2016 Season Recap- Part 4- The Hot Summer Months

A box among the Bats. My newly refurbished 1800 Ti got its first track test at the Northwest Historic in Seattle.

The mid part of our season consisted of races in Seattle and Portland, both events close to home.

The Northwest Historic put on by SOVREN are always a fun event. This year was no exception.

This weekend was especially fun in that I was able to track test my recently refurbished 1800 Ti. Terry Forland from Racecraft did a superb job of creating an homage to  proper mid-1960’s touring car. Here’s the short video I made of that test:

I had my trusty Koepchen 2002 at this event. The racing was very tight all weekend. I was in a large group of mixed production cars, sedans, and older sports racers. The grid of the race was mixed up because there was a rain shower for qualifying and some of the faster cars chose to start at the back of the field. Take a look at the video from the event:

The Portland Vintage Festival was the weekend following Seattle. I raced the 1800 Ti and my Chevron at this event.

The Chevron and I were still coming to terms. I was getting a much better feel for the car, but still needed to work on downshifts. I had a fun race with a Lola in the feature:

The race debut for the 1800 went really well. It ran flawlessly all weekend. I learned quite a bit about its idiosyncrasies and had a fun race with Steve Smith in his potent VW:

2016 Season Re-Cap- Part 3- Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

brake issues we need to sort.
Luigi is still having some brake issues we need to sort.

Our next race was at the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival put on by SVRA. Held each spring, it is a great event with lots of great cars, and big crowds of spectators. SVRA does a great job with this event. One of the highlights each year is the R&R party they put on on Saturday night.

At this event I raced the Willis Special and the Luigi CSL. Both cars ran well all weekend, and I was able to finish 7th with the Willis and 6th in the CSL with a best lap of 1:53.4.

John Murray and Ed Matuisha are two people we enjoy spending time with at the races.

I ran pretty much all alone in the Willis. The car slots in between the much faster F1 cars and the much slower cars in the group. One of the great things about this group is the sites and sounds and smells of all the old cars that run in this group.

My 1935 BMW 315/1, “The Willis Special,” in turn four.

The Willis is a very difficult car to drive. It is extremely loose in the rear end. This trait is particularly noticeable in the Carousel where the road drops constantly as you make the 180 degree turn.

In the CSL I had a great race long battle with Bill Lyon in his 914/6 Porsche. We have raced together many times and we always have fun, close racing. At some tracks he is quicker, and at some I am quicker.

Sonoma seems to favor my CSL because of the torque the car has. I am able to really pull Bill coming out of the slower corners.

Here’s the video from the weekend. Hope you enjoy it:

 

2016 Season Re-Cap Pt. 2- April in California


 Our opening races of the year were down in California- the David Love Memorial at Sonoma, and the HMSA Spring event at Laguna Seca.

These races would be my first chance to drive my newly acquired Chevron B16 so I was excited for the season to begin. I also raced my trusty Koepchen 2002.

My 2002 races in Group 8 which is a mixture of mid and large bore production cars and sedans. Sonoma is ideal suited to the 2002 so they do very well there against the larger engined cars.

I started about mid pack and had a great race with John Murray in his 2002, and Gary Cook in his 240Z. My best lap time for the weekend was 1:59.3. Here’s the link to the video of that race:

This was also my first opportunity to drive the Chevron B16 I purchased over the winter. We had to make some modifications to the car so I could even fit into it. We trimmed the bottom of the dash for my knees, took out the dead pedal, and put some spacers in the drivers side window to give me a little more head room.

My first experience driving the B16. What a Ride!

My objective for this first race was to just get comfortable in the car. It is significantly different than driving my other cars. It is a purpose built race car with a lot more speed than anything else I own.

This Chevron has a BMW m10 motor in it. It produces about 220 HP and is very tractable. It pulls hard from about 4,000 RPM up to its red line. The brakes are phenomenal, much more effective than any of my other cars. It has amazing amounts of grip, yet is quite neutral and predictable in the corners.

The weekend following Sonoma we went to Laguna Seca for the HMSA Spring Event.

I had another great race with John Murray in our 2002’s. I was able to beat him this weekend by out braking him going into the Cork Screw and holding him off for 6 laps. A lot of fun!

The Chevron and I continued to get to know each other. Unfortunately I broke a half-shaft in the car during the race and had to retire.

Here’s the video:

Re-Cap of Our 2016 Season, Part-1

Celebrating 100 years as the ultimate driving machine! Our big event was the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, CA.

