Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NASA @ Pikes Peak

I did a one day NASA Instructor Certification event at Pikes Peak Raceway last Saturday. It was a really interesting event, highly educational, and really fun. The weather was really cold, 23F when I arrived a 7am and never climbing above 40 all day.

The car was a mixed bag. It ran well, and the off-season weight loss (180 lbs) is aparent. The new super-ergonomic combo of steering wheel and tall "Jaffster" knob is really comfortable.

Unfortunately the event ended early when the upper radiator hose came off and the engine pumped all it's coolant on to the track. I never saw or felt if happen, I just smelled the sticky-sweet scent of coolant, and pulled in ASAP. I was lucky not to loose the motor.

It appears to be my fault as the clamp may not have been tightened completely as I was a little nervous about crushing the aluminum radiator nipple. It took a while to replace the coolant and by the time is was refilled my last session was over. Ces't la guerre.

Gone are original LTW wheels that came with the car. It was really hard to let them go -- they are my favorite BMW wheels and really suit the car. However their staggered sizing made them useless for the track so I replaced them with another set of Kosei K1s shod with Nitto NT01s in 255/40-17. I looked at a lot of track wheels, but in the end the low cost of the Koseis in 17x8.5 trumped more expensive wheels in 17x9.

I've been running the smaller 245/40s and will probably need to roll the rear fenders a bit to fit 255s on 8.5 w/40mm offset wheel.

No comments: