- Post is under moderation30 Jahre M3 debuts at #Nurburgring / #BMW-M3-F80 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW / #BMW-M3-30-Jahre / #BMW-M3-30-Jahre-Edition / #BMW-M3-30-Jahre-Edition-F80 / #BMW / #2016
To honour 30 years of #BMW-M3 production #BMW-M revealed a new 30 Jahre model at the ‘M Night’ on the evening before the Nürburgring 24-hour race. It will be limited to just 500 units worldwide and the UK market will receive just 30 cars, all built to a unique-to-the-UK spec. While the rest of the world will receive their 30 Jahre M3s in the iconic Macau blue (originally available as an option on the E30 M3), UK market cars will come in Individual Frozen silver with contrasting exclusive full leather Merino trim in bicolour Black/Fjord blue with colour-matching contrast seams.
The 30 Jahre M3 will be based on the 450hp M3 Competition model and features that car’s revised adaptive dampers as well as its 20-inch Style 666M alloy wheels, too. Externally you’ll be able to spot the 30 Jahre by its Individual High Gloss Shadow Line trim with black chrome tailpipe trims for the M sports exhaust system as well as a variety of carbon fibre additions, including a carbon fibre front splitter, mirror caps, rear diffuser and a carbon fibre rear spoiler. This edition model also features exclusively designed M gills in the front wings bearing the logo ‘M3 30 Jahre’.
Inside you get the Comp pack special seats and seat belts with M Tricolour striping along with an M Performance Alcantara Steering wheel and an M Performance Alcantara Gear Selector trim and surround. The ‘M3 30 Jahre’ logo also appears on the door sill trims, the carbon fibre dash trim and it’s also stitched into the front headrests, too.
UK-spec cars will be fully-kitted-out with Harman/Kardon surround sound, Adaptive LED headlights, M Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Head-up Display, M DCT transmission, Comfort Access, Surround View, Advanced Parking Pack, Extended Storage and a Speed Limit Display. Priced at £82,675 OTR, the M3 30 Jahre Edition goes on sale in summer 2016, exactly 30 years after the original E30 M3 was first available.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe Highs and Lows of Motor Racing. It’s been a busy month for the Saxon team with both the high and low points coming at the Silverstone 24-Hour race.
Hankook 24-Hour at #Silverstone / SAXON MOTORSPORT / / #BMW-N57 / #N57 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW / #BMW-E87 / #BMW-E87-N57 / #Saxon-Motorsport / #BMW-E87-Saxon-Motorsport / #N57-Saxon-Motorsport / #2016 /
This 24-Hour race really had everything; there were brilliant drives, some excellent spanner action, typical Northamptonshire spring weather and some seemingly dubious late rule changes. To say the Saxon team went through the mill would be something of an understatement.
Things started pretty well with a solid testing performance on the Thursday before the race weekend and progressed in a similar vein on Friday with a good showing by the Cotswold #BMW Groupsponsored 135d in free practice, which was watched very closely by competitors and race organisers alike. Despite the rules for the event having been put in place months before the race weekend Saxon Motorsport was informed after the practice session that the team would no longer be allowed to take onboard 100 litres of diesel at each pit stop but that the quantity was being reduced to 80 litres. In addition, the Balance of Performance rules were being adjusted so that the minimum allowable lap time of 2min 18sec was being increased by one second. This had the effect of negating the diesel-powered 135d’s economy advantage by introducing a possible additional four pit stops during the race and also limiting the ability to regain lost time.
Team owner, Nick Barrow, and team manager, Clare Lee, were involved in a heated discussion with the race organisers who were not penalising the petrol-powered cars in the class to the same extent. Eventually, agreement was reached so that the 2min 19sec minimum lap time would stand and the fuel allowance would be increased slightly to 90 litres. The team and drivers were disappointed to have the potential for their highly developed diesel-engined race car so severely curtailed before the event had even started. It was almost akin to two teams showing up for a football match and one team being told their goal was to be 50 per cent larger!
Despite the shifting goalposts the team was determined to work within the new limits and prove the quality of the race car built by chief engineer, Jon Taylor. Qualifying proved the ability of the car when Dave Robinson put in two laps, each of which would have placed the car seventh on the grid, much as anticipated by the team.
Race day dawned bright and sunny and the team was made aware that three of the cars that had qualified ahead of them on the starting grid had been penalised for technical infringements so Saxon would start in fourth place. Dave elected to start the race and was soon challenging the cars ahead.
As the afternoon and early evening wore on, the car led the race for some 19 laps before the weather intervened and further reduced the car’s competitiveness as in the slippery conditions other cars were able to more closely match the lower fuel consumption of the Saxon 135d.
Drama then struck during Dave’s second stint at around 1:10am when the gearbox developed a fault and became stuck in first gear. Saxon’s team of mechanics carried out a swift and impressive gearbox change (along with a new set of rear brake pads) and the car was returned to the track after 40 minutes, having dropped to 23rd position from seventh prior to the breakdown.
The rain and wet track conditions continued throughout the hours of darkness, with Nick and Neil Primrose struggling to gain places. However, towards the end of Neil’s dawn stint, light started to show at the end of the tunnel as the rain eased and daylight began to break. As Dave’s early morning session began, lap times began to fall and car number 117 started to set fastest sector and lap times lap after lap. Bringing the car in for a driver change at 8.58am, Dave had literally driven the tread off the wet tyres but the track had still not dried completely and those on slicks were still not faster than the 135d. However, after a further six laps, Clint Bardwell decided that the time had come to change to slick tyres and immediately showed the choice to have been timed to perfection by continuing to set fastest sector times all around the track.
