The Badger Bimmers chapter of the BMW CCA tries to do at least one event per month. Often we do more but the duldrums of winter can stretch a body’s imagination for something fun to do BMW or racing related. Enter into the scene Chicago Indoor Racing. A really nice indoor kart facility on the north side of Chicago. It is only about an hour fifteen from my door to the track. Not bad for some winter racing to keep the skills sharp.
We met at a park and ride just south of Milwaukee and caravaned down I-94 to the track which is just west of I-94 and Lake Cook Rd. in Buffalo Grove. Real easy to get to.
The CIR facility is housed in a former warehouse and not that old a one either. Much warmer than a similar facility I have been to in Detroit. The majority of the space is taken up, of course, by the track or tracks. There can be two reasonable sized layouts or one big one. After some waiting around we got to use the big track called Track 3. It is a 1400 foot long course and is reserved exclusively for special events, leagues and Chicago Indoor Racing’s monthly 200 lap Team Endurance Race. Track 3 features eleven turns and some big track sounding names for different sections of the course. The Red Bull Chicane, Jim Beam Bend and the Klein Tools Corner. A lot like a full scale track, there are all types of corners with fast and slow sections. It takes a bit of practice to get it right!
Upstairs is a sports bar and game room. Nice way to spend sometime hanging out after the event and do some bench racing
We had 10 teams of two drivers, a 10 minute practice window and a 45 minute enduro with drivers changes and most of the action of a big track event. Several drivers had SCCA or Midwest Council racing experience and most drivers had at least some previous experience track driving. There were soem fast people there!
While the club folks were waiting around I ran into old friend and former, Badger Bimmer member, Al Thom. I haven’t seen Al for six or so years and he just happened to be at the track with his seven year old son. He was game to join our little event so I ended up with an unexpected but welcome teammate. Teamwork, quick driver changes, only one penalty along with some nice consistent driving netted us second place. What a blast! So, they have racing leagues at this place and I’m starting to get the itch!