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Hyperfest 2016 VIR BMW

HyperFest at VIR 2016

Something for Everyone

HyperFest at VIR has been the East Coast event for motorsports enthusiasts for 15 years, and this year’s event was no different. Whether you like road racing, drifting, HPDEs, karting or off-road racing, or even if you prefer car shows, camping, lawn mower racing or just spectating while celebrating your love of cars, HyperFest has something for everyone.

With VIRginia International Raceway being in our own backyard, and with our lust for all things fast, our participation goes without saying.


Friday – Testing & Practice Repairs

The HyperFest weekend officially starts on Friday. While most attendees who are set to compete through the weekend are  there to test and practice for the racing events, this is also the big day for the Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge (UTCC) presented by Grassroots Motorsports. Since this is an all-out battle with a wide variety of cars showing up to fight for the title of Ultimate Track Car, multiple awards get handed out at the end of the day. BimmerWorld was proud to present the Fastest BMW award to Joey Atterbury in his incredibly quick widebody 135i that put down a 1:50.486, making it the third fastest car in that event.
BimmerWorld Porsche GT2
James Clay had the honor of piloting the “Widow Maker” GT2 with 800Hp of high-strung Porsche power. 

James drove Alex May’s 800Hp Porsche GT2 in Friday’s UTCC, and he was also the head of our small BimmerWorld team intending to use Friday to test and practice in the No. 46 BimmerWorld Spec E46. Unfortunately, we got sidelined with a transmission that needed replacing, but because BMW racers are such an incredibly generous and helpful group, we were able to find a transmission to borrow for the weekend… Only to find out the borrowed transmission would need replacement, too. That’s racer’s luck, but thanks to John Kopp from RaceWerkz in Virgina Beach and one of his very kind customers, we were able to get another transmission delivered by Friday night. Brandon and Q were able to dig in and get the working transmission installed successfully by Saturday morning.


Saturday – Let the Motorsports Mayhem Begin!

Saturday was off to a great start with the new-to-us transmission installed and ready to go. Well, it was almost off to a great start. If Friday’s events weren’t enough proof of how great our group of racer friends is, Saturday sure was. We quickly realized we had a bad shifter, selector rod, and selector rod joint, but we were able to borrow some parts from Sri Haputantri of Sri Racing, LLC to help get us sorted, and we were lucky to have Chad Morehead of Morehead Motor Works parked next to us in the paddock, as he was happy to lend a helping hand to get the repairs completed in time.

Cameron Evans had to miss out on Saturday’s qualifying session due to the repairs, but he did manage to slip in a quick test lap in order to make sure everything on the Spec E46 BMW 330i was working properly. Maybe that was just the pressure he needed, as Cameron started in 15th but managed to work his way up to 5th place before the checkered flag came out. James continued with Cameron’s momentum by taking a 1st-place finish later that day in the PTB class with the SE46 car.

One of the many great things about HyperFest is that there’s plenty to see and do when you’re not on track, so we managed to get a few friends together to explore the HyperFest party. We caught some of the drifting action on the Patriot Course and between turns 3, 4, and 5a when they moved to the Full Course later in the day. Plenty of tire smoke and good times.

Hyperfest 2016 drifting

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

BimmerWorld Spec E46 SE46
No. 46 BimmerWorld SE46 all shined up and ready to race!

Any day you don’t have to rush to replace parts on your race car is a good one, so Sunday was a great day. The weather was constantly changing from warm and sunny to cold and overcast and back again, so we were chasing down a good setup to get us the quickest lap times we could find. With James racing in SE46 and Cameron in PTB, both drivers started in P3 for the respective races. James fought his way to the front and had an incredibly tight battle with Ali Salih who squeezed in a photo-finish first place by just 0.004 of a second! Cameron fought hard in PTB, too, and was able to hold on to his starting position with a 3rd-place finish. There was plenty of on-track excitement, and it all worked out for some great racing and exciting finishes across the board.

Between all the racing, spectating, and promoting of our BimmerWorld contingency programs, we somehow managed to slip in enough time to connect with several of our customers and racer friends. Okay, maybe it was the racing that was slipped in with the socializing, but either way… We found plenty of time to do everything we love, and while there were some huge downpours of rain, the track stayed dry for all the “HyperFestivities,” so it was a great weekend all around with plenty of good times on track and off.