At this stage, the team was rapidly rising through positions 17 to 12 and continued to climb as the excitement mounted. Nick and Neil maintained the push hard with a sixth place finish well in their sights, with Dave again scheduled to be at the helm for the final stint. But disaster struck at 2:45pm – just oneand- a-quarter hours from the chequered flag; Neil reported a sudden loss of power on the back straight and drove the car into the pits for Jon to diagnose a faulty turbocharger resulting in an early end of the race for Saxon!
The team and supporters who had begun to gather in the pit garage in anticipation of the final battle for places were heartbroken. The car and team had proven capable of competing with the best cars entered, having been the fastest throughout dry daylight hours and in different circumstances could well have triumphed. Instead the team were left to pack up and head back to Hereford, imagining what might have been but at the same time looking forward to the next opportunity to prove themselves in the knowledge that so much more is achievable. Post-Silverstone technical update The modifications that the team made prior to the Silverstone race to speed up the pit stops worked well, enabling them to carry out a driver change, complete with four wheel changes and a drinks bottle refill all within about 50 seconds.
However, more improvement is being sought before the next round with an overall pit stop target time of 30 seconds being the aim. The limiting element now is the wheel changing, whereas before Silverstone it was the driver change and drinks bottle refill. The new system for providing water for the drivers (whereby the mechanic on the left rear attaches a full bottle to the dry break connector fitted into the left rear door) worked well. Fears that he would forget to remove it after he had finished changing the wheel and the car would leave with the fill bottle attached proved unfounded. However, there was a minor problem with operation of the system in the car as when the on-board bottle was full and the driver braked he got a rather unexpected jet of water in the face! The team are confident that this will be cured before their Nürburgring race.
The wheel changing had been considerably improved for Silverstone by eliminating the need for torquing the wheel nuts individually, but the next most time-consuming part is putting the five wheel nuts back on when the new wheel is fitted. The team is now working on a way of securing a set of wheel nuts on the wheel that is about to be fitted so that they are in place and ready to be tightened as the wheel is put on.
The modified N57 engine that the team used at Silverstone has now been fully-stripped. Although this wouldn’t normally be Saxon’s practice after one race, this engine featured several new developments that hadn’t been tried before. It was therefore considered expedient to examine everything to be sure no problems were developing.
In particular, Jon wanted to examine the new oil pump that he had fitted into the sump. This was stripped along with its pipework and everything checked out well. The newly supplied crankshaft from Arrow Precision Engineering had completed its first race distance at Silverstone and so the team wanted to ensure that nothing was showing signs of premature wear. The only issue spotted here was some wear marks on the side of the main bearing shells; this does not appear to be a serious concern but the cause needs to be investigated by the team and Arrow before the next race. In addition, the team had not been entirely happy with the surface finish on the top of the block and the cylinder head so these have been remachined before reassembly to ensure the best possible seal for the head gasket.
On one occasion during the Silverstone race a ‘low battery voltage’ dash board alarm had been noticed by one driver warning but once cancelled didn’t appear again. After the race Jon started to investigate what could have caused this and eventually found that a connector between a switch panel on the dash board and the main loom had been overheating and looked as if it could fail imminently. This has now been sent to the loom manufacturer to have a higherrated connector fitted.
Changing focus for the season
Preparations are now in full swing for the next confirmed outing at the Nürburgring over the weekend of 26-29 May. Those following the Saxon team will know that the intention was to run Italian driver Luca Demarci in the hybrid LPG/diesel car in GT Cup races this year but due to unforeseen budget issues, Luca has had to withdraw from the series at present. This means that the team’s focus is on the Creventic Series of endurance races for road-based cars such as the BMW 1 Series – the Hankook sponsored Touring Car Endurance Series – under the same regulations as the Silverstone race.
In addition to these races at Slovakia-ring in June and Meppen, northern Germany, Barcelona and Paul Ricard later in the year, Nick is planning to visit the VLN Series at the famous Nürburgring. “Our V10 petrol-engined car is being prepared for a couple of trips to Germany,” he says. “Having raced many times at the ‘Ring in sprint and endurance races, I know that this car will be a formidable tool on that track and can’t wait to give it a try.” Like the diesel endurance car, the V10 will be liveried in Cotswold BMW colours in recognition of its sponsorship and support. The VLN Series consists of ten rounds of four- to six-hour races throughout the year and the team is well acquainted with the track, having run there with many class wins since 2012.
Nick previously ran this car in Britcar last year, proving its competitiveness and now he wants to prove its durability. The team hope to combine these races with qualifying races for two new drivers who raced with the team at the final Britcar race at Donington last season; Martin Gibson and Ellis Hadley acquitted themselves well in the team’s Cotswold BMW-sponsored 3.0-litre diesel in only their first competitive outing in the car and have embarked on the road to qualifying for the #2017 #Nurburgring 24-Hour race. This will involve a series of sprint races in a 2.0-litre car before they can enter the endurance race. “We are happy to fit a 2.0-litre engine to one of our cars to enable them to qualify with us,” said Jon. “We know the car will be competitive there and they’ve proved to be good drivers and team members so we wish them well trying to qualify.”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTEAM AMERICA
When Kings Auto Body Shop decided to build an E46 M3 racer, it employed the philosophy of go big or go home. Kings Auto Body Shop took an uncompromising approach to building this E46 M3 racer. ‘Go big or go home’ were the watchwords and, with genuine GTR DNA, it certainly delivers the goods… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andy Tipping.
