One Last Ride On a typical Saturday you could find weekend warriors at racetracks across America but this was no typical Saturday. With the growing worry and number of cases of the COVID-19 outbreak racing events and organizations, with just cause, put a stop to their events. Prior to this news, I had signed up for an event at Streets of Willow prepared to participate in my first CSF Bimmer Challenge event. Not long after I had signed up, the event had been canceled by organizers for obvious reasons. Eager to drive, like most track rats, a friend had recommended Chuckwalla Valley Raceway at 11.30pm Friday night. At 3.30am, I had awoken to drive to the racetrack and others like me had done the same. Track days are particularly special for the car culture (for me at least) because you see all different kinds of cars. From spec class wheel to wheel racers to the latest exotics and even your moms eco friendly commuter turned weekend racer. It doesn’t matter what you have, every vehicle is here for once purpose. Racing. The Dodge Viper ACR was being piloted by who was being instructed and was fairly new to track days. Needless to say this was one hell of a starter car. Being a BMW fanboy I had to snap a few photos of the S52 turbo E36 track car. From a street 325 to track bred MPower beast out for its first test and tune, this car is no joke. I experienced this first hand with laps behind and in front of this car and let me tell you a turbo BMW inline six straight line speed with an exceptionally well handling chassis is no joke. A completely unique Pontiac GTA Trans-Am on Forgelines and a one off carbon fiber rear wing was out for testing as well. Don’t let the beautiful red paint job fool you. This car saw 53 track events last year! Being one the cars I got to get a better look at, the 6.8L LS engine is a fantastic fit in the engine bay. The chassis of this track car this car has even had its frame rails replaced at one point. You’d never notice at first glance of the red Firebird but if you dig a little deeper it’s definitely something special. Spec 944 Porsche is one of the forgotten open wheel classes of NASA, but in spec form make some of my favorite cars to indulge in. Here you’ll find the bare essentials to make a car go on the inside whilst retaining the classic Porsche exterior. The entire has been complete stripped of sound insulation and had its original seats replaced replaced two Sparco seats and a six point roll cage added for safety. With the world in crisis, I received many handshakes and smiles, which honestly came as a surprise at times. Although, during times of worry, this was a good sign. A reminder that even in a time a global panic that the people can still have fun. To all my track enthusiasts rest assured, the spirit of motorsports isn’t going anywhere.
Motorsport is Alive and Well After months of being cooped up at home it’s nice to see that passion for motorsport’s is still alive. Autocross is an understated grassroots start for drivers but is very humbling in the hunt for tenths of seconds. I was lucky enough to capture a few shots from a local event. Glad to see that drivers are still passionate to enjoy their builds. Enjoy!
Suit and Tie Amidst my automotive experiences, I’ve driven everything from backyard Honda’s to flame spitting McLarens but nothing quite compares to the thing I’ve built with my own two hands. That thing is my BMW E46. Despite being a Non-M I’ve stuck with this chassis for 5 years and it has seen its fair share of time on jack stands, in California gridlock, and hot laps at local tracks. It’s taken it all and has served it purposed whenever asked. Need to drive a few hours away? No problem. Need to make a parts store run? Perfect. Aside from replacing the engine after a rough track day, this E46 has lived up to its expectations and then some. It now lives it’s life as a dedicated track car that see the occasional canyon run(gotta keep the skills alive somehow). Style was never a priority in the transition to becoming a track car and that’s clearly noticeable from the miss matching colors of the body to the dry carbon fiber hood. This BMW exists for the purpose of function over form and the lap times over the years have proven so. It weighs over 3000lbs and only has 200 brake horsepower but doesn’t compare to anything else I’ve driven. That’s mainly due to long nights of fine tuning and upgrades that fit my driving style. It’s a long list that consists of this bushing and that tire but it all contributes to the overall experience. This car feels like my tailor made suit.