Lime Rock Park Track Day
Welcome to the second installation of my Lime Rock Park track day. Not only was this track event the first in the 2005 season for the Boston BMWCCA it was also my first track event, exciting for me to say the least! To get an idea of the spring preparation that went into getting my car ready, read the preview article here
With my car ready to good I could hardly sleep the night before. Lime Rock Park is located in Connecticut about three hours drive from Boston, MA. The plan was to meet up with a member of E46Fanatics.com and caravan effortlessly to Lime Rock the day before the event. Unfortunately hopes of an easy drive were dashed with rain, lots of rain.
Not only was it raining the entire way to Connecticut, it rained all night and right through the start of the track day. The weather clearly has little concern for how I was feeling about my first track day starting wet and cold.
First thing in the morning I got my car tech inspected, and with the upgrades thanks to Velocity Motoring, Toyo Tires and Bimmerworld my car passed with flying colors. I think the tech inspector was especially pleased that I had brand new fluid as the guy in front of me seemed unaware that his car had brake fluid and less idea of when it was replaced, if ever.
After tech inspection the drivers meeting gives you a run down on the days events and schedule. Numerous mention of the wet weather assured me that my first "hot" run would be anything but. My dreams of instant speed racer were further dashed when one of the instructors spun off the track causing some moderate car body damage, but thankfully no one was harmed.
After two classroom sessions that helped to calm my nerves it was finally the novice group time on the track. I found my very friendly instructor and we got flagged onto the track. The first lap was a slower loop around to survey the track. What we saw was a moderately flooded main straight and a small river running on the back straight (no name), not what I wanted to see. All the same my instructor was right there and after a couple laps I was holding my own. Just as I was starting to get the hang of things my 20 minute session on the track was over and we pulled into the pits. My first session helped to calm my nerves about the wet and left me counting the minutes until the second session.
The second run was about the same as the first with a bump in the speed. The real fun started on the third time out in the early afternoon. About lunch time the sun had peeked out and started to dry the track. The first two runs were focused on getting around the track safely using the "wet line". The wet line is the fastest way around the track in wet conditions and, for me is more difficult to drive. With the track dry we got to try the dry line, what a difference! The first two sessions had been fun, but this was nothing short of amazing.
By the forth run using the dry line I was getting comfortable going into the downhill without braking and exiting onto the main straight over 70 MPH, what a rush! By no means was I setting any track records but each lap was an improvement on the last. With each corner my understanding of the driving line increased which of course helped the speed I was driving increase as well. The highlight of my day was blowing past an E46 M3 as I rocketed out of the corner onto the straight. Even with the M3's additional horsepower my corner exit speed gave me an edge that he could not make up.
Too quickly my forth and final session was over and it was time to hit the road. The entire ride home all I could think of was what I had learned and when I could get back on the track!
Once I was home I did a quick once over on all my new upgrades. With the rain my brakes didn't see the normal temperatures so the new Hawk pads and fluid showed limited signs of usage. The tires were is great shape and held fantastically on the track. I quickly sprayed the brake dust off the Velocity Motoring CSL wheels and found their finish and overall condition to be flawless. The track surface at lime rock is not uniform and the wheels took a beating and came out strong. They also look amazing in the pictures!
If you have any interest in tracking your car I highly suggest you do it now. The smile on my face was nothing but ear-to-ear! It is simply not possible to convey the experience on the track other than saying it is amazing. If you are interested in your first track day experience, take a minute to contact your local BMW CCA chapter to find out what they are offering. If you are in the New England area perhaps I will see you at an upcoming event!
I would like to thank the following people and companies for making my first track day an incredibly fun time:
Velocity Motoring - For the great CSL wheels.
Bimmerworld - Continued great service and the Hawk HP+ pads and ATE brake fluid.
Bim Growl - Caravanning to Connecticut with me and setting up the accommodations. See his thread on the event here
Boston Chapter BMW CCA - Thanks for putting on a great event!<
Candace - My friendly track day instructor.
John - My BMW CCA track day mentor.
Toyo Tires - For the sticky Toyo T1-S Tires.
TrackTime Photos - For the professional track photos. TrackTime Photos attends club events at Lime Rock, NHIS and Summit Point, WV. Visit them on the web at www.tracktimephotos.com.
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