There are many varied and disparate cars that you may spot on any given day at the #Nurburgring , from race prototypes to Transit vans, stripped-out track day specials to commuter-spec Octavias, and everything in between. But the three most prevalent sights can be neatly subdivided into three categories: Porsche 911s (of varying vintage, state of tune and level of competence), locals in diesel Golfs (who are invariably making much more rapid progress than any of the 911s), and heavily tweaked M3s. The Green Hell and the M3 go hand in hand, and there’s something addictive to the owners of E36s and E46s in particular that keeps them coming back, eager to test out the effectiveness of their latest choice of rubber or tweaks to their suspension.
The racy E46 M3 that’s posing for the lens today is a true-blue Nordschleife battler, exactly the type of thing that you’d expect to see bobbing around the Karussell with flames licking from its cheeky side-exit pipes…except that it isn’t. It’s never even been there. This car, while it may appear at first glance to be a hardcore Euro race build, is in fact Californian through-and-through, and the closer you look, the more dedication to Stateside tuning you discover. Built and raced by Kings Auto Body Shop in Huntington Beach, it’s as American as apple pie, colossal drugstores, and putting too many advert breaks in TV shows. It’s just one tiny step short of being plastered in stars and stripes.
The project acts as a sort of glorious manifestation of the vivid dreams of Ayed Alnajjar, the man who happily dotes on Kings Auto Body like a proud father. “I purchased the shop in 2013, and I brought it back to life,” he explains. “We mostly do insurance work, but our signature is race cars and wide bodies. And me personally? I’ve owned over 20 BMWs over the years, and this is my second BMW race car.” You can see why the project was spirited into being – a history of Bavarian fettling, a shop in which to carry out the work to expert level, and a desire to showcase the skills of the business in a fairly visible manner. It’d be madness for Ayed not to build a gorgeously detailed and brutally effective M3 racer, really. What a fortuitous position to find oneself in.
Now, you may be eyeing the broad, aggressive girth of the E46 and pondering the origins of the aesthetic. DTM, perhaps? It’s wider than a #BTCC racer, that’s for sure, but there’s a distinct Euro race car vibe radiating from the M3 as it sits menacingly before the lens, the exhaust ticking frantically after an enthusiastic run. But looks can be deceiving, and this car has been leading you up a dark path… the inspiration for the look came, in fact, from the M3 GTR – one of the key elements of quintessential American-ness that makes this car unique.
A quick history lesson, then. The E46 M3 road car, as we know, arrived on the scene in late-2000 sporting a 3.2-litre S54 straightsix under its extravagantly bulging bonnet. It was a bona fide muscle car, offering a significant power hike over its E36 predecessor, and rocking the sort of unmistakable road presence that would trigger a reflex to involuntarily pull out of the way as soon as it appeared in an opponent’s rear view mirror. It didn’t ask, it just took. An uncompromising thing.
Race versions inevitably ensued, and the M3 GTR development became a shining star in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). It was powered by a #P60B40 motor, a 4.0-litre V8 only to be found in the GTR, snorting out somewhere between 440-470hp depending on setup.
The M3 GTR was, it has to be said, a bit of a naughty boy. While S54-powered E46s would be monstered by Porsche 911 GT3s on track, the V8-engined cars were rather dominant at the hands of Schnitzer Motorsport, which caused Porsche to cry foul play: it pointed out, quite fairly, that it wasn’t possible to buy a V8-engined E46 road car, so it was violating the spirit of the ALMS ethos. The governing body insisted that a road-going variant must be on sale on two continents within a year of the rules being drawn up to be eligible, and BMW made plans to build ten road cars for such a purpose, to be sold at €250,000 apiece. In the end, however, they didn’t bother – they built six – but these cars weren’t made available for public sale. Indeed, three of them were just development mules that got scrapped.
When the rules changed in 2002, stipulating that 100 cars had to be built to homologate the racers, BMW pulled out of ALMS altogether. This means that if you want to buy an apple-pie M3 GTR, well, you can’t.
That’s why Ayed decided to build one. Not a faithful but unforgiving V8-engined homage, but a proven and reliable S54-powered E46 whose body pays tribute to the shortlived splendour of the GTR. The car’s wearing a Flossman GTR wide-body kit, which is just about as authentic as it’s possible to get with this sort of thing; the wider wings and arches, the front and rear bumpers, the aero side skirts, it’s all artfully hand-crafted in Germany by Peter Flossman, linchpin of the Judd racing team among much else, and it’s all to the original BMW Motorsport development specs for the GTR race car, as tested in BMW’s own wind tunnel. It is, in short, a pukka piece of kit.
But Ayed was always fully intent on doing this properly: “My previous race car was an E36 M3,” he recalls. “I built up the engine to the best of its abilities, but the best I could reliably get with that car with cams was 270hp. I wasn’t happy with the wheel space either because I couldn’t fit anything bigger than 255-section tyres. So I decided to go with the E46 M3, it just made sense. As standard it makes more power than a built S52 engine, and once I got the E46 M3, I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a true one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA.”
