 when I taught him how to drive behind the wheel of the vacation rental in a huge Orlando parking lot. When Kyle was just 8 he began helping me with my seasonal tire changes on the Bimmer. Back then he was my wheel chock guy. Now, at 16, he can swap the wheels and torque the lugs like a NASCAR pit crew pro and is probably strong enough to bench press the car in the absence of a floor jack.

Next week, as the family piles into the Highlander and drives Ryan to Columbus, we’ll make another special but bittersweet car memory. A memory of how proud I am of my little boy for growing into such an amazing young man, but how sad I’ll be to see him go. So to my son:  May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Submitted by Bob Perritt

You know you’re addicted when:

  • You own more than one BMW but you are still looking at BMWs for sale at AutoTrader
  • You won’t drive your car in the snow but take it to

HPDE events

  • You start trailering your car to the track because you need room for tools and fresh “stickies”
  • You search for the net HPDE before you go to the last one scheduled
  • You decide your track car needs better safety gear such as harnesses and a roll cage
  • You start taking weight out of your car to help go faster or even go on a diet (ha-ha!)
  • You decide to take the BMW Race School just for the experience
  • You realize you have enough track time and passed race school
  • You sign up for your first of many race events
  • You figure out how to get the fastest qualifying time out of fresh “stickies”
  • You make friends with fellow drivers and all you talk about is how you still get to play with cars with friends

If and when you become a racer, you think about:

  • How to be faster
  • How to be a better driver
  • Suspension
  • Bigger brakes
  • A tuned chip
  • Sizing a differential for the track
  • Corner-Balancing for the car
  • Removing weight from the car
  • Building your engine’s horsepower
  • Coaching and data
  • Seat time and practice time on a wet track

We haven’t had as much seat time so far this year; our car(s) has/have a few minor issues. Well, that what we thought—that we just needed a head gasket. As it turns out, we replaced a couple of suspect valves, milled the head, got some new pistons, and so forth. The car motor had some miles on it, and I guess it was ready to be freshened up. $$$. When I look back at logging things down, it was time. I guess we were thinking we were good to the end of the season.

So, I brought out the other car for an event. It hadn’t been on track at all this year. I checked her out, got the annual inspection done, and all was good. Well, not really. The anti-lock brakes gave us issues during a practice before qualifying, and we weren’t going to be able to race safely that weekend. Parts weren’t going to be available, so I made the call not to race. I always want to put safety first with the car(s). That’s what’s expected! I mentioned car(s), because I realize it’s hard enough to keep one car going let alone multiple cars. It takes a lot of time; there’s money involved. We weren’t alone; this past event I believe 7 or 8 cars didn’t race either that weekend.

We did manage to get to a couple of my favorite tracks—Mid-Ohio and The Glen; they were a blast. Those tracks are a must on your bucket list. But, I feel that way about all tracks. Obsession! The Glen is tough because the weather is so
unpredictable. One qualifying group went out on a dry track and the next group had a wet track. Yet, weather radar showed nothing. Now, wet changes the game, changes the track, changes where you can drive safely. It’s tough, but it’s still fun; it’s something different. Wet helps you drive better. You have to be smooth on shifting, throttle, and braking. It makes you a better driver, a safer driver. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a dry track as you can go faster!

The motor should be back in by the time you read this. We should have had the time to break her in, and be ready to race. We still have three months of events, so I hope to see you at the track.

Bob #57, #54, #135



Summer is finally here! So many car-related choices, so little time

C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president

Well, our major event, the Memorial Day weekend Drivers’ School (HPDE) and Club Race, is behind us. And, while, we’re awaiting some outstanding expenses to finalize the event report, I can tell you that our attendance was lower than anticipated, which certainly made the Driving Events Committee (DEC) members review and analyze overall event expenditures and marketing. The DEC’s recommendations will serve as a discussion launch at the upcoming August Board meeting on how we plan future events and finances.

For those of you who want more information on what has to be considered for an HPDE and Club Race weekend, a sample budget statement is presented elsewhere in the newsletter. Let’s just say that there’s a lot more than just getting the date and showing up.

So, what’s on the schedule for the upcoming prime driving months? We’re so close to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix that you should at least take a few hours and visit one of the many events scheduled in July. Check both the official and Allegheny Chapter’s web sites for a full list of activities. If nothing else, meet up with members at the NEO Cars & Coffee session early Sunday morning, July 13, and make a quick trip to Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt-Race) for some afternoon races.
The idea of group events continues into September with the Cleveland German Auto Show at Donauschwaben in North Olmsted and the Concours d’Elegance at Stan Hywet Hall. We’ve been asked to bring out our “garage queens” for the former event to co-mingle with our fellow northeastern German marques. And, of course, if you have some time to wander the manicured grounds of Stan Hywet enjoying the successor show to the Glenmoor Gathering, plan to do so. Locally, I have a short excursion drive in late September along part of the old Lincoln Highway to the historic Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool with a side visit to the Fiesta china outlet as well as our annual brewery run in early October.

Jon Stupar and I have completed our review of the by-laws and code of regulations and are preparing suggested changes for Board review and approval. Look for a special vote email in late July; we need everyone’s response to implement the changes.

Finally, I have one more set of records to collect before I can start the compilation of the Chapter’s history and governance decisions. Creation of event checklists and timetables has already started.

Again if you enjoy the events we host and our enthusiasm for this marque, please consider volunteering some of your time and energy. Your Chapter’s good health and continued existence are dependent upon our combined efforts, as no one person can both steer and row the ship alone.

Keep the shiny side up!

C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president



 Sunday, June 8, 2014

Check-In: Panera Bread, 6345 Wilson-Mills Road, Highland Heights – 10:30 a.m.
Destination: Harpersfield Vineyard, Geneva, Ohio

For those of you who cannot make the Connoisseurs' Vintner Visit or just want to enjoy some wine and a meal after a scenic drive without all the tasting and discussion, the event for you is Sunday, June 8. The drive will start from the Highland Heights Panera, but follow a different route to end at Harperfield Vineyard around 1 p.m. Lunch selections will be from the menu with individual checks. We can talk about the drive and relax a while before heading home. Some of you may even plan to linger a while longer, sipping more wine and trying out desserts, so you can listen to Colin Dussault's Blues Project (http://colindussault.com/) after 3 p.m.

North American Challenge RACE: May 23-25, 2014

vvv-enduro2013gThe 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.

Click here for registration information at Motorsportsreg.com.

North American Challenge Race: $525.00


Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro Race
Sponsored by Turner Motorsports: May 23, 2014
Space is limited so register today!

vvv-enduro2013eThe 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.

Click here for registration information at Motorsportsreg.com.

Harvey Rogers Memorial Enduro: $525
(includes a dinner for drivers and crew after the race)


High-performance Driving School (HPDE): May 24-25, 2014
Space is limited so register today!

www-NOCBMWCCA-MidOhioMay201316There 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.


Click here for registration information at Motorsportsreg.com.

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.

pdfNOCBMWCCA 2014 HPDE Student Info Packet (pdf)

pdfNOCBMWCCA 2014 Medical Form (pdf)


pngClick here for schedule.


Greetings everyone!
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.

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

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 Kyle honda2contributing writers are posted to www.nohiocbmwcca.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.

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