Race Report 2002 - Round 3

Date: August 18, 2002
Venue: Miller Field - Dalhart, TX
Results: 3rd in Class (3 total), 3rd in Street Tire (15 total), 9th Overall (29 total)

I was anxiously anticipating this event to see if the newly installed Bilstein Sport struts and shocks and the increased front and rear negative camber helped the handling of the M3.  The course was very fast and open for the most part.  There was really only one section that you really had to slow down for, and it came up on you quickly!   It was really hot outside and very windy, so the conditions weren't that great for spending a day outside under the sun... but I survived.   There were quite a few new people that showed up to race, and we had 29 people total, so it was a pretty good day overall.

The M3 definitely handled better with the Bilsteins and more negative camber.  It still didn't have the grip of the Mustang since it's still on street tires, but it was a LOT better than it was at the last Dalhart race.  I was able to run three 77 second runs, so I figure I'm running pretty consistent in the M3, or... I'm running consistently bad.   All three of my runs were faster (raw time) than all of the other production cars that were on street tires, and I was even faster than several cars that were on racing tires, so the car was definitely fast.  The only other people in my class were Steve Sucsy and his brother Dave in Steve's Honda S2000 on Hoosier racing tires, so I came in 3rd (last) in my class.   I only came in 9th overall but managed to get 3rd place in the overall Street Tire class (I even got a trophy, whoohoo! ).  I'm actually in 5th place in the Overall Street Tire Championship now.  Not bad for only going to three events all year.

By the way... the lifter ticking noise was back after I finished my first run, and like before it was gone by the time I drove the car back into town after the event was over.  I guess it's just something that I'll have to live with (like all the other E36 M3 owners who autocross/track their cars), unless I want to fork out the money for the larger oil pan and high volume oil pump with dual pick-up tubes from the '95 M3 LTW ($1350 just for the parts!!! ).