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Old 06-02-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
sb_600
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Metric Homes Racing - Chumpcar #296

Chris and I had so much fun renting a chumpcar last year, that we decided to get some sponsors, and build one this year! https://www.facebook.com/MetricHomesRacing

We purchased an existing race car back end-of-january as a rolling shell... er... just a shell (no drivetrain, no suspension).



We picked it up mid-march, redid some rollcage work, bought a couple parts cars, dropped in a motor that had 320,000km , and got it finished just before the race at Watkin's Glen on May 23-25.

It was the first race the car has ever done, and the longest it's ever ran in one go (we had done two 30 minute shakedown stints at Calabogie, but that was it). Two of the four drivers had never driven the car, and one had never driven an e36 BMW. Those same 2 drivers also had never driven WGI before, so we were going in with the hope that we would last the weekend, and as long as we did that, it would have been a success especially given that there were over 90 cars registered!

Thursday - Setup & Tech

Dad, myself, and our awesome crew member James rolled in style on thursday morning from ottawa:







We got to the glen nice and early, grabbed some groceries and got the car teched. I was a little nervous - not because we were cheating - we went in 100% stock, but just because we had never done it before. Plus, we had just made some last-minute changes the day before because of little things we found in the car (cutting gussets, replacing a broken fire system, rewiring a kill switch that didn't actually shut off the car), but the car was teched with no issues, and we had no value add. Awesome! We got our chumpcar number panels and series sponsor stickers, and got the car all stickered up.









At 6pm, we were allowed into the paddock. We rented a garage - awesome idea - and set the car and our tools up. Chris rolled in around 8pm with the parts trailer and we set up his tools, checked a few things on the car, and chatted with some other teams while they were frantically trying to finish their cars. At around 11pm, Jamie rolled in, and then we called it a night.

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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #2
sb_600
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Friday - Race 1: 12pm-6pm

Having gone through tech on Thursday, Friday morning was pretty relaxing for us (race was from noon to 6pm) – we filled up our 14 jerry cars (decided against the barrels), set up out pit lane area, got the car down, and got suited up, and went to the driver's meeting:



We agreed that Chris would start the race, then Dad, then Jamie, and then I would finish it up. Given that it was a 6 hour race, we were hoping to get 2 hours out of the car for fuel, so Chris and Dad would run 2 hours each + fuel, and then Jamie and I would run 1 hour each (just a driver change). We had two sets of wheels and tires as well: we’d start on the RS3s, and then run the rivals on Saturday, and whichever still has tread on Sunday.



So we get Chris in the car and get him to grid early.



They told us in the drivers meeting they were doing a side-by-side race start, so we gambled that they would HAVE to give the green to the first car (chump car doesn’t have qualifying – you do a couple pace laps and they give the green when they feel like it). We guessed right, and Chris was P3 for the green flag! Awesome! Although counting our penalty laps, we actually started in the 50s IIRC.



Chris was running AWESOME times, and we were moving up the pack really well. Just before the 2 hour mark, we call Chris in to get Dad in the car, fuel it up, strap him in, and send him off – Chris said the car was running awesome, so we were really pumped. Dad goes around once, twice – awesome. Third time he doesn’t show.... ummm.... finally he comes crawling around in the pit lane – uh oh. Pulls up and tells us the clutch is slipping like crazy, and won’t hold any torque. Crap. We send him back to the garage, bring the tools back up, and start pulling the tranny. We have a spare clutch, so let’s hope that’s what the problem is and go for it.



As we get the transmission off, a bunch of clutch material falls out of the bell housing – sweet! Lol – we were right.





Since that tranny was starting to grind, we decided to swap in one of our spares while we were at it. Jamie and James were getting that ready while Chris and I were reinstalling the spare used clutch. About 1.25 hours in, we’re ready to go – line the transmission up – it won’t go in! After a bit of fighting we finally get it lined up properly. Sweet – time for the starter. The starter has a guide pin on it that goes into a hole in the bellhousing. Well the spare tranny we had also had the guidepin! After fighting with that for 15min or so, we said forget it – we’ll push start. Get the driveshaft and exhaust back in, Dad back in the car, and we’re back out on the track by hour 4! Two hours to go! Awesome!

