Central Florida in mid August means heat, humidity and unpredictable weather patterns, all of which were present at this year’s NASA August event at Sebring International Raceway. It had been a few months since Logan and the Condor crew had been to Sebring so the excitement and anticipation was as high as the track temps.
Since the last event in late April there have been a few updates and improvements made to the car. A harness bar was fitted along with one of Condor Speed Shop’s Sunroof Deletes which netted a bit of weight saving as well as a lower center of gravity. Logan and the crew also installed a fresh valve cover and headers and after some busy summer evenings spent in the shop, they were ready to return to Sebring for another weekend of track action.
As usual, Logan made his way up to Sebring on Friday night in his E90, cruising down the country roads as the sun began to set. That great Friday feeling of anticipation and excitement returned as they set up camp in the paddock ready to get back to work.
He would be continuing in HPDE 2 to start the weekend, and his first laps on Saturday were a great opportunity to get reacquainted in dry and somewhat cooler conditions than what would follow later in the day. For his classroom sessions longtime friend and racer Victor Leo was the instructor and as usual he offered some great and unique knowledge and insight to all of the students in attendance.
Throughout the day on track Logan became more and more comfortable, so much so that some of the traffic became an issue towards the end of one of the morning sessions. Also running in their HPDE 2 group were participants in the Toyota/GR performance driving program, many of which were first timers. This program is a great complementary inclusion when purchasing one of their newer “GR” spec vehicles, giving buyers a chance to drive their cars on track and receive some performance driving education. Given these circumstances, his in-car instructor and fellow Spec E9X competitor Jonathan Bowerman recommended he finish the day with the HPDE 3 group. This would group him with more experienced drivers and under a different set of passing rules, where consistency and on-track awareness would come more into focus from an evaluation standpoint.
As the afternoon progressed, the temperatures became hotter and more humid, causing the car to start pulling some power in the peak afternoon hours. This is a strong indication that the car could benefit from a performance tune and an oil cooler which is now on the build sheet and will be added before the next event.
Sunday morning began with some good news. Logan was officially promoted to HPDE 3. This was a proud moment for everyone involved and will help set new benchmarks for him to improve upon while working his way up to competitive wheel to wheel racing.
Though the morning had started off dry, by the late afternoon the weather started to turn. Following some heavy rain and a lightning delay (which stopped on track action for over an hour), many of the HPDE drivers packed up and headed home, leaving just 4 BMW’s including Logan with a wide-open racetrack all to themselves. Though the pavement was still a bit damp in some spots, this was a great opportunity to get to know the wet lines without having to deal with much traffic. This was the perfect session to end a successful weekend. Logan and the car performed well and with the next event coming up in October, he and the crew will have plenty of time to install an oil cooler and dial things in before then.