Record Breaking Weekend for the Berk Technology Time Attack Team!

This past weekend the Berk Technology crew headed up to Buttonwillow Raceway for what would turn out to be an incredible event.  It was the 2010 Redline Time Attack season opener and the rumors were flying about who was showing up, who wasn’t showing up, which new teams are going to be fast, and which lap records will fall.  After a long dry spell of placing just outside of the podium in the Street Tire RWD class all last year, the Berk Technology crew worked tirelessly through the off-season making minor, but necessary improvements to our Time Attack BMW 135i.

Even though we started preparing for this event long in advance, things still came down to the wire with parts for the car arriving much later than anticipated.  The Berk Technology crew worked through the nights taking naps at the shop in between marathon sessions of working on the car.  The team and the car finally arrived at the hotel in Buttonwillow at 2:00am Saturday morning, about six hours before our first practice session.  With the majority of the changes made to the car being un-tested on the track there was only one thing to do, find out if our hard work had paid off.

The car was performing great in Saturday practice.  The Hankook RS3 tires were performing very well and the car was just launching out of corners with the new OS Giken Super Lock LSD.  More horsepower came by way of an AEM Electronics water/methanol injection kit and custom GIAC tune.  The KW Variant 3 coilovers worked great as well and the APR Performance rear wing and front splitter helped keep the car planted through turns.  The only issue we were having with the car was boiling the brake fluid.  Normally we run custom brake ducting to the front brakes to keep the temperature down within range, however our new front splitter mounting design would not allow us to re-use them and we simply ran out of time to make a new set.  Unfortunately the timing system was not up to the task on Saturday so we really had no idea on how these new mods improved our lap time.

Sunday was competition day and the morning started out with two practice sessions.  After making a few dampening adjustments based on Saturday’s testing, Mike Bonanni headed out on track to get a qualifying time.  Mike came in with a qualifying time of 1:59.319 which was a full two seconds faster than our car had ever gone around Buttonwillow Raceway!  That time qualified Mike in 1st place in Street Tire RWD after the first practice session!  Satisfied with our qualifying effort and how the car was handling, we decided to sit out the second practice session.  After the second practice session Bonanni and the Berk Technology 135i retained the pole position in Street Tire RWD heading into the first of two time attack rounds.

We had slapped a fresh set of Hankook RS3 tires on the car for the first round of the time attack, however the track temperature had raised tremendously since the morning practice session making the track much slower.  With the slippery track conditions we weren’t sure if we would be able to beat our morning practice session time, but we knew that all of the other competitors were having to deal with the same slower track conditions so we set our sights on keeping that number one spot.  Bonanni took to the track for the first time attack session and right out of the gate set a blazing fast lap time of 1:58.839 setting a new track record for the Redline Time Attack Street Tire RWD class!  At the end of the first round, we were the only Street Tire RWD car to break the 2:00.000 barrier putting us in 1st place heading into the second and final round.  That lap time also moved us up to 1st place overall in the Street Tire Class heading into round #2!

With a comfortable lead in our class and a new track record in our hands we decided to make a few tire pressure adjustments in an effort to see if we could get even better handling out of our car for the second round.  With the second round at the hottest part of the day, we knew that the track would be slower making it even harder to better what we had already done.  Unfortunately the car didn’t like the adjustments we had made and paired with the hotter track conditions we were not able to better our time from round #1.

Without knowing final times from the second session we were anxious to hear the results to see if our first round lap time would hold.  Fortunately for us, it did and we were the only Street Tire RWD class car to break the 2:00.000 barrier handing us the win, the track record, a new track record for a BMW 135i, and a new personal best for that track!

“As the driver, I have the easy job.  The crew at Berk Technology who spent countless hours working on the car and our incredible sponsors are who really made this possible.” – Mike Bonanni

We could not be happier with the results and are extremely excited to kick off this 2010 with a bang!  We would like to thank all of our sponsors who helped us make the right improvements to the car to get it to the top of the podium and in the record books:  OS Giken, KW Suspension, Rotora Brakes, APEX Wheels, APR Performance, SEIBON Carbon, Velocity Motorcars, Vivid Racing, AEM Electronics, VFiber, GIAC, and DRIFTENVY Clothing.  And a special thank you to Hankook Tire for your support over the weekend!

Aside from our own personal victory with our 135i, another Berk Technology team member found himself on the podium this past weekend.  Ed Lee and his Berk Technology sponsored Honda S2000 took home 2nd Place in the Enthusiast RWD class with a lap time of 2:02.845, less than a second off of 1st place!  Congratulations Ed!

Be sure to route for Berk Technology at Round #2 of the 2010 Redline Time Attack Series held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 24th & 25th!

Photo Credit: David Karey “Big Dave” – SoCalTrackPhotos.com

— Berk Technology

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