Excellent BMW M6 Adventure in Alabama
The second day of the One Lap of America saw competitor compete at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway, just down the road from Talladega Speedway and Alabama International Dragway, and not only were we going to be battling each other for honors, there was battle against the elements to get all runs completed prior to the expected rain in the afternoon.
After a quick 50 mile drive from our Holiday Inn hotel in Birmingham, past the rain drenched campers at the speedway, we arrived to bright sunny skies at TGP. The track is really more suited to bikes than cars, but we always enjoy coming to the track, the staff are friendly, the layout offers …, though the track surface is a little on the abrasive side and we have to make our tires last for the entire week, so we have to be a little conservative and tame our aggression.
The morning session got underway at 8:30 with Leh Keen and Catesby Jones setting the fasted times, 3:02.942 and 3:04.863 respectively in their modified Nissan GTR’s. We were in the fourth group along with our longtime rival Ben Schaut who consistently puts down some very impressive times no matter what the track, in their slightly modified E90 M3 with 650 hp on tap. Mike beat Ben by just over four hundredths of a second; 3:22.408 vs 3:2.861. Good for first in Luxury class and 12th O/A.
We know had a break until 12:15pm for the second trials to begin and the concern was if the weather would hold so we would get a second dry run. Although we felt a few drops during our down time, the rain did stay away, though the dark skies kept us all guessing all the way to the green flag. This afternoon Ben returned the favor just edging Mike out 3:22.258 to 3:24.146.
The net result of these two trials left Dan & Ben Schaut level with us on points in the Luxury class, though they lead with time difference of just over 4 seconds.
As soon as we had loaded up the M6 and departed the track the heavens opened up and it was pretty apparent that the drag races would be cancelled given the heavy rain we encountered on the way to Alabama International Dragway. After 20 minutes a quick discussion with Brock and the facilities team resulted in cancellation of the races. Immediately on the news reaching the crews, we were packed up and making our way to I-20 south, with the New Orleans Crowne Plaza as our destination.