Thursday, February 15, 2007

About BMW CCA Club Racing and Spec E36

About BMW CCA Club Racing

The racing organization I compete in is called BMW CCA Club Racing. It is affiliated with the BMW Car Club of America (the BMW CCA). Since 1995, BMW CCA Club Racing has grown from only a few events per year to over 40 events held all over the country, with more than a dozen classes of cars to ensure that every BMW has a place to race. The club racing website is located at - I have also been the webmaster for the last three years so please enjoy the website, and if you don't, be gentle!

One of the best things about BMW CCA Club Racing is that it operates under the "13/13 rule of vintage racing." This is a set of rules that severly discourage reckless racing behavior by placing severe penalties on anyone who causes damage to their car or others. BMW CCA Club Racing attracts the type of drivers who are competitive and enjoy racing, but who do not have a "win at all costs" attitude that causes so many racing wrecks to happen. I love this club racign organization because there's great, tough competition but you don't have to repair the bodywork after every race! The people are great and you will always find racers in the paddock helping other racers - even their closest competitors. At the end of the day it's really fun to race against good people, and to have some good food and beer as well.

BMW CCA Club Racing holds races all over the country, and BMW race cars from all different eras with different engines and speeds are competing on the track at the same time. There can be a real difference between the fastest and the slowest cars on the track -it's a lot of fun to watch. What that means is that you're really competing against the people in your "class" - there may be 60 cars in the race but you're only competing against the 5 others that are in the same class as you, with similarly prepared cars. There are many levels of preparation to choose from, with "stock" classes being the least changed from their street car origins, "prepared" cars allowed some more modifications, and "modified" cars that may be completely changed from their street car roots, inside and out. There are also "super modified" cars which were typically factory-built race cars that are now competing at the club level, and the new "Spec E36" class that I am entering.

About Spec E36

Spec E36 is a new class in BMW CCA Club Racing for 2007. A “Spec” series means that everyone has virtually the same car, so the driver becomes a much more important part of the competitive picture. Since everone has mostly the same car, tires, engine, suspension, brakes, etc., it becomes less of a "spend more go faster" class and more of a close competition with focus on the racecraft of the drivers. "E36" is the model designation for the BMW 3-series that was built between 1992 and 1998, so all of the cars will have the same basic chassis with only slight differences. I'm really looking forward to it and I think that this could become the biggest classes in club racing within the next few years.
- My donor car: 1993 BMW 325is
- HP / weight: Est. 200 hp / 2760 lbs (with driver)
- Engine modifications: No modifications allowed
- Suspension, brakes & tires: Defined spec for all cars in class – all cars have the same shocks, springs, swaybars, brakes and tires
- Interior: Gutted interior, Full 6-point roll cage, fire system
Specific rules for the race series and the Spec E36 class are located here, on the club racing website.

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