Event Gallery by James Clay

Awesome iPhone Gallery by Brandon Marshall

500,000-mile BMW E46 dash

The 500,000-Mile BMW E46 Party

Celebrating 500K miles in a BimmerWorld-serviced BMW E46

There are many reasons we love our BMWs. Performance and handling capabilities are obviously at the top of the list, but reliability is right up there, too. Many of us in the BimmerWorld office have driven hundreds of thousands of miles spread over multiple BMW models, but none of us can match our friend and customer Clemens von Claparède. His BimmerWorld-serviced 2000 E46 323Ci just came in to celebrate a huge milestone… 500,000 miles!

Clemens is the president of L.H. Corp., which specializes in high-precision machined parts, so it’s no surprise he was drawn to BMW’s precision quality. What is surprising is the fact that he’s managed to put half a million miles on his beloved E46 323Ci in just 17 years. Purchased new in 1999 from Flow Motors in Winston-Salem, NC, Clemens got the car fully loaded, and that included the built-in phone BMW used to offer. Fancy!

The only modification performed over the last 17 years on this 500,000-mile BMW was when Clemens had the stock exhaust replaced with a straight-through exhaust system for more sound. That’s understandable since the 323 isn’t known for its overly sporty sound from the factory.


How to put half of a million miles on your BMW

How has he managed to put half of a million miles on his BMW without a single major issue? Routine maintenance and Red Line synthetic oil! Thanks to the synthetic oil, Clemens has generally managed to put on 30,000 miles or more between oil changes (no, that’s not a typo for all you internet oil warriors), and the car has never burned more than a quart per 3,000-5,000 miles. Note: That’s not to say we recommend such long intervals between oil changes… Fuel dilution and sludge are your engine’s enemies, but this car always drives more than short trips (obviously), so the oil has always been fully warmed up.

Maintenance and services have been performed by BimmerWorld for most of this BMW’s life, and aside from overhauling the VANOS unit when it began to rattle, fixing a cooling fan, and replacing multiple sets of brake pads and rotors and suspension components, we’ve never had to do any major work on the car. Even an incident between the mighty E46 323Ci and a brave groundhog resulted in nothing more than a couple of replaced control arms – and a groundhog that didn’t make out quite as well. In fact, with all the long-distance and interstate mileage the car has accumulated, one of the most amazing facts about Clemens’ car is that it’s still on the original clutch.


How to celebrate your 500,000-mile BMW

Reaching such a huge milestone on a daily commute wouldn’t be much of a celebration, so Clemens brought his car in with just enough room on the odometer where we were able to strap it down on our dyno and do it properly… With a nice drive on the rollers to officially tick over to 500,000 miles.

500,000-mile BMW E46 on dyno with balloons

It’s not every day we get a 500,000-mile BMW in the shop, and it’s safe to say this is the first ever, so with this level of excitement over such a significant achievement, a normal dyno run would be a bit boring. We decided to make it a real party, and everyone knows you can’t have a birthday party or any big celebration without balloons.

500,000 mile BMW E46 dyno and balloons

All dressed up and somewhere to go, the might E46 323Ci is officially ready for its birthday party.

500,000-mile BMW E46 ticking over on the dyno

And there’s the moment of glory that was at risk of happening at street-legal speeds and possibly going unnoticed. Instead, we did it right… Letting it run up to 6,000 RPM and 105 MPH just so the car could celebrate, too. A birthday dyno run would be worthless without some numbers, and since we know the question will come up, the car with the million-mile potential put down a fuel-saving but reliable 142Hp and 149ft-lb at the wheels.


Caught on video

Of course, we had to catch the actual moment on video, and although it was too loud to hear the celebration going on in the background, we were all honored to be a part of this big moment. And we’re all in competition mode now to see who can be next to reach 500,000 miles, but at this rate, there’s a good chance Clemens will touch a million miles before that happens.

6 Hours on The Ridge BimmerWorld

6 Hours on The Ridge – 2016

Talk about living the good life. That’s exactly how it felt at the 6 Hours on the Ridge, spending a great weekend with our friends and customers. The Ridge is a relatively new facility that opened in May of 2012 in Shelton, WA, and it’s got a great track layout with an amazingly scenic view; we were treated to a snow-covered Mt. Rainier as our backdrop for the entire weekend.


A weekend at the track means a weekend with friends

When we’re not in the BimmerWorld office, we all like to get out and spend time with the BMW community, and that often involves heading out to club events, track weekends, and races all over the country. James Clay, BimmerWorld president and complete track junkie, can often be found digging in with friends and customers trackside to help with car setup and share some of his own learning experiences. Not only do we get to hang out, we can give back and get first-hand experience with what issues people are having and what trends or region-specific needs we can help with. These weekends also give James a good chance to spend time with several of our BimmerWorld dealers around the country. The weekend at The Ridge was no exception, giving the perfect opportunity to visit with a few BW dealer friends in the Washington area, like Advance Auto Fab, Bristow’s Exclusive Auto Repair, Grip Racing, and Lowe Group Racing.

