This years BMW CCA's annual Oktoberfest gathering was held in sunny southern California with events in Pasadena and the track sessions held at the California Speedway. The full infield and parts of the high-speed oval were turned into a full-scale road course, while autocross events were held outside in the parking lot. What really caught our eye and convinced european car to head out there was the BMW CCA's first shot at amateur drifting.
Sure turn your nose up at it, call it a trend, or something for 16-year- old rice rocket drivers, you know you did it when you were young and if you could, you'd do it again. And that's exactly what these old-hand autocrossers at Oktoberfest did.
With the help of Bill Arnold of Bill Arnold BMW Repair, Dan Tacket of the San Diego Chapter of BMW CCA, and Hankook tires this years Oktoberfest had the first armature drift course. Basically this was a small parking lot course where anyone can strap on a helmet and try their hand a being a Drift King, Bavarian style.
Bill Arnold donated "der Driftwagen," a 1987 325is with 155K miles on the original engine lowered on Bilstine/Eibach Sport suspension and Dinan front camber plates. The only other modifications was the use of a larger rear anti-roll bar, and most importantly, a 80% two-way locking-clutch-type limited-slip differential with 4.10 final drive ratio.Hankook supplied their H418 tires, the highest UTQG wear rating tire that would fit on an E30 stock wheel. With a skilled driver, this turned out to be a fun combination, but with the with a novice at the wheel, the event might as well been called a plowing instead of drifting. To show how it was really done, Dan Tacket brought out his E46 M3 and showed what difference horsepower, and stickier tires made. It took about 5 minutes to burn through his Kumho's.For the more traditional track racers, the California Speedway infield provided an excellent opportunity to drive a high-speed venue. Everything from 2002tii's to full race E46 M3s were on the track.
BMW CCA was also able to bring out a McLaren F1 GT and M1 racer for display. The paddocks were filled with so many race only vehicles that it would be easily mistaken for a BMW only race day. The best part of all this was just to be able to feel a line of uncorked BMWs at full wail down the high-speed oval embankment.