Lucky enough to escape the Michigan winter once or twice/year to visit family in Florida. I like to combine that with a bit of time in the M3, so here we go…
Normally I shoot straight down I-75, but wanted to try something different this time. Planned an eastern route and a stop in Savannah, GA.
Arrived late and was referred to this eatery. Former speakeasy, great food.
Awoke the next morning and went out to check on the M.
Got into a fight with leaves through the Carolinas.
Explored the Savannah historic district for a few hours before departing. Gorgeous city. Definitely will return for an extended stay.
South Florida sunshine -- yes, please.
Trip summary from Michigan to South Florida via Savannah.
Few days after arrival it was off to PBIR for a track day with http://performancedrivinggroup.com/
2.5 hour early morning drive from SW Florida to PBIR. Passed 40,000 miles en route.
Forecast was scattered showers. I typically change wheels at the track, but didn't feel like doing so in the rain, so I mounted the NT-01's a day earlier. They feel fine on the street, but good god they're loud. Really loud. 2.5 hours of this humming that overwhelmed exhaust noise, music, eventually my own screaming. RS3's are mouse quite by comparison.
Arrival to PBIR.
Lots of firepower on hand as would be expected given the venue.
Fastest lap of day.
Experimenting with an external mic.
Few shots courtesy of the Performance Driving Group photographer. Their photos are available to participants for any purpose without charge. Very cool.
I'd never been to PBIR. Exchanged with a couple of people beforehand that were really not fans of the track, but I liked it. One of the locals rode with me first session and gave some pointers, so that helped me enjoy it straightaway.
One thing to get used to… on the back straight you are a barrier away from the drag strip, which was active at the time. It had me checking my mirrors on a couple of occasions for what sounded like the wrath of god on my 6!
Sunset in Central Florida on my way back to SW Florida.
Across to Miami for a couple of days. Sunrise.
A welcome surprise at the Aventura mall -- official Ferrari replica of Schumacher's car!
Michigan guy in Florida goes to hockey game.
Ran into Rob@StrasseWheels while exploring Key Biscayne. Nice looking wheels, good guy.
Spotted this @ http://www.bnbjoint.com/
in Miami Beach. Props to this dude for parallel parking his $400k F12 between a work van and a civic. I think this is the best looking car in the world right now.
Time to head back north with a stop first in TN.
At one point in northern FL I was in a group of cars that included an E60 M5, GTR, Z06 and my M3. Me and the GTR emerge. He's got AMS stickers and doesn't appear to be stock (I didn't see flames though so I can't confirm 700 hp
). I'm tailing him for a while at a decent pace before he decides it's time to let everybody know the deal. He took off and I just laughed. Respect to those things.
Northern Georgia sunset.
Didn't intend to hit any great roads on the way to my stop in TN, but highway 68 between "Ducktown" and Tellico Plains was seriously good. Too bad I was driving it at night. The whole area is just packed with great roads.
Did the Tail of the Dragon a couple of years ago, and have wanted to return ever since. Planned a route this time that combined the Cherohala Skyway, and the Tail of the Dragon. Stayed overnight in Tellico Plains. If you're in the area, I highly recommend this place -- http://www.lodgeattellico.com/
. For ~$100 can't be beat.
Up early the next morning.
23 degrees. The real "frozen" look.
Beautiful Cherohala Skyway.
So this wasn’t in the plans. NC apparently doesn't clear the Skyway as promptly as TN, and at >4,000 ft it's very much winter. Hadn't really thought that through. Snow, ice and 9% grades. 2nd gear with the occasion countersteer.
While quite a bit of the Skyway was clear, the sections that weren't slowed me considerably, so I took my first opportunity to cut over to 129. This 1127-1134 road. It's got some good scenery but it's rough. I wouldn't recommend.
As I'm turning onto 129 I note that the rapid temp (elevation?) change was apparently too much for my windshield. Thought that the rough road might have done it, but looking back at the morning pics it was already there.
Only snapped one pic on my way out of the Dragon. Hustled through to get back to 75 and the rest of my drive. Still had fun.
Observation re gas mileage -- I got some unprecedented (for me) range using BP gas. Notably better than Shell, Sunoco, others. Don't know what that's about. The 327 range was consistently at 75-80 mph. The 316 miles w/ "53 mls" remaining was at a slightly slower pace.
Overall trip summary.
The more I do with this car, the more miles and experiences I have, the more I appreciate it.