M5 Expert (>4000)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Thanked 2,607 Times in 1,548 Posts
Wow! I had forgotten about this thread! Just completed my first partial season of racing Super Touring 3 with NASA Mid-Atlantic. Did a "test HPDE" at Summit Point in April, passed NASA competition school at VIR in mid-May, then raced a couple of subsequent weekends at VIR (one during the hurricane), and finally raced last weekend at the brand new Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia (near Fredericksburg).
I raced in ST3 this season because that is where most of the E46 M3 racers went in this region when the German Touring Series adopted displacement limitations requiring that S62-converted E46 M3s run in GTS5, where they would not be competitive. Apparently, the three East Coast regions are making an exception for S62-converted E46 M3s in 2017, so I may return to GTS4 if my E46 M3 brethren do.
I learned a veritable ton about racing and car setup this season: From what NOT to do to a Lexan windshield to eliminate fog, to the importance of having a tent in hot weather, to various pressure strategies for running Hoosier R7s, to tire temp management, to ballast placement, to where to downshift and where not, and how much room constitutes "racing room" and when one has to afford it to other racers. Talk about a learning curve! I did ok in all but one of my races--middle of the pack overall and ahead of one or two in my class. I did take pride in the fact that I had no pit crew and managed every aspect of the car and each race myself. This is NOT EASY: Ideally one is not worrying about the rotor installation you just did as you are hitting 165 mph on the back straight at VIR! But I did it, and my racing license has now "gone hard."
I am looking forward to next season, when I will spend more time learning from Peter Krause (a world class instructor whose office abuts Partee Racing's VIR shop and with whom I spent a couple of days training this season) and make a determined effort to race with the fastest racers in my class, each of whom runs anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds ahead of me at each track. I replaced the car's differential with a lightweight custom differential from diffsonline this past year and added a resonated exhaust (I could hear myself think with the straight pipe!) and made a few other small changes, but this offseason will see a CF roof, new Lexan all the way around, new bumpers, new rear wing mounts and new trunk lid. Also new rod bearings (with WPC treatment), valve adjustment, vanos refurbishment, and CF race intake. If I can, I also will replace the tired Motons on the car with a set of MCS three-ways. Finally, I may have to replace the front wheel bearings. All of the foregoing with a new alignment and corner balancing, and she should be ready to roll! Oh, and there may just be some Partee Racing/S62 Shop livery on it!
One thing I likely will have to wait on until after next season is the S62 conversion. Bob Kearns is working with me to design the engine mounts, I need to come up with a good solution to the steering column issue, come up with a header solution, and so on. All of that, along with a nice NA S62 build is highly unlikely to get done by April, when race season starts again. So that will be a project for the Winter of 2017/18. I also have this little E39 M5 project that some of you know something about, which SORELY deserves my attention. I'd really like to run it in the 2017 One Lap of America, for which it is perfect. And finally, The S62 Shop has received a couple of engine and head orders that need to be satisfied, and another is about to hit, so Dusty and I will be busy this winter building S62s as well.
Anyway, that's a quick update on my racing endeavours.
Last edited by herrubermensch; 4th November 2016 at 11:45 PM.