It’s been a while since I have put a post up on this blog and for that I apologize. We have had a very busy year and I have neglected reporting on it here.

In all we attended 10 races this past season. Following the Amelia Island Concours our race season began in early April. We raced the following events:

Apr 1-3

Sonoma

David Love Memorial

Chevron, K2002

Apr 9-10

Laguna Seca

Spring Club Event

Chevron, K2002

April 29-May 1

Pacific Raceway

Spring Sprints

700, K2002

June 4-5

Sonoma

Sonoma Historics

CSL, 315

July 1-3

Pacific Raceway

Northwest Historics

700, 1800TI

July 7-10

Portland

Portland Historics

CSL, 2002TA

Aug 13-14

Laguna Seca

Pre-Reunion

2002TA, Chevron, CSL

Aug 18-21

Laguna Seca

Rolex Reunion

315, 700, 1800Ti, CSL, Chevron

Sept 3-4

Portland

Columbia River Classic

K2002

Sept 30-Oct 2

Sonoma

Charity Challenge

K2002, Chevron

Oct 28-30

Thunderhill

Fall Finale

K2002

I will endeavor to post a report of each race with a link to the video over the next few weeks.

Luigi Does the Amelia Island Concours

Hans Stuck drove Luigi at the 1976 ETCC race held at the famous Nurburgring.
Hans Stuck drove Luigi at the 1976 ETCC race held at the famous Nurburgring.

We had the privilege of attending this years Amelia Island Concours and bringing along Luigi. He was driven by Hans Stuck in 1976 at the famous Nurburgring in the ETCC race, and since this year’s honored driver was Hans Stuck we got the call.

Friday night after cruising the displays of trophies, auction cars, and vender tables all at the Ritz Carlton, we attended the BMW dinner in honor of Stuck.

Saturday morning we unloaded the car in time to catch the end of the Cars & Coffee before heading off to the BMW Drivers seminar.

The panel of drivers for this seminar consisted of Boris Said, Bill Auberlin, David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Hans Stuck, and John Fitzpatrick. It was a spell-binding 2 hours of funny stories, friendly banter, and great BMW history.

Luigi was a part of the official event photo honoring Hans Stuck's great racing career.
Luigi was a part of the official event photo honoring Hans Stuck’s great racing career.

Following the seminar we had too get back to the car and drive him out on the field for the “Cars of Hans Stuck” official photo shoot. The group included the BMW X5 with the 700 HP Le Mans winning V-12 in it that Hans drove around the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes.

We then parked the car in its assigned spot on the concours field and headed back to our motel for the night.

By 10:00 the event was packed. It was difficult to even walk around to look at the other cars.
By 10:00 the event was packed. It was difficult to even walk around to look at the other cars.

Sunday morning came with a threat of rain. We were told that all events would be wrapped up by 3:00 in hopes of beating the rain. The crowds poured in at 9:00 AM, and by 10:00 it was packed! I was told that over 35,000 people attended this year.

We had entered Luigi to be judged in the “Cars of Hans Stuck” group. Our judges included German driver Jochen Mass, former Porsche racing director Norbert Singer, and Steven Pastiener.

Luigi won an Amelia Award in our group!
Luigi won an Amelia Award in our group!

Needless to say we were floored when we were awarded Amelia Award for our class. This is a real tribute to the work of Jim Froula, Terry Forland, and the rest of the skilled guys at Racecraft.

Both Mary and I were thrilled to be a part of this spectacular event. It was a weekend full of wonderful memories.

Me and Stuckie
IMG_3873

Here’s a video of our weekend:

Luigi Gets a New Heart

You may remember that last year at the Rolex Pre-reunion races the #1 main bearing in Luigi let go with catastrophic results. The failure was due to oil starvation, which was caused by the inability of the old Alpina dry-sump pump to keep up with the demands of the engine.

Oil starvation caused the #1 main bearing to let go.
Oil starvation caused the #1 main bearing to let go.

 

After some careful consultation with Terry Tinney we decided to build an engine based on the European M90 block and a modern oil pump.

The new engine went on the dyno last week, and the results are impressive.Luigi On The Dyno

The new engine displaces 3.5 liters and is putting out 360 HP, with between 260 and 290 pound feet of torque between 4,000 and 7,000 RPM.

Here’s a link to Tinney’s Facebook page with a short video of it running:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Terry…483343?fref=ts

Dorothy Arrives!

