On May 2nd, RRT Racing completed its debut Grand-Am Koni Challenge race. At the end of the two and one-half hour race, the RRT E90 stood as the top finishing BMW in the ST class.
The weekend served as a strong learning experience being it was the first Grand-Am race for the RRT team. The team arrived and rolled the car out Thursday morning for the promoter’s test day in order to finalize some testing on the new chassis before the official practices on Friday. The car performed without any issues and the first day was in the books with Barry Battle clocking a 1:35 lap according to the car’s data acquisition. Battle noted that the car was performing well, but there were still a couple adjustments that would be made in order to best prepare the car for this track.
Friday’s schedule called for two practices and qualifying at the end of the day. Battle and co-driver Michael Dayton split the practices and worked on their knowledge of the track along with additional fine tuning for the car. With the mixed weather, the pit crew was able to practice tire changes on pit lane. Crew Chief Bruce Norton remarked, “The crew has been practicing hard so it is nice to see our efforts pay off here at the track.” At the end of the day, Dayton went out and qualified the car for the 19th position in ST. “We were hoping to qualify a little higher, but I was confident the race and the car would allow us plenty of opportunities to make up some positions,” said Dayton.
Saturday, raceday, started with an early practice session and then plenty of time to prep for the 3:10 pm race start time. Since he qualified, Dayton would start the race from the 20th row of the combined field. The GS cars were started first and then the ST cars took the green. Dayton piloted the RRT Racing E90 through a couple dramatic turns off the start and quickly gained a couple positions. During this scramble there was some contact to the rear drivers side that caused the bead on the Hoosier to be pushed in over ½ inch on the outer edge of the tire and bend a control arm. The tire would hold until the driver’s change, but the toe-in from the bent control arm would slow the car down for the remainder of the race.
The second double yellow of the race flew at just past the one hour mark, and the call was made to bring the car in for the drivers change. Battle took over and was quickly back on track before the green flag flew again. He ran most of the balance of the race without much traffic, clicking off some laps in the low 1:35’s. As the race was drawing to a close Battle would be passed by one of the Chevy Colbalt entries, which dropped him to 12th in class where the RRT Racing entry would take the checker. After the race, Battle would note, “The car felt great and never gave us an issue all weekend. Finishing as the top BMW in ST was exciting given all the strong competition in ST, and proves that RRT can set up a winner right out-of-the-box.”
RRT Racing’s next race will be at Watkins Glen in early June. Soon after the race in New York, the team will compete at Mid-Ohio and then Virginia International Raceway (VIR) later in the fall.
RRT Racing would like to thank its 2009 sponsors: Tischer BMW’s GetBMWParts.com, OG Racing, DiffsOnline.com, Vorshlag Motorsports, Schroth Safety Equipment, BrakeSwap.com, and e90fanatics.com.
RRT (www.roadracetech.com) is the leading BMW Performance and Service center in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Founded in 2002, RRT offers a full-range of BMW repairs, maintenance, and performance services completed by highly experienced technicians at reasonable prices. RRT also offers state-of-the-art suspension services and development, including an on-line suspension catalog.