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E36 3.0 ITB Race Build



So after Oulton Park there were a few small jobs I needed to sort before heading to Spa for two days. I had an intermittent issue with the wide band at Oulton, reading incredibly rich, which I put down to a bad sensor as the car felt fine - but to be sure I wanted to run it at EFI to ensure all was well...

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Faulty wide band confirmed, everything else was fine. I only use the wide band as a reference, so there is no need to replace the sensor AGAIN.

I didn't have time to finish any sort of proper switch panel before Oulton, so after a few drawings, and getting a reference as to what I could reach when sat in the seat, I decided on a panel design. This was drawn on CAD once again, then cut from 2mm stainless.

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At the same time as drawing the panel, I had also drawn the required labels, and had them cut from vinyl ready for when I wired the panel. Instead of having the wiring for the switches on show, I found a suitable ABS enclosure that usually has a lid, and built it in to the design. This could then be attached to the back of the panel to hide everything.

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As can be seen the internal extinguisher pull was also integrated into this, so at the same time the external pull and kill switch were finished.

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I have always used a Cartek solid state battery isolator, so the external and internal electrical kill switches go back to that unit. I've never shown where this is located, but its near the battery, behind the passenger seat area:

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With the extinguisher pull cables now in place, I finished the plumbing both internally and in the engine bay:

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I noticed an increase in running oil temperature at Oulton Park, and I could only put this down to the oil cooler now being mounted lower than it used to be on the previous car - resulting in less air flow. I removed the bumper and chopped out the middle of the mounting/crash bar, along with the number plate recess.

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Inlet/airbox temperatures were also much higher, as I previously ran without a headlight. To get around this, I ran a 4 inch duct from the front bumper to the air filter area, rather than directly at a couple of the cylinders.

The rear door cars were also finished using the same material as the fronts, using the original holes and plastic trim clips. The locking mechanism is still accessible so the doors can be locked.

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Having previously explained the differential cooler set up, the last job was to fit the cover over the spare wheel area, and add a duct in the rear window to feed air into it.

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With everything done, we left for Spa. In the meantime I had registered the car with 750MC for the year as #89.

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This was to be the first time both myself and a mate in his Mk1 Clio were on track together, with very similar power to weight figures. The Clio has an F4R, with ITBs/Cams/Gripper LSD/etc. Unfortunately, half way through the first day he suffered oil starvation through the long left hander, Pouhon, and span a bearing.



With the bumper now properly cut out, I was running much lower consistent oil temperature (<100C), and with the 4 inch duct to the inlet, much lower inlet/airbox temperatures. I had a few small issues that were quickly resolved but nothing critical.

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We had perfect conditions on the first day, with bright sunshine. Although, a couple of hours in to the second day the drizzle started, and the track remained damp until the end.

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Its always difficult to get a completely clear lap on a track day, this is one of the better ones. This chassis is so much better than the previous.



There are a few small jobs to sort now, which I'm hoping to do before heading to Cadwell Park next week in preparation for racing there in the summer. More soon.
 

massivewangers

ClioSport Club Member
  Several
Lovely build this, do like a track spec E36. Think I'd have to add some kind of dash though, looks a naked without.
 
Looking good! Unfused starter cable and exposed live bulkhead terminal make me twitch though!

Spa looks fantastic!
If I was using a mechanical 'manual' style isolator, sure, without a doubt it would be fused traditionally. With using a solid state isolator, which essentially replaces the battery earth lead, it instantly breaks the circuit in the case of a dead short to ground. Its essentially a re settable fuse.

Lovely build this, do like a track spec E36. Think I'd have to add some kind of dash though, looks a naked without.
Yep, its on 'the list' to do. It 100% needs a dash top, not so much for looks, but more so for reflections on the windscreen!
 

alistairolsen

ClioSport Club Member
For the feed to the car, I totally get it, but in this shot it looks like there is a second cable which isnt through the isolator? (Unless I'm missing something completely)

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For the feed to the car, I totally get it, but in this shot it looks like there is a second cable which isnt through the isolator? (Unless I'm missing something completely)
Yeah, the second cable runs to the bulkhead like you mention. Sorry the picture is from the incorrect perspective really - its still isolated, as the battery is not earthed to the chassis. The battery earth is connected to the isolator directly. Obviously, if this cable is severed or comes in to contact with the chassis, the electrical system is completely isolated from the battery.

