Berk Technology Continues 100% Podium Streak and Smashes Record in the Process!

The Berk Technology Time Attack Race Team entered the 4th West Coast stop on the 2010 Redline Time Attack series tour leading the Street Tire RWD class points championship with three consecutive podium finishes under our belt.  At the first event of the year, we snagged a win and new track record at Buttonwillow Raceway, a track that rewards handling.  With that in mind, we headed out to Willow Springs Raceway over 4th of July weekend with a goal of breaking the Street Tire RWD class record at that track as well, which is known to reward horsepower and aerodynamics.  We wanted to break the record at both tracks to prove that we have the most well rounded time attack car in the Street Tire RWD class.

At the 2009 Redline Time Attack Willow Springs race, the Berk Technology Time Attack BMW 135i ran a 1:34.241, getting 5th place in the Street Tire RWD class.  At that same event, Jeremy Croiset in a Berk Technology sponsored Toyota MR2 set the class lap record taking the win with a 1:32.399, and that was our target time to beat heading into the 2010 event.

Right away in Friday’s practice session, Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology Time Attack 135i clocked in at a 1:32.0 lap, beating our target time on old tires!  It was at that point that we knew we would be in good shape for breaking the current lap record and making it official during Sunday’s time attack where we would be on new Hankook RS3 rubber.  All of Friday and Saturday during our practice sessions, we worked on dialing the car in.  Never before has the Berk Technology BMW 135i been working so well.  We were getting absolutely 100% out of our car and driver and running very consistent times all weekend long.

The excitement began for us on Saturday evening where we participated in an exhibition event for the fans known as the Circuit Battle, which puts two evenly matched cars head to head to see who would emerge victorious.  We were paired up with Grand-Am Continental Tire series driver VJ Mirzayan in the Evolution Racewerks BMW 135i, a car we have a long history of battling with in time attack events.  So far this season we have competed against the Evolution Racewerks team twice, and both times have barely managed to edge them out, but this time, they would compete on the ultra-sticky Hankook RS3 tires.  Both cars set out to do battle and although our car was running at 100%, the widebody Evolution Racewerks 135i at the hands oh hot-shoe VJ Mirzayan came away the victor in the closest Circuit Battle of the evening.

Come Sunday, time attack day, we knew we had to find some more time out there to beat the Evolution Racewerks car, but with our car and driver performing at 100% we knew it would be tough.  During Sunday morning qualifying, Bonanni put the Berk Technology BMW 135i on pole for the Street Tire RWD class and in 2nd overall in the Street Tire Class, barely trailing the COBB Tuning Subaru STI.  The gaps between the top four overall Street Tire cars qualifying times were mere tenths and even hundreths of a second.  It was anyone’s guess as to who would come away on top.

During the first time attack session Mike Bonanni in the Berk Technology BMW 135i clocked in a new personal best lap time for the weekend at a 1:30.415, blowing away the old track record set last year by nearly two seconds!  Unfortunately, Evolution Racewerks put down a blistering 1:29.331 taking the top spot.  With the car running its absolute best, we knew it would be tough to make up an entire second during the hotter 2nd round, so we made some last minute aero tuning choices and crossed our fingers to hope it would help.  During the 2nd and final attempt, Bonanni couldn’t not beat his 1st session time, and unfortunately fell back to 3rd place after Eddie Lim in the Godspeed 240SX pulled out an amazing flier of a lap at a 1:29.583 for 2nd.  Our 1:30.415 lap time was good for 4th overall in the Street Tire Class as well beating out the StopTech and HB Speed Evo X’s and finishing just two tenths of a second behind the COBB Tuning STI.

“This event goes to show just how competitive the Street Tire RWD class is this year in time attack.  The top four cars destroyed last year’s lap record and the top three were separated by a mere second.  At the end of the day, although we got our worst finish so far this season, the Berk Technology team is extremely happy that we have gotten our car to the point where we are getting 100% out of it, we destroyed the lap time we set in this car last year, smashed the old lap record, continued our 100% podium finish streak, and extended our championship points lead to 20 points.  We have plenty of room left within the rulebook for upgrades to the car and we now have a clear direction in which we need to move in to get back on the top step of the podium.” – Mike Bonanni, Driver

The next stop on the Redline Time Attack Western Regional Series is at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, NV September 18th & 19th.  Be sure to come out and see the action first hand!





More photos at BonanniMotorsports.com

— Berk Technology

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