NASCAR Technical Institute and Team Penske

As a member of the Wurth USA family, Astrid and her team were invited to attend the ribbon cutting for the new Wurth classroom at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina. Wurth has been a big supporter of education particularly in the automotive industry. And since partnering with Universal Technical Institute (UTI), has greatly contributed to the education of our youth aspiring to work within the automotive industry. Wurth’s initiative with education coincides with Astrid’s current field of study in her high school’s Mechatronics, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (MEAM) program. When Wurth presented the opportunity for Astrid to be apart of this amazing day at UTI, she was beyond excited. Of course, the students’ of UTI’s NASCAR Tech would want to see the ALR-Wurth BMW E36 so Astrid and her team embarked on the journey down I-95 from New Jersey to North Carolina with the BMW E36 in tow.

Tuesday, January 21st Astrid and her team (Scott and Michele), arrived at UTI NASCAR Tech and unloaded the BMW which was then rolled down the hallway of UTI and parked in front of the Wurth classroom. Richard Schiavoni, Matthew Florian and Samantha Martino of Wurth and Tony Frassetto (UTI) and John Dobson (VP of UTI and NASCAR) greeted and coordinated the schedule for the day.

With the ALR-Wurth BMW in place and classes in session, Tony Frassetto lead a tour of the expansive campus at UTI. Not only were the shops, classrooms and facility impressive, the faculty at UTI are highly experienced industry professionals who are providing students with incredible knowledge. It was evident that this school is producing some of the most highly qualified individuals in the automotive industry today.

After the tour, it was time for the ribbon cutting in the Wurth classroom. John Dobson conducted the introduction for the ribbon cutting and introduced Richard Schiavoni and Astrid Lynn who both said a few words about UTI and Wurth to the students in attendance. John Dobson who also was representing the Mooresville Chamber of Commerce, proceeded with the ribbon cutting.

The latter half of the day took Astrid, Scott, Michele and the Wurth Training Group to Team Penske’s headquarters located only a few minutes from UTI NASCAR Tech. Upon arrival at Team Penske’s facility, Astrid and her team were greeted with a surprise welcome, with the ALR logo displayed on all of the main lobby and employee entrance monitors. Astrid and her team where ecstatic to say the least. Hunter Dalton (Marketing Manager, Penske Racing) met ALR and Wurth in the main lobby where the exclusive tour of the Penske facility would begin.

The first tour was of the main offices of all of the management and administration at Team Penske. Then, it was on to the NASCAR race shop where Brad Keselowski’s crew chief Jeremy Bullins discussed his job at Penske with the group. As we toured the massive NASCAR facility, Hunter explained the ins and outs of all the operations. The team got the inside look at all of Penske. Chassis Construction, Autobody, Machining, Transportation, Pit Crew training, the list encompasses everything required to build 8 NASCAR Cup cars every week from scratch. Then it was on to the Indy Car and IMSA part of the facility.

The Indy Car and IMSA facility is separated by a large tractor trailer sized hallway about two football fields long. As you walk through the non descriptive industrial doors you are submersed in the boutique sized shop (in comparison to the NASCAR shop, which is still the size of other NASCAR teams’ shops) where new Indy Cars are being constructed and Simon Pagenaud’s Indy 500 wining car resides. The IMSA cars were not present at the time of the tour as they were en route to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

The day in Mooresville concluded at Penske and the ALR team had to retrieve the BMW from UTI and have Astrid catch her first solo flight home to New Jersey. To say this day was amazing would be an understatement. Everything about this day was impressive. From the amazing facility and people at UTI, to the awe-inspiring operation at Team Penske, an impression was certainly made for all who where apart of this day. Thank you to Wurth USA for this wonderful opportunity and to UTI NASCAR Tech and Team Penske for their hospitality.

 

Full Competition License

On Friday, December 6th, 2019 Astrid and her team arrived at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia in the early evening. After a few laps around the fully packed paddock, the team finally found a spot to call home for the weekend. Professional coach, Cameron Lawrence arrived shortly after from Austin, Texas. The team unloaded the ALR-Wurth BMW E36 and setup for a weekend of racing with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Southeast Region.

The weather forecast for the weekend was sunny but chilly, with high temperatures in the low 50s. Saturday morning was off to a great start. Astrid displayed great pace in the GTS class during practice and qualifying. After each session, Cameron and Astrid reviewed her data to see where the tenths and hundredths of seconds were in each section of the track. Astrid and the team also made the necessary adjustments to the BMW based on Astrid’s input from driving the car and the data collected in the AIM data acquisition system. Then, it was time for the race.

