The title of the post says it all. Brendan and James went to SCCA’s Top Gun in Helena, Montana and had a great time camping, shooting pictures by planes and on the drive over the mountains (Two-Way Radios made the 6 hour tow bearable). However we probably won’t be going back to Helena anytime soon for the racing, at least with the #94 Race Car. Many, many things went wrong ending in the destruction of our front bumper and lip. Thus we packed up early and came home on Sunday spending the afternoon at a junkyard pulling parts for Brendan’s C10 Truck. Good times and beautiful pictures made this a trip we will not forget.
July ended up being a very quiet month after Lucky Racing Dog League canceled at Spokane County Raceway. Instead we prepped an Enduro Engine and acquired another donor E36 with a good M52B28. Huge thank you to Tim Collins for looking out for the team and finding the car for us!
Jared from NW Autoworks, Alex from Bavarian Motors and James pulled, prepped, installed, timed some shricks and got the engine firing up with a tune from Michon Dini. Thank you everyone for your help! Next stop is European Autohaus for an alignment and then onto Top Gun in Helena, Montana. It has been 5 years since we last competed there in which James won CS in the Purple Squirrel M3.
This was our first race of the weekend in Group 4 after a good qualifying session by James put us third on the grid. The engine started misfiring leaving James helpless out there and ultimately bringing it in to stop any more damage. Ian and Jared went to work and got the car ready for the Group 8 Enduro in which we finished 3rd.
This was the most intense and second Group 4 race of the weekend. Our race was delayed by about 20 minutes and right as we started to go out the rain came and only got worse as the race went on. Had a great battle putting pressure on Scott Norton in his ST Camaro and ultimately won the position after traction and then charging issues forced him out of the race. I have to say I learned a ton back in May running in worse conditions on these Hankook C51 tires and I am very impressed by the grip of these tires even in the wet.
This is the driver change and second half of the race riding with James as he pushed the car to a 2nd place finish in Group 8 on Saturday. Ian and Jared got the car sorted and ready to race after a qualifying incident put Gareth into the gravel trap at turn 2.
Thank you again to our Sponsors!
Next Level Automotive | Condor Speed Shop | Absent Speed Factory | Hard Motorsport | Motorsport Hardware | Motorsport Fluids | Family Law Spokane | DataPro Solutions, INC | NOVATIME | Cyclops Salvage Used Parts | NW Autoworks | Northwest BMW Club | Purfect Logos
The Northwest Motorsports Grand Prix Triple gave us everything we could handle on June 17th-19th. High Oil Temps/Engine issues, Gareth giving James a heart-attack after an off at turn 1, wet, hot and windy weather and lots of good hard racing with fellow ST friends. In the end, we finished with a 3rd place and 2nd place in Group 8/MEO and three 4th place finishes in Group 4 and 1. Most importantly we had a great time hanging out with our friends and family.
Huge Thank YOU to Ian Olsen and Jared Correia keeping the #94 running all weekend long despite nothing but engine issues from day one of racing and a certain Title Sponsor *cough* Gareth *cough* putting the car into the gravel at turn 1 :D. We didn’t miss a session all weekend long because of you guys. Have a beer, Gentleman! Equally we had a great time hanging with Nikki Haile, Jodie Waner, Tommy Ridgeway and Alexis Ferriby. Thank you TEAM!
And as always, thank you to all of the volunteers and course workers for keeping us safe. We appreciate you and hope you had a good time despite the crazy weather (I have been there in those stands and it can be miserable). We also need to say GREAT JOB to Bryce Scott of Scott Motorsports for taking on the Race Chairman position and delivering a great race. Thank you, Bryce!
And finally thank you to Mad Mike of MML Racing Photography for taking bunch of pictures of our #94 BMW E36 325is Sponsored by Next Level Automotive | Condor Speed Shop | Absent Speed Factory | Hard Motorsport | Motorsport Hardware | Motorsport Fluids | Family Law Spokane | DataPro Solutions, INC | NOVATIME | Cyclops Salvage Used Parts | NW Autoworks | Northwest BMW Club | Purfect Logos
Ride onboard with James in our #94 BMW E36 from Spokane County Raceway
Ride onboard with Jared from our Budget Build E36 with NW Autoworks
We have been going to Spokane County Raceway as often as possible because of the cheap cost of track time. Here are some pictures from those events.
