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Gateway Speedway with the M-boys -- LONG
Well, Eric twisted my arm to instruct at the BMW event at the Gateway Track
in St. Louis...... And entertaining is was, in a big way, I think we are
missing something in our comparative QC events.......
I arrived afternoon of Saturday to find a total of 90 (that's 90 very nice
machines) cars at the event, and the Event Skipper in need of instructors as
soon as I ckd in.....
* 3 series - Lots including the 318 (and it's pretty quick)
* M3's - prolly 20
* Old M5's - prolly 10
* New M5 (and the one to watch) - 1
* 540 6spd - 1
* Old M3 - 10
* Alfas - 3
* Ferrari 355 - 1
* quattros - 2
* Loti - 2
* Mustang GT - 2
* RX7 - 1
* SC300 - 1
* NSX - 2
* 944 turbos 4/3 on sunday
Well, they ran track time well into darkness, then at about 6:30pm all but
the instructors cleared out, and instructors got FREE beer (and not to
mention that for the attendees, lunch was FREE both days, and the track and
the school and the ambulance, all for 100 dollars???!??!?), and a bonfire for
the cold-blooded.... Good stories, and the emphasis was on fun......
Salvation Sunday!!!! SNOW for the quattros........ Well, it looks like
rides for all those Bavarian at heart! Wrong, it proved to be just lingering
flurries, and Cold temps, in a big way.......
Comparo: Well, since this is Eric's home track (a 12 turn, Very Fast track),
his Q held better than its own with track times of 2:00min (a race car time
is around 1:40), with passenger...... My Q was having serious air flow
again, and I managed to get the sport-q pop-off valve installed last week to
save the intercooler shotgun...... At 66in of Hg (that's 17-18psi) max, the
q was not getting passed on the straight, definitely in the turns tho.....
And I'm in the middle of turn 4, just about ready to set for the decreasing
radius of 5 when Barney appears!!!!! That would be the 355 at full clip in
Barney purple, no less..... And being driven by a very aggressive elderly
statesman........ I figgrd when you share sheet metal with a $130k machine,
i would have been a heretic to actually paint over that..... Decided better
of Barney Purple, and let the Very Wide mudder by...... And the thought of
that pending fiasco stayed with me a few laps.........
Got a student that didn't have an instructor in a 535 (older style) that
still had the TRX tires on it...... Should have been the clue, those bricks
squeeled all the way around the track, until finally he coughs dirt on turn
two, and I'm looking south on a western trajectory....... No roll, but a LOT
of chatter from me on tire wheel combos for that machine.... Saturday had
it''s toll too, a very bummed student took his 944turbo home wrapped up in a
little ball on a flatbed....... Second lap too..... Neither Eric or I were
in that car.........
The SP8000 I had for the event seemed to be fine once warm, but for the first
lap of the track, they were unbelievably slick, entertained Eric with
Pro-rally slide of 2 and 4 till things settled....... The quattos got a lot
of looks off the track (they did stand out), and ON (they stood out too) with
Eric's taildancing on A60 dunlops, and my HP in the fast sections......
POP!!??!!! Hey, Eric, what was that, could it be the IC???? Yep, even with
the pop-off valve, I managed to pop the end tank off the IC...... I figgrd
either the dump to air hose got pinched, or the flow on this turbine defies
logical explanation....... BTDT 4 times at Brainerd, so the fix was under an
hour total....... It looks like a new IC for me with maybe aluminum
ends........ Went back out with the pop-off valve open at the lowpress side,
and didn't have any prollums after that, and running much richer than
Brainerd, at least until full tilt 5000rpm...... Hoping to have that fuel
thing figgrd by the end of the year, real close now........
I timed a woman driving the M5 at 146's for a couple of laps, and got lots
more respect for that as my performance target.......... Thank goodness
there was only one......
Summary: q's, even 5ktq tanks, can hold their own with the Bavarians on the
track..... The new M3 aren't as fast as you'd think, the M5 faster, a couple
of old M3 were really fast...... The 355 was definitely a brush (scuze the
pun) with greatness, I started him out of pit lane once, and figgrd I could
sell the tape of that exhaust to many....... The NSX made little noise, but
were very fast....... The alfas made you scratch your head with the why
question........ The SC300 was the quietest machine I've ever ridden in.....
The 540 isn't as quick as I thought....... A very competent and safety
conscious group with some very experience Professional Racers at the helm of
instruction, made for smiles for all (save 1 944 turbo)...... And the quest
for fun was high, but very controlled, without being a dictatorship.....
This school should be a model for the QC boys...... People having fun,
doing what they are told, and the assurance of safety first prevailed above
all else for two straight days........ Thanks for the invitiation
Eric........ I'll be back for another....