It's also impossible for the engine to 'run on' and the alternator keep providing charge, as the ECU is powered from a separate terminal on the isolator, meaning the engine would have already stopped in the event of the isolator detecting a dead short and cutting the electrical system anyway. Does that make sense?

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alistairolsen

ClioSport Club Member
@f0xy Ahh, so the live cable is continuous, but the Cartek cuts the earth in the event of a short? I see the earth passing through it now, just big red cables jump out harder!
 
@f0xy Ahh, so the live cable is continuous, but the Cartek cuts the earth in the event of a short? I see the earth passing through it now, just big red cables jump out harder!
Thats exactly it, makes it much easier to install/fit and forget. They are not cheap but in the grand scheme of things could prevent a lot of (electrical) damage!
 
Post trip check over resulted in nearside rear hub/bearing play. Looks like Spa finally killed off the bearing.

After stripping it down, the hub flange had also heavily worn in the bearing.

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So both bearing and hub flange were replaced.

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Spanner checked the rest of the rear end and everything else was fine (y)
 
Long overdue update - after the bearing/flange were replaced, we went over to Cadwell for a track day. I wanted to do a day here before going back to race in July, even though I've driven it many times over the years its always good to go back.

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The day was half successful, but thankfully highlighted an issue with fuel delivery. On long fast right handers, I would suffer fuel starvation due to the fuel load moving over to the other side of the tank (E36 have a two sided tank). I had already thought about this, as its quite a common issue, and generally people fit a second pump in the passenger side, which feeds fuel to the drivers (main) side of the tank internally, negating the issue. I had already done this, but obviously it wasn't working.

Returning from Cadwell, I dropped the tank and checked the operation of the 'transfer' pump, which seemed to be fine - but to rule it out I decided to fit a second Walbro 255LPH, to make sure it was keeping up with the demand of the main pump (also a Walbro 255LPH. With that changed, I needed to do another day to make sure the problem was sorted, so a couple of us headed over to Anglesey on Bank Holiday. Before this, I re-did the alignment and added the mandatory 750MC series sponsor decals/stickers.

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On to the track day - unfortunately after using approximately half a tank, the same issue returned, proving the above twin in tank pump set up is not reliable, no matter how many people on the internet say it works and they have no issues - there are just too many variables with grip levels, tyre sizes, chassis, etc. The following clip gives you an idea of what is happening, and how one pump runs dry as the other has plenty of fuel, resulting in a fuel pressure drop:


Aside from this, keeping the tank level topped up I had some good sessions and everything else seemed to be fine. The E36 Turbo was back out at the same time, running without issue too:


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So after two track days I was stuck with the same issue, and the only bulletproof solution in reality was a swirl pot and external pump. I originally wanted to avoid doing this, as its a considerable amount of work, and I didn't want fuel lines running inside the car if I could help it. After a few days planning, I worked out the lines could be kept externally and run in the space available between the chassis and fuel tank, only bringing them into the spare wheel well to the swirl pot and pump. This area is already enclosed as the differential pump/cooler are in here.

To go ahead with that setup, I had to drop the tank again, which means removing the exhaust, prop shaft and various other bits. At this point I decided to remove the whole rear end and make some further changes.

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The plan was to solid mount the subframe, whilst raising it as high as possible to the chassis, effectively correcting the roll center of the rear end with the space available. This is the subframe bush, and plate before hand, circa 20mm in height:

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The subframe mounts started as a 3" piece of 6082-T6 aluminium bar, that was turned down into four bushes at a reduced height to raise the subframe. They were then pressed into the subframe.

