We recently got back from our first Superlap Battle at Buttonwillow, CA! For those of you who are not familiar with Superlap Battle, it’s a yearly time attack hosted by Super Street Magazine, Euro Tuner, Honda Tuning, Import Tuner, and Modified Magazine. With a well built car, an amazing pit crew, and race car driver Charles Ng, we captured 1st place in Limited FR and brought back the title back to the European community and we were extremely close to taking overall lap record for Limited RWD.
We were invited to join the competition earlier this year to represent the European sector that seemed to be lacking in this race competition. Seeing that we’re track junkies and our car does have extensive suspension work, it was a no brainer to enter and show that we do more than make cars look “pretty”. With a few months left for preparing our vehicles, we had to make the difficult decision to limit the number of customer vehicles we could work on. Again, I would like to thank those customers for understanding our position and where we’re coming from.
Track Prep I
We started the preparation with many phone calls and working with some of the best and most recognized names in the industry. Without these guys, we wouldn’t have a chance or have a car capable of competing with the big guys that rule the highly competitive class. Our first task was to get our suspension services by the world renowned Performance Shock up in Northern California. With the shocks finally refreshed, we started work with new control arms to retire our heavily abused Ground Control arms with their revised race arms. Next step was a quick call to Turner for their chassis pieces. They, like us, were once a small company and understood our excitement and desire to win the competition and supported us with solid bushings and other go fast tidbits. Last but not least, we contacted Roman at ESS Tuning for our much needed increase in HP. I know there are a lot of different options out there but with the countless ESS kits that we have installed, we knew it was a no-brainer to go with their kit. Roman provided us constant support and overnight us whatever parts we needed. Not only was the kit impeccable in the tuning department but the reliability was more than impressive.
Track Prep II
With a few months left, we started tracking at Buttonwillow more frequently. You can pretty much say that whenever there was an event at Buttonwillow with 13 Clockwise configuration, we were there. We tackled many problems like bad coil packs, failing water pumps, and lack of a tire sponsorship. During the month of October, our wheels arrived from Mackin Industries just in time for more testing at Buttonwillow. We decided to run a staggered 18x9.5 +22 and 18x10.5 +22 TE37 wrapped in a variety of tires that we could get. These tires ranged from Federal 595RS-R, Nitto NT05, Nitto NT01, Toyo RA-1 (THANK YOU BRIAN!!!!), and Toyo R888. At the same time, we realized that we needed some more power so we went ahead and added an AEM Meth Injection kit. We revised the aero on the vehicle and lastly added a new exhaust system. With only 4 days left we contacted Evolution Racewerkes to weld together our custom 3.5” single exit exhaust. These guys are definitely one of the best fabricators in the area and without them; we wouldn’t have an exhaust and would have had to settle with a cookie cutter setup.
Practice Day and Super Lap Battle
During the practice day, we ran into many more issues such as the brake pads not holding up, lack of tires and some much needed aero tweaking. During the practice session, we were pleasantly surprised with our 1:54.xxx lap time and were very excited for the next day to show what we’re really made of.
Alas, the day of Super Lap Battle finally dawned and we were ready to show what we had prepared months for. We started the day off slow with a modest 1:55.xxx, due to the lack of fresh tire. After the first session we knew that we would need a fresh set of tires to beat the current pace. Ryan Gates came to our rescue with a fresh set of Nitto NT01's, which we quickly had mounted on. After one heat cycle, we had set an impressive time of 1:53.481 which was 0.07 behind the current overall lap record; but we did set a new BMW record for Super Lap Battle! Without our driver, Charles Ng, the car would not have been able to achieve this record breaking time and we wouldn’t have been able to get the podium finish without him.
During this whole adventure, it was very exciting for everyone here at RENNSPEC. Like I said earlier, we had a chance to really prove that we are different than other shops and that we can build a quality race car from off the shelf products. BMW vehicles are not limited to just luxury but they are true Bavarian bred race cars that are well balanced and reliable. The impressive S54 powerplant that we’re running had over 100k miles when it was supercharged and it still gave us a powerful dyno number along with impressive reliability and spectacular results. *Its things like this that makes BMW a BMW, which would dispel any myths these cars have poor reliability.
As the competition was staggering on, we knew that the vehicles that were competing with us were more than competent in winning 1st place. However, I sincerely believe that, besides the driver and the vehicle, our prep work in the car and making sure reliability is number one, is what won us the race. I think many people tend to forget that you can’t win if you can’t finish the race.
This event has taught us much about our appreciation for our clients and friends. Without them and their relentless support, we wouldn’t have been able to arrive at where we are today. Also, I want to thank our sponsors because without them, the car wouldn’t be where it is.
Thanks to Bruce and the team over at PSI, they did a great job balancing the dampers and making the shocks like new with new fluids and seals. A big thank you to Danni and the team over at Race Technologies, for their endless support on our Brembo system. To Roman, at ESS for setting us up with a flawless SC kit and for the unparalleled customer service/support. To Mark and Alan, over at Pacific BMW for getting us the OEM parts we needed. Another big thank you to Fred and the team over at Evolution Racewerkes, for the last minute welding work. To the Evasive Crew, for all the help and support; not to mention all the alignments you’ve done on our car for each and every track event. To James at Attic2zoo.com, for the T-shirt for our crew/staff. To Brian Kim, for providing us with some last minute parts. HUGE Thanks to Ryan Gates (gates311.com), for the fresh set of NT01’s that we ran on our last session to secure our 1st place win. Last but not least, thank you to Charles Ng, for gracing us with your driving skills and taking time off your busy racing schedule to help us out!
More photos from the event coming soon!!!
Overall Lap Records: