Jefferson Circuit at Summit Point

For me, this brings to a close my motorsports activities for 2006. On the weekend of November 11th, I attended my fourth BMW driver’s school. This school was on the Jefferson Circuit at Summit Point, the same place as my first event of the year. Saturday was a beautiful Fall day, but Sunday was just plain nasty. Wind and rain all day, making for a slippery track. Slippery is actually good for a MINI driver (any front wheel drive car for that matter). On Saturday in the dry I was probably about mid-pack for my run group, but on Sunday on the slippery stuff MINI lead the way. (Yes, this is not a competition. It’s about skill. No wagering….)

The day got off to a rather rocky start when my instructor put his E36 M3 into a tree on turn 5. He had almost completed a 180 degree spin on the track when he just ran out of track. We only slid 50 or 60 feet but it seemed to take forever. We came to rest in about a foot of water up against some trees. He had a pretty large dent in the left rear quarter panel. Once we pulled it out a bit it was drivable but his day was pretty well shot. To get out of the car, we had to take off socks and shoes and wade through the water. Not so much fun when it’s about 45 degrees outside.

In the end I think it was a very instructive day, however. The conditions were such that you were on the edge of losing control at very low speeds so you learned quickly to respond to what you car was doing. I’m already looking forward to picking up in the Spring.