Saturday, November 01, 2008

Road America - On The Track

Click any photo to enlarge.

I mentioned several posts ago that my dad and myself were invited by a business associate to Road America. We were there early in summer to see some vintage motorcycle races. This time a club rented the whole track out for a weekend of driving.

Our friend has three cars of his own. They are all BMW M3 models, souped up to the nines. Here is the operation. They own the cars, the big ass truck and a bunch of other stuff.
This is the trunk lid of the car you see on the far left in the photo above. This was a topic of conversation as it is made of some sooper seekrit fantastic fiber - and costs $26,000. Just for. The. Trunk. Lid. Inside the trunk you can see what looks like a battery in the corner. That is actually part of a cooling system that pumps cold water through the drivers suit. Pretty cool.
Here is the interior of one of the cars. You can see that the steering wheel needs to be fitted on after the driver is snug in there.
And here is another car inside.
Here is the power plant of one of the M3s.
We got several rides on the course and it was amazing. The drivers kept checking and asking if I was OK - apparently they have had several instances of people getting motion sick. That has really never been an issue with me. Didn't bother my dad either.
In the front straight we were going about 140mph. But that wasn't the kick - the kick was going around sharp turns at 50. These cars stuck to the ground like glue. I simply couldn't believe that we weren't spinning out all the time. Pretty cool.
The type of driving that they were doing wasn't exactly racing. They would jockey for position and then the driver in front, realizing that he was out maneuvered would "point to pass" - in other words, he would point out the window, move aside and let the person behind him drive past. It is a very safe way to do it. We only saw one wipeout the whole time we were there - a Porsche stuffed it into a guard rail (very lightly).
The drivers said that they really liked the Road America track. It is very long and fun to drive according to them.
This was quite an experience. I wish I could have gotten photos or video from inside the car, but they didn't allow anything loose in the cockpits, for obvious reasons.
As a gift I sent a large box of Wisconsin sausages to our associate. Too bad for him they arrived the day he left for Italy. Upon his return two weeks later those sausages had to be disposed of in the proper fashion. Ugh. Well, it was the thought that counts. I hope he comes back next year so we can ride in the cars again.

1 comment:

Carl from Chicago said...

great pictures. Can't believe a trunk lid costs 26k though...