Off Camber Autosport

PCA Schatenbaum / NASA Weekend at NJMP

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Hello my friends.  The Weekend of November 5th, and 6th were spent with our friends Schatenbaum PCA at NJMP's Thunderbolt track.  At the same time, we also had several customers driving with our friends at the NASA NE event at Lightening.  The weather was absolutely perfect for this weekend.  Both groups had full schools.  The Schatenbaum Porsche guys are a great bunch of car guys, and always fun to drive with.  I had not been out with these guys ina few years, and was surprised on how many BMW's were present at this event.  In fact, there were a bunch of BMW guys that I had not seen in a while, so as always it was good to catch up with these guys.  One guy in particular, my old friend Kin was driving his 1995 yellow e36 M3.  Kin has had this beautiful car since it was new, and I believe he has been tracking the car almost as long.  Due to life stuff, I know that Kin has not done many events the past few years, so at one point during the weekend, he asked me to take him out in his car.  So Kin and I took his car out in the instructor group.  His car is absolutely pristine, and basically bone stock.  He has a little suspension on the car, but nothing really crazy.  (He still drives the car on the street!).  

Even with this bone stock car, we were still able to get by a bunch of our Porsche friends.  This speaks volumes to how well the E36 M3 stacks up against all other cars.  In fact, the 240HP the car puts out is less than a lot of plain jane cars of today.  What distinguishes this car is the absolute perfect balance, the feedback, and how she dances!  We build a lot of different track cars here at Offcamber, and the one that we seem to build the most of is, the E36 M3.  The really neat thing about this car is the variety of builds that are all still very potent track weapons.  We have some customers that still drive their cars to the track all the way to guys whose cars have not seen a public road in more than a decade.  They are a performance bargin (But be aware, the numbers of available cars is shrinking - Just ask my friend Alex!).

On the other track, one of our current customers Brian was driving his beautiful black E36 M3.  Brian's car is a work in progress as he just purchased the car recently.  We have been working with him to improve the safety, and performance of the car.  Brian had a fun weekend planned as he hired our friend Anthony Magagnoli to coach him for the weekend.  If you need some coaching, I would 100% suggest Anthony.  Not only is he an excellent coach, but he is also a great person.  Anyway, Anthony and Brian worked all day on Saturday helping Brian get faster.  On the last run on Saturday, Brian made a little boo boo on entering turn 1, and well he had an off into the tire wall.

Brian's car before the little whoops at Lightening.

The car would not roll, so she had to be "carried" to the pits.

Yes, she was crunched a little!

Notice the grass that is stuffed into the front and rear tire.. The rear tire was folded in half.

We rushed over to Lightening to see the condition of the car.  Brian wanted to discuss how we were going to flatbed the car back to our shop.  My instant reaction was "Not on my watch... She will run tommorow".  My first focus was getting the car to our garage at thunderbolt-- I quickly spoke with the track and arranged for them to tow the car over.  Brian and I took the wheels to NTB so that they could be unmounted, cleaned, and balanced.  In the meantime, the car was towed over to our Thunderbolt garage.  As soon as the car was towed over, we put the car up on stands, and accessed the damage undeneath.

The patient being prepped on the O.R table..

Control arm, and the tie rod took the brunt of the damage.

She will buff out!

The drivers side tie rod was bent like a pretzel, and the control arm was bowed.  The front bumper was mangled, and there was a bunch of wires hanging overwhere.  I removed the tie rods, and control arm, and examined the rack.  The shaft on the drivers side was bent, but still possibly useably for the remainder of the weekend.  Unfortunately I did not have the parts on hand (normally I do, but I had just sold off our trailer spares a few days before).  Anthony made a bunch of calls, and was able to find the parts.  (Thank you Ben, and our friends at Mancave!) He then drove 3-4 hrs to pick up the parts, and return to the track.  (Above and beyond the call of duty!) While Anthony was getting the parts that we needed, I worked on getting the rest of the car back into shape, and prepared.  The drivers fender was bent, and was pushing on the front wheel.  Using the ball hitch from my truck, I bent the fender back into a reasonable shape.  We also tied off the hanging wires, and removed the "unesessary parts".  Once Anthony was back, we replaced the tie rod, and control arm.  It was now time to align the car.  We did a track alignment, and then tested the car in the paddock.  She drove straight!  Since the steering shaft was a little bent, if you turned the wheel, the car would continue in that direction. (Directional cruise control?)  Other than this, the car tracked just fine.  She was ready for Sunday!

Brian's proud warrior, ready for battle!

Brian went to grid first thing in the morning to go out on track, and the guys at grid first said "Shouldn't this car be on a flat bed back to your shop?" and then "You cannot go on track without going through a full tech again".  Even the tech guys were amazed that the car was driving.  In fact they made a comment to Brian "This is amazing.. Who is your tech?"  Brian responded "Mo at OffCamber!"  They responded "Oh, ok that explains how you are here..."  Brian drove the car the entire day, and was within a second or two of his pre-oops incident.  He never missed a session!

Sunday went off without a hitch.  Everyone had a nice time with beautiful weather.

The morale of this story is "Never give up, NEVER surrender!"  (Wasn't that a bad VanDamme movie from the 80's?)

Until next time my friends,

Be Fast, and Safe,

Mo

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