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Whilst refreshing everything, I replaced the ball joints in the trailing arms (which had been in since 2015). I also decided to replace all the poly bushes to solid joints, available off the shelf from Millway Motorsport, basically eliminating any flex/deflection you get with a polybush, keeping the rear alignment much more predictable under load. These and the Millway trailing arm joints were pressed in:

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I had previously been getting a slight amount of rubbing on the inner of the rear arches - I have never felt it happen but there are tyre marks on the inner arch. I run M3 trailing arms on the rear, and the M3 'should' have a wider track width, but it appears the M3 subframe is also slightly different (which I do not run) so the track width potentially comes from there. An easy solution for me was to run (lighter) E46 upper spring arms, which are interchangable, and over 10mm longer, giving me the increase in track width.

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The inner joint was replaced with a the equivalent Millway version:

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The subframe, trailing arms and controls arms were then fitted back to the car. Here you can see the difference in subframe position:

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I removed the second pump from the fuel tank, and went back to the standard siphon/venturi system the E36 has from factory, its proven to work and I should not need to worry about fuel starvation with the new setup. Once this was fitted, the tank went back on to the car:

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...along with the propshaft/differential/exhaust, then the car could go back on its wheels. I have also made the switch to 255/40 AR-1 in preparation for racing at Cadwell

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I added four -6AN bulkhead fittings into the spare wheel well, essentially the same idea as the differential cooler lines. There is a pair on each side of the spare wheel well, the O/S being the feed and return from the main in tank pump, and the N/S going to the fuel rail/engine. These lines run up and over the rear sub frame, then over the tank, out of the way.

By running these externally, I have used standard fuel hose - whereas once they are in the boot, I have used braided PTFE lines as required by MSA regulations. I welded a plate into the boot to ensure the swirl pot was properly mounted, along with the 044 pump.

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As mentioned previously, this area of the boot is completely covered normally, as required in most regulations for motorsport. I'm still monitoring fuel pressure, and amp draw on each pump, so I will know instantly if any issues occour, which I hope they will not.

I decided to sell both of my out-of-date Corbeau seats, and replace it with one brand new Corbeau Revenge X after sorting a very good deal with them direct. My 6 point harness was also replaced with a new TRS Ultralight, again to keep everything in date.

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I was now getting onto the final list of jobs to get the car ready to race in a few weeks time. First was getting my transponder mounted on the car. I had already provisioned wiring in the loom it, so just needed to renew the subscription on it and mount it in one of the arches. A small piece of stainless later:

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Next was to fabricate a simple dashboard/covering, to stop the massive reflections I was getting in the lower part of the windscreen due to the silver interior. I used a piece of 2mm aluminium, formed round the roll cage dash bar, and profiled to the shape of the windscreen. This was then covered in alcantara material.

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Finally, I needed to provision some sort of ballast in case I get to Cadwell and end up being underweight for my class. Considering the ballast has to be mounted in the passenger seat location, I started with a 10mm thick plate to utilise the standard seat mounting points, then a stack of 10mm smaller plates on top. With the base plate being 16kg, and each individual smaller plate being 8kg, it gives me a good range to increment if required to get the weight correct.

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The oil/filter was also changed, and a few other small odd jobs completed. There are a handful of other things to do including alignment, but its getting close to the first E36 race now.
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
How is the pedal box setup going? I have those mcs to go in bar a different (very similar) pedal box
 
How is the pedal box setup going? I have those mcs to go in bar a different (very similar) pedal box
Functionality wise, spot on, after some initial fine tuning with the throttle linkage. I'm now on the same pad all round, and have moved to the AR-1 (80TW vs 220TW of the RS-R), so expect to make some significant tweeks on the test day @ Cadwell. The only 'issue' I had was a leaking Tilton reservoir, but it was replaced under warranty/good will and its no longer an issue.
 

Martin.

ClioSport Club Member
Just such an epic thread full of proper skills (mechanical and driving)!

You mentioned you were getting consistent oil temps <100. Is that correct? Surely you'd want the temps to be consistednt around 110-120?

Also, did your mate ever find out the reason for the engine failure on his Mk1 Clio? Don't often hear of the F4R getting oil starvation...
 
Just such an epic thread full of proper skills (mechanical and driving)!

You mentioned you were getting consistent oil temps <100. Is that correct? Surely you'd want the temps to be consistednt around 110-120?