Well yes, there’s no arguing that he’s achieved that with some level of gusto. Having purchased the car as a bare shell – no engine, no transmission, no interior, no suspension – the team at Kings set about building a pure race weapon from the ground up, selecting every component based on its performance creds as well as light weight and durability. Under the copiously vented DTM Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet sits a full-race S54 with hot Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads and a sultry CSL air box, all of which spits out its heady gases through a customcrafted side-exit exhaust (just like a real M3 GTR race car!). The chassis is suspended by Moton coilovers and all manner of goodies from the Ground Control catalogue, with some substantial Brembos champing at the bit to rein all of that thrust back in. It’s a very effective package, and the spec list reads like a who’s-who of quality parts.
“The car was built for the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) German Tuning Series, although the car was actually debuted at SEMA 2014. It was its first time out in public once we’d finished the build, and people’s reactions were amazing. I can’t tell you how many people have told me this is their dream car!” The important point that Ayed’s not making here, of course, is that it’s his dream car too – and he’s the one holding the keys. Funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it?
This build, then, is a fusion of BMW developmental tangents. Given the chance, it’d lap up the verdant and serpentine spaghetti curves of the Nürburgring all day long, negotiating the tricky cambers, undulating gradients and truculent weather systems as being all in a day’s work. But, as fate insists, it’s not a moistened Euro fighter – it’s a dry-as-a-bone Cali scrapper. The neat link here is that a couple of the original Schnitzer GTR race cars saw later action at the ’Ring for the 2003 24-Hour event, which pulls the DNA across the Atlantic, and then pings it back like a piece of tautly-stretched elastic and fires it squarely into Kings Auto Body Shop with a resounding thump.
Ayed’s out there in the glaring West Coast sun, wringing the M3’s neck and taking scalps in the NASA GTS, as stridently as the GTRs of yore – and this surely means that, dream fulfilled, he can dust off his hands and enjoy the fruits of Kings’ labours, yes? No, of course not. These things are never finished. And now that everything’s nicely bedded in, a GTR rep should really have a V-engine, shouldn’t it? What do you say then, Ayed – fancy tracking down one of those unicorn P60 V8s? “No,” he says, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “I think I want to put a V10 in there.” Well, he did say ‘go big or go home’…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW E46 M3 Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer / #BMW-M3-Racer-E46 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 /
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 , #CSL air box, 288/280 Schrick cams, Stage 3 heads, ported throttle body, high compression (12.5:1 ratio), AP pulleys, #AP headers, custom side-exit exhaust system, Stage 4 clutch, #AEM infinity standalone management, sixspeed manual transmission rebuilt with 3.91 gearing.
CHASSIS 11x18” #Apex-EC-7 wheels (front and rear) (ET25, 15mm spacers all-round), 295/30 soft-compound tyres (front and rear), Motorsport wheel studs with race nuts, #Moton three-way adjustable coilovers, Ground Control camber plates, Ground Control anti-roll bars, #Ground-Control adjustable control arms, #Brembo BBK with four-piston front calipers and 355mm discs, four-piston rears and 345mm discs, stainless steel lines, #Hard-Motorsport brake cooling backing plates.
EXTERIOR Flossman GTR wide-body kit, #APR front splitter, APR diffuser built and designed by Raceworkz , #APR-GT500 wing (71” wide), Hard Motorsport retractable tow hooks, #DTM-Fiberwerkz GTR bonnet, DTM Fiberwerkz carbon-fibre roof, carbon fibre bootlid, RAD Industries Lexan windows, #RAD-Industries custom fuel cell.
INTERIOR #Sparco Ergo seat, Sparco steering wheel, Sparco harness, mesh window net, mesh centre net, Hard Motorsport CAE shifter, fire extinguisher system, #GS-Werks custom roll-cage.
THANKS Undr8d Empire, ECElite Automotive, DTM Fiberwerkz, RAD Industries, Hard Motorsport, Hardware Motorsports, Raceworkz, GSR Technik, GS Werks.
“Once I got the E46 M3, E46 M3 Racer I decided to go big or go home! I wanted to make a one-of-a-kind E46, with thoroughbred race car DNA”
Kings’ M3 looks the business thanks to #Flossman-GTR wide-body kit, built to the original #BMW-Motorsport specs of the GTR race car.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLONGTERMERS #BMW-M3-E92-Track-Project / #BMW-M3-E92-Track-Car / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-E92 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW-M3
I will have to start this month with a bit of an explanation – I obtained the M3 in October last year and hopefully you’ll have read last month’s piece, with me telling you about the first track day in the car etc, but things have moved on massively since then, so I will be trying to compress this year’s goings on into the next few months before things are about to start going mental in #2016 !
So the ethos as with any track/race-car, if you can afford it, is to uprate the brakes, suspension, tyres and get a good seat and harness – so this is exactly what I did…
The front brakes were changed for the #AP-Racing CP5555M1050BG.G8 kit (six-pot callipers and 368mm x 36mm discs instead of the larger 378s, to allow fitment of 18-inch wheels) with the CP6602-1001BK.G8 rear kit (four-pot callipers and 352mm x 26mm discs). I originally asked for the standard Ferodo DS2500 pads (which are not suitable for track use) to be swapped out for the brilliant Pagid RS29s, but sadly there were none in stock in the UK at the time, so went with Ferodo 1.11 endurance pads and was assured they would be up to the job and as they were an endurance pad should even last a bit longer than other pads. Naturally, being a genuine AP kit, it went on seamlessly and I couldn’t wait to try them out.
