Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
May 16, 2017 11:22 a.m.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/14BBR9Ej7p0

We recently wrote about Christina Lam's journey into the world of motorsports. Ride along with her as she tackles New Jersey Motorsports Park in her E36 M3.

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GameboyRMH MegaDork
May 16, 2017 12:01 p.m.

That's an...unusual shifting technique. Could use some more clutch on the 4th-5th shifts.

Stefan MegaDork
May 16, 2017 12:14 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

It helps to avoid the dreaded "money shift" on the M3 by ensuring you move it to the right.

Plus, the shifter isn't in the greatest location for her shorter stature, I'd likely suggest a modified shift lever that was bent to fall more closely to hand for her.

APEowner Reader
May 16, 2017 2:06 p.m.
Stefan wrote: In reply to GameboyRMH: It helps to avoid the dreaded "money shift" on the M3 by ensuring you move it to the right. Plus, the shifter isn't in the greatest location for her shorter stature, I'd likely suggest a modified shift lever that was bent to fall more closely to hand for her.

I think you've got it. A lot of five and six speed transmissions will teach you to use something other than the classic Bondurant approved open palm technique. I shift Spec Miatas by grabbing the whole shifter with my with my thumb up against the knob and shifting with my wrist. It's fractionally slower but I get it in the correct gear every time. A Miata in good condition will survive grabbing first instead of third or second instead of fourth but it's tough on your lap times and in traffic can be detrimental to the condition of your back bumper cover.

christinaylam
May 16, 2017 3:11 p.m.

Oh hai! I indeed have an unorthodox method of finding fifth gear. When I first got the car, I found third instead of fifth a few times. What a horrid noise! I caught it pretty quick those times, but it rattled me into changing my shifting. I didn't know any better back then and kept driving the car as it seemed okay. Probably the root cause of the valve drop last month haha. RIP S52.

I used the method APEowner described and it eventually evolved into whatever weird thing is happening now. Despite being wonky looking, it works, so I'll stick with it.

APEowner Reader
May 16, 2017 3:36 p.m.
christinaylam wrote: Oh hai! I indeed have an unorthodox method of finding fifth gear. When I first got the car, I found third instead of fifth a few times. What a horrid noise! I caught it pretty quick those times, but it rattled me into changing my shifting. I didn't know any better back then and kept driving the car as it seemed okay. Probably the root cause of the valve drop last month haha. RIP S52. I used the method APEowner described and it eventually evolved into whatever weird thing is happening now. Despite being wonky looking, it works, so I'll stick with it.

Hey Christina! I'm glad you chimed in, and not just because its a rare moment when a women (or really, anyone) says that I'm right. I predict that now that it's been made famous on the internet all of the other M3 drivers are going to be emulating your technique without knowing why. It'll be like the Valentino Rossi leg wave. Someone will be asked why they do it and they'll say "I don't know, Christina Lam does it so it must be fast" and everyone will nod knowingly.

christinaylam
christinaylam New Reader
May 16, 2017 6:09 p.m.

Goals: Take over the world with my strange shifting habits.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
May 16, 2017 6:11 p.m.
christinaylam wrote: Goals: Take over the world with my strange shifting habits.

Yay!

hhaase Reader
May 16, 2017 6:28 p.m.

LOL it's like my twitter feed decided to move to the GRM forums.

Ever get the ABS going?

-Hans

Jerry From LA SuperDork
May 16, 2017 6:28 p.m.

In certain cars I do the same thing to make sure I get 5th and not 3rd. It works.

alfadriver MegaDork
May 16, 2017 6:55 p.m.

In reply to christinaylam:

Great battle at the beginning of the race- and given some of the threads here about racers not exactly behaving, it was also nice to see both of you give room when either of you could have easily done an F1 and force the other closer to the edge of the track.

Also hope you are a next Randy Pobst- starting as a hobbist driver, and then making fast progress up the ladder. Can't be that easy to field your own car like that.

Good luck! I ran out of guts on the track. Autocrossing was as far as my nerve would really take me.

Marjorie Suddard General Manager
May 16, 2017 7:14 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: In reply to christinaylam: Also hope you are a next Randy Pobst- starting as a hobbist driver, and then making fast progress up the ladder.