Also, did your mate ever find out the reason for the engine failure on his Mk1 Clio? Don't often hear of the F4R getting oil starvation...
Cheers. When properly pushing I see between 100-110, slightly higher when in hot air behind other cars, it seems happy there. Take it with a pinch of salt as every sensor has a slight amount of variation, and I'm measuring in the flow rather than statically in a sump say. I don't run anything special oil wise, if I had temperature concerns (or any signs of poor oil condition) I'd change to a better oil (i.e the Civic we ran 10w60 to keep temperatures under control).

He's not had time to strip it apart yet (other things got in the way!), but it will be soon. I'm assuming the hard left hander caused some oil pickup starvation, but its anyones guess until its apart. Probably going to look at increasing the sump capacity and/or more baffling to be 100% sure. Quite possibly going to make a few other changes at the same time, potentially a change in pistons ?
 
Only a small update this time, but another change non the less. I have ran the Driftworks E36/46 specific sidemounts for a while, but wasn't 100% happy with how far back the seat was (I had approx 30mm more space behind the seat).

The Driftworks mounts work well as they shift he seat right over to the tunnel, a common problem on E36/E46 is the pedals being offset to the seating position. Not really an issue in my case with a pedal box, but I built the column/pedals/seat around one position, so wanted to keep it - just move everything back.

I drew the current mounts up, shifted the seat mounting points 25mm further back and had them laser cut, then they were folded the same and bracing added.

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Seat was trial fitted and confirmed much better being that small amount further back, now they just need powdercoating and its another thing to forget about!

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More soon.
 

Goti172

ClioSport Club Member
  Phase 1 CRS
Only a small update this time, but another change non the less. I have ran the Driftworks E36/46 specific sidemounts for a while, but wasn't 100% happy with how far back the seat was (I had approx 30mm more space behind the seat).

The Driftworks mounts work well as they shift he seat right over to the tunnel, a common problem on E36/E46 is the pedals being offset to the seating position. Not really an issue in my case with a pedal box, but I built the column/pedals/seat around one position, so wanted to keep it - just move everything back.

I drew the current mounts up, shifted the seat mounting points 25mm further back and had them laser cut, then they were folded the same and bracing added.

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Seat was trial fitted and confirmed much better being that small amount further back, now they just need powdercoating and its another thing to forget about!

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More soon.

need to do the same, used some standard side mounts on my sparco pro2000 and the "ears" rub on the pillar, got to offset them a lot....

sadly yours are for rhd cars and mine is lhd...
 
need to do the same, used some standard side mounts on my sparco pro2000 and the "ears" rub on the pillar, got to offset them a lot....

sadly yours are for rhd cars and mine is lhd...
Driftworks sell them for the 'passenger' side also, same principal, just reversed ?
 

Goti172

ClioSport Club Member
  Phase 1 CRS
Driftworks sell them for the 'passenger' side also, same principal, just reversed ?

yes i have emailed them about that, if they tell me their bases will help me probably i'll get some, because making custom stuff is most of the time "worse" than buying
 
yes i have emailed them about that, if they tell me their bases will help me probably i'll get some, because making custom stuff is most of the time "worse" than buying
I have a set here that I use when I have a passenger seat back in the car, no issues ?
It depends what access you have to equipment for making things like that, without access to someone with a full workshop I wouldnt' have been able to make my own
 

Short Legs

ClioSport Club Member
  a better one
@f0xy what's the current spec of the engine, can you give us a simple summary. Think I've read most of this thread ages ago but i'm old and my mind is failing this morning.

I've just tried reading page 15 about the ECU and failed. Mucho respect to you and your knowledge/skills.
 
@f0xy what's the current spec of the engine, can you give us a simple summary. Think I've read most of this thread ages ago but i'm old and my mind is failing this morning.

I've just tried reading page 15 about the ECU and failed. Mucho respect to you and your knowledge/skills.
M50 Iron Block
M54B30 Crank, Rods, Pistons
M52B28 Head (Same throughout the 323/325/328)
Cams
ARP Hardware (Rods/Mains/Head Studs)
VAC Oil Pump
ATI Superdamper
Jenvey 45mm ITBs
S50B32 Exhaust Manifolds + 2.5" Single System

Probably a few other bits I forgot about ?
 