Before I could do this, and knowing how good they are from previously driven cars, a set of #KW Club Sports were ordered, so the car sat for a further six weeks until they arrived. These were fitted and the geometry was set to 1mm toe-in on the rear, with the front set to parallel, 2 degrees negative camber on the rear and 3 degrees on the front.
So that was the suspension and brakes sorted – that left the wheels and tyres. The design of the car allows it to run stupidly large tyres all round and after a bit of reading and research, it was only ever going to go one way and a set of Gloss Black Apex Racing 10x18 ET25 were ordered for a square setup. With these on their way from America the only tyres I could guarantee for the job was a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cups – not Cup+ I might add, and certainly not the new Cup 2s, just the regular Cup 1s. Out of interest, if you want to know, to my mind the Cup 2s offer grip levels only marginally better than the Supersports and the Cup+ are like a regular Cups, but have a couple of extra water lines. If you’re track/race mad, then regular Cup 1s for the win…
So four 285, yes 285/30/18 Cups were ordered, along with a set of 10mm spacers for the front to stop the wheels rubbing the KWs up the wrong way and a 5mm spacer on the rear, just because that’s what the fastest man around the ‘Ring in an E92 M3 said he was running on that particular day!
So wheels and tyres on – wow! They looked big, mahoosive, gigantic – these are going to be a lot of fun. Only thing missing now was the #Recaro SPG XL seats. Recaro had a back order then they shut for Christmas and then racing season started, so it took over five months to get two red seats as anything other than black was a special order, as apparently not many people want red seats – who would of thought… So now we had seats and harnesses fitted, trim out, APs on, KWs on and 285 Cups with lightweight #Apex Arc-8s – time to get on track!
My first trackday of the year was at Bedford Autodrome in February, which I always do with a large group of friends from back in the Ford days. Not many of us own Fords any more, as we have seen the light and now have BMWs, Clio Cup cars and a couple of Lotus’s – you get the idea. I would like to state that I drove the car there on the standard wheels and changed onto the Cups once there – this was made easy by a stud and nut conversion like the trackorientated GTS runs as standard and I can honestly say it makes a wheel change so much easier than having to hold the rim in place and line the holes up etc. I’m sure you have all done it before and know it’s a pain.
So on track damp at first, feeling the car out… feels really good – soft but good. I start pushing a couple of really high powered Focus RS Mk2s that were out playing together – so I join in the fun. It doesn’t take long to overtake and pull away from them, where I then find that the traction control is playing me up, as it keeps kicking in. At one point I was dropping the gears going up and down the gearbox as the car just didn’t like the amount of grip the Cups and suspension were giving, so was constantly bogging the car down. This was ok if driving normally, but once you start to push the car, you have to turn the traction off or at least into MDM mode, where it allows you to have a certain amount of slip, but if the car feels like you are too far gone or really getting out of shape, it will gather the rear end up for you by cutting power and applying individual brakes. So with MDM mode enabled, now we are really flying another friend had a basically standard E46 M3 and it’s just hopeless against the modified E92. I meet up with the two Focus’s again and it’s not even sport now (the term shooting fish in a barrel springs to mind!) with the gap closed on them within two corners, and then I am on them and gone – this thing is a rocket-ship, still big, but damn fast! I take out various people and all of them are blown away by the car’s pace, the way the box changes gear and the sheer grip I am getting from the Cups and KWs…The APs are doing the job, but not 100 per cent satisfactory, but then I am having so much fun I’m not too bothered. I wrap the day up, put the standard wheels back on and set off ready for home with the biggest grin you can imagine. All the hard work getting the car to this level was finally paying off.
The next outing in the car was at a more familiar track for me, with Snetterton being my local circuit. This particular day a friend who owns an E46 M3 had just completed building a RWD Escort Cosworth with my old 500hp GT30 engine in it and as it weighed just 1200kg this was going to be fun against my 1480kg and 420hp – or to put it another way around 416hp per tonne versus 280hp per tonne – place your bets! As luck would have it was supposed to be snowing – is this lucky or not? I’m not too sure to be honest. I know I have a fantastic traction control system, but my friend who has a lot more rear-wheel-drive experience than me, has also got his E46 M3 with him (just in case the Cosworth breaks down).
It starts out without any snow, just wet and a bit slippery, but it doesn’t take me long to find him out on the track in the Escort and by the end of the back straight I have caught him, overtaken him and am long gone. The day pretty much goes on like this every time we cross paths. There weren’t many cars on track because of the weather, so I take the opportunity to explore the limits of grip in relative safety. Surprisingly it copes really well even when we go into a full blown blizzard and the marshals are still letting us out on track, you can’t help but have a little drift and the day was just getting better as my confidence in the car ramped up. Eventually my friend gave up fighting the limited traction in the Escort (probably fed up with being lapped by the “slower” BMW) and got his E46 out and we were now trying to drive as straight as we could in the snow (honest Mr Marshall!). With the childish antics out of the way I came home realizing I needed some good tuition in the car. The car was set-up super aggressively, especially for the wet and I knew that if I wanted to be fast I had to get some professional advice on what was going on with me and the car.
