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View Full Version : (2009) Which Stock BMW Models Excel At Autocross?



agreatham
10-01-2009, 11:39 PM
I was looking at the SCCA national results (http://www.scca.com/popup/raceresult.aspx?event=13555&file=854) and there are only a handful of BMWs in stock classes that even made it to the finals. Most of the entries were Mazdas, Hondas or Minis. Are BMWs just too heavy compared to the other makes? If I wanted to stay with a BMW and be competitive in SCCA Solo, what would my best bet be?

mcoupemindy
10-02-2009, 07:34 AM
I was looking at the SCCA national results (http://www.scca.com/popup/raceresult.aspx?event=13555&file=854) and there are only a handful of BMWs in stock classes that even made it to the finals. Most of the entries were Mazdas, Hondas or Minis. Are BMWs just too heavy compared to the other makes? If I wanted to stay with a BMW and be competitive in SCCA Solo, what would my best bet be?

SCCA "Stock" is not stock ...

Car54
10-02-2009, 08:10 AM
I don't think finals are based on winning regionally either...you just go (to the middle of the US) and enter. The competition is insane from what I hear and cars really need to be prepped to the max for the respective class.

As SCCA rules change and morph cars seem to go in and out of competitiveness.

Biggins
10-02-2009, 08:18 AM
Are BMWs just too heavy compared to the other makes?
Short answer: Yes... from recent results, I feel the only BMWs that could legitimately compete for a class win at a national event in a stock class would be the 135 or 330 ZHP in DS or the E36 318 in HS. Neither are the top cars for those classes though. You also would need Hoosiers, at least Konis, and good sways for all of those BMWs to stay close.


If I wanted to stay with a BMW and be competitive in SCCA Solo, what would my best bet be?
You can be competitive with anything in any class on a local level even with SCCA, although the DC SCCA region has very good drivers in probably 60-70+% of the classes. If I had to build/drive a BMW for SCCA classing right now, I think the viable options are E36/46 six-cylinder in STX or DSP, E46 M3 in STU, E30/36/46/90 with a big motor in SM, SSM, or XP, possibly a Z3/Z4 in the new STR class. Obviously, driving talent is of great importance, but there are some classes I feel that just can't be won unless you have "the car" and it's prepped to the max.

agreatham
10-02-2009, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I think I'll keep my M3 for now and focus on upgrading the steering wheel spacer ;)

Scany
10-02-2009, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I think I'll keep my M3 for now and focus on upgrading the steering wheel spacer ;)

Good call! :icon_rock

Reach
10-03-2009, 03:34 PM
The biggest issue for 'us' is that the SCCA has a large bias towards older / inexpensive cars when it comes to classing. There are very few new performance cars, of any brand, which can go from 0 to competitive with only a great driver. Porsches have it worse than we do even.

I'd like to see them class our cars more competitively. I'd like to see E46 M3s with mustang GTs and the new chevys. We weight the same and have similar engine output, but we'd take them everywhere else (with a solid driver). Sadly, that just won't happen. Instead we can choose to run against corvettes and s2000's in A stock (ridiculous) and all wheel drive torque boosters in STU. And there's BSP...

With the M3, build out to STU class spec and have fun with it. I like building for STU spec because it leaves you with a mean street car you can drive all the time. No need for slicks on race day, cause they are not allowed. No need to strip every panel off the chassis for that last pound of savings, cause you're not allowed to. Warning though: wdcr has a very competitive stu class with 5-6 boost buggies for every m3 that shows up.

ronh21
10-03-2009, 06:37 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. I think I'll keep my M3 for now and focus on upgrading the steering wheel spacer ;)

What kind of spacer? You're extending the column? Still using the stock steering wheel?

Car54
10-04-2009, 09:21 PM
Ron, I think OP meant to reference "tightening the nut behind the wheel".

agreatham
10-04-2009, 11:22 PM
Ron, I think OP meant to reference "tightening the nut behind the wheel".

Ah yes, that's the term I was looking for. Thanks.

mcoupemindy
10-05-2009, 07:21 AM
Mike needs to purchase one of these: http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=12

Can you buy one for my car too?

woodym3
10-05-2009, 09:11 AM
This year's Nationals seemed to have fewer BMWs than recent years. Some of this may be due to contingency monies, but other than D-Street Prepared, there's no class where a fulled prepped BMW is THE car to have. And these Nationals are so competitive it is unbelievable. For example, John Vitamvas is running a Corvette Z06 in the very competitive DC Region events and is always near the top of the SuperSport Stock class. At the Nationals John was 35th of 60 entries in that class.

BradMW
10-05-2009, 12:02 PM
What's the most competitive class to build a Z4M Coupe for in SCCA? I realize that it's completely pointless to even try with one, but what's the optimal class?

agreatham
10-05-2009, 01:10 PM
Mike needs to purchase one of these: http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=12

Can you buy one for my car too?

Hahaha! I think my head is too big for that ... I barely fit in my XXL helmet!

MazdaSC
10-05-2009, 08:06 PM
Get yourself a Z4 and join Noel and myself in STR class next season, it is similar to STU class Reach mentioned as far as street tires and full interiors, but you would be up against unboosted 2 seaters just like the Z4. http://www.scca.com/documents/Fastra...k-aug-solo.pdf (http://www.scca.com/documents/Fastrack/09/08/09-fastrack-aug-solo.pdf)

MazdaSC
10-05-2009, 08:21 PM
What's the most competitive class to build a Z4M Coupe for in SCCA? I realize that it's completely pointless to even try with one, but what's the optimal class?
Your choices are basicly SS (Super Stock) or ASP either way you are going to need r-comps just to be within spitting distance, ASP might give you a better chance at getting to the top, but it would take lots of money and time dedicated to seting up the car.

BradMW
10-14-2009, 01:08 PM
Is a e46 M3 in SM competitive? Or is STU the only real option that could lead to success?

Biggins
10-14-2009, 02:17 PM
Is a e46 M3 in SM competitive? Or is STU the only real option that could lead to success?
1. Not unless you spend at least $20k on mods
2. Only locally

BradMW
10-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Why were only e36 M3s at 2009 Nationals in STU? Are they much better than e46s or did the rules change too late to allow e46s in? I imagine they just weigh too much?

e30 325is's in DSP seem to be the best (only...) BMW right now for SCCA, would you say that is correct?

woodym3
10-14-2009, 04:02 PM
e30 325is's in DSP seem to be the best (only...) BMW right now for SCCA, would you say that is correct?

As Biggins said in post #4, I think a well-prepared and driven 330 ZHP can be competitive in D-Stock.

Nick325xiT 5spd
10-14-2009, 04:34 PM
Why were only e36 M3s at 2009 Nationals in STU? Are they much better than e46s or did the rules change too late to allow e46s in? I imagine they just weigh too much?

e30 325is's in DSP seem to be the best (only...) BMW right now for SCCA, would you say that is correct?
Weight is not the issue for the E46 M3. At the class limit they aren't far apart. Hell, my old E36 was only 100lbs. lighter than my E46 is. The issue is width. It's a really wide car. As well as putting down the extra power. The E46 struggles to put the power down and has to run a much wider line to stay off the cones.