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The Redline Time Attack series — where man and machine compete against the clock to post the fastest lap time in Street, Modified, and Unlimited classes — attracts many of the biggest name tuner shops in the country, but it has also attracted Paul Walker, star of the film ‘Fast & Furious’.
Walker has made appearances at West coast Time Attack events in the past in a variety of cars including a R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but this year he’s driving an E92 BMW M3 in the Street tire class. On March 26th at Buttonwillow Raceway (100 or so miles north of Los Angeles), Walker posted a best lap time of 2:08.407, good for 12th in class (out of 16 competitors). This was 10-seconds off the pace of class winner Mike Bonnani in the Berk Technology BMW 135i, but Bonnani is a veteran of the series and a professional driving instructor.
Walker’s M3, modified to the limit of the Street tire class, has been prepared by AE Performance of Chino, CA. Modifications include a gutted interior and full roll cage, as well as bigger brakes, wider and lighter Volk Racing TE37 wheels and Hankook Ventus RS-3 tires (which meet the 140 UTQG or higher requirement for this class). Curb weight has been reduced from the factory 3704 lbs down to a comparatively svelte 3567 lbs and a carbon fiber wing has been added to give the M3 some added rear grip.
If you’re a diehard Walker and F&F fan and need an autograph to go with your signed Vin Diesel ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ action figure, chances are you’ll find Walker at a west coast Redline Time Attack event. Just don’t tell him we sent you.
Over the last decade or so of competitive compact motorsports, imports have mostly dominated the market, be it drag racing, drifting or time attack/road racing. There are very few standout Euros in any of those fields and when one shows up it’s memorable. We can recall when Turismo Technology built a shockingly cool 318Ti for the quarter mile back in the late 90s. It was so unusual back then that it graced the pages of more than a few different magazine publications. We can slso think of Andy Sapp, who was a crowd favorite in previous Formula DRIFT seasons, taking his BMW E46 sideways. And now there is Berk Technology’s BMW 135i that is entering its second season of Redline Time Attack competition with extremely impressive results.
Just over a week ago was the Redline Time Attack’s season opener at Buttonwillow Raceway. There was great anticipation from all the teams to see what off-season changes were made, who would attend, and who was going to be impressively quicker and faster. Berk Technology’s 135i made quite the splash last year, but never got itself a podium spot in the Street RWD class. During the off-season they made a lot of minor tweaks and it truly paid off. After some practice runs, Berk Technology’s driver, Mike Bonanni, blew the doors off their previous track record by over two seconds. They had broken the 2-minute mark with a time of 1:59.319 landing them a first place qualifier. The car had more in it and was even more impressive on its first time attack session. The 135i set a new track record for Redline Time Attack’s Street Tire RWD class with a 1:58.839.
Being the only vehicle in the Street Tire RWD class to break the 2-minute barrier for the event is quite the achievement. But being able to topple the atypical imports with a balanced European garners plenty of attention. This just proves how great and versatile of a platform the BMW 135i is and we look forward to see what Berk Technology has up their sleeves for the next Redline Time Attack event in Las Vegas.
[Source: Berk Technology]