Purple Squirrel Finds a Home

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.

Black Panther and first 2016 Update

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.

The Sleeper Bushing Kit from Condor Speed Shop

The Sleeper Bushing Kit from Condor Speed Shop

CSCC Festival of Endurance by Therese Lombardi Photography

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.

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Festival of Endurance Onboard Footage

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.

Festival of Endurance Pictures by Doug Berger

Doug Berger of DBPics.com always impresses and continues to win my business race after race.  His skill and professionalism is very appreciated and we want to sincerely thank Doug for continuing to photograph Motorsports in the Pacific Northwest.

We also need to officially announce Purfect Logos as our official Graphics, Clothing and Vinyl Supplier.  Time and time again Purfect Logos goes above and beyond to ensure we get our vinyl always on time no matter how late we send our orders in.  Tanner and his staff are great to work with and we highly recommend them for all of your design and printing needs.

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CSCC Festival of Endurance: At least it didn’t rain

Before we get to the summary of the weekend we must say a big THANK YOU to Cascade Sports Car Club and especially Chris Heinrich, Course Workers, Volunteers, Friends, Family and of course our cherished Sponsors for allowing us the opportunity to come race at Portland International Raceway.  What an amazing facility PIR is and we cannot wait to come back in 2016.  Thank you everyone for a great 2015!

At least it did not rain.  We arrived with the car 3 hours late to Portland due to a number of reasons but mainly because of a windshield defrost grid taking an entire day and then some to lay (and of course we didn’t even need it).  Our team did an amazing job scrambling and working until midnight on Friday night getting the final preparations done. 100% team effort which was incredible to see as James and Jared were exhausted from the tow and the load from earlier in the day.

We made the practice session where all drivers got to experience our E36 running on some street tires as the track was wet but quickly drying.  We made the call to switch to our Hankook C51 dry tires just before the start of the Mini Enduro 2-Hour Race and boy did we nail it.  Brian started at the back (gingerly), 8th in class and within 30 minutes had worked his way up until 2nd place in class behind our friends from Lowe Group Racing and their GTR M3 passing pretty much all of our competitors with ease even some with 2 more cylinders and twice the displacement.  Brian was driving fantastic and the changes we made really woke the car up until disaster struck.  Pushing a little too hard in traffic trying to pass the Bloising Saddles M3, Brian went to grab 4th from 3rd gear and went into 2nd instead.  Game over.  He was able to coast back to the pits where our crew work feverishly trying to get our M52 to re-fire but it was not to be, our day was done an hour into the 10 hours.

While we are incredibly saddened at the way our season ended we are also delighted to have been able to share in Brian Bogdon’s Mini Enduro Season Championship, and it did not rain.  We had a great time hanging out at the track with our racing buddies and will look back fondly on this weekend despite not finishing the race.  Our car and our team got to be part of a championship and for that I am truly grateful for Brian, thank you.

Finally, please support the sponsors that support us. Racing is incredibly tough to do unless you’re rich to begin with and without sponsors I don’t think we would be racing. Our sponsors go above and beyond to ensure we get to race and for that, we cannot thank them enough for their support in 2015 and into 2016.

Next Level Automotive | Condor Speed Shop | Absent Speed Factory | Hard Motorsport | Cyclops Salvage Used Parts | Family Law Spokane | DataPro Solutions, INC | Northwest BMW Club | Purfect Logos | NW Autoworks

More pictures and videos are on the way but for now here an excellent picture taken by the young and talented Flying Bye Photo. Thank you Austin and appreciate the kind comments about our situation.

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New Sponsor and Driver Lineup Confirmed for Portland Enduro

It is with great pleasure that we get to announce a new/old Sponsor for our Race Team for the remainder of 2015 and 2016.  Next Level Automotive stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with their efforts this year.  Thank you VERY MUCH Gareth and Lance, we look forward to a long-term partnership helping both organizations grow to their potential.  If you are looking for honest, fast and reliable service for your Automobile or Race Car, look no further then Next Level Automotive in Auburn, Washington.

4044 Auburn Way North Suite 9
Auburn, Washington 98002
(253) 370-2900

We are also pleased to announce our Driver Lineup for the 2+8 Hour Portland International Raceway Enduro on October 17th, finally!  Along with James Haile and Brian Bogdon, Anthony Kalcounis is coming back to race with us after doing so in 2013 in our M5, current ICSCC Sport Touring Champion Curt Wikstrom and Next Level Automotive owner and racer Gareth Campbell will round out the lineup of drivers.  Thank you all for joining our program, looking forward to winning Brian the Enduro Championship and having an excellent time with our racing buddies one more time in 2015.  See you all on the 16th and 17th.

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ASF Breathing Life into the Purple Squirrel

The Absent Speed M3 has been born.  We are very excited to finally announce a new partnership with Absent Speed Factory for 2016-2018.  We will be able to field two nearly identical BMW E36 race cars year round while minimizing our travel costs to Seattle and Portland.  This will allow us to compete in more race weekends with ICSCC and SCCA and give us options with renting to paying drivers.

