Windy would be an understatement for our first event held at Front Range Airport 14 April! 60+ brave souls brushed off 37mph winds (gusts up to 45mph!) to navigate through a sea of mostly stationary cones and the occasional mobile chicane, aka fast moving tumbleweeds! At one point I watched a tumbleweed outpace a Porsche Cayman R through the second esses… good for a laugh but a nightmare for the timing & scoring guys who were constantly having the timing lights tripped by debris.
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the BMWCCA has two major car categories for your BMW; street tire and race tire. Within these major categories, beamers are subcategorized by their level of peppiness A-E with A being the top class. Even nuttier than A class is the X class or expert class, and the ladies class always has close competition.
DS consistently has a large group of competitors with a wide variety of car models. After a year of driving alone in ES, Fox Chung decided to campaign his lovely 1987 535is in DS just as David Clary brought his cool 1995 540i/6 out. David was the lone competitor in ES, and he won his class! Tad Kaminski running the new BFG Rivals on his 2002 325Ci took top spot, beating out super smooth Robert Critchley by almost a second. The top 4 drivers in DS were all within 1.5 seconds of each other; this will be a fun category to watch this season!
CS was a small group, only 3 competitors & 2 cars; however it was a great battle between first Generation M cars. Caleb Levonas and Karl Parsons shared Karls 1988 M3 while Eric Long drove his too-fast-for-DS-class 1988 M5. Caleb decided to forgo using the brake pedal and wheeled a time neither Karl nor Eric could come close to. I have a feeling Karl tinkered with the M3’s suspension over the winter months as the M3 was nicely planted all day.
With 9 entrants, BS was one of the larger groups, and great to watch with both MINI’s and BMW’s competing head to head. Kris Lee’s 2009 JCW MINI cleaned house running over 3 seconds faster than John Colemans 2005 MINI CooperS. James Dawkins super cool looking Orange 1 M was the fastest BMW in BS, taking a 4 way battle for 3rd place.
AS was dominated by M3’s of almost every generation with a lone M-coupe and a couple 330i’s rounding out the large 11 car field. Shane Kurowski dropped a second off his best morning run to clench 1st place. Less than ½ a second off Shanes fastest time Brett Kurowski took second and Bryce Kliewer beat the army of M3’s in his 2003 330i. Newcomer Matthew Petrocci drove his 2009 M3 in his first ever autocross, and shaved almost 30 seconds off his initial time over course of the day!
Karen Lange, our friendly registration expert dominated the ladies class all day driving her 1995 Daytona Violet M3. Kim Kliewer driving a 2002 330i took 2nd, just .057 seconds short of Karen’s fasted time! For the non-BMW drivers, Ryan Schossow piloted his 2006 Mitsubishi EVO to the top of the list with Tyler Jago close behind in his 2011 Subaru STi. Non-BMW street class had some really cool cars, from Salil Shukla’s fantastic looking Cayman R, to Eric Yeh’s sweet new Toybaru BRZ. The Porsche 914 used to dominate autocross and Rob Shilling’s 1975 914 looked like a nicely prepared example.
David Jobusch took 1st is X in his 1993 325is and also clenched the fastest time of the Day. Mark Baer grabbed 2nd, just .4 sec off David’s time, and Mark Smith drove his nutty Frankenstein Golf R32 to a 3rd place. X class drivers are often very fast and most also compete with other associations at a national level. I’ve found that watching and listening to them piloting the course while out on cone duty is a great way learn a section that is giving me a hard time. 4 drivers ran the course on R-comp tires with Brad Kettler winning the R class in his 1998 M3 while Geoffe Kamp ran the Daytona Violet 1995 M3 to a hard fought 2nd.
Event #2 is coming up quickly on April 28th at Pikes Peak International Raceway, and registration is already open. The Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Autocross School & car control clinic is being held the day before Event #2 and is a GREAT way to hone your skills or try out autocrossing for the first time. You can register for both events at rmcbmwcca.motorsportreg.com and you have until Wednesday the 24th at 6:00pm to sign up.
PPIR is located about 20 miles south of Colorado Springs, so if you need lodging, the BMW Club has special room rates at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs (South end of town right off I25). To make lodging reservations, call (719) 576-5900. Group rate is $82.00 per night, plus tax. Make sure to mention you belong to the BMW Club.
To view event results, season standings, BMW car classifications, or anything else related to autocrossing with the BMWCCA, check out our site at: http://autocross.rmcbmwcca.org/ax_season.php.
See you at the next event!