Short Legs

ClioSport Club Member
  a better one
M50 Iron Block
M54B30 Crank, Rods, Pistons
M52B28 Head (Same throughout the 323/325/328)
Cams
ARP Hardware (Rods/Mains/Head Studs)
VAC Oil Pump
ATI Superdamper
Jenvey 45mm ITBs
S50B32 Exhaust Manifolds + 2.5" Single System

Probably a few other bits I forgot about ?
cool. so is it essentially a 328 engine with the crank, rods and pistons swapped to achieve 3.0l.

Plus loads of other special ingredients.
 
cool. so is it essentially a 328 engine with the crank, rods and pistons swapped to achieve 3.0l.

Plus loads of other special ingredients.
Pretty much - the iron block and M52 head have been taken to the machining/clearance limits also.
The block is from a 325 - I could save 20kg in the engine block alone by using an M52 (328) block as it is alloy, but I have had issues with head bolts pulling in the past so the reliability of the iron block is a welcome tradeoff for the extra weight.
 

Goti172

ClioSport Club Member
  Phase 1 CRS
Pretty much - the iron block and M52 head have been taken to the machining/clearance limits also.
The block is from a 325 - I could save 20kg in the engine block alone by using an M52 (328) block as it is alloy, but I have had issues with head bolts pulling in the past so the reliability of the iron block is a welcome tradeoff for the extra weight.

what do you think about the stud and nut conversion on m52 blocks? saw some stuff in albertobigboost´s YT
 
what do you think about the stud and nut conversion on m52 blocks? saw some stuff in albertobigboost´s YT
Standard M10, or timeserted to 11mm?

Using a stud you have got far less risk of pulling the thread, as your loading up the stud and not pulling/turning on the thread itself whilst tightening. Considering I have had one pull, I would never go back to it.... as I had paid for the block to be honed, machined, etc and it was esentually just scrap. I'd never be happy with a helicoil on a head bolt if im honest - I'd kick myself if I ever had a headgasket issue.

The lE36 turbo that appears in this thread has an M52 alloy block and studs, no issues when torquing down.
 

Goti172

ClioSport Club Member
  Phase 1 CRS
Standard M10, or timeserted to 11mm?

Using a stud you have got far less risk of pulling the thread, as your loading up the stud and not pulling/turning on the thread itself whilst tightening. Considering I have had one pull, I would never go back to it.... as I had paid for the block to be honed, machined, etc and it was esentually just scrap. I'd never be happy with a helicoil on a head bolt if im honest - I'd kick myself if I ever had a headgasket issue.

The lE36 turbo that appears in this thread has an M52 alloy block and studs, no issues when torquing down.

They drill and tap forma bigger size i guess


If i ever get to open my engine probably will be investing into this, or in a good m50 block but these are rare
 
With Cadwell Park quickly approaching, one of the last jobs was to sort the rear towing eyes. This involved removing the standard rear bumper mountings, so the tow wires could bolt through the chassis legs, and then making two new mounts for the bumper itself. Time consuming, but got there eventually...

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I had also planned on replacing the brake pads all round beforehand, so a set of Carbone Lorraine RC6 in the rear, and Pagid RSL29 in the front. I would usually run RC6 in the front also, but there was no stock availability and I managed to source the Pagids for less and decided to go with those.

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With the new AR-1 fitted, we headed to Cadwell Park on the Thursday afternoon, ready for testing on Friday.

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Luckily I manged to get some dry running on the Friday morning, to scrub in the new Nankangs and brake pads. The car felt completely different with the new rear end changes, initially promoting more understeer, which was soon dialled out with a handful of adjustments. Ambient temperatures were relatively high, and the engine felt quite flat throghout the morning. After looking at the logs, the inlet/airbox temperatures were nearing 45C. The quick fix for this was to remove the headlight, dropping the temperatures back to 30-35C, and the engine felt as it should again.

