Gary, with good friend and sponsor Will Turner, enjoying a victory at Watkins Glen
Gary Bossert finally starts his Gruppe A E30 M3
I little prodding by Filippo a few weeks back led to my promising a little write up about my new Grp. A car. Now seems like a good time for a full report since we just got back from the Watkins Glen driver school where I had the chance to give it a whirl for the first time. Spent all day Wednesday going over car and changing the diff from the 5.00:1 to 4:56:1. Tried to put in a 4.10:1 from the street car but it was obvious this wasnt going to work. Looks like these things have M5 diffs with big flanges so I had to go with one of the diffs I received with the car and since 5.44:1 wouldnt get me out of pit lane I had to go with the 4:56.
Threw the start-up plugs in and tried in vain to get it fired. DUH, should have guessed it needed fuel. After putting some gas in the little 30 liter tank it fired right up. Observation: Cams must be killer and forget about any kind of idle. You need to keep it between 2000 and 3000 just to get the alternator to charge.
Since all sounded well I went ahead and loaded it up on the trailer.
Fast forward to the Glen on Friday morning.
Cold and slightly damp out, not exactly the best conditions for testing out an all new car (to me) but what the heck. Warmed it up again and switched plugs and we were ready to go. Stalled it about three times just trying to get to pit lane. You almost have to pop the clutch to keep from stalling out of first gear but once youre moving everythings ok. I could tell instantly that this car was going to take some getting used to. Over 300hp, 2200lb, manual steering, slicks and a crashbox trans. are just to name some of the differences from the red car. Observations: The power is incredible. At any time you can just goose the throttle and go past anyone with ease. Even the supercharged E36s. Brakes take about 2 laps before they even think about working. The faster you go on the straight the more the car wants to dart and wander all over. Feels like the quickest steering rack next to a formula car and I better start lifting weights if I want to make it an hour in this thing. Pedals are so close together that I can almost heel and toe the clutch and gas pedal with one foot.
Glad to say it handles a lot like your average E30 M3. By that I mean it understeers and oversteers in the same corners that my other car does the same thing. The difference is that the limits seem higher and there is less room for error as there is not a lot of notice before the car breaks away. Crashbox is interesting. Tried shifting without clutch a few times and IT WORKS but I dont think this can be good for the life of the gearbox so I went back to clutching and concentrating on getting used to everything else.
Couldnt really push it all the way as I still have big learning curve to climb and with the stump puller diff I had to lift all the way up the back straight but everything looks promising so far. Did 5 sessions with no breakdowns and minimal adjustments...this car was set up well by the previous owner.
I must thank first and foremost Will Turner who found the car and made it all happen, Steve D. for setting me up with the essential tools and Jared Gaillard for giving me a big hand at the track Friday and Saturday.
Also want to mention that a bunch of M3 listers were at the Glen and I got to finally meet Bob Talbot for the first time (nice guy too). Ralph Warren also made it up (or down). Others (but not all) included, Ross Karlin, Dave Gannon, Roy Hopkins, Jim Dresser, Mitch Herman, Vic Lucariello and Im sure many more. Thanks to everyone for coming over and being as enthusiastic about the car as I am. Now its time to kick some more E36 butt.
Since this post is getting long Ill end it but if anyone want more details about the car let me know and Ill put up another post just on that stuff.