1997 BMW M3 – Street Driver to Track Racer

This past May 23rd, the Strictly European Autosport club sponsored the SEA Track Attack, an HPDE (high performance Drivers education) event.

Harold is a very active member of SEA & he facilitated this event.  He brought his evolving 1997 BMW M3.  I say evolving as he keeps on adding go/handle fast parts.  He say it is less comfortable to drive on the street, but is getting better handling on the track.  Don’t feel sorry for him.  He also enjoys the ownership & driving experience of a 7 series BMW.

Harold was kind enough to forward me specific pieces of information about his M3 Track Racer.  It’s a 4-door automatic with manual override and sports package.  It has several track days on it along with loads of spirited street driving out in the Hill Country, which is how it began to take form.

Here’s an extensive list of the various mods/upgrades Harold has completed on his M3:

  • Suspension is Bilstein PSS9 coilovers with BMP design shuttle type shock mounts. Powerflex bushings, UUC Sway bars with adjustable end links, and an early design Bmp strut brace.
  • Brakes were recently upgraded to Powerslot rotors with Hawk HT10 pads with solid guide pin bushings in the calipers and UUC stainless 6 line brake kit.
  • Tires and wheels are Koni challenge Hoosiers on BMW DSII wheels.
  • Exhaust is an early version UUC system U cat back.
  • Engine management is the Turner flash program.
  • Transmission software is the Dinan program.
  • Minor engine upgrades are the true cold air intake with heat shield and the ASC (traction control) delete, lower temp thermostat, alluminum thermostat housing, and lower temp fan switch, Spal electric fan, Stewart water pump, and Samco hoses.
  • Cosmetic/aerodynamic improvements are fog light deletes, Reiger GTcup front lower splitter, Depot projector beam headlights, rear wing, and painted rear lower diffuser.

With all these changes, Harold’s never opened up the motor.  BMW should be proud!

Inside the car Harold has added three gauges below the dash, a Nivola DSX steering wheel with a lap timer added, an in car camera mount, and a Schrothe harness.

This is considered to be a lightly modded car compared to a lot of other cars out there yet it performs extremely well on the track.  Harold began building a very nice street car but somewhere he has crossed a line into what is now becoming a dedicated track car.  A roll cage is on the way to making this a legal M3-Spec racer.

Racing Ready is proud to know amateur racing enthusiasts like Harold, who support this blog.  You can see more about the SEA club and visit their forum.


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