President’s Column, September 2007
by Bob Morin
Unfortunately, we had no one volunteer to run an event in July, so I have no events to report on since last month’s column. However, we do have some great events coming up. If you haven’t already done so, there may still be time to pencil in the Humpa Picnic on September 23rd. The Humpa Picnic is always a great event with upwards of 100 or more members attending. Since we have a terrific facility at Williams Park, with a nice pavilion, including a fireplace if the temperature gets a bit brisk, we hold the event rain or shine. This year we are attempting to raise some money for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as one of our charities and there will be a representative from the charity in attendance to answer questions about this debilitating disease.
Many of us will be packing our cars and heading to Fort Worth, TX only a few days after the Humpa for this year’s BMW CCA Oktoberfest (September 30th to October 5th). Moving back to CT, on October 14th, Jim Merriman is organizing a bike trip in the Northampton, MA area. Less than one week later (October 19th) will be our final Driver’s School of the season at Lime Rock. If you read last month’s DZ or you have visited Lime Rock’s website, then you know that our Driver’s School program after this school is very much in jeopardy. At the very least, we will be losing dates or track time, but it is still unclear how it all will work out.
November 11th, Steve Wasley will be organizing an event at On Track Karting in Wallingford, CT. See the article in this issue for more details, but sign up early as space will be limited. Last year’s event was extremely popular. Lastly, December 1st will be our annual Holiday Party, held again at the Stevenson Firehouse.
Catching up with F1, this month we’ll cover the Grand Prix of Europe, held at the Nurburgring in Germany. Obviously, the BMW Sauber boys were hoping for a fine result here, since it was BMW’s home Grand Prix. Heidfeld and Kubica qualified 4th and 5th respectively, but unfortunately, they each lost two spots during the race to finish 6th and 7th. As the result of a crash during qualifying Lewis Hamilton, who must be human after all, was forced to start from 10th on the grid and was only able to finish 9th, thereby scoring no points while his teammate Fernando Alonzo, moved from second on the grid to the top of the podium to gain 10 valuable points on his teammate. BMW Sauber did score 5 points in the race to Renault’s 1, so they are continuing to pull away into a solid third in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
While the Stepnygate scandal continued, the whole circus moved to Hungary and as if to get our minds off of the Ferrari vs. McLaren stolen documents industrial espionage case, McLaren had more problems. All is definitely not sweetness and love between the two title contenders as Hamilton was supposed to let Alonzo lead during the critical third qualifying session. Hamilton decided otherwise, so Alonzo decided he could enact his revenge by staying firmly in his pit for several seconds after his final service had been completed with Hamilton stacked behind him waiting for his service. The delay was just enough to prevent Hamilton from starting his final flying lap before the checker came out, thereby denying the rookie any chance for the pole. Alonzo went out and got the pole, with Hamilton completing the front row. Heidfeld scored an outstanding 3rd on the grid, while Kubica must have been disappointed to be as far back as 7th, especially since the two are rarely more than a few tenths apart in qualifying. By the next morning the race stewards had decided that Alonzo’s conduct was detrimental to the sport and moved him back to 6th on the grid, elevating Hamilton to the pole and Heidfeld to second. Unfortunately, second was also the dirty side of the grid and he may have actually been better had he remained in third. The other part of the penalty was that McLaren was excluded from scoring any points in the event. In the end, Hamilton went on to win from the pole, with Räikkönen 2nd and Heidfeld 3rd. Kubica had moved up from 7th to 5th, so BMW outscored Renault 10 points to 1, widening their lock on 3rd even more. McLaren is still appealing the Stepny stolen documents ruling and now are appealing the steward’s decision in Hungary as well, so this season is becoming a real soap opera.
In News From National, membership declined this month to 75,976, but that was still .28% ahead of last year. Those interested may still have time to take a chance on a Thom Montanari original painting worth $7500 that was the basis for a poster for this year’s O’fest commemorating the featured model, the E30 M3. If you are interested, go to www.bmwcca.org/oktoberfest. Tickets are $20 each. And speaking of tickets, as of July 23rd, the raffle was already up to 4.8 cars and growing. Connecticut has been a very lucky State, so keep you fingers crossed if you have entered. National elections this year will include President, Executive Vice-President and North Atlantic Regional Vice-President, as for positions that we will cast ballots. Nominations must be in by 5:00 PM, October 31st.
I hope to see you at the next event.