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GLTC Race Update - Carolina Motorsports Park 2024

GLTC Race Update - Carolina Motorsports Park 2024

This year, the Condor Race Team will be campaigning two BMW E90s in the Gridlife Touring Cup (GLTC) series. Both cars are new to the team and the series. The beginning of 2024 has been all about learning, testing, and upgrading the cars to be as competitive as possible within the GLTC ruleset. Both drivers have spent the last six months preparing and testing the new E90s for their GLTC debut.

Mendez drives car #83, which has been upgraded with a variety of parts readily available on the Condor Speed Shop website. The drivetrain has been upgraded with Condor N52 engine mounts, solid transmission mounts, and an N52 engine mount heat sleeve. Aero upgrades include the Condor E9X splitter & splitter mount kit, and the full catalog of N15 Design hood and fender vents. We've also installed the Condor chassis mount shifter, and replaced the brake lines with a set of our E9X braided stainless steel brake lines.

Lathrop drives car #84, which also features the same Condor upgrades as #83, but with the addition of a set of polycarbonate windows for the E90 chassis. 


Round two of the GLTC season at Carolina Motorsports Park was our first outing with the E90s. We signed up for the Thursday test day before the official Gridlife event kicked off. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, and our only practice on Thursday was on a soaking-wet track. While the rain didn’t help us dial in the car setups, the testing proved to be beneficial for Mendez, who had an easily repairable fuel pump issue surface in one of the sessions. Car #83 was the first of the two to hit the dyno Thursday afternoon, confirming the car’s power-to-weight was legal.

Friday morning blessed us with cool and clear weather for the weekend's only dry practice session. Both drivers made the most of the practice session, making mental notes on how to improve the cars.

After a few setup tweaks, Mendez qualified 19th, and Lathrop 29th in the competitive 49-car field. Lathrop also made his way to the dyno for compliance runs that afternoon.

Race 1 took place at the end of the day on Friday. Mendez drove the HRE-equipped #83 up 2 spots, finishing 17th, and Lathrop moved up 4 positions, finishing 25th. 

Saturday was action-packed, with three GLTC races. The starting grid for Race 2 is set by each driver's fastest lap from Race 1. Coincidentally, Mendez was still 17th and Lathrop moved back to 29th, where he originally qualified. When the dust settled from Race 2, Mendez found himself up 2 more spots to 15th, and Lathrop made up 5 spots, finishing in 24th. 

Both drivers made additional setup changes in preparation for Race 3, which quickly ended under full-course caution due to an accident in the front of the pack. Mendez finished 10th and Lathrop finished with his weekend-best 18th.

Race 4 features a partial invert of the front of the field, determined by a dice throw from the winner of Race 3. This time, the dice throw determined that 11 positions would be inverted, meaning that Mendez started on the front row in P2. When the green flag dropped, Mendez missed a shift, which dropped him back to 5th place by turn 3. As the race progressed, he lost 3 more spots and finished 8th. Immediately after the race, Mendez called it "the worst race of my life," but as the adrenalin wore off, he realized that this 8th place finish was quite an accomplishment in this stacked 49-car field. 

Lathrop, on the other hand, claimed Race 4 as his "best race of the weekend," having lost several positions at the start but making most of them back up towards the end of the race, finishing 19th. Mendez ran his fastest lap of the weekend in Race 4, and Lathrop was within .004 of his fastest lap. 

Overall, it was a successful weekend for the Condor Race Team. The E90s have proven to be reliable and competitive. Mendez scored in the points for 3 of the 4 races and finished 12th overall for the weekend. Lathrop scored points in 2 races and finished 26th for the weekend. The team has ideas for improving each car before the next round at Gingerman Raceway. Our season wouldn't be possible without the support from the Condor team back at HQ, and our sponsor, HRE Wheels.

Next article 2024 Condor Speed Shop GLTC Racing Schedule