Hello my friends, hope all is well. A few weekends ago I had plans on racing with our friends American Endurance Racing at Summit Point WV. The plan was to drive down to Summit point on Thursday afternoon at 3pm, and arrive trackside by 7pm. Well as many of you know, the shop is normally very busy, and my plans for leaving early rarely come true. We had a number of customer cars to complete, so I did not leave the shop until about 7pm. (Thank you Universe for so many loyal customers!) A quick trip home to collect my gear, and then off to BJ's for supplies, and I was finally on the road by 8pm... This put me at the track by about 12AM. Luckily for me my friends were still up and chatting when I arrived. After unpacking gear, and setting up my cot in Dave's trailer, it was off to bed.. If you have ever slept on a cot, you know it is not the most comfortable thing. After tossing and turning for most of the night it was time to get up and get to racing.
A little background on the E30 we were to race this weekend. It used to belong to a long time friend of mine Walter. Walter and I meet more than a decade ago at this very track. It was one of my early events, and I was there with another friend who happened to own another silver E36 M3. Walter parked behind us in the paddock, and asked "Is this where the Silver E36's park?" After that, we spent many a track day nose to tail chasing eachother. (sometimes scaring the other folks inthe run group with our antics) I remember when we had gotten to the point of needing some real safety equipment, and I decided to buy a purple street M3 and turn it into a race car. Walter called me the night he started cutting up his beautiful E36 M3 coup, and asked me to stop him. I told him to do it! Anyway, I digress. So Walter bought this black E30 sedan as a street car, after an accident made it useless in the street, he decided to make it a track beast. Not only did he strip, and gut the car, he ripped out more than most folks do. The steering is electric (from a Subaru), the steering shaft has been cut up, and modified, the suspension pick up points have been heavily modified as well. Oh did I mention, the car has had a 3.2L M3 motor (S52), and now sports a 2.8L motor (M52). The car was aptly named "The E30 of Doom!" A year or so a go Walter decided that he no longer wanted to maintain a race car. So he sold interest in the car to our friends Scott and Dave. The boys have since continued to modify the car for endurance racing, namely AER. (American Endurance Racing).
We raced the E30 at Palmer a few months ago, and when it was running, she was well balanced, and fast. Unfortunatley, the car has been plagued with running issues. She would run well for a time, and then not rev up past a certain RPM point (6k, 5k, 4k.. Etc) This was very frustrating to drive. The boys had narrowed down the issue to a possible short in the DME. So Dave took her to VAC for a new DME, and some tuning. After spending the day tuning the car, she put down on pretty nice numbers on the dyno. She was ready to go for Summit!
Friday morning. Up early to prep the car for the open track day, and qualifying, we were all excited! I suited up, and was to be the first person the drive the newly tuned car! As soon as I left the pits, I had the sinking feeling that something was wrong.. Sure enough as I got into the throttle, the car would not yield the power it did from the last race (when it was running well). UGH!!!! I drove the car for about 20 minutes hoping for the racing Gods to smile upon us. No such luck this time. Dave then took the car out to confirm my evaluation that the car did not have enough juice to race. Dave came in a agreed, something was wrong. We spent the rest of the day diagnosing the car.
The Team trying to figure out why the car had no power....
After several hours of testing, we all agreed that compression on cylinders 1 & 3 were not contributing enough to the cause--- The motor was done, our weekend was over. As they say, that is racing. Scott and Dave commited to finding another motor, and having it in the car before the October Mid Ohio race. - Fingers Crossed!
That's all for now my friends.