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E36 M3 in ChampCar


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I don't understand why e36 M3's are not allowed but Porsche Boxster's are. 

 

If you take a E36 325i/328i and swap a s52 into it , which is allowed under the swap rules , you just made a E36 M3. Not to mention all parts on a E36 M3 can swap to a 325/328i - there is literally no difference between the 3 cars aside from bumpers and engine.  The common sense on this rule is well not common sense. The best part is teams have 300+ HP maximas/Altimas that are stupid fast and a E36 M3 would have trouble keeping up with. 

 

Let the M's race 

 

I agree a E46 M3 should not be allowed that car is completely different than a 330i. 

 

Hell even a 318ti can be made into M3 configuration. So again why are e36 M3s not allowed ? 

 

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2 hours ago, TraqCarRental said:

I don't understand why e36 M3's are not allowed but Porsche Boxster's are. 

 

If you take a E36 325i/328i and swap a s52 into it , which is allowed under the swap rules , you just made a E36 M3. Not to mention all parts on a E36 M3 can swap to a 325/328i - there is literally no difference between the 3 cars aside from bumpers and engine.  The common sense on this rule is well not common sense. The best part is teams have 300+ HP maximas/Altimas that are stupid fast and a E36 M3 would have trouble keeping up with. 

 

Let the M's race 

 

I agree a E46 M3 should not be allowed that car is completely different than a 330i. 

 

Hell even a 318ti can be made into M3 configuration. So again why are e36 M3s not allowed ? 

 

 

You are not able to swap in an S52 because no car on the VPI list has an S52 in it.

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You're correct S52 is not listed in VPI. My argument is simply the motor doesn't make the car. I don't understand the no M rule at all.

K swap a E36 you basically have a super light e36 M3 now , how is that any different then running a stock s50/s52 M3. 

 

The reason I bring this up because there is no solid ground to stand on for this rule other than " because it's the rules" it doesn't make sense at all. A s50/s52 can't make more than 275 hp with basic bolt ons last year a k swapped e30 dominated Road America, and that cost less than a s50/s52 swap.

Hell even a m54b30 is basically dual vanos S50. 

I just don't get it , there is no reason to ban M cars. 

We want to run our M3s in ChampCar but not in EC class. WRL is basically GTO field all the time 42 cars in GTO at Road America that's no fun for us. 

 

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  As a fellow racer here is my 2 cents worth. I run an E36 325 with a platform swap of 328. The initial build bumped it over the 500 points by 30 points or so. Trying to make up even a few laps was a challenge. The OE front strut failed at some point and the rest of the shocks were worn out. Cheaper and better to buy a set of go fast coilovers than buying new stock parts to fix it. Being several hundred points over I went with EC. I was also able to throw on some better bars and other parts I had sitting around. I race and have a good time with Champcar. I have raced with WRL and get left in the dust. The speed differential is huge when when racing with WRL. 

 Now turn that around, an E36 M3 has the potential for a huge speed differential with Champcar. I did say potential. The 500 point cars that are at the front of the pack are always being scrutinized by other racers and Champcar with rule changes made as needed. Those cars have passed me and I am in an "EC" car. However I am passing a bunch of other cars. 

 An E36 M3 is not the same as other E36s with a different engine. Springs, bars, brakes, and trailing arms, are some of the differences besides a 3.2 engine with nice cams. If a M3 is allowed then all the other performance models from different manufactures would need to be allowed to race. Champcar isn't going there. 

I invite you to come race with Champcar at Ozarks. Enter the EC class, see what you think and go from there. I look forward to having someone to race with. 

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We will be in EC class at Ozark in our S52 swapped e30. 

 

We field multiple cars in endurance and sprint racing 

 

I'm not going to get into the debate of stock M cars vs non stock M cars because we are racing here and those differences get thrown out with modifications. 

 

 

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image.png.6c36459f8aa5796f34bd111367453647.png

 

That is a LOT of penalty laps. So even if they allowed E36 it would probably be 800pts.

 

It could be interesting to add it to the list if the S52 is a very cheap and available engine. that way people could use it for other swaps. (

Edited by turbogrill
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44 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

image.png.6c36459f8aa5796f34bd111367453647.png

 

That is a LOT of penalty laps. So even if they allowed the E36 M3 it would probably be 800pts.

 

It could be interesting to add it to the list if the S52 is a very cheap and available engine. that way people could use it for other swaps. (

This is not an accurate statement... the e36 M3 is probably between 0 and 10 laps better than an e36 328i. Assuming I'm correct here, it would be given a value somewhere under 600 points if TAC/Board added it to the VPI table.