After reading up on some driver tuition there are various people out there and the guy I chose came very highly recommended and after reading a few articles from him, he certainly seemed to know what he was talking about – and perfect for my level of experience in a rear-wheel drive car anyway.
I decided that it was best to go back to Snetterton for my tuition, as I didn’t want the complication of learning a circuit at the same time as being taught how to handle the car on the limit. This time it’s dry, I know where I am going and the Cups are on. With the instructor in the car with me we start to push hard. MDM mode is engaged and he is showing me some very nice tips and tricks and some places to go a little deeper on the brakes or turn in a little earlier that transpired to him saying by the end of the day “we’re not hanging about” with a big grin. One piece of advice he imparted was for me not to jump off of the brakes and back on to the throttle so aggressively and that I should try and be a bit smoother. I have addressed this now, but at the time it was good to hear, as I think me braking too early and then jumping off the anchors to get back on the gas as quickly as possible was actually slowing me down. I probably still do it a little but I am certainly conscious of it now and am trying to change my driving style to his suggestions.
One thing I did start to notice now was the suspension could have done with being a little firmer on the front and the rear, as I noticed that the car felt a little floaty at high speed. I hadn’t noticed at Bedford, as it was my first time out with all the upgrades on the car and with the track being wet and snowing at the previous Snetterton trackday. With this all taken into consideration, I went away having learned a lot about the track, the car and myself.
Next month I will be getting into a bit more detail about the suspension geometry and there’s more track action from Cadwell Park this time as well as a sniff of the #Nurburgring …Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMAXIMUM ATTACK! KW’s S1 Clubsport takes on the Nürburgring / #Audi-A1 / #Audi-S1 / #Audi /
COVER STORY KW’s S1 Clubsport at the #Nürburgring
CLUB CLASSIC Words Davy Lewis Photography Mark Riccioni
KW Automotive tuned this 2015 #Audi-S1-Quattro to show what can be achieved with their track day-focused Clubsport coilover system.
The #Nürburgring #Nordschleife is an unforgiving beast. Over 13 miles of unforgiving tarmac that snakes its way through the verdant Eifel forest; it really does take no prisoners. A lap that begins in sunlight may turn to rain, fog or even snow by the time you’re halfway around. It is not a place for the faint-hearted. But therein lies its appeal.
The very nature of this ultimate ‘toll road’ means it attracts many thousands of visitors. From seasoned drivers keen to enjoy every twist and turn as they chase a Bridge to Gantry time; to beginners taking it steady, happy just to be at this legendary circuit; its appeal is enduring.
The brutal nature of the Nordschleife means that is has become the place to test cars. It’s not surprising, then, that manufacturers queue up to test their top secret new models here. You can see the heavily disguised mules being flung around by expert test drivers – if a car can perform well in this hostile environment, it will perform well anywhere.
It’s for this very reason that KW Automotive, one of the world’s most respected suspension manufacturers has a base here. Consequently, the UK arm of the business run by MD, Richard Good, spends a lot of time out here. So when their latest project S1 needed a full shakedown, the KW team headed to the Ring.
The car itself was purchased with a plan already in mind. “We wanted something to showcase the KW Clubsport range of coilovers,” says MD, Richard. “We’ve shown what our Variant 2 and 3 kits can do, but not really pushed the Clubsport range,” he adds. “Part of the challenge is making people aware of the differences between V3 and Clubsport. If you buy an S3 for example, a lot of people want to add some power, an exhaust and lower it. They want something that’s good for daily use and the occasional track outing. The Variant 3 is perfect for this,” he continues. “But, as soon as you get more serious; take out some weight; add semi-slicks etc, the Variant 3 is a bit soft.”
After two years adapting Variant 3 kits for those that wanted firmer spring rates for track days, KW decided to create the Clubsport solution – specifically tailored to the track enthusiast who demands more. The challenge was getting the message across that the Clubsport kit is a more track-focused solution, but not at the expense of on-road comfort. And so project S1 was born.
“We thought about a Porsche,” smiles Richard, “but they’re fast out of the box, so by adding our suspension, we’d just be making a fast car even faster.” The Audi on the other hand offered something else. “The S1 is okay in stock form but, for me, it’s a little boring,” admits Richard. Not to say that the baby quattro is a bad car. Far from it. I’ve driven several, including Revo’s 340bhp tuned example and it’s one of the most fun Audis I’ve ever driven. But, there’s the point – it’s been tuned. In standard trim they are a little safe; there’s so much more to be had.
“We wanted to make the S1 more aggressive,” states Richard. If it was to showcase the Clubsport coilovers, it had to have the full Clubsport package in the same vein as the mighty Porsche GT3 RS – that meant bucket seats, a half-cage and, of course, semi-slicks. With a virgin white S1 quattro delivered, work began on upgrading it.
As you’d expect, the first thing to do was get it to KW’s local track, Brands Hatch, to give it a shakedown. After all, it’s hard to measure improvement if you don’t have a stock car to compare it with. KW’s resident test driver, Marc Kemp, was drafted in to put the little Audi through its paces. As a professional instructor and Time Attack driver, he’s also a Ring veteran with well over 1000 laps under his belt. It’s safe to say the man can pedal a bit.
Unsurprisingly for a stock road car, the limits were soon reached and it was clear that huge improvements could be made with suspension upgrades (a tendency to under steer and a lack of willingness to turn in being the main issues.)
