10/10/2003 11:17:07:00 AST
Greetings From Tejas (Texas for you northern folk)
Down here at BMW CCA Oktoberfest, and thought I would give a report.
We have been having a great time. The weather has been mostly grey, with
some rain about every day. But not bad. It is sort of good it hasn't been
too sunny, or it would be rather hot.
We have done some drives up into the hill country, north of
Austin. Beautiful country. We both did a high speed slalom course in NEW
design 530's that BMW supplied. If I was going to get a five series, I'd
go do it before the new models came out. I didn't care for the
design. But they did drive nice. We drove auto's in the slalom
course. They had a lot of lag when you would push the pedal coming out of
a corner. I tried to keep a little throttle in so it would spool up
faster. I did manage to get a third place trophie for the slalom though.
Then we both did the day long car control course. BMW supplied three Z4's
that could be driven here along with your own car. Sandra latched on to
the auto, and kept it all day. I drove a six speed some in the morning
when we were doing wetted courses, and then managed to get it again late in
the afternoon to run on the mini auto cross. I didn't try the SMG
there. But it was fun thrashing a new Z4 around the course and using
someone else's tires.
Wednesday we did the Gymkhana. Which is a goofy driving event that has
some theme and is just fun to drive around the course. This one had a
western theme. Sandra beat me..... But she always seems to beat me in
Yesterday, we did the TSD rally (Time Speed Distance). And so far it
hasn't made us get divorced. I don't think we did too great in it, but we
will see tonight when they give out awards at the award banquet. Also
yesterday, we drove Z4's. BMW supplied a fleet of around 12 Z4's to use
for test drives. They had a 15 mile route set up, and anytime during the
week you could check one out and drive. Auto's, six speeds and SMG's. I
figured this is a great time to try an SMG, so we both took a turn taking
the test drive.
My thoughts on the SMG. I would like to try the SMG in the M3, because I
heard it is much better. In the Z4, there wasn't a full auto mode (at
least I didn't find it) When accelerating briskly (who me???) the shifts
were too harsh in my opinion. Not that they were hard, but when you shift,
it lets off on the throttle to work the clutch. And there was quite a lag
and you feel a deceleration momentarily when it shift. In gradual
acceleration, it wasn't near as noticeable, but still there. I put it into
sport mode, and the shifts were mush crisper. But still had a little
lag. I think in the future they will only improve this SMG and then I
would probably get one. But for now, the six speed drove SO nice, I would
go that way IFI liked the styling. If only I could take the workings of
the Z4 and put my Z3 body on it. Then it would be a great car.
Today is an easy day. Go look over the concours and probably take another
Hill Country drive. Then the final banquet tonight.
I guess this is long enough (maybe too long...) so I will go. We head home
early tomorrow morning : ( (Saturday) and will be home late Sunday.
Been a great time though. Too bad no one else came with us.
Mark & Sandra
Mark & Sandra Morris
00 Z3 2.3 Alpine White, Beige & Beige