Preparing the Berk 135i for Summer Heat – Part 1

Since summer has officially started, I thought we would give our fans and customers a little insight on how we are preparing the Berk Technology Time Attack BMW 135i for the heat.  Our next event is out at Willow Springs International Raceway out in the Mojave Desert by Edwards Air Force Base.  We will be there with the Redline Time Attack series on 4th of July weekend and ambient air temperatures are expected to be in the triple digits.

Its no secret that heat is the number one enemy of performance and reliability when it comes to race cars.  Excessive heat can take its toll on everything from tires to brakes to the engine and is usually the cause of many engine failures.  Needless to say, heat management is essential for race car reliability.

We are currently leading points in the 2010 Redline Time Attack Street Tire RWD Championship so reliability is our number one focus heading into the summer months as we do not want to let the championship slip away due to mechanical issues.

Back in March we did our first cooling modifications to the car in the form of an AR Design oil cooler kit to help manage oil and engine temperatures and a pair of custom front brake ducts to help keep our Rotora front brakes cool.  Those modifications kept the car within safe operating temperature range during the Spring events, but heading into the summer months, we are making another cooling modification that will also help with aerodynamics.

In late 2009, we picked up a SEIBON Carbon OEM style carbon fiber hood and shaved a good amount of weight off the front end of the car with the added bonus of awesome looks.  Although the OEM style hood replicated the clean smooth lines of the stock hood, it doesn’t offer any sort of venting.

Berk Technology Time Attack BMW 135i with SEIBON Carbon OEM style carbon fiber hood.

At the last event at AAA Speedway, we saw speeds in excess of 150mph down the front straight away and one of the things we noticed was that the SEIBON Carbon Fiber hood was buffering.  That told us that we are getting a lot of  trapped air coming through the front bumper and radiator and getting stuck in the engine bay.  That trapped air creates a high pressure area under the hood that actually lifts the hood from underneath.  Think of it kind of like shaking a soda bottle with the cap on.  The pressure from the carbonation makes the bottle nearly impossible to squeeze.

The solution is to put vents in the hood to release that pressure, which acts like removing the cap on the soda bottle.  The result is that air can escape through the vents in the hood relieving the high pressure area and reducing lift on the front end.

The other benefit of a vented hood comes in the cooling department.  With the high pressure area in the engine bay with the non-vented hood, fresh cool air wasn’t able to pass through the radiator and front end of the car.  With the vented hood, a much higher volume of fresh cool air will be cycled through the front bumper, through the radiator and oil coolers, and out of the vents in the hood.  The result is cooler operating temperatures and improved engine reliability.

For the Berk Technology Time Attack BMW 135i, we of course chose the SEIBON Carbon GTR style carbon fiber hood to replace our OEM style hood.  Normally, the GTR style hood from SEIBON does not have functional vents, but it does provide an exceptional template for us to cut our own holes in the hood and make the vents functional while retaining the stunning look of the GTR style hood.

Work in progress:  SEIBON Carbon GTR style hood under-going custom venting by Berk Technology.

Not only will our new SEIBON Carbon GTR style hood further improve the looks of the Berk Technology Time Attack BMW 135i, but it will also improve cooling, reliability, and aerodynamics all in one shot.  Its a no-lose situation and we are anxious to test it out at the high speed, blistering hot Willow Springs Redline Time Attack event!


All finished!  Form and function all in one sexy carbon fiber package!

If you are in California and struggling to find a worth while way to spend your 4th of July weekend, be sure to come out to Willow Springs Raceway and come check out the Berk Technology BMW 135i and the rest of the action at Round #6 of the 2010 Redline Time Attack series!  This event will be un-like any other Redline Time Attack event with the largest fireworks show in the Antelope Valley, drag racing, model competitions, and of course insane time attack action!

Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for Part 2 of the summer preparations where we highlight the installation of new gauges from AEM Electronics that will help us manage our engine’s vitals!

—Berk Technology

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3 Responses to “Preparing the Berk 135i for Summer Heat – Part 1”

  1. Henrik Says:

    What is the manufactor of the vents that you mounted into the SEIBON hood?

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