After the last update all plans to race at The Ridge Motorsports Park fell apart due to engine issues. We took the number 94 car to the Code Red Racing Track Day and within 40 minutes of testing had an oil pressure issue. Ended up pulling the recently replaced engine yet again and Brian Bogdon delivered another M52 from our tuner Michon Dini. Truth is the team got the 3rd engine this year installed and running but without any testing on a track I wasn’t willing to take the chance of racing untested for 6 hours and instead spent the weekend Auto Crossing with Jared from NW Autoworks. While I was incredibly saddened at having to cancel the trip it was a nice, stress-free weekend that was badly needed for the entire team.
Thank you to the team of Brendan, Ian, Jared, Michon and especially Brian and Lisa Bogdon for delivering an engine across Washington. We will be ready for the Northwest Motorsport Triple Grand Prix on June 17th-19th.
Here are a few pictures from recent Track Days at Spokane County Raceway taken by Mad Mike from MML Racing Photography.
We had planned to make 2016 a rebuilding year for our program and to cutback on expenses so that we can finish/improve our current lineup of race cars. And then a phone call from Gareth Campbell of Sponsor Next Level Automotive changed everything. We will be competing again for the ICSCC Mini Enduro Season Championship in 2016 with James Haile and Gareth Campbell sharing the halo seat in our #94 BMW E36. We are very excited to try and help another driver achieve their goals and look forward to competing all year. First up is a return to The Ridge Motorsports Park on April 17th for another 6 hours of racing.
So things have been busy the last few weeks. Ian found us a donor car which we purchased and immediately yanked the still running M52 out and prepped for race abuse. Brendan came over from Absent Speed Factory and helped pull the old and prep the new M52 engine before dropping it in. Ian then came over and helped install and time the S52 cams and get the car running. Alex lent a hand with cleaning up wiring and adding some additional “extras” to the car. We are hoping to have the car on track by April 9th for a Code Red Racing Test’n’Tune at Spokane County Raceway. More updates to come as the race is only 3 weeks away!
For a “Budget” build, The NW Autoworks/nwBMWracing Black Panther E36 BMW has received a lot of attention as it nears completion and gets out for Auto Cross and HPDE Schools in 2016. Condor Speed Shop Bushings look great against the Schwarz E36 chassis but should perform even better on the track. Fresh Redline fluid for our rebuilt Absent Speed Factory 3.38 limited slip rear end after doing a quick flush with Royal Purple (it’s only real use). Should be out for on track for the first or second Code Red Racing Sunday Test and Tunes on April 3rd or 9th at Spokane County Raceway.
We delivered the Purple Squirrel build to Brendan at Absent Speed Factory sometime back in December (maybe November, I don’t remember) and he immediately set out to destroy James’ paint work as you can see in the pictures. In all honesty the rear sub-frame is nearly completed with fresh bushing from Condor Speed Shop. The front sub-frame is getting prepped for the Condor treatment as well. Brendan has saved the car over 60lbs and has stitched welded the entire floor. Very excited to see the level of detail being put into this build right down to brand new bolts, nuts and washers for every piece of the car.
2015 came and went so quickly that our “Purple Squirrel” and “Black Panther” Builds were put on the shelf. 2016 has refocused us and first up is finishing up the E36 325i budget build. Solid bushings from our sponsor Condor Speed Shop, a semi-rebuilt LSD from Absent Speed Factory, used K-Sport Coilovers and an E-Bay ZF Drive-shaft has this build on schedule to be on the track for Code Red Racing track days and Autosports Northwest Auto Cross in April.
Some of the kindest words and actions have come from Therese Lombardi Photography following our early exit from the ICSCC Endurance Finale at Portland International Raceway. Therese really went out of her way to make us feel better and we cannot express our appreciation enough to her. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for capturing these moments.
After the first lap Brian really goes on a charge through the pack. At 15 minutes there is a good battle with Scott Norton’s ST Camaro and then at 33 minutes is when disaster struck. Very entertaining footage and normally I wouldn’t post the entire thing but there was pretty much action and passing every lap.
There is one really good lesson that can be taught from this video and that is race craft should never change. Brian getting excited in traffic caused several mis-shifts and ultimately led to a money-shift ending our day. Watch his hands as he normally palms the Condor Speed Shop shift knob from the top but during the mis-shifts he grabs it from the side. It is better to place the car into gear then slamming it into gear.