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New BMW CCA Members

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by norrisbmwracing, Jul 28, 2014.

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    I am a new BMW CCA member and my son just joined Sunday. Including my son, this is what we own in the BMW world: 2003 325i, 2011 BMW 335i (sport package), 2011 BMW 335i (M Sport package), 2013 528i. I have owned a total of 6 BMW's in my lifetime, including my wife's 528i. We are looking to rebuild the 2003 325i and make it a race car. Any advice would be welcome. I live in the Birmingham, AL area and my son lives in Atlanta.
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    Welcome to the club & forums!

    The typical adage is never build your own car, buy someone else's. Generally, building a race car, you will spend far more to do it, particularly if you're doing it right, than you could ever hope to think to get out of it.

    Safety trumps everything - if you do the safety part wrong, or try to cut corners there, it's probably better not to do it at all, otherwise you're being suicidal. There may be more than a couple of ways to do it right, but there's an infinite number of ways to do it wrong. Unless you're already really experienced at building safety cages with exactly everything needed (such as welding, tube-bending, the right kind of steel/tubing/materials/etc), it may be worth considering just what your life is worth when it comes to making sure your roll cage will do what it's meant to do.

    Not to sound off-putting, but safety aspects in particular are not to be taken lightly. On any project, never mind one as ambitious as putting together a race-car from scratch, I suggest some specific plans first, such as specific goals to meet, and purpose; research what it takes, and have a very specific budget. Otherwise costs can spiral quickly, so knowing what you're in for beforehand will allow for planning budgets and determining what's realistic to do, or not. Figure out what you want to do, and if you can afford to do it. Tow vehicles, trailers, tires (don't forget new trailer tires if they're more than 6 yrs. old) , fuel, brakes, & other consumables, troubleshooting & other maintenance, event fees, lodging, and so on - all that & more need to be in your considerations.

    We don't have many posts here dedicated to club racing, you might want to check out: http://www.bmwccaclubracing.com/

    If you do ultimately opt to build a car, build it to be meet the rule-sets of whatever specific series you intend to race, obviously it's unwise to launch in and build something only to find out at the end that a great deal of work has to be un-done or re-done to make it rules-compliant.

    Another thing to consider - the driving skillset; if whoever is to drive the car hasn't achieved a certain degree of proficiency through events such as BMWCCA track driver's schools/high-performance driving events (hpde's), jumping into racing imposes the double burden of learning how to drive and race simultaneously. This can make racing even more inherently frustrating, particularly if one is strongly competitive. I think most would suggest it would be well worth getting a number of driver's schools under one's belt before racing. Racing is also not for the disorganized or ill-prepared; there's enough unanticipated last-minute stuff that will crop up, inducing stress & time crunches, without any procrastination-induced issues. Car-control & skid-recovery skills are also of paramount importance, especially when racing in wet-track/rain conditions.

    Which also brings up contingency plans - it's never the plan, but there should be some thought given to what would be done to ensure repairs if damage or accident occurs.

    Time - you'll need plenty of it to devote to the cause, unless you plan on spending a small fortune paying others to do stuff, which obviously can get really expensive, fast. Keep in mind the fun factor - racing can suck some of the fun out of driving quickly & competently on a track; if you find the fun-factors don't outweigh the rest, it seems to me there's little point in continuing with what might otherwise on the whole feel like a self-imposed masochistic activity.

    Think of being around for a sleet & freezing-cold club-race weekend at Mid-Ohio in late October... " 'We'll go racing' they said; 'It'll be fun', they said....." Uh, anyway - do consider the potential downsides, as well as the upsides!

    There's a few thoughts for ya! ;)
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    Welcome to the club and forums!
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    And welcome to the BMW-Addicted Rehab Center! Just so you know, there seems to be no cure.
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    I used to be a member back in the 80's kind of fell thru the cracks. Just got back into the fold with a 2011 535. Still have my 76 2002. Looking forward to learning alot. There have been a few new upgrades since my first purchase,

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