 

The calculator spitting out a huge number is a reminder that the calc doesn't function well at very aggressive PWR levels which are beyond what was desired for swaps by the people who set up the swap calc system. When you see a huge number like that (in this case, 25 penalty laps) you should interpret it as "just don't use that engine" rather than "oh, this combination should be capable of making up 25 laps on the field".

Edited by enginerd
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43 minutes ago, enginerd said:

This is not an accurate statement... the e36 M3 is probably between 0 and 10 laps better than an e36 328i. Assuming I'm correct here, it would be given a value somewhere under 600 points if TAC/Board added it to the VPI table.

 

The calculator spitting out a huge number is a reminder that the calc doesn't function well at very aggressive PWR levels which are beyond what was desired for swaps by the people who set up the swap calc system. When you see a huge number like that (in this case, 25 penalty laps) you should interpret it as "just don't use that engine" rather than "oh, this combination should be capable of making up 25 laps on the field".

 

I know nothing about BMWs but how can it be 0laps better?


if it's less than 600pts and you go with the automatic you could potentially have a 500pts M3 :)

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46 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

I know nothing about BMWs but how can it be 0laps better?


if it's less than 600pts and you go with the automatic you could potentially have a 500pts M3 :)

I gave a range of 0-10, it would be for tech to decide exactly how much better an M3 is than a 328i. I have very high confidence that it is between 0 and 10 laps better but I'm not going to invest the effort to make a narrower assessment because it's not important. Anything in that range (500 to 600 points) is far far lower than the 751 points shown by your calculator entry.

 

Anything to say about or reactions to the important part of my post?

Edited by enginerd
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e36 M3 is in this really odd spot.  In WRL it could be competitive with the right parts, some weight reduction, and some power.  We've won in WRL but that was in 2020 before they turned into IMSA lite.  Most everyone is running e46 M3's now in GP1, even have a few GTO cars that added weight to get into GP1.  We would of had a hard time cracking the top 5 of WRL at Barber in 2022.  Its an EC car in champ because in stock form with the parts allowed by the "rules" it would be faster than most cars outside of the usual contenders, it would be the new easy button.  You'd be hard pressed to make 2 hours on fuel, but thats been proven to not matter as much anymore.  I do think in a few years you'll see the M3 added to the list at 500+ points, but by then they might be less than budget friendly.  

Edited by Jab31169
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On 4/3/2022 at 7:06 AM, TraqCarRental said:

I don't understand why e36 M3's are not allowed but Porsche Boxster's are. 

 

If you take a E36 325i/328i and swap a s52 into it , which is allowed under the swap rules , you just made a E36 M3. Not to mention all parts on a E36 M3 can swap to a 325/328i - there is literally no difference between the 3 cars aside from bumpers and engine.  The common sense on this rule is well not common sense. The best part is teams have 300+ HP maximas/Altimas that are stupid fast and a E36 M3 would have trouble keeping up with. 

 

Let the M's race 

 

I agree a E46 M3 should not be allowed that car is completely different than a 330i. 

 

Hell even a 318ti can be made into M3 configuration. So again why are e36 M3s not allowed ? 

 

The boxter that is allowed is the 2.5L (201hp) version at 475 points. Or the 2.7l (217hp) version at 520 points.  Both of which are more equivalent to the 328. 

 

That said the e36 M3 at 550 points might be reasonable. Put in a petition. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

Anything to say about or reactions to the important part of my post?

 

About the swap calculator? The TC talked about swapping a S52 into a 328.

 

I agree that swap calculator is not a good way of deciding points for a new platform. Not arguing against the M3 in any means, if it makes more people race and it's fair then why not.

 

I guess starting with a 550 pts car could make sense, I believe in the last local race the winner was 3-4 laps over #2. While not common it seems like it happens

 

Edited by turbogrill
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  • Technical Advisory Committee

This seems to me as another open door to cost/speed creep.

 

I would need to see a more persuasive argument to want to open up the use of E36M in Champcar. 

 

They are currently pretty pricey to purchase, and I don't see them getting more affordable at this rate. 

 

I have a hard time thinking they are on pace with current cars as far as overall speed.  A Champcar E36 would be in the 2300lb range I would guess, with ~18 gallons of fuel and 240whp.  Would be very fast and close to 2 hours with the right driving.

 

Not many champcars are making 240+ hp with a good platform supporting.  (read RWD, decent size tank, not a live axle, good aftermarket support, ABS, reliable, etc)  About the only one I can think of would be a Z33 which has been "in the news" lately as potentially being a breakout platform in the right hands.

