NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

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Jeroen
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by Jeroen »

Fingers crossed, you should be able to notice some differences now!


Regards/groeten, Jeroen
TaylorGoesFast
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Hyperfest was great as always, but my race weekend was a bit disappointing personally. Before the event I installed new rear calipers, new brake pads all around, new wheel bearings up front and replaced my 15 year old shock absorbers (I bought them used). I finished 4th in the Saturday race and was chasing my PB but noticed a weird vibration up front in right hand turns. This later turned out to be both of my front shock absorbers either unthreading at the top or coming loose at the bottom. I would not figure this out until well after the event. One of my competitor's had their car taken out in practice by a honda challenge in T1 so that put me in solid podium contention for Sunday. We had two races Sunday and I finished third in both but was still super frustrated at how I seemingly had forgotten how to drive the car well. Now looking back, I don't feel bad because both of my front shocks weren't even connected. I also managed to bend FIVE of my wheels. It seems a divot at the exit of Oak Tree which had never given me trouble before decided to sink a little before this weekend and start destroying my wheels. I wasn't going off track so I could never figure out which spot on track was doing it until it was too late.

YAfk1E3.jpg



NJMP

I didn't discover my front shock issue until I was loading my car for NJMP mere hours before I needed to be there. I scrambled remedy the driver side shock which had literally come apart and unthreaded itself into two pieces. I ended up rolling into NJMP right before the gates closed with one of my 15 year old shocks reinstalled on the driver side, unaware that the same thing was slowly happening to the passenger side too. After the Saturday race I noticed my car was very bouncy and found that the passenger side shock absorber had also started to come apart. I hastily threaded it back in and secured it with loctite before the sun went down, but having lost move of its oil, I wonder how functional it is now.

I was able to get a win at NJMP both days and set a new Spec3 record by over a second a half (previous record by me the only other time Spec3 has ever been at NJMP) with a 1:34.4.



On to July



Lime Rock was absolutely amazing. The surrounding area is beautiful, the track is so fun an historic. It is truly an experience just to be there, let alone drive the track. We had a great field of 4 Northeast Spec3s, 1 Mid Atlantic Spec3, and a Spec E30 that was all alone so I let them race as a Spec3 for the weekend after everyone agreed that if they get beat by a Spec E30, they'd live with it. 

We all picked up the track really quickly considering most of us had never been there, and NONE of us had ever been there in a Spec3. Nor was there any Spec3 lap record for reference or footage of a Spec3 driving the track. Long story short, Alex Rubenstein and I battled back and forth with me wining the Friday race, him winning the Saturday Qualifying race, and me winning the Saturday Feature race. My goal was to run a 1:02 something and beat the Spec E30, but it's such a short track that it becomes really hard to shave time off once you are that low. I ran a 1:03.229 and set the first Spec3 lap record with that. If the weather is cooler next year, there's no doubt one of us will break that and run a 1:02 or maybe even a 1:01 some day. 

The races were a lot of fun and the Saturday race was especially exciting because Alex and I were moved to the back of the field by accident during a double yellow with an erroneous black flag so we had to fight through the entire field just to get back to 1st and 2nd in our class. 


 

Pitt Race was 2 weeks later and serves as a preamble to the National Championship race that will be there in September. We had 10 or 11 cars signed up, but unfortunately one racer found a tire wall during the friday test sessions so we were down a racer for the weekend. My last outing at Pitt Race in 2022 was disappointing as I was very sloppy and my inputs were very erratic. It was a tiring weekend and I didn't go as fast as I wanted. My personal best was a 2:06 something. I've done a lot of driving since last year, a lot of reading and studying, and a lot of practicing in iRacing, so my goal was at least to run a 2:05 if not faster. Saturday morning came and I ran a 2:08 in warm up which was not good. I didn't know it, but the warm up time set the qualifying grid, so I was stuck with some Spec E30s which was going to make qualifying with a good time for Spec3 hard unless I could get by them quickly. Traffic thinned out and I slipped by and ran a 2:06 or 2:05 which was good enough for P4 out of 9 for the race grid. We started the race under the same green flag as Honda Challenge and that was my downfall. The traffic jam in T1 found me dropping back to 8th place right on the start. I managed to battle back and pass several people to regain 4th and that's where I finished with a new PB of 2:05.3 in the race. 

 

Sunday qual came around and I ran another 2:05 which put me right in the mix with the podium guys. The race started and the same thing in T1 happened again but I didn't fall as far back this time. Joey Thomas got the slip on me and ended up in second place for a bit until I was able to chase him down and pass him after he dropped back to 4th. Then I started to reel in P3 and P2 Jon McAvoy and Sean O'hara as they battled and was able to pass Jon when he went off in T1 during an attempted pass. I was able to hold onto third and chase Sean until the end of the race. That ended my weekend with a podium in a field that represented most of the fasted people that will be at the National Championship. Very exciting. 

 

The car is in the trailer now and I plan to tow it to NJMP for the joint NE and MA event in a couple of weeks. The car needs nothing but I'll do a quick nut and bolt check and some new brake pads before then.

2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
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nic65
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by nic65 »

:driving :cheers
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Jeroen
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by Jeroen »

A lot of fun was had and a lot learned as well I guess! But you're still on your old shocks now? I can imagine fresh ones can bring additional balance.
Regards/groeten, Jeroen
TaylorGoesFast
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My E21(s): 83 320i, 95 325i Spec 3 Race Car
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Re: NASA Spec 3 Build: 95 325i

Post by TaylorGoesFast »

Jeroen wrote: Wed Aug 02, 2023 3:43 pm A lot of fun was had and a lot learned as well I guess! But you're still on your old shocks now? I can imagine fresh ones can bring additional balance.
Yup. Learning every race. The rear shocks are new, the front right is new but lost a lot of the oil when it came apart. The front left is one of my 15 year old ones that I had to replace one of the new ones with. I have a new one in a box ready to install when I get some time to do it.
2011 F150
1995 BMW 325i Spec 3 Race Car
2008 BMW 128i 6 Speed Sport Package
1983 BMW 320i
2005 Kinetic SC
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