At the risk of spoiling the suspense of the build blog, EggBoy Racing debuted the Condor Speed Shop, eEuroparts.com BMW E36 at The Circuit Of The Americas with The World Racing League on February 13-14, 2016. Eighteen weeks of feverish fabrication from Izzy’s Custom Cages and quality parts from sponsors like eEuroparts and SPS led to a very good weekend with the untested car. As with any new build, some issues did creep up but in the grand scheme of things, were very minor. The car drove back in to the trailer and everyone had smiles on their faces as we said good-bye to COTA.
With the E36 still being street legal and insured, we were able to take it on a few short test runs. We found a few small issues that would have been much bigger ones at the track at speed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do any long runs until the day we loaded it up. Seems to be a little late in the game right? Well, mother nature decided to start dropping a few inches of snow on us the week we were to leave for WRL COTA. On a 60 mile run we found that we were cutting out at high rpms. A bit of digging and we found we had a hidden rev limiter that we missed on the reflash of the DME. Unfortunately we hadn’t had time to build our own harness to reflash the DME ourselves. We could only load up and hope that one of the teams down at COTA would have one we could borrow.
After the 14 hour tow straight through to Austin, the team arrived at the track around 9am. A few first race of the year issues cropped up with a few forgotten BMW specific tools or supplies. Surprisingly, COTA is in a bit of an auto parts wasteland, so we had to do a bit of site seeing searching for the closest parts store. We also developed a small coolant leak that made itself known right after tech and weigh in. A small leak way back in under the intake manifold on the block. Steve pulled off a heroic track fix and we tended to it during post race maintenance.
Tech went very smooth. The new digital logbooks that the WRL is using looks promising. Every driver and car is now being entered into the system so that the series can keep track of driver issues and car modifications and classing. It is a very cool bar code system and should shorten time in the tech lines. Weigh in was great as we came in just under 2750 with fuel. More weight to loose, or power to gain. Both bumpers are still fully intact, rear window glass is still in place and doors hood and trunk could be gutted further. We could also swap to the M50 intake manifold to gain double digit power. We’ll figure out how to utilize that at a later date once we have a handle on fuel consumption.
The new E36 proved itself to be nimble and surefooted in the many turns, corners and elevation changes at WRL CoTA. With the rev limiter kicking in at 5,280 rpms, power and speed were greatly affected. 2nd gear was pretty much useless. With the 3:45 gearing, we’d barely hit the go pedal coming out of some of the tighter turns and we would have to shift. We were relegated to driving a momentum car and making due with what we had to work with. We were topping out at around 109 in 5th gear on the back straight. Without the limit, we should have been in the upper 130’s. In spite of this issue, we finished mid pack in class and overall both days. Everyone who drove the car had a huge smile on their faceo when they exited. We were surprised at just how little we had to do to service the car compared to our old SHO. The quality service parts from eEuroparts.com shined as we didn’t have a single mechanical issue all weekend. The car was just so easy to drive. We are really looking forward to the next WRL race in a few weeks at the historic Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.
The old saying that “A bad day of racing is better than a good day working” was never more true than the weekend at CoTA. The facility is first class in every regard. We were a bit awed using the same garages as the Formula 1 teams who compete in the US Grand Prix. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making some new ones. Tubby Butterman Racing, one of the teams we’ve competed against since our second race with ChumpCar, was there with their E30. They had a steady stream of broken parts and reliability issues all weekend. We made sure to introduce them to eEuroparts for OEM BMW replacements and hope they work out their bugs before Mid Ohio so we can compete for a podium position against them.
Since our return we’ve been busy doing preventive maintenance on the E36. Because we’re new to the platform we are closely monitoring the wear of the wheel bearings, brake pads, tires and other items. The car received fresh Red Line fluids and a “nut and bolt” check. As would be expected with a fresh build, Steve found several bolts and nuts that had loosened during the Sunday race. We will continue to tweak and improve the car, looking for a balance between speed, handling and endurance.
Next up, Mid Ohio April 8-9th!