This.

christinaylam
christinaylam New Reader
May 16, 2017 8:56 p.m.
hhaase wrote: LOL it's like my twitter feed decided to move to the GRM forums. Ever get the ABS going? -Hans

No ABS. Yet. Looking into options to put in the E46 M3 ABS as a standalone. The mk60 system in the later model E46's is very sought after. I'll be leaving the M3 at home for Hyperfest. :( Rather put the money towards a solution vs eating tires. Hopefully it will make Pittsburgh and NJMP that much faster next month. :)

alfadriver wrote: In reply to christinaylam: Great battle at the beginning of the race- and given some of the threads here about racers not exactly behaving, it was also nice to see both of you give room when either of you could have easily done an F1 and force the other closer to the edge of the track. Also hope you are a next Randy Pobst- starting as a hobbist driver, and then making fast progress up the ladder. Can't be that easy to field your own car like that. Good luck! I ran out of guts on the track. Autocrossing was as far as my nerve would really take me.

Thanks! The start is always exciting, and we had clean racing throughout the weekend. Looking for a bit more pace, and hopefully we can have some good battles this year. The guys in NASA NE's GTS2 group are fantastic on and off track. It really helps when you are friends with your competitors.

Sunday's race start was not as great. I got past the guy in front of me, and then got greedy into T1, locked it up and got sideways. Scared the guy behind pretty bad. Went and apologized to the guy afterwards and we shook hands. I'll be more careful in the future.

Next Randy Pobst! Thats a high bar! But it is the dream. I'll admit, when I did my first autox, I never imagined that I'd do HPDE. And when I did my first HPDE, I didn't think I had what it took to instruct or race. Bit by bit I'm making progress with myself and helping others. I've got a long ways to go, but I won't be stopping anytime soon.

patgizz UltimaDork
May 16, 2017 9:03 p.m.
hhaase wrote: LOL it's like my twitter feed decided to move to the GRM forums. Ever get the ABS going? -Hans

No, now it is (what's your Twitter handle?)

hhaase Reader
May 16, 2017 9:06 p.m.
patgizz wrote:
hhaase wrote: LOL it's like my twitter feed decided to move to the GRM forums. Ever get the ABS going? -Hans

No, now it is (what's your Twitter handle?)

@siegecraftmr2

patgizz UltimaDork
May 16, 2017 9:13 p.m.
hhaase wrote:
patgizz wrote:
hhaase wrote: LOL it's like my twitter feed decided to move to the GRM forums. Ever get the ABS going? -Hans

No, now it is (what's your Twitter handle?)

@siegecraftmr2

You now have 20 followers

APEowner Reader
June 12, 2017 10:25 a.m.

It looks like Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. need to start using Christina's shifting technique.

Geekspeed Reader
June 19, 2017 3:06 p.m.

I do something similar going into 6th in my Focus ST. Granted, I am pulling the shifter toward me, but the grip is almost identical. I accidentally downshifted into 4th a couple of times, so I had to make some adjustments. For me, the gearshift is in such a position that I have to move my arm in a bit of a weird angle to hit 6th. Everyone else I have talked to don't seem to have this problem, so I think I'm just built weird (shocking).

Anyway, great to see more women in motorsport. I also like your approach to learning how to race. Major props (that's what the kids say these days, right?).

Stefan MegaDork
June 19, 2017 3:42 p.m.

In reply to Geekspeed:

I have the same problem in my RS, so it isn't just you.

christinaylam
christinaylam New Reader
June 21, 2017 2:55 p.m.

You guys can watch more of my strange shifting habits from this past weekend. This past weekend I was at NJMP Thunderbolt with NASA NE. We had a solid field of 7 in GTS2 and I finished 3rd both days. Really happy to see my times in the range of what I consider the "fast guys".

Saturday Race: Threw on sticker tires and managed to qualify P3! https://www.youtube.com/embed/1yhPiKfROWo

Sunday Race: Qualified P5 and made my way back up to P3 by the finish. https://www.youtube.com/embed/0xZMPDpBnQw

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