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48 minutes ago, Chris Huggins said:

This seems to me as another open door to cost/speed creep.

 

I would need to see a more persuasive argument to want to open up the use of E36M in Champcar. 

 

They are currently pretty pricey to purchase, and I don't see them getting more affordable at this rate. 

 

I have a hard time thinking they are on pace with current cars as far as overall speed.  A Champcar E36 would be in the 2300lb range I would guess, with ~18 gallons of fuel and 240whp.  Would be very fast and close to 2 hours with the right driving.

 

Not many champcars are making 240+ hp with a good platform supporting.  (read RWD, decent size tank, not a live axle, good aftermarket support, ABS, reliable, etc)  About the only one I can think of would be a Z33 which has been "in the news" lately as potentially being a breakout platform in the right hands.

FWIW, (back in the early 2010s) BMWCCA IP and JP e36s would run pretty similar lap times and the only real difference would be S52 vs M52.  That is with open rules on intakes, exhausts, tunes, and cams.

Edited by jmabarone
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1 hour ago, Chris Huggins said:

This seems to me as another open door to cost/speed creep.

 

I would need to see a more persuasive argument to want to open up the use of E36M in Champcar. 

 

They are currently pretty pricey to purchase, and I don't see them getting more affordable at this rate. 

 

I have a hard time thinking they are on pace with current cars as far as overall speed.  A Champcar E36 would be in the 2300lb range I would guess, with ~18 gallons of fuel and 240whp.  Would be very fast and close to 2 hours with the right driving.

 

Not many champcars are making 240+ hp with a good platform supporting.  (read RWD, decent size tank, not a live axle, good aftermarket support, ABS, reliable, etc)  About the only one I can think of would be a Z33 which has been "in the news" lately as potentially being a breakout platform in the right hands.

 

All of your arguments would have been applied equally to the E46 330 or the E90 330, I don't see them having the effect you fear. Most "serious" teams aren't going to touch a car that starts with laps. 

 

The bigger concern for me would be having the engine available for swaps, which I suspect is what the OP is really after, and needs more consideration. Unfortunately, there has been a precedent for adding cars to the VPI list for this reason alone. 

 

 

 

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While I see the benefit of bringing in some E36 M3's to the series (more entries / teams / money into the series), there are certainly more downfalls. The E36 is not down on power. My vanos M50 was able to keep up with some of the fastest teams at VIR South  a month ago. The only cars that were legitimately faster than us on the straights were Bulldog (a lighterweight E30 with the same engine we were running) and Xperience (running a '97 M3). That M3 also posted a fast lap 3.7 seconds faster than my E36 and 1.7 seconds faster than the fastest non-EC car (Bulldog). This time difference would only be bigger on tracks larger than 1.65 miles.

 

To add in another 50HP stock on top of an already competitive platform would tip the scales quite a bit. Not to mention the slightly different suspension geometry that costs points for non-M cars. These cars naturally want to understeer and the M3 has a lot better starting point in handling this problem with its offset bushings and different lower control arm geometry (for 96-99).

 

As for cost, my team got our 325is for $700 5-1/2 years ago. To find one in that state today would cost us $3-4k. For a M3 in a similar state, a good deal would start around $8k. Clean models will go for $25k. There is a concern in bringing cars into the series that are faster and more expensive.

 

A starting point value would be north of 600 points and starting 10+ laps down would be no fun. Plus, while there are speed differentials present in this series (factors may include length of time a team has been racing, difference in team budgets, difference in drivers), it is nowhere near that of other series' with different classes based on speed. I believe ChampCar is a safer place to race because of their approach that limits serious speed differentials.

Edited by Aleric Sanders
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7 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

A Champcar E36 would be in the 2300lb range I would guess, with ~18 gallons of fuel and 240whp.  Would be very fast and close to 2 hours with the right driving.

 

Short about 350-400 lbs.  We got ours down to 2700ish without driver (4dr).  Our 325 is 2500ish I think...its been a while since we put them on the scale.  

 

Either way, I agree with all your points.  Longest we did on a stock tank (KISS method for us) at Barber was 1:40, even with the standard bw fuel starve kit we'd have to pit with about a gallon left in the tank. 

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9 hours ago, Chris Huggins said:

 Z33 which has been "in the news" lately as potentially being a breakout platform in the right hands.

 

I so want to play with one, but it's got an adjustment coming up me thinks once someone takes it to the full extent of the rules......... 

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