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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

BimmerWorld-84-Fire

BimmerWorld #84 Car Fire – Always Have a Plan

When it comes to on-track safety, you should always have a plan. That’s particularly true for fire safety, and you absolutely must get to a point where your reactions are second nature, so there’s less chance for error in your speedy exit from a burning BMW (or any trackday or race car).

The video below is a very scary and teachable moment from the start of our race week at the 2016 Sebring 150 with IMSA/CTSC. It certainly didn’t feel like we were heading to the podium when a high-pressure fuel injector failed, spraying a red-hot turbo with fuel and igniting the engine bay. Our Lifeline 3M Novec-based fire system squashed the fire, even as it was being fed fuel while heading to our pit stall, which was our best chance to ensure we limited our damage. With well-calculated decision making and a fast crew, we turned what could have been a dangerous disaster into a solid race weekend.

 

Always Have a Plan!

From the perspective of James Clay, BimmerWorld president and driver of our #84 BMW F30 328i when things started to get hot: 

“This is the first time I have been in a car fire, and I can tell you it is HOT! Instead of panicking, I made a few decisions in a row that weren’t necessarily standard process, but all led to bringing both myself and our car in safely.

If I hadn’t drilled in the standard process and contingency options in advance, I would have had much bigger problems. Fire is scary (I have had 3rd degree burns all over twice in my life – not fun), and it would be tremendous if how smoothly this can go with the proper equipment, installation, and processes is as widely discussed as the horror of what happens when it doesn’t go right, or the equipment is sub-par, or not installed or used correctly. You always hear about the guy that died on the track – maybe we need to hear more about the guy that came to a controlled stop in his pit box with a fuel fire raging without physical harm to any person, and minimal equipment damage. In a huge number of situations, this COULD be the reality with a little preparation.”

Here’s the in-car video, and make note of the fact that the electric fire button was pressed while entering pit lane, bringing the fire under control. What appears to be smoke in the cockpit is actually the atomized Novec, so James was still able to breathe comfortably while preparing the crew over the radio.

Also note that this was a test day, so stopping in another team’s box with no warning and expecting them to be prepared when there is no refueling on pit lane would be more than optimistic. Our team was ready with multiple bottles because James was on the radio talking through the situation since the entrance to pit lane. Remember, equipped doesn’t always mean ready, and our guys were both. This is also a strong reminder to drivers that don’t wear Nomex driving suits at HPDEs and track days: Fire doesn’t care what day it is!

 

Foam Versus Novec

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) and other foam suppressants are good when it comes to suffocating a fire, but they work in 2D – if the foam doesn’t fully smother the fire, the problem isn’t solved. Foam has to “see” and touch the fire to work.

Novec is a 3D extinguishant – it lives in the full space, not just on the surface. This makes the the entire area unable to sustain a fire. Pound for pound, it takes more foam and many more nozzles to fully cover an area because you have to cover all surfaces.  Think of it as though you were trying to paint your engine with pre-positioned paint nozzles… You have one chance to spray a full coat of paint on every surface, including  the nooks and crannies. That’s not an issue with atomized Novec.

Powder is another agent with very good fire knock-down capabilities, but the vibration in a race environment compresses the powder in the cylinder, preventing it from discharging properly when you need it most. Consider that to be a warning to those who strap in a cheap hardware store handheld unit! The car environment is very unique compared to building or other applications.

Novec is also non-toxic and environmentally safe. It’s a 3D extinguishant, but it kills fire with a chemical reaction, so it is atomized in the air and allows you to breathe it with no side effects.

Learn More

Want to know more about Lifeline, Novec, and fire safety? Give us a call at 877-639-9648 or email info@bimmerworld.com – you don’t have to learn the hard way about how to properly protect both YOU and your track day or racing car.

 

 


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