Astrid had an excellent qualifying run earlier in the day, placing her in a great position in GTS1 to start the race. As the Lightning race group of 50 cars approached the start finish, the green flag dropped. Scott (Astrid’s father) called the green over the radio keeping a close eye on the section of track from turn 12, start/finish and turn 1. Cameron and Michele (Stepmom) spotted from the hillside looking over most of the track from turn 4 to turn 9. Astrid did a phenomenal job managing traffic and put together clean and fast laps. At the end of the race, Astrid brought the ALR-Wurth BMW E36 to the finish line placing P1 in the GTS1 class.

An excited team awaited Astrid in the paddock as she pulled in from the race. After a quick debrief, Astrid had the NASA official stamp the 3rd stamp on her provisional license. Only one more stamp needed to complete her provisional license.

After a successful performance on Saturday, Astrid would be competing in the Thunder race group on Sunday. The Thunder race group is full of high horsepower Porsches, Corvettes, BMWs, Radicals, etc. Not only would Astrid be in this fast group, she would be starting upfront in P6. This race would to be a standing start, Astrid’s first time doing a standing start since her early karting days. Early in the afternoon, it was time for the race to begin. As the racers left pit road, Astrid’s team assumed their positions around the track. The large pack of 50 or so cars came down the hill off turn 12 and came to a stop at the start finish. The green flag dropped and Astrid took off. Making a great maneuver to avoid the slow to start Radical in P4. As the cars charged toward turn 1, all of the racers did a fantastic job filing in safely with no incidents to start the race.

Astrid’s 4th and final provisional race went very well. No incidents and a clean race meant Astrid had completed her provisional license and would receive her full competition license. Finishing mid pack, Astrid pulled the ALR-Wurth BMW into the paddock where her team, family and friends were waiting to congratulate the 16 year old on her great accomplishment. Astrid was all smiles, the perfect end to a great weekend. After the post race celebration, the NASA official placed the 4th and final stamp on Astrid’s provisional competition license. Now a fully licensed race car driver, Astrid is ready to compete in a full 2020 NASA season and in SRO (Pirelli World Challenge). With her sights set on professional racing, this was a true pinnacle moment in Astrid’s young career.

BMW M240 in Texas

On Thursday, November 7th, 2019 Astrid and her team departed from Newark Liberty International airport and arrived in Dallas, Fort Worth Texas for a test day in a Pirelli World Challenge (SRO) BMW M240 race car. The team arrived at the Cresson Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas early in the evening hours on Thursday. Professional coach, Cameron Lawrence and owner of Lone Star Racing, AJ Peterson took the time to introduce Astrid to the car, fit her properly in the seat and review the systems in the car.

Arriving at the track bright and early on Friday morning, Astrid suited up and prepared to go for a ride around the new (to Astrid) track with Cameron. After an informative ride with Cameron, Astrid was ready to take the wheel of the M240. Astrid had a blast wheeling the 330 horsepower BMW around all day. Even keeping up with a higher classed PWC Audi RS3 race car for much of the day. When asked about the car, Astrid said, “I love the car! The suspension isn’t too different of a feel from my E36 but, the power and paddle shifters sure are. It’s a very fun race car to drive”

Although temperatures where in the mid to upper 40s, Astrid still found plenty of heat and grip out on track. Each session Astrid and her lap times progressed. Obtaining the same lap times set by Cameron earlier in the day, Astrid and the team where very pleased with Astrid’s first time behind the wheel of a TC class PWC car.

Competition School

Alas! The moment had arrived for Astrid to begin the racing competition license process with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). On Friday, October 18th, 2019 Astrid partook in NASA North East’s “Comp School” at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The day consisted of classroom sessions and on track racing exercises which students needed to complete and show competence in order to receive their provisional license and begin competing in NASA races. As the day progressed, Astrid performed passing exercises, rolling starts and mock races with other seasoned racers who where instructed to put the students to the test and simulate real racing conditions. After a written exam, the students would go out on track for their first race. Astrid did exceedingly well in all areas of the school. Finally, capping off the day with a Provisional Racing License in hand.

Saturday October 19th, 2019. A cool crisp autumn morning and the day Astrid would compete in her first real race. The schedule would be a practice session in the morning, followed by qualifying and then the race in the afternoon. Astrid would be competing in the “Lightning” race group. The Lightning race group is a multi class group which consists of multiple marques that have a limit to their horsepower to weight ratios. The Lightning group typically consists of  Spec BMW E30s, Spec Mazda Miatas, Honda Challenge and of course Astrid’s GTS 1 classed BMW E36 318is.

Saturday, was a great race day. Astrid completed all of the sessions and the race with out a hitch. No incidents and race completion granted her the first stamp on her provisional license. Only 3 more races needed for a full competition license to be in Astrid’s possession.

