Lime Rock Park Driving Event - Preview
A great number of auto enthusiasts have a difficult time explaining their fascination with racing but they just can't get enough of it. You may get answers telling you they enjoy the speed, the danger or even the pure adrenaline rush but for me, it is just a gut feeling I have that has been there since I was a kid. I have been waiting for an opportunity over the past year to get some "seat time" or, for those of you not familiar with this term, some time spent actually driving on a track.
It has become apparent that Mother Nature has little or no concern for what I want as we had the longest, coldest winter that New England has seen in some time. With the spring finally approaching, the Boston Chapter of the BMWCCA released their spring schedule, which included a driving event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut for $180.00. I immediately signed up online and then posted on the forum to find out what other E46Fanatics.com members might be attending.
Having no experience with track events I poured over all of the supplied instructions and details the car club offered. The key to a BMWCCA event is safety for all participants and their cars, a very good thing, especially when taking your daily driver. Seeing how my car has been neglected over the winter, this seemed like a good time for some performance oriented spring modification!
Badly needing new tires I zeroed in on a set of Toyo T1-S tires that I had heard good things about from track junkies. In an effort to make additional visual upgrades, I eyed a set of Velocity Motoring CSL style wheels. The way I figure, if I was already springing for new Toyo T1-S tires in 17", why not just get 18" tires and new wheels at the same time? Crazy you say? Of course not, this is E46Fanatics.com and I am sure many readers are nodding their head in agreement!
The CSL style wheels from Velocity Motoring are not only visually stunning in a brilliant silver and clear coated, but at 24lbs for the front and 24.2lbs for the rear, they are as light if not a touch lighter than the stock M68s they replace. The wheels are single piece cast alloy aluminum and built to ISO 9001:9002 standards. Peter from Velocity Motoring offered me great customer service and a product that is top notch. If you are looking for a set of new 18" or 19" wheels I highly suggest you check these out at www.VelocityMotoring.com.
My new Toyo T1-S tires came the next day and a quick trip to Turner Motorsport in Amesbury, MA got them mounted and balanced. I cannot say enough nice things about the guys at Turner Motorsport. I constantly get top notch sales and service from them and Kevin, the service manager did not disappoint. Anyone in the New England area looking to get work done should trust Turner with their baby.
With my wheel and tire situation well under control I knew that my brakes were the other critical area needing attention. One of the requirements of attending a BMWCCA sponsored track event is a full flush of your brake fluid within the past year; seeing as how it had been over a year since I installed my GoodRidge Stainless Steel Lines from The Tire Rack, I decided to give bimmerworld a call. Having gotten great customer service and support from James Clay at bimmerworld for my control arm bushings, I knew that I could count on them to get me everything I needed in a timely fashion. Once again bimmerworld's service was excellent and in few days a box of goodies showed up.
A set of Hawk HP+ pads for the front and rear, and two liters of ATE Gold fluid would do the trick. Using the Do-It-Yourself installation from the tech section of E46Fanatics.com the pads and fluid were quickly changed out, despite temperatures hovering around 40 degrees and no garage to work in.
With my two critical areas under control it was a quick run through of the other inspections items and my tech inspection sheet (required to verify your car is track worthy) was completed and I was ready to go!
Before heading to the track, it seemed only fitting to do a pre-track photo shoot. Check out the image below with my new wheels. For the rest of the story stay tuned to E46Fanatics.com for the trip to Lime Rock Connecticut and my track day experience!
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