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    Want to be racing in 2 years. a few Questions

    I have been to a few BMW CCA HPDS and I know I need to go to more. But I know I would like to get into some form of racing. Club racing seems like the direction I'd like to go. I don't want to turn my 2000 M Coupe into a race car. I'm thinking more along the lines of a 2002 or old e30 3 series. What are your recommendations? I'd like to know what the opperating costs are between these 2. What are some of the pros and cons of the later models?

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    Buying a race-ready car is a good move...

    you usually will get spares and setups for it, and you will save some good bucks. I would still expect to spend a fair amount on new parts since racing wears things out quickly but I think you're on the right track, so to speak.

    I imagine those choices aren't far apart in cost so I'd go with whichever is more popular in your area so you can benefit from the knowledge and parts you'll find.
    Between those two I'd go with an E30 M3 but I'll always go with the most HP I can afford :-)
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    ButtHead
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    Re: Want to be racing in 2 years. a few Questions

    If you want to be a hero, race a 2002. It has excellent handling but may require more maintenance than the 325. You might be at the back of the pack unless you are an excellent driver like Wilson Wade but you will become everybody's friend with your little 02, especially if you are wrenching at night. Don't forget that to be competitive with the newer cars (e30 325, e30 M3) you wuill need a slouped up motor that will rev til 7500 RPM. And that is more fragile than the regular M20 motor.

    The 325 will give you the most bang for the buck. Cheap to buy, easy to maintain, very good handling and relatively powerfull. It has the same feeling as a 2002, with power in extra.

    I race a 2002 and I am my own engineer and mechanic. Most of the weekends have no problem, that is because I spend a lot of time during the week ensuring everything is fine. A 325 is mostly a turn-key operation. Let's say that if you have not time to wrench, get the 325.

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    Lee! HiYa doin'! I met you at Tremblant w/ Jeff

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    Re: Want to be racing in 2 years. a few Questions

    A friend and I are working on an E30, 325, in prepared class. We didn't find a race car for sale so we're starting from the ground up. I don't think the motor will be competitive this year but it will give us something to get licensed in, and we'll have some fun as well.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Want to be racing in 2 years. a few Questions

    2002 with a 2.0L S14 (Italian E30M3/320is) would be a category killer in E-Modified, but would be huge money to build

    Not a lot of 02's out there, E30 325is in K-Prepared is a growing class, and relatively cheap to get into.

    E30 M3 in J-Stock is a fast competitive class and one of the larger ones. More expensive to run/rebuild.

    There was a discussion on the CR list this spring and everyone more or less came up with $1500-$2000 per club race weekend including food lodging gas tires entry fees and brake pads. Obviously the mod classes are more (i.e. C-Modified = CM = Cubic Money)

    Best way in on a relative budget is buy a built KP car and run Victoracers or Goodyears.

    Or race spec miata, where you'll have 30-40 other people *all in the same class* and more races to choose from.

    Don't expect clean driving and do expect to spend a bunch on incident damage after each race though.

    Call Mario langsten at VSR he may have an E30 race car for sale

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    EricH
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  7. #7
    Brian
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    Re: Want to be racing in 2 years. a few Questions


    I raced an E30 M3 in JP in 2003 that I bought already prepared. It was the right move for me to buy a car and go racing. However, I was on a real budget. My expenses were well under 500-800/weekend NOT including brakes and tires (my primary two consumables). I drove my racecar to and from the track and stayed in pretty cheap hotels but it was the most fun I've ever had with clothes on (let alone a 3 layer race suit and helmet!)

    Although my car had no problems, the S14 motor is an expensive and fragile beast. It requires religious maintenance to avoid the spun bearing or other oil/fuel starvation related issues that are so frequent. A rebuild can cost upwards of 10k depending on what goes wrong.

    If I were to do it now - I would go with an E36 M3 or E36 325. Because the donor cars for these classes have dropped so much in price, they are the "new" E30s and the fields are already beginning to be dominated by them. I think the E36 cars are less expensive to maintain generally speaking and the E36 M3 in prepared form is several seconds a lap faster than the E30 M3 in prepared form (assuming they are equally "prepared", no flame wars here...)

    Just get out there in whatever you've got but the 2002 will put you at the dead back of the pack so unless there are a contingent of other 02 racers in your area, I wouldn't go that route.

    Good luck!



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    Good point at the end...

    I think it's most fun when you've got a bunch of folks to race against in your class. I would (and did) find a used car in a class that's popular both regionally and nationally. Sadly it was a Spec Racer Ford, not a BMW, and I'm running SCCA.
    Good luck and have fun!<img src="http://members.roadfly.org/pmiranda/TMCM_anim.gif">
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