The S1 was rolled into KW’s workshop to have the Clubsport kit fitted up. The coilovers are fully adjustable for height, plus bump and rebound, and can be spec’d with adjustable top mounts for that extra fine tuning of the suspension geometry – essential to create a capable track car. This would allow the toe and castor to be tweaked for that crisp and predictable turn in.
“With the first test Clubsport kit fitted, I thought it felt great,” comments Richard, but test driver Marc spotted a couple of flaws at Brands Hatch. “Coming into a dip, the rear springs compressed so much that the rear wheel was in the arch – it wasn’t stiff enough under extreme conditions.” KW decided they needed to find a better balance. “We also found that if the rear end squats to a certain point, it trips a sensor and the ECU puts the car into limp mode – not what you want on track!” he laughs. “It’s things like this that you can only find out by testing things properly on track.” With a list of improvements noted, Richard, Marc and the team headed out to the Nürburgring. The first stop was KW’s partners, Raeder Motorsport. Here technician, Christoph, was tasked with carrying out the adjustments they wanted, which included firmer front and rear spring rates, plus adjustments to the toe, castor and a full corner weight set-up. All of this took a full day; then it was time to test it on track.
With over 1000 laps behind him, Marc Kemp knows every inch of the Nordschleife and he wasted no time in putting the S1 through it paces. “We joined an RMA track day,” recalls Richard, “it was full of high-end cars with well-heeled owners, and they were all amazed by the little Audi,” he smiles. “We had people coming over to say how impressed they were and wanting to find out what we’d done to the suspension.” The fact Marc was able to leave cars with much more power behind in the turns, demonstrated how well set up it had been. “They caught up with us on the straights, but once into the turns, we could brake later and turn in much harder; leaving them behind again.”
The revisions that had been suggested at Brands Hatch had now been fully proven on the most demanding track in the world. Of course, with the suspension set-up nailed, the rest of the car couldn’t be left stock. Cobra supplied a bespoke set of their latest seats, complete with KW logos and custom sub frames, to get them sitting nice and low (when your test driver is 6ft 5in, things like this matter!) The rear seats have been trimmed to match and Cobra went the extra mile by treating the gear and hand brake gaiters, together with the door cards to Alcantara with contrasting red stitching. It really does look like an OEM factory special. The final interior touch is a half-roll cage. It was designed and fitted by German company, Wiechers, who specialise in prototype cars; in fact they built the roll cage fitted to Audi’s very own TT Clubsport Turbo (featured in AT issue 006). It uses the seatbelt mounting points to create a truly bolt-in affair that can be easily removed. Although this S1 is very much about showcasing what can be achieved with the Clubsport suspension, there was no way the engine was going to be left stock. The 2.0 TFSI unit kicks out a healthy 228bhp from standard, but there’s a lot more to be had with some simple upgrades.
Revo were chosen to supply a custom map, and there’s a full Scorpion exhaust fitted. The turbo back exhaust includes a sports cat and some purposeful looking quad oval tailpipes. Together with a Revo carbon air intake, power is around 320bhp with over 360lb/ ft of torque. That may not sound huge, but bear in mind this is in an extremely well set-up car. The engine and chassis upgrades combine to create a devastatingly capable package on the road or on track days. As race instructor Marc Kemp says, “I was very surprised; I didn’t expect it to do what it did. You [Richard] must be very pleased with that.”
And there we have it. KW’s S1 quattro Clubsport is a little monster. Look out for it at track events this year and see it at our new indoor event, #VAG Tuner Expo on 25 October.
KW’S PARTNERS KW would like to say a big thank you to all their industry partners that helped to create this project: Cobra www.cobraseats.co.uk Revo www.revotechnik.com HEL www.helperformance.com Toyo www.toyo.co.uk Scorpion www.scorpion-exhausts.com Wiechers www.wiechers-sport.de Raeder Motorsport www.raeder-motorsport.de OZ Wheels www.ozracing.co.uk RMA Track Days www.rmatrackdays.com
Above: Test driver Marc Kemp rocking some cool shades..
SPECIFICATION #2015 #Audi-S1-Quattro-Clubsport
Engine 2.0 TFSI, Revo custom ECU software, #Scorpion turbo back exhaust system with quad oval tailpipes and sports cat, #Revo carbon fibre intake
Power 320bhp and 360lb/ft
Transmission 6-speed manual, stock clutch (for now)
Brakes OEM discs with Pagid RS Yellow pads, HEL lines, Castrol race fluid
Suspension #KW-Clubsport coilovers with adjustable top mounts, geometry fully setup and corner weighted by #Raeder-Motorsport
Wheels and Tyres White #OZ multi-spoke alloys in 8x17in with Toyo R888 semi-slick tyres
Exterior 3-door Audi S1 quattro in Ibis white with #KW logos
Interior Bespoke Cobra bucket seats with harnesses, rear seats trimmed to match, Wiechers custom half roll cage, Alcantara door cards and gear/handbrake gaiters with red stitching
Tuning contacts KW Automotive www.kwautomotive.co.uk
Thanks to Ben and Mark at SceneMedia for all their help with the feature
KW Clubsport coilovers have been designed to offer race car technology for the road and track day use. Think of the Variant 3 for the average guy with a mildly tuned Audi and Clubsport for someone that intends to drive harder and use their car more on track; but the Clubsport package still offers comfort and compliance for the road. There are a multitude of settings and adjustments available with the 2-way Clubsport – 16 clicks of rebound and 12 clicks of bump, so the perfect set up can be achieved according to your driving style. If you’re reducing the weight or adding different wheels and tyres, it allows a bespoke set up to be achieved. Adjustable top mounts are available for even more fine tuning of the castor and camber (dependant on model) to dial in that turn in. KW Clubsport is a very well made and easy to adjust system.
