christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/11/20 8:03 a.m.

Read Part 5.

The race was on to make the SCCA Runoffs at VIR, one of my favorite tracks. A tight timeline to build a new E46-chassis M3 to replace the one wrecked meant that I had to plan out the remaining weeks carefully to ensure we would make it on time for the race. Every moment needed to count. 

Read the rest of the story

Wizard_Of_Maz
Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
5/11/20 8:16 a.m.

Hugh sounds like a wonderful person and pretty much the best possible partner to have through this ordeal (and in general, too). Great column as always, and the train rides/constant journeys while still working a regular job show your dedication to the craft.

Unfortunately, every time I read this column, I look up E46 M3 info/prices. Like you, I completed my penance in the form of E36 M3 seat time and feel the E46 is the next logical step

christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/11/20 9:28 a.m.

In reply to Wizard_Of_Maz :

Hugh is the best! He wants to see all his Hi-Speed customers reach their fullest potential in motorsports and will do everything he can to help them along the way. It is rare to find somebody who is focused on improving the driver, and not just trying to push fancy parts. We make the most out of our equipment at a fraction of the cost of our competitors. 

The E46 M3 is a great next step after the E36 M3. It is more aerodynamic and a more stable platform. The move will feel natural, it will be faster and better. Few more articles to come, so maybe by the end of it I can convince you to pull the trigger on that E46! ;) 

IndyLegend33
IndyLegend33 New Reader
5/11/20 10:27 a.m.

Christina, seems like you had quite the summer last year! Yikes! Your dedication is unmatched for trying to get this car done for the Runoffs. Back in my day, we spent the entire year getting the car "ready" leading up to the Runoffs - that involved fine tuning (for what was available at the time) and making sure it didn't blow up, which often it did. You built another car from scratch. That alone should be applauded. I hope the younger generations in motorsport realize that if you want something badly enough, don't give up. You, Hugh, and the rest of the team faced some obstacles but overcame them. Well done and hope to see part 7 soon!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/11/20 12:53 p.m.

No spoilers, but I have read Part 7. smiley

Look for it next Monday. 

roger_waltman
roger_waltman New Reader
5/11/20 3:56 p.m.

Besides the shims being loose, did you take apart the engine any further? Having no experience in engine building, are there other things internally that can become loose after an impact?

christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/11/20 8:00 p.m.

In reply to roger_waltman :

We didn't take it apart any further, and yes there are a few other things that can go wrong. Another friend of mine had a big hit and reused his motor, found out his crank had moved and was causing issues. We were short on time, firing up the motor for the first time less than a week before loading up for the Runoffs. Decided to take the risk that it would be okay. I had a spare motor sitting in the shop, so worst case we brought it with us to Runoffs just in case. Luckily we didn't need to do any overnight motor swaps and this one ran strong. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
5/11/20 8:34 p.m.

I was wondering what you did for a living and I'm not surprised you're a program manager.  Your ability to herd cats shows through in your replies to our posts.

Note: I'm a purchasing analyst for a government agency.

BigsexySVG
BigsexySVG New Reader
5/12/20 6:31 a.m.

Wow!!!! This seems like a ton to do for anyone in 60 days. I see professional teams doing stuff like this. All with a broken foot. I can't imagine the pain of the foot and lack of sleep alone would make me quit. How did you deal with that? 

tuna55 (Forum Supporter)
tuna55 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/12/20 7:08 a.m.

Feel free to ignore, but can you share how many dollars were spent rebuilding this thing? Did you have any sort of insurance on the car? Did your health insurance cover your medical bills even though you were racing?

 

And, the same question as last time, are you still healing well? I still hate that this happens among people who we expect to be respectful competitors.

christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/12/20 8:47 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 (Forum Supporter) :

Oof... I'll be honest, this second car cost us more than expected which is almost always the case when it comes to projects. Our initial plan was to move what was salvagable over to the new shell. It was not until we were pretty deep into the project I realized how many parts I was just replacing because the original was smashed or too damaged. I didn't keep tabs on exactly how much this new car cost, but it did wipe out a large chunk of my savings. There is no insurance on this car. Back when I DEed the E36, I bought track day insurance, but once you get into any sort of timed competition like NASA's Time Trial or W2W racing, there is none. I did find a company a while back that was willing to insure a racecar, but the annual premium was $15k so out of the running budget.

