May Patroon BMW CCA Track Day @ LRP

Patroon BMW CCA kicked of our 2021 driving season with an afternoon of open track at beautiful Lime Rock Park. The weather cooperated with cool and sunny conditions that kept engine, brake, and tire temps in check.

Open track and a great driving Evo 8 is the therapy I need.

The only downside of the day was several people coming up to me to let me know that I seemed to have some oil smoke trailing under certain circumstances; specifically when I’m off throttle. I’m assuming it’s the normal puffs when I shift, and when the rings aren’t under compression. Last leak-down test I had produced good results, so we’ll see. As STM told me – don’t touch the engine until you have to.

2021 Season Preparation

The weather hasn’t been a big motivator to getting things ready on the Evo. A recent trip to my buddy the fabricator held some interesting results. One of the things I asked him to take a look at was the possible causes of my autocross tires having a belt width portion of the front driver’s tire’s tread lathed off of it during a spin I took a look for possible causes and found two areas that showed signs of rubbing, but both seemed like they would have affected the sidewall of the tire, not the tread surface. However, my friend thought that the trailing edge of the body in the wheel well could have had a part, especially if the tire deformed during the spin. The fix? Cut the edge in several places, fold each portion over, then re-weld the cuts to solidify the edge once again. Sounds drastic, but I don’t want to lose another $400 Hoosier A7 in the process, especially one that was on its first day of use.

So far the season is looking like:

This is a typical scene a week or two before each track event – at Desperation Garage (April 2021).

Pandemic throws 2020 schedule into a tailspin

My initial plans for the 2020 season have ground to a halt due to the pandemic. The Tire Rack Street Survival event I was going to instruct at in April? Cancelled. The Sebring 12 Hour race I was going to miss due to the NCAA tournament games I was going to attend, but watch on the DVR? Cancelled and cancelled. My first flagging opportunity will be in the first weekend of May, but I’m doubting it’ll happen. Autocross has been up in the air since last year due to the lack of sites my SCCA region has gained. We had a plan to host a few events at a site about 1 hour south of my home, but since the pandemic broke loose I haven’t heard any more about it.

Personally, my first organized event is our June track day at Lime Rock Park with my Patroon BMW chapter. I’m starting to think that will likely fall victim. Trillium Chapter’s Calabogie track weekend I’m scheduled to attend in July? It’s probably a 50/50 shot of happening at this point. Even if the US decides to end the guidelines for the pandemic, who knows if Canada will do the same?

Stay safe, ‘cuz it’s gotten weird out there.