Berk Technology Sets Another Track Record with Redline Time Attack!

This past weekend, the Berk Technology Time Attack Race Team headed out to the baron Nevada desert just outside of Las Vegas to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch for another round of the 2010 Redline Time Attack Series and we are proud to announce that we brought home another 1st place finish and track record for the Street Tire RWD class!  Although most of our team, and our time attack BMW 135i race car had never been out to this particular track, our driver Mike Bonanni is a Las Vegas local who has driven the challenging 3.1 mile 19 turn road course many times.  Since our car had never been to this track before, we had no previous lap time to try to improve upon, so our sights were set on the Street Tire RWD class record set by Manly Kao at last year’s Redline Time Attack event which was a 2:34.866.

We had a two month break since the last race out at Willow Springs Raceway back in early July where we had our worse finish of the season which we are proud to say was 3rd place.  Although we were definitely happy with our podium finish back in July we wanted to get back onto the top step of the podium, something which we haven’t done since the first round of the 2010 season.  We set out to improve on the car yet again and this time we focused brakes and front end aerodynamics.  After the Willow Springs race we decided to go with a complete custom Performance Friction brake set, but since they don’t currently offer an off the shelf kit for the 135i we provided them with the stock brakes off of the car for them to use for development.  Unfortunately, the new brakes were not able to be completed in time so we were forced to return to our old setup.

Our main priority with the car before this round was developing some new front end aerodynamics.  Since aerodynamics can be such a finicky thing, we decided to make a new front splitter for the car out of inexpensive materials in case we need to modify the design.  In this instance we used wood and sheet metal to create a strong an inexpensive piece that would serve as a 100% functional prototype.  The new front splitter is designed to increase downforce and improve cooling and it ended up doing both very well.  We also hacked up our factory front fenders to be able to accommodate wider front wheels.  Not wanting to change too much at one time to the front end of the car alone, we decided to run the same 265/35/18 Hankook RS3 front tires we have run all season, but on a more optimally sized wheel.

We scrambled late into the night on Friday finishing the car and were at the track bright and early on Saturday morning for practice.  We went out for our first practice session with 265/35/18 Hankook RS3 tires all around to test the balance of the car on a square setup to see if we wanted to run 285 width tires all around in the future.  Our new front splitter design provided a tremendous improvement in front grip and it was immediately apparent that we needed to go back to a 285 width tire in the back as the car was exceedingly loose.  With the added front grip from our splitter we spent the remainder of our practice session searching for more rear grip.  A few adjustments to our APR Performance GTC-200 rear wing and switching back to a 285 width Hankook RS3 tire proved to get it pretty close to optimal handing again.

Sunday rolled around and we set out in the morning on our first of two qualifying sessions.  We ended the session in 1st qualifying position in Street Tire RWD with one more qualifying session to go.  On the first hot lap of the second qualifying session the coupler on our charge pipe popped off, putting our car into limp mode so we limped it back into the pits.  Luckily it was an easy fix, but in the meantime Eddie Lim in the Godspeed 240SX jumped into 1st place in the Street Tire RWD qualifying order bumping us down into 2nd position.  Next up was the first of two rounds of Time Attack competition and we set out on a mission for 1st place.  We put on a new set of Hankook RS3 tires and headed to grid.  Mike Bonanni drove the car to a 2:33.725 lap time jumping back in front of the Godspeed 24oSX by half of a second and setting a new class record by a full second, but there was still one more time attack session to go.  In the second and final time attack session, Bonanni ran a near identical lap time, down to the hundredths bettering his time to a 2:33.710.  Eddie Lim also knocked a few tenths of a second off of his time ending the weekend with a 2:33.966 giving him a very close 2nd place in the Godspeed 240SX.

After the second and final time attack session, we couldn’t celebrate yet as we still had the Super Session to compete in.  The Super Session pits the top cars from the Super Modified, Modified, Street Tire, and Drift classes together in a 5-lap wheel to wheel sprint race for position instead of lap time.  The Berk Technology BMW 135i and COBB Tuning Subaru STI represented the Street Tire class in the race and Mike Bonanni was on the inside of row 3 for the rolling start, each row spaced out by 5 car lengths.  The Berk Technology BMW 135i got an exceptional start closing that 5 car length gap up to row 2 by the entrance of turn 1.  Bonanni felt that he was in position to get a good run on the COBB Tuning STI on the exit of turn 2, but just as he got on the gas pedal to exit the turn, the coupler on the charge pipe came off for the second time putting the car into limp mode again and we had to watch as the entire field disappeared into the distance.  Bonanni limped the car around the track for the entire 5 agonizingly long laps in order to retain points for finishing the race and its a good thing he did as the points earned between the super session and finishing 1st in the time attack extended our championship points lead to 59 points over 2nd place, a gap that is virtually impossible to make up if we finish even just one of the two remaining events.

The Berk Technology Time Attack Race Team is extremely happy to continue our 100% podium average through another round of the 2010 Redline Time Attack series and absolutely ecstatic to claim another 1st place finish and track record.  We could not do it without the support of our sponsors and the exceptional products that they make:

Berk Technology
OS Giken
KW Suspension
Hankook Tires
APEX Wheels
AEM Electronics
APR Performance
Velocity Motorcars
Vivid Racing
Macht Schnell

And also thank you to our associate sponsors:
European Auto Source
Evolution Racewerks
AR Design

The second to last round of the 2010 Redline Time Attack series is just around the corner as we head up to historic Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA October 23-24th.  If you’re in the Bay Area or don’t mind driving up to one of the most beautiful places on the West Coast, be sure to stop by our pit area to say hello and cheer us on as we try to lock in the 2010 Street Tire RWD Championship and continue our 100% podium streak!

Berk Technology


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