Health insurance is a big one. And each year during open enrollment I read the fine print very carefully before signing up for insurance considering rules about "out of network" care. My fear for years was that someday somewhere, this hobby was going to send me to the hospital. In this case, after alot of phone calls my insurance, they did end up covering a good chunk of the bills ($30k to date). Initially they thought it was an automotive accident on the street and refused all coverage, asking me to go after auto insurance first. It took many hours of phone calls before they understood it was a "off road" incident and then paid up. A few weeks after, they came back with legal looking for the name of the offending driver. Insurance is in the business of making money, not taking care of its patients. It again took many hours on the phone to explain the waivers from both the track and SCCA before they agreed to not pursue the guy. 

SCCA also has a secondary insurance policy that will cover anything that your primary does not. I did not have any luck getting in contact with the secondary insurance to cover what remained from my medical bills. 

Healing well! For the first time since the accident I was able to take a walk for a mile around the neighborhood!!! This might not seem like much, but ever since breaking my foot and eventually getting out of the cast, I've been very diligent about my PT exercises. It is quite ironic because I can drive just fine, but walking is a different story. Slowly making progress thanks to some great docs. While it might be a while before I can run a marathon I'm cleared to get back to racing. :) 

 

tuna55 (Forum Supporter)
tuna55 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/12/20 9:02 a.m.
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to tuna55 (Forum Supporter) :

Oof... I'll be honest, this second car cost us more than expected which is almost always the case when it comes to projects. Our initial plan was to move what was salvagable over to the new shell. It was not until we were pretty deep into the project I realized how many parts I was just replacing because the original was smashed or too damaged. I didn't keep tabs on exactly how much this new car cost, but it did wipe out a large chunk of my savings. There is no insurance on this car. Back when I DEed the E36, I bought track day insurance, but once you get into any sort of timed competition like NASA's Time Trial or W2W racing, there is none. I did find a company a while back that was willing to insure a racecar, but the annual premium was $15k so out of the running budget.

Health insurance is a big one. And each year during open enrollment I read the fine print very carefully before signing up for insurance considering rules about "out of network" care. My fear for years was that someday somewhere, this hobby was going to send me to the hospital. In this case, after alot of phone calls my insurance, they did end up covering a good chunk of the bills ($30k to date). Initially they thought it was an automotive accident on the street and refused all coverage, asking me to go after auto insurance first. It took many hours of phone calls before they understood it was a "off road" incident and then paid up. A few weeks after, they came back with legal looking for the name of the offending driver. Insurance is in the business of making money, not taking care of its patients. It again took many hours on the phone to explain the waivers from both the track and SCCA before they agreed to not pursue the guy. 

SCCA also has a secondary insurance policy that will cover anything that your primary does not. I did not have any luck getting in contact with the secondary insurance to cover what remained from my medical bills. 

Healing well! For the first time since the accident I was able to take a walk for a mile around the neighborhood!!! This might not seem like much, but ever since breaking my foot and eventually getting out of the cast, I've been very diligent about my PT exercises. It is quite ironic because I can drive just fine, but walking is a different story. Slowly making progress thanks to some great docs. While it might be a while before I can run a marathon I'm cleared to get back to racing. :) 

 

Irritating, but you're getting it done, and healing. I think that's a win that can't be stolen from you by a fool of a driver who got you here.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
5/12/20 9:37 a.m.

I'm glad the health insurance topic came up; far to many people don't know what's in their policies. As for trying to get out of paying, yes the insurance will...........when our son was 17 he went over the bars of his BMX bike and needed stitches. The ER asked what happened, he answered and next thing you know the insurance company is asking questions like did this occur on private property? 

As someone who has to read these contracts as part of their job; I can't reiterate enough that folks need to read what's in them.

christinaylam (Forum Supporter)
christinaylam (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/12/20 12:29 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

When you write the fine print for a job, you always read it before signing up for something. I agree that more people need to know how to protect themselves in situations like this. Knowing what is in your health insurance policy could mean the difference between building a new racecar... or having to hang up the helmet and pay for those bills. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/13/20 8:54 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

BMX bike? Injury? Have never heard of that before. smiley

(And, yes, even after breaking my arm, I still ride.)

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