After a bit of a summer break, GeorgeCo was back at the track with the National Capital Chapter of BMW Car Club of America to instruct for 3 days at the Summit Point Main Circuit August 5-7, 2011. We ran the GeorgeCo E30 Powered by Beano on Friday and the GeorgeCo Blue MINI on Saturday and Sunday. I had two students this time out. My A Group Student was in an E36 M3 and my B Group Student was in an E30 much like mine. Both accomplished GeorgeCo’s Objectives for any Drivers’ School: 1–Have fun. 2–Learn Something. 3–Return home with your ego and your car undamaged.
The MINI is sporting a couple of new mods designed to improve brake cooling and reduce flex under braking. For the brake cooling we took a trip to the local Ace Hardware to get some ducting. Having previously removed the fog lights from the bumper cover and cut a hole in the wheel liners, we connected the two with some ducting to improve air-flow behind the wheels. At the Shenandoah in similar weather in June we saw brake caliper temps in excess of 650 degrees. This weekend, temps stayed below 600. Tough to say if it was from the improved ducting or just the differences in the two tracks, but $15 for a little insurance is well worth it. To firm up the chassis you will notice the red convertible chassis braces in the photo above. Not seen is the lower stress brace that reinforces the link between the sub-frame and frame. This was on sale a few months back so we snapped one up. Install is dead easy and can be done in about 10 minutes.
We got a break in the harsh summer weather we’ve been having here in the Mid-Atlantic and took full advantage of it with 3 glorious days at the track. We had a bit of rain on Saturday afternoon which spiced things up a bit as seen in this first video.
But once we came to grips with the lack of traction on the transitions to the patches, lap times dropped down to within a couple of seconds of our times in the dry. After the rain, the track never had the same level of grip as it did on Friday, but it did give us a chance to try out a new camera angle with the GeorgeCo RePlayXD camera.
We’re also still perfecting the Helmet-cam, but this video gives you bit of an idea of what is meant by keeping your eyes ahead of your hands. Watch for the head to turn before the turn-in point in the corners.