Dorothy on her pallet arrives at SEATAC.
Dorothy on her pallet arrives at SEATAC.

Mary and I went up to SEATAC last week to collect the new Chevron.

The car was trucked from Perugia, Italy up to England, then put on a plane from Heathrow to Seattle.

She arrived with no damage despite being longer than her pallet. All 4 pallets of her spares came too.

Mary meet Dorothy. Dorothy meet Mary.
Mary meet Dorothy. Dorothy meet Mary.
One of the boxes of spare parts that came with the car.
One of the boxes of spare parts that came with the car.

Here’s a short video of the event:

Redoing the 1800Ti- Part 2

All the metal work has been completed on the shell and it has been powder coated on the interior, the engine bay, the trunk area, inside the doors and fenders.IMG_3787

The powder coating is more durable than regular paint. It is also easier to clean and doesn’t need waxing.

After this Terry will be hanging the doors and fenders on the shell and it will go off to the painter.IMG_3786

Redoing the 1800Ti

In preparation for the big race weekend this August in Monterey we are redoing the 1800Ti into a period correct vintage racer like this famous car:

BMW 1800 wins the 24-hours race at Spa Francorchamps 1966.
BMW 2000Ti wins the 24-hours race at Spa Francorchamps 1966.

We have a lot of work to do to my car to make it look and act like this one. My car was originally built to run in the Carrera Pan-Americana but due to a falling out between the owner and BMW NA it never ran in that race.

It was heavily modified, and we modified it further to make it a better track race car. It had custom rear trailing arms, no dashboard, door frames cut out, exhaust tunnel inside the passenger compartment- just to name a few.

Once the shell was striped, Terry began the necessary metal work.
Once the shell was striped, Terry began the necessary metal work.

The first step was to completely strip the shell, media blast it, and begin fixing all the rust, bent panels, and other necessary metal work.

A new rear seat pedestal and back brace were fabricated so we can put the back seat back in the car.
A new rear seat pedestal and back brace were fabricated so we can put the back seat back in the car.

One big issue was fabricating a new  pedestal and rear brace for the back seat. Those bits had been cut completely out of the car to reduce weight.

The bottoms of all the doors required new panels due to rust issues.
The bottoms of all the doors required new panels due to rust issues.

All four doors required new lower patch panels due to rust issues.

While all this metal work was going on the suspension, fuel, electrical, and other parts were being refreshed and repainted. Here they all are waiting to go back on the car.

All the bits refreshed and repainted, ready to go back on the car.
All the bits refreshed and repainted, ready to go back on the car.

There is still a lot of work to do on the car, but progress is being made. Thanks to Terry Forland and Travis Koch at Racecraft for all their hard work.

Check back in a few weeks for the next update.

Chevron B16

One desire that I have long had is to drive a purpose built race car. That may, at first, sound a bit strange. What do I drive now if not race cars?

There is a big difference between a race car derived from a production car and a purpose built race car. No matter how refined and developed the production based race car is, it is still, in large measure, a compromise.

A purpose built race car, by conception and design, has a single purpose- to go as fast as possible within the rule set under which it is raced.

I have driven only one other purpose built race car, and that was a formula car at the Bondurant school I went to 10 years ago. It was a lot of fun, and quite a bit different than the Corvettes we were also driving that weekend.

So I went ahead and bought a car. Here it is:

My newest race car, a 1970 Chevron B16 named "Dorthy."
My newest race car, a 1970 Chevron B16 named “Dorthy.”

It is a 1970 Chevron B16. It has a 2 liter BMW M10 engine producing about 215 HP. It weighs 1300 pounds without me. It should be a pretty fun ride.

The car was actually built in 2006 as a ‘continuation car.’ What that means is that it was built by Chevron using the exact jigs, materials, and parts as the original B16s.

Chevron built only 23 original B16’s between 1968 and 1970. These original cars are highly sought after, and fetch very high prices when they do come to market. Here is a link to a compilation of the race history of the B16 between 1968 and 1974:

http://www.racingsportscars.com/type/Chevron/B16.html

My car is currently being trucked from Italy to England where it will be stored until we receive the EPA waiver we have applied for. Once we receive the waiver the car will be put on a plane and flown to SEA-TAC airport.

Stay tuned!

Here is a video featuring my car and its former owner:

Here are some additional photos of my car:

IMG_3570 (Upload) IMG_3579 (Upload) IMG_3385 (Upload) IMG_3580 (Upload)

Chevron 3 (Upload) IMG_3822 (Upload)