ASF will finish the build, store/maintain the car and transport it to and from the track and eventually Brendan wants to work towards an ICSCC License and share the seat with James and other drivers.

All that said we do have some updates to the Purple Squirrel. Brendan came over from Seattle and helped get the car to a rolling state.  The car currently awaits transportation to the west side of the state and the Absent Speed Factory shop where it will go through an extensive build to get the car ready to race in 2016.

Enduro Season: PIR 2+8 Update

The 2015 ICSCC Season is winding down and Brian Bogdon is currently leading the Group 8 ME0 class.  Brian has worked very hard all year to get to this point and we are extremely happy to be supporting Brian at Portland International Raceway on October 18th in his quest for the championship.

Major work is underway to ensure we provide the best car we have had all year long for Brian, James and our other 2 drivers to be named at a later date.  First major task was to tear apart the interior and paint the cage. Brendan from Absent Speed Factory came over from Seattle and we swapped to our spare Ground Control Coilovers as our Advanced System need to go back to GC. And finally we got a new windshield courtesy of Advanced Auto Glass.  Thank you everyone for your work up to this point. Lots more to do!

Please support our current 2015 Sponsors
Cyclops Salvage | Hard Motorsport | Absent Speed Factory | NW Autoworks | DataPro Solutions | Next Level Automotive | Northwest BMW Club | Family Law Spokane.

Northwest Grand Prix; Good Results, Disappointing Performance

We went into this weekend with the same goals we always set, finish races and hope for good results. We did just that. James finished 3rd in two Group 4 Sport Touring Races (behind Brian and Curt) while Brian Bogdon and James finished two 1-Hour Mini Enduro races taking home two pieces of very nice first place hardware made by Advanced Auto Fabrication. James ended up parking the car on Sunday instead to flag at turn 8 as the supporting club was short on workers.  Huge Thank You to Brendan and Ashley McIntire of Absent Speed Factory for coming over from Seattle to crew and work on the car all weekend. And a thank you to Alex for spending several nights with us prepping the car and fixing all wiring issues. Other then a small oil leak from the dipstick the car performed flawlessly all weekend.

Thank You to ALL of the volunteers, corner workers, Spokane County Raceway and Northwest Motorsports for allowing us to race and for putting on another great triple race weekend. We also need to give a big shout out to Bryce Scott (Scott Motorsports) who went above and beyond this year to organize and get this event into shape.  Also James’ work, DataPro Solutions stepped up and supported the race as Title Sponsor after O’Reilly’s backed out last minute, thank you Bob Bordonaro and DataPro Solutions for your support!

And as always, THANK YOU to our 2015 Sponsors:  Cyclops Salvage, Hard Motorsport, Absent Speed Factory, NW Autoworks, DataPro Solutions, Next Level Automotive, Northwest BMW Club and of course Family Law Spokane.

As for the disappointing performance, we made big changes to the car removing all aero and raising the ride height by an inch on all corners and switched from Hoosiers to a wider BFG R1. We did this with the idea that the car would be slipperier in a straight line and most importantly preserve our only set of tires for the weekend. The results were a loss of 3 seconds per lap on average and a car that James and Brian struggled with all weekend. We now know what not to do for the 8+2 Enduro season closer at Portland International Raceway on October 18th and look forward to finishing the season strong and maybe earning Brian an overall Enduro Championship for Group 8.

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Keys to our success at The Ridge, and more pictures

I thought it would be a good idea to detail how our old and abused BMW 325is made it to the finish line of 6 Hours on The Ridge Motorsports Park. Obviously the biggest key to any teams success are the crew members. Brian and myself are not behind the wheel without everyone involved and some friends in the paddock, THANK YOU, TEAM!

Brendan at Absent Speed Factory built us a custom locking 3.91 race differential which was simply amazing putting the power down out of the corners, even two-wheeling at times in 4th gear coming out turn 3. I cannot give enough praise on this unit and strongly believe being able to put the power down early helped us run the 2nd fastest time there out of 4 E36s despite having the least amount of horsepower compared to our competitors.

Our donated Cyclops Salvage M52 2.8l Engine tuned by Michon Dini and ZF 5-Speed Transmission held-up to continuous abuse for the entire weekend and kept on running despite blowing a water line in a practice session grinding the engine to a halt. After fixing the line water temps kept cool with the help of a S54 radiator and 14″ Electric Fan. Oil temperatures were helped with the addition of a Mishimoto Dualpass Oilcooler and Ireland Engineering oil filter housing cap finished off our cooling setup.  We love the durability of the M52 and hope to pick up a couple more from Josh and Cyclops Salvage in the future.

Our brakes and the handling of our car was simply astounding. Hard Motorsport Brake Ducts with Hawk HT10 Pads, Centric Blanks and 275 Hoosiers stuffed under Hard Motorsport Fender Flares showed no fade over the course of 6 hours and continued to give us the constant feel you want on the track. We’re still running the same pads we started with last June and I don’t expect to have to change them until the Portland Enduro in October. Great pad when combined with proper cooling for half the price of a PFC.