Anyone who’s met James or spent any time with him learns immediately that the cars, track days, racing, and motorsports in general are just an elaborate excuse to spend time with the people as much as anything else. It’s really all about the time we get to enjoy with our friends, whether on track or off.


AiM Data – School’s in Session

Saturday was all about testing, and all the teams were working on getting dialed in with the track and car setup for the 6-hour endurance race on Sunday. The highlight was the Saturday evening data acquisition seminar put on by our good friend and occasional substitute driver for our pro team, James Colborn, along with help from BimmerWorld drivers James Clay, Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas. The group put on a much-appreciated lesson, sharing the fundamentals of working with data in a racing environment, specifically with the wildly popular AiM Solo. This also marked the start of several data seminars Colborn will be presenting through the Conference season.

James Colborn AiM seminar
James Colborn teaching everyone the intricacies of data acquisition and what to do with the AiM-sourced data once you have it.

ICSCC, or “Conference,” is the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs made up of several sports car clubs in the U.S. and Canada, making the largest racing sanctioning body in the Pacific Northwest. This also happens to be the first sanctioning group to adopt Spec E46, so they obviously know the makings of a good race class when they see one.

6 Hours on The Ridge with close Spec E46 racing
There was plenty of good, close Spec E46 racing at every turn of the 6 Hours on The Glen enduro. (Photo courtesy of Doug Berger – scroll down for gallery.)


Spec E46 Continues to Grow – And Win

Sunday was the big 6 Hours on the Ridge endurance race where it was once again proven that Spec E46 is a solid racing class that’s here to stay with constantly growing numbers. It was a great turnout with nearly 30 teams spread out among various classes, and BimmerWorld’s Dan Rogers finished at the top of the podium for the second time in three years at this same event.

The racing was great, the track and facilities were perfect, and the surroundings were breathtaking, but the real highlight was spending an entire weekend on track alongside our friends.

6 Hours on The Ridge with James Clay and man's best fan
It doesn’t matter how soon the green flag is going to drop, there’s always time for extreme closeups of dogs. (Photo courtesy of Doug Berger – scroll down for gallery.)


Race Gallery by Doug Berger

Event Gallery by James Clay

GRM cover E46 3-Series

GRM picks the E46 as one of the best cars ever

We got a chance to see a preview of the June issue of Grassroots Motorsports magazine, and it turns out the editors continue to have very good opinions over there. The cover story is about the Best Cars For $5000, and the E46 gets the nod as one of the best cars ever. No arguments here!

There’s a reason the E46 3-Series is one of our favorite cars to play with, and it’s not just because there were around 3.5 million produced with over 800k of them sold in the US, although that sure doesn’t hurt the current pricing on them. The Spec E46 racing class is growing at a wild pace due to the capability of these cars even in a tame stage of modification.  Even if you aren’t going racing but you want a great street car or track performer, the well-balanced E46 chassis, good power, incredible reliability, and large selection of the right BimmerWorld performance parts to dial it in… What’s not to love?

We’ve enjoyed a great, long-term relationship with the crew at Grassroots Motorsports, helping them with many BMW project cars and tech stories, so they’ve set up a special subscription promo to commemorate the E46 being chosen. BimmerWorld customers can follow this link or click the image below to get a discounted subscription price of just $16.99. And if you order before May 15th, your first issue will be this June issue.

GRM June 2016 cover


BimmerWorld Confirms Two Turbocharged BMW 328s as Part of 4-Car IMSA Street Tuner Program

BimmerWorld’s race-winning IMSA Continental Tire Series team will return in 2015 with two new BMWs that represent the future for the aftermarket and tuning specialists in the Street Tuner category.

The Virginia-based BMW experts made history as the first North American team to earn a professional victory with the brand’s E90-based 328i in 2006, and went on to score numerous wins with their in-house developed E90s in two different pro racing series.


BimmerWorld Closes 2014 Season with Pair of Top-10s at Road Atlanta

The BMW aftermarket and tuning experts at BimmerWorld have built a reputation as one of the finest racing teams in the Continental Tire Series paddock, and with another top-5 finish in the Championship, the Virginia-based squad has maintained its presence among the sport’s elite programs.

The season finale last weekend at Road Atlanta didn’t deliver the win BimmerWorld sought, and with victory as the only goal team owner/driver James Clay and his team strive for, it was clear he wanted more than two of his four cars placing inside the top-10.

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