Far left: The KW test base left: Marc Kemp puts the S1 through it paces
The Ring is the most infamous track on earth. This 13+mile test of car and driver is unique in that it’s the longest circuit in the world, as well as technically a public toll road. You pay your entrance fee, then off you go for your lap.
The ageing surface and undulating geography is key to its character. Unlike glass-smooth modern race tracks, the Ring can and does catch people out. It’s for this reason that companies such as KW have test bases here, to put their products through rigorous testing. If something performs well here, it’ll perform well anywhere.
“We wanted to make the S1 more aggressive”
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- Post is under moderationIT ALWAYS TAKES THE 39 STAGES TO PAINT OF BMW AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES 40 / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-E24 / #BMW / #Promo / #1981
The finishing touches to the BMWs on the right didn't come from #BMW , #Alexander-Calder , #Frank-Stella and Roy Lichtenstein made those final brush strokes.
The result, however, as you might expect from BMW, is more than just a piece of modern art. For each of these cars have actually raced at tracks ranging from #Le-Mans to #Nurburgring .
And in those races they were a moving demonstration of BMWs philosophy that, in an era of mass produced cars, there's still a place for the individualist.
If you find the examples on the right a little too ostentatious, the philosophy is equally well reflected by the more sober example on the left: the BMW-635CSi-E24 . Individualism, after alt is never to be equated with exhibitionism.
Rather, in the world of motoring, it concerns the ability to create a car that's an extension of the driver’s personality.
And that means we won't start building a BMW 6 Series E24 for you until you've specified tow you'd like it built (a procedure which partly explains why we’ll only be able to build around 6.000 BMW 6 Series E24 for the entire world in 1981).
So even without resorting to the 40th stage of the painting process, we still offer you the pick of 19 different colours.
Each one can be co-ordinated with any of a dozen different upholsteries, seven of which are in the supplest of leathers.
The attempt to create a precise match of machine with man goes well beyond the choice of creature comforts.
The gearbox, for example, can be three speed automatic, five speed overdrive, or five speed sports close ratio.
For though others may be prepared to make automatic transmission compulsory, to us it reveals an inflexibility that belongs more to the world of mass production Even the engine of the BMW 635CSi E24 is continually adapting to your driving style.
Up to 100 times every second its computer re-tunes the engine to enable it to extract the maximum amount of power from the minimum amount of petrol.
Which explains too surprising facts: First, that this 3.5 litre engine actually develops more power than the 4.5 litre engine of another sports coupe.
Secondly, it uses up to 30% less petrol than sports coupes of similar performance.
For not only does exhibitionism have no place in the BMW concept of individualism, neither does wanton extravagance Of course, constructing a car for individuals is more costly than building a vehicle for the masses.
The BMW 6 Series starts at £16,635 for the new #M30B28 / #M30 2.8-litre #BMW-628CSi , and £18,950 for the #M30B34 #BMW-635CSi .
Which is no more than cars that are still several stages away from being a BMW.
THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE 1981
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- Post is under moderation#BMW-M1 ProCar rejuvenated
Japanese entrepreneur and president of the BMW Clubs Japan, Masakuni Hosobuchi, has added this stunning #M1 ProCar to his collection of #BMW-M-Cars when he collected it from BMW Welt in Munich. The ‘Yes to the Nürburgring’ ProCar is painted with the traditional race track in the Eifel and shows the connection between BMW and the old #Nürburgring . #Nelson-Piquet and Hans-Joachim Stuck achieved a class victory and third overall with this car in #1980 at the 1000km race at the Nordschleife. The unique car was restored over several years by the customer workshop of BMW Group Classic and the experts at BMW M GmbH and is now in as-new condition.
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- Post is under moderationA tale of two Porsches. One of the more mouthwatering sights at Monterey was the freshly restored #1969 #Gulf-Porsche 917K that racer-cum-dealer #Bruce-Canepa dangled in front of the classic car world’s big players. The #Porsche-917 -which has fascinating, if mindbog-glingly complex history - played tantalisingly discreet cameos at a number of the major events.
What has become known as chassis #Porsche 017/004 was actually the first delivered to John Wyer’s Slough equipe in December #1969 - having run at the #Nurburgring with #David-Piper and #Frank-Gardner in pre-K form - and made its JWAE debut at Brands Hatch for the ’70 BOAC 1000km, with Jo Siffert and Brian Redman sharing.
So far, so simple. After Chris Amon’s #Ferrari 512S punted Redman to end the 917’s run, however, Wyer ordered the reserve chassis - 017 - from Zuffenhausen, while 004 was returned to Porsche, repaired and renumbered as 017.
That chassis - formerly 004, now 017 - was sold to Australian Alan Hamilton in #1975 and then passed through a host of owners, including Pat Burke, David Piper and Stephane Ratel, before winding up with Portuguese Miguel Amaral, who commissioned the rebuild.
The job took two years and now the car is up for sale. So, form an orderly queue!
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