My college is one of the premier automotive universities in the nation. We have a diesel program, a high performance program, a giant dirt hill for climbing in bro trucks, and an Autocross club. I, however, am old, and in the business administration program through online classes. They did not expect me to show up at this student-only event.
“Sir, this is for students only,” I was told when I rolled up to registration.
“I actually AM a student here,” I replied, much to his surprise. But from there on out, I was treated as one of the gang. This was a very well-run event, and I had a blast.
First was “Inspection,” which consisted of a person:
- Looking under my hood to confirm that there was indeed an engine in there.
- Asking me if there were any major leaks, and taking my word for it that there were not.
- Setting my tire pressure. He asked what I would like it set at, and I replied “Thirty-five? Unless you have a better suggestion.” He then asked if I planned to do drifting, or a time attack. When I said that I doubted I’d be doing much drifting, he said that 35 should be fine. Right.
So with that out of the way, I set about waiting for hours until it started. Since I’m old, I was of course the first person there. Much like your grandpa showing up half an hour early for the early bird special at the local diner, I had to be told to wait. This tidbit did have some special significance, as it meant that I would be the very first to run. Great.
I chose to drive my 98 328i. I figured that being rear wheel drive, having a decent amount of power, and not exactly being a show car would be great qualities to have in a car for my very first track experience. I was right, the car performed well. Between me and the car, the car was definitely not the weak link.
When we finally gathered, we were given some simple instructions like “don’t fly off the course into the retention pond” and “don’t catch on fire.” Then we were divided into three groups. One group would always be racing, while another was working, and another taking a break. All the drivers were then allowed to walk the course to get familiar with it. This did not help me, as on my first run I missed two turns and got a DNF.
But after that initial mis-hap I got into a groove. I never took out a cone, or went swimming, or caught fire, so I considered it a success. My kids got some footage of me racing, and of course I got the whole thing on my dashcam as well. My first three runs I had the camera facing me, but apparently it wasn’t on, so in the following video I just added in some footage of me driving with the kids from church to Bob Evans. I don’t think anyone will notice the difference. Oh, and I got my good friend Jeremy Clarkson to narrate my best lap for me. Enjoy.
And I did it in..................zero......THIRTY.....six point six-two-six! Is that good? I haven’t the foggiest idea. If you can make any sense of these numbers, let me know. All I know is, it was the most fun I’ve had in awhile.