Sunday October 20th, 2019. Racing in the rain! While most racers dread the rain, Astrid welcomed it. Not only did she have hours of experience of rain racing from her karting days, she knew this would be an advantage to her under powered 4 cylinder BMW. As the day progressed, with practice and qualifying, Astrid’s rain prowess proved beneficial as other racers struggled to keep their race cars on the track. Now to keep the pace for the race. Keeping her driving calm and smooth around Thunderbolt was no easy task for the young racer but, lap after lap she never missed a beat. Managing faster cars and slower cars in true Astrid fashion, perfect. This race was a true testament to Astrid’s abilities as a driver. With her reward being a mid pack finish and yet another stamp on her provisional license.

Smiles, Hugs and congratulations came from all around the paddock. Quite the accomplishment at just 15 years old.

 

 

Würth USA 50th Anniversary

Astrid Lynn Racing had the honor of attending and celebrating Würth USA’s 50th anniversary at the Würth USA headquarters located in Ramsey, NJ on September 13, 2019. The Würth USA headquarters parking lot was transformed into a retail store, banquet and car show. Astrid and the team had no problem filling a few boxes full of needed fasteners and tools as well as placing an order for a few Würth essentials like brake cleaner, Rost Off and glass cleaner. While the team was shopping and conversing, the Würth-ALR BMW was parked on display among some very fast and cool classic cars. As the late afternoon became evening, guests and employees gathered under the tent to enjoy a very nicely catered German style meal.  Vice President, Marc Weber, Marketing Director, Tom Hayden and Head of Sales Academy, Richard Schiavoni all said a few words about Würth USA and congratulated some of their longest working employees. One gentleman was with the company for over 40 years! After many rounds of applause for his loyalty and achievements, Richard Schiavoni proceeded to announce the winners of the days car show entries.

Much to our surprise (we really didn’t think we would win anything competing against such beautiful cars), the Würth-ALR BMW won 3rd best in show! One of the team’s first of hopefully many awards. Astrid and her bright smile accepted the award and thanked everyone for voting for the little red BMW.

Astrid and all of us at ALR cannot thank Würth USA enough for inviting us to be apart of this very special day for the company. We wish Würth USA 50 more years of great success!

To learn more about Würth USA and how to get their products, visit www.wurthusa.com or call 1-800-WURTH-USA (1-800-987-8487)

 

Seat Time

The 2019 season has been chock full of seat time for Astrid. Astrid has been to New Jersey Motorsports Park, Pocono, Palmer, Lime Rock and Monticello so far this season. Each track day, Astrid has made great progress, with her lap times being very competitive in her class.

The NASA NE Lime Rock event in July was a pinnacle moment in Astrid’s development. This event was a great venue to really dial in Astrid’s skills and set a great pace for the entire weekend. With her lap times in the E36 coming down to the 1:10’s, this weekend proved to Astrid that seat time really does make all the difference.

After Lime Rock, the team headed to Palmer Motorsports Park in Massachusetts. With temperatures in the upper 90s, to say it was hot would have been an understatement. Nevertheless, Astrid was ready for each session and continued to hone in her skills. Perfect shifts and grasping the line immediately, Astrid had a great day overall. Unfortunately by the end of the day, the BMW’s power steering failed and forced the team to end the day a session early. Kudos to the BMW for putting up with the hot track temps for most of the day.

In preparation for Astrid’s next event, Astrid made the repairs to the BMW’s power steering. Using her Wurth Zebra Kit, she was able to undo all of the hard to reach fasteners and remove the old power steering pump and reservoir and install all of the new components. While these repairs are not “seat time”, it is important for a driver to understand how a car works. This understanding is all part of becoming a great driver.

The next track day was at Monticello Motor Club, located in Monticello, NY. Professional racing driver Cameron Lawrence spent the day coaching Astrid. Cameron gave Astrid excellent instruction via “right seating” with Astrid and with data analysis. Cameron also set a quick lap as a goal for Astrid to reach. Which she not only achieved but, surpassed. Astrid’s day with Cameron was an excellent day that continued the great progress she has been making all season.

In addition to driving, Astrid will be attending the Wurth Sales Training Class to familiarize herself with her sponsors product line and learn various product applications.

Coming up in September Astrid will be attending the Wurth 50th Anniversary Celebration where the Wurth – ALR BMW will be on display and included in the car show. ALR will also be at Pocono Raceway with NASA NE for another day of seat time.

 

How to become a race car driver CGTN America

May 27, 2019

CGTN America shared a piece of their story about Astrid’s journey in becoming a racing driver. The segment shared today is entitled, “How to become a race car driver, from 15-year-old racer, Astrid Lynn”. Stay tuned for the full interview!!

Watch the video below!

https://www.facebook.com/cgtnamerica/

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