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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 11-10-2008, 01:35 AM   #1
porschenaround
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Whats easiest way to start racing/tracking a BMW & what Model ?

I have been tracking my porsche turbo with PCA for almost three years now, but dont know which direction to take for the upcoming year. I am looking to get involved now with BMW. Either to pick up a e46 m3 and mod it into a track /street car or go into a spec class 325 type.

How do you get involved with scca or bmw club racing and with which car.

Any other general thoughts or research that members here would recommend ?

Thank you !!

Dean
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:40 AM   #2
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:44 AM   #3
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:29 AM   #4
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S52 E30
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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This sounds like a question that could be better answered over here: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...play.php?f=128 Lots of BMW track junkies in that forum.

My answer is that if you want to learn car control, get a stripped out E30. If you want to pass people, get an E46 M3. The most common BMW CCA track car right now (by far) is a modified E36 M3.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:56 AM   #6
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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OP since you have been tracking a Porsche Turbo you know the costs involved in tracking, so basically what is your budget. If it is on the lower end go for the 325. If money is no object then definitely go M3, but make sure you know the all class specs it will race in or you could end up spending twice what the car costs to be competitive.

Why not continue with your P car?
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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E36 m3 ftw!
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:00 PM   #9
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If you want to go racing:
See what class people are racing in in your area and choose your car accordingly. I believe BMWCCA now requires you to do a club racing school before you can get your rookie license. Even if they don't require it I would highly recommend it.

Greg- BMWCCA club racer, JP 330Ci
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:04 PM   #10
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I think the E30 M3 would be great but finding one is a b*tch.

A much easier find and also actually cheaper would be the E36 M3 since there were alot more produced and there was not only a coupe but a sedan model.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:11 PM   #11
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I think the E30 M3 would be great but finding one is a b*tch.
E30's are now 20 yrs old, the E46 chassis is a much better platform. Also it's an S14... need I say more? The e36 is still a good platform, but the e46 is better.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #12
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E30's are now 20 yrs old, the E46 chassis is a much better platform. Also it's an S14... need I say more? The e36 is still a good platform, but the e46 is better.
True, but I thought we were talking something cheaper to get into.

And also, in terms of handling an E36 M will eat any non M E46.

Back in its day it was in the top 10 of best handling cars in the world at the time in 96.

Also its a lot lighter then the E46.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:32 PM   #13
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True, but I thought we were talking something cheaper to get into.

And also, in terms of handling an E36 M will eat any non M E46.

Back in its day it was in the top 10 of best handling cars in the world at the time in 96.

Also its a lot lighter then the E46.
He's coming from a 996 turbo, I'm guessing he's got some money. Between an E46 M3, E46 325, and an E30 M3, the E30 would be my last choice. Also the word "cheap" and "racing" should never be used in the same sentence.

Stock yeah, but since we're talking about race cars what a stock car does is irrelevant. I don't care what a magazine said over a decade ago... because it was a decade ago. The E46 is stiffer, wider, more aerodynamic, and has better suspension geometry.

There's really not a huge gap in weight once the car is stripped out. Anyways, depending on what class he choses to race in there's a decent chance he'll have a minimum weight he has to meet anyways(which are usually pretty easy to achieve).
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:38 PM   #14
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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In regards to cost, this round i really dont want to break what ever is left of the bank, espessially in the times now. But $25k to $45k would be my max. I am seeing that pricing has gone down so much on all cars out there, i would like to avoid paying the premium on every step i take again. . .

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:24 PM   #16
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Well, i dumped too much money into the whole 996tt project over the years. Now trying to breath and just enjoy a well setup car, i dont care much for the e36 looks, but i hear they are the best. Just talked with scca who recommend a 323 328 e46 if i must have a newer body style. This is truely going to require some careful thought ! I really appreciate the feedback ! dean
I think it would help us if you gave us a price range and what you want to do. I thought you may want something right out of the box that you can do a few mods to to make it track ready.

If thats the case I still say E36 M3 (or if you can afford it the E46 M3 they are much lower in price now).

If you want a project and plan to do an engine swap pick up the E46 323/328 they are drive by cable instead of wire and would be easy to swap either the S52 from the E36 M3 or even the S54 from the E46 M3 (there is a full swap listed on this board).

I personally think though if you are going to spend all the money on doing alot of work to a non M E46 you can easily find an 01-02 E46 m3 for about the same and its basically track ready (switch out the pads and go).

Of course as you know from your 996 there is no end to modding so its really how far you want to go.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:42 PM   #17
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #18
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i am very thankful for all the advice i am getting because its becoming clear that i need to spend some time and think through what goals i want to accomplish. I wasted alot of money on my 996tt going in all the wrong directions with the wrong people. In the end tracking my 996tt was not the answer ( should have gone 996 gt3 ) Now, if i were to continue DE events and basic club activities then yes, m3 e46 ! After speaking to a few BMW owners they told me to really consider Spec Class Racing.

I talked with a couple racer mechanics who advised that i would really want to look at e36 for scca " i t s " class $25k full modd'd race legal spec car. He then explained that any e46 model, such as a popular 323 328 would put me into " i t r " at about $50k for a prepped car ( which incliudes some nine thousand dollar ecu thats needed, hmm odd )

My Desire is a e46 car, but i am not happy to hear of the price range for this non M3 car ( which m3 race class is far too advanced, i agree ) So, will it be a club DE event car e46 m3, or a scca race prepped e46 323 328 to spec ? I guess that will require some thought. Maybe i should completely focus on BMW for racing and continue to take a porsche to basic track events, best of both worlds, we will see...

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:31 PM   #19
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Don't forget to consider BMWCCA classes and NASA GTS classes.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:38 PM   #20
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I'd find a used 325 (2002-2003). There are a bazillion of them out there and they are dirt cheap to run.

On the other hand, find a 2001 330i. There are a boatload of them out there and you get all of the goodies (decent power, ZF trans and big rear wheel bearings). Those cars are a tank.

If you really want to go all out, I know of the fastest Koni Challenge ST BMW in the country. It's a piece of cake to drive and reliable as can be.
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