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Saturday came, and qualifying was mid morning. In 750MC Roadsports this is a 25min session, usually allowing two drivers to get their manditory three laps in to qualify for the race. With only myself driving, I would have a good chance at getting everything warm, coming in to adjust tyre pressures then head out to try and put a time in.

This didn't exactly go to plan, as on the second lap, a Ginetta in one of the lower classes, who I thought was giving me space into the mountain, moved back over and we made contact once I was alongside, eventually ending up with the front right of the car in the tyre wall. Luckily, only the wing was bent and alignment knocked out - I made it round to the pit lane where a couple of people attempted to pull the wing out, once that was sorted I headed back out to try and put a time in regardless.

The front end was washing out somewhat, obviously a lot of toe out had been added in the impact, but I managed to put in a 1.41.95 on the last flying lap before the session was red flagged, good enough for P4 overall.

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After stripping the front end down to check everything, and pulling the wing some more to ensure clearance, we got the string line kit out and got the alignment back to what it should be on the front end.

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Rain was forecast, and began to fall around an hour before the scheduled start to the race. There was heavy showers, but the schedule was running behind due to a previous crash, which meant some waiting around.

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By the time we got onto the grid there was a dry line round the most of the circuit. The correct decision was made to stay on the AR-1!


The Cayman could quite easily create space for the first few laps due to the damp track at Barn. The 205 made a good move up Coppice, but left the inside open for me to go back past up the park straight.

Over the next few laps I caught the Cayman, but I just did not have enough power to make a clean pass. I chose to pit early just after fifteen minutes, and came back out into clear space. By the time the Cayman had made its pit stop, I had already passed the pit lane, giving a slight lead, only for the race to be red flagged due to a big crash.

The race was classified at 30 minutes, resulting in a P3 finish overall, and P2 in my class. Unfortunatley, due to the Cayman not completing a full lap since its pit stop, the last complete lap was taken, and at that point he was ahead, so finished P1 in class.

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Happy with the result even if the race did not run its full length, and I didn't get chance to keep in front of the Cayman, but there is always next time. We were also given team/driver of the day, another bonus 750MC have started providing this year, in the form of a £100 voucher for the title sponsor, Tegiwa ?

@JamesBryan came down for the day and captured some great pictures, some of which are above, hopefully you also enjoyed the experience.

Now on to the next one... ?
 
Great write up!

So unlucky with the finishing position though.
To be honest I went there with zero expectations, being the first outing and many other unknowns. It would have been great to run the full length, but these things happen - it was the 205 that had a hard hit into the wall, and thankfully the driver was OK, but 750MC made the correct decision. The car felt fantastic, and I had no other plans this year for it... but since Cadwell, I've decided to enter the next round at Donington Park ?
 

JamesBryan

ClioSport Club Member
  Titanium 182
Was a good day.

You're definitely going to be competitive in future races for sure.

One of the best build cars on the grid! The state of some of those cars racing ?
 
Was a good day.

You're definitely going to be competitive in future races for sure.

One of the best build cars on the grid! The state of some of those cars racing ?
Generally the cars in Class B/A are well built, but some people are not interested in attention to detail. Aside from the bodywork post=qualifying, I'm pretty happy with it. Like you say thogh, I wouldn't be happy with some of the cars on the grid, but everyones different and if it passes scruitineering.....!
 
  R53
Brilliant video, great driving and a nice little tussle with the GTi. Oh and the use of the contour of the roof to show the rear view is a stroke of genius!
 
Hi!

Very nice build and I'm very grateful for the amount of work you have put in to document everything. I'm thinking about to build something very similar and attend in 3L street legal class. But the question is, e36 m52b28/m50b25 or e46 m54b28/b30? I could get modified e36 m52b28 or m50b30 for 2k-3.5k euro depending on the mods. Stock for >2k. Stock e46 is about 2k-3k. Also coupe or sedan? Don't even bother with compact, I hate them. :D

Are there any advantages in having e46 or only more problems and more that needs to be ripped out? Maybe the chassis is 2 times better, stiffer, etc.? If you would have to do it all over again, would you generally do things same way? If you have already answered these questions let me know and I will go through the pages. I just need your approval to buy e46 or e36 and follow your steps. :)

Thank you!
 


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