Sunday, April 24, 2011

BMW Club of Quebec Open House

I was happy to find that there was nothing seriously wrong with the race car. Marc found that the problem was an axle and he promptly changed it. I picked the car up before my basketball game Friday (we lost by 15 points, I missed about a million easy shots) so that I could bring it to Sanair on Saturday where I would be instructing at a BMW Club of Quebec event. It would be my first time instructing with this club and the format for instructors was that you have track access with your own car for several sessions per day when you are not instructing. Sanair is not an especially technical or exciting track, but it is still fun, for variety's sake. I hadn't been there since 2005, so I thought it would be fun. It was.

When I arrived at the track, I noted first that there were not as many BMW's as I was expecting. I noticed second that there were some serious cars on hand, both street cars and track day cars. As you can see from my photos, the variety was impressive.

The weather was cold with occasional rain and I found myself changing tires several times from slicked out R-compound tires to Hoosier wets. I had some pretty competent students, some of whom had never before been on the track. There was one with a Mitsubishi Evo 10, one with a Lancer Ralliart, one with a Jetta VR6, one with a turbocharged Miata, one with a Subaru Legacy GT and one with a Subaru Legacy Outback turbo.

I had a great time during the instructor sessions (5 of them!) and took out some of my students for rides. They seemed to have a good time. I know I was having a good time trying to chase down the other instructors. I turned on the lap timer for fun and noted that I was running in the 1:03 range with a student on board. My goal was to aim for a 1:02 with no student aboard and this was achieved in the next session (1:02.5). I can't believe how much grip these old Toyo tires still had. The lap times matched my 2005 lap times, which were achieved on street tires, but with more horsepower. The new transmission really feels nice and the acceleration is quite decent. Surely the cool weather was helping me make a few more horses.

This is a tough track on engines as there is a long straight (even I managed to hit 170 km/h with my 1.6 liter!). However, the Civic never missed a beat and generally kept up with the other cars on hand. I used more than a full tank of gas on the track. This made for a tiring day, but rewarding. I think everybody there had a good time and I would not hesitate to instruct at another BMW club event in the future.

I didn't get any action photos, but here are some pics from the paddocks:


 
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