BMW E36 325i Track/ Race Car

Ryan Herd getting ready for the 1st Heat on the 18th February 2012There seems to be a belief, or in many instances a misconception, that raw power is one’s answer in finding time on the race track. Many search for such through having turbo or super chargers fitted to their cars, a short term solution similar to antics applied by the presenters of the popular Top Gear television show, ambitious but at times unreliable.

At Evolution 2 Motorsport we specialize in building, preparing and presenting original race cars that represent the core of the manufacturer they come from, our race cars are authentic, true to their form and posses a certain amount of pedigree. Take the two Winfield Viana BMW’s, both championship winners and both legends in their own right, today the still remain true to their former form, a tribute to Tony Viana that many respect and cherish.

Not all enthusiasts are fortunate enough to find or have ownership of such race cars, those who have a passion for the sport and want to learn more about the performance of a car and the art behind driving one extremely fast around a race track are lured into a situation where they believe the first port of call. In many instances this is to squeeze as much power out of what they and the car can handle, great in a straight line, and when impressing mates, awful through the bends.

BMW Car Club E36 325i track car belting around the Kyalami race circuit“We have seen over the last couple of years a need by enthusiasts to push the extremes of gaining as much power out of what the car is capable of,” explains Alec Ceprnich. “From our years of experience in tin top racing with BMW, especially the recent E46 330i Production Car campaign, we have learnt that around a race circuit car set-up in maximizing handling is a critical element. Ensuring the tyres work with a well balanced car will contribute towards achieving fast, yet consistent, lap times. Power is also important, but one needs the correct set-up to ensure all kilowatts are put down on the road in an effective manner”.

These beliefs and philosophies of Alec Ceprnich were once again proven relevant when the guys, Ryan Herd and John Tallodi, from the BMW Car Club approached Evolution 2 Motorsport about advice on their E36 325i track car, better known as ‘Scratchy’. The week following the first club track event at Kyalami the BMW was dropped off at Evolution 2 Motorsport for minor work to be completed. The job entailed looking over a few problems while also attending to the handling character of the car. Alec and the team set to work on the car, carrying out some pre-race checks before focusing on improving the handling of the car through widening the track of the wheels, dialing in more negative camber and sticking the car on corner weights to ensure these were right. Ryan Herd then collected the 325i and ventured off to Kyalami where he would put Evolution 2 Motorsport’s work to the test.

Evolution 2 Motorsport did minor suspension work on the 325i, which made a dramatic difference

“When picking the car up from Evolution 2, I noticed an immediate difference in the stance of the car, it looked like a pure racer,” explains Ryan. “My initial excitement and anticipation was translated when I took the car onto the track, I went two seconds faster than my previous best time at Kyalami. This time came from simple suspension work and minor attention to detail, Evolution 2 Motorsport have a rich history in racing, especially with BMW, who knows how much faster I could go if we continue to develop the handling and invest in some ‘pukka’ track inspired shocks”.

Through this story it once again highlights the wise statement of ‘power is nothing without control’. Finding two seconds on top of your best time is a massive achievement, whether this could have been achieved through turbo or super charging the car one will never know, but take time to consider the cost of such a modification. Further reference to such improvements can be placed on Z3 M Coupe pilot and customer of Evolution 2 Motorsport, Bodo. He campaigns a standard road car, which has been given treatment to the suspension and runs on semi slick Bridgestone rubber, he is able to achieve sub 2.06/07 lap times around Kyalami on a consistent basis, all while still experiencing the true nature of what a BMW can do without tampering with its character through turbo- and super-charging.

Fast forward to November 2012, and Ryan has been crowned the 2012 Class Champion of the BMW Racing League. A fantastic achievement for Ryan, and another championship for Alec and Evolution 2 Motorsport. With a heavy heart Ryan sold the car in the beginning of 2013.

Nothing like going out on top!

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