Motorsport Hardware race studs and nuts continue impress us with their durability. We probably had our wheels off 15 times over the course of the weekend and then ran 6 hot hours without any issues from the hardware keeping our wheels bolted down. Thank you Ryan and Motorsport Hardware.

With success there is room for improvement and development. Our differential and tranmissions cooler pumps were a nightmare and need to be addressed before we can run them. Thankfully again our equipment held-up without the need of additional cooling during the race. Our VAC Steering Wheel Quick Disconnect failed on us, thankfully in the paddock. The design of that product is beyond scary and we will not be purchasing again for safety concerns. And finally our Next Level Automotive provided VMR Wheels were just a bit too aggressive with a 285 BFG R1 and we ended up destroying a tire. We have a plan to make these fit but the R1 might just be too wide with this offset in the long run.

And finally here are some more pictures taken by various photographers including our good friend Ed Gorman, Ron Standley and Therese Lombardi Photography. Thank you everyone for continuing to come out and shoot these events, your dedication is much appreciated.

6 Hours on The Ridge by Doug Berger

We purchased a picture package from Doug Berger of DBPics.COM and could not be happier with the art that Doug turns out time and time again. Looking at these pictures makes me feel like we are back at The Ridge. Thank you Doug! These are just a few of our favorites. If you feel compelled and want to support the person who made these pictures possible, please do so at DBPICS.COM.

6 Hours on The Ridge Motorsports Park Recap

I could write a trilogy that Peter Jackson would be proud of on the things that went wrong leading up to the race, Saturday during the Test and Tune and right into qualifying on Sunday morning. Doing so would take away from the fact that we not only finished our first long endurance race but we took home our first podium, 2nd step in E0 behind our friends at Lowe Group Racing and Jim McAdie in his amazing E46 GTR Widebody. That said, our crew members did an amazing job diagnosing and resolving issues as soon as they came up. Whether it was wiring or stripped bolts, they came up with a solution and got us through the 6 Hours on The Ridge Motorsports Park as we intended to do. Words cannot express my gratitude to Ian Olsen, Jared Correia, Brendan & Ashley McIntire, Tommy Ridgeway, Adam Harding, Jake Dunkin, Michon Dini, Alexander Bahr and Seth Palmanteer.  You guys kicked ass!

Brian Bogdon did an amazing job coming in this weekend sharing co-driver duties with myself while Adam Harding from Hard Motorsport refueled for us since we lost a crew member last minute. Thank you Adam for sacrificing your track time for the sake of the team! And a big THANK YOU to Brian Bogdon for not only doing an amazing job taking care of the car, but for bringing a much needed calming presence to the group. You will always be welcomed to drive one of our cars. Great drive, Brian!

We cannot say how thankful we are for the ICSCC and IRDC Volunteers who spend their free time to watch over us on the track. While we battled issues, the Corners Workers and Stewards were very patient with us all weekend while we resolved issues normally found on track days. Thank you EVERYONE for being there for us when we can’t see what is going on. You’re the most important part of the race weekend and always will be.

And finally, our Sponsors who help us out as much they can without anything in return but to be involved and updated, THANK YOU.

Absent Speed Factory | Cyclops SalvageDataPro Solutions | Family Law Spokane | Hard Motorsport | Next Level Automotive | NW Autoworks | Northwest BMW Club

Pictures, pictures, pictures and more pictures are on the way from multiple photographers. In the meantime here is an amazing picture from our friend Doug Berger of DBPics.COM. Thank You Doug!

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Ridge Ready

After 3 long weeks we have our #362 BMW E36 325is Racecar ready for an alignment and Dyno at Advanced Auto Fabrication. I would have to write a book to go over everything we did in the last 10 days. Ian, Jared and I battled issues with the car every step of the way but we kept pushing and I don’t see any reason why we will not be racing this coming weekend at The Ridge Motorsports Park. Big update to come after the race weekend.

The Race before The Race

Last weekend was a blur for our team while preparing the car at NW Autoworks. Brendan from Absent Speed Factory delivered our custom built race differential’s and a spare ZF transmission.  Ian installed the ASF differential and rebuilt our 200k miles E36 M3 axles using Redline CV2 grease (makes all the difference in the world on a rebuild). Jared installed our Hard Motorsport V2 Fender Flares from start to finish.  Alex stopped by and helped install the dash and cleanup the wiring as well as assisted Jared with building a steering column bracket.  Mirrors were resprayed, catch-can installed, driveshaft installed, shifter hooked up, gas tank re-installed (3 times), and fire bottle were all also completed over the weekend.  Thank you everyone for your efforts!

This week we need to get the engine running, deliver it to Chad at Exhaust Solutions to fix our leaky exhaust and dyno, and then deliver the car to Advanced Auto Fabrication for a corner balance and alignment.  The race is on…