Since we all wanted seat time, we did 35 minute stints to get us to the end of the race. Car was going great, we got used to the track, and we finished! It was a good day. 66/90+ after only running 4 out of 6 hours was a pretty good feat in our eyes.

After the race we had a few little things to take care of: the starter, bleed the brakes, nut & bolt check, oil change, track down some fluid leaks – nothing too complicated! We refuelled the car and called it an early night.
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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Saturday – Race 2: 9am-5pm

With the clutch & new transmission tested, we were feeling pretty good about the 8 hour. If there was any race that we could make back our penalty laps, this would be it. We inverted the order from Friday: I was starting, then Jamie, then Dad, then Chris. I lined up about 10-15 cars back, and we got lucky with the green again – right in front of me!!! The car was running great – it’s so nice to have power! The rivals were good, but I felt that the RS3s were a bit better – everyone else also agreed. We climbed up the ranks slowly – I brought us from the 50s up to 33, Jamie got us from there into the 20s, Dad kept going up to 18ish, and then Chris brought it home for us with 11th... But wait!!! We forgot about the exemption cars running, so our 11th place was actually 10! AWESOME! Top 10 finish was better than we ever could have expected!



Both Jamie and Dad had a bit of contact, with Dad’s actually being a pretty big hit that bent something in the front end (steering wheel was out). The alignment was still good, so we just re-centered the wheel, fixed a few couple things, bled the brakes again, and went out for a couple drinks at Seneca lodge.

Sunday – Race 3: 9am-3pm

It’s so nice waking up and knowing the car is good to go. We lined it up again and repeated the routine. New driving order: Jamie starts, then me, then Dad, then Chris is our ringer so we stuck him in to take it home for us!







We grid a bit farther back Sunday, and again it paid off. We weren’t expecting anything great today, since we knew we were doing an extra pit stop at the 5th hour of the race, just for a driver change. Jamie was doing super well in his first stint, and got us to a good position in the 30s. I jumped, it, had some awesome battled with an exemption car, and despite on setting any lap records, kept a quick, consistent pace that brought us to 12th. As I was getting close to my pit window, we got a full-course yellow so I pit in. Dad got in and we lost 5 positions during the pit stop, but he was able to get us back to 12th by the end of his 1 hour – he was also watching the flags and pit during another full-course yellow. Then Chris jumped in and the magic started to happen. He was running at a crazy pace. Reeling in cars like nobody’s business.

Next thing we know, we’re in 6th. Then 5th. Then 4th! 3rd is 2:10 seconds ahead of us, and we have 30 minutes to go. Yellow flag – chris catches up to the group. It goes green – he’s running an average of 10seconds faster than 3rd place. At this rate, it’s going to be within seconds at the finish. Crap – another yellow. The group bunches up and now there’s only about 30seconds between them. Chris has no idea where he is because we have no radios (running of a pit board). It goes green again, then 2 laps later, WE’RE IN THIRD! So awesome! Chris is running faster than any of us had the rest of the weekend, and he brings it home for us.

Next stress: impound. We get the wheels off and the car in the air. Lots of people walking around, lots of people looking, a bunch of questions, but more out of curiosity than anything. Cameras are going off... oh man. No protests though! Not that we were expecting anything, because again – we went in following the rules.





Impound is over – it’s official! Podium finish at our first track weekend! Who could ask for better than that!

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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-02-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
BmW1819
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very cool
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
gruppusol
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Great story! Congrats!
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! We'll be running the car again this weekend at the calabogie chump sprint races, and then our next event will be the double 7hour enduros at calabogie in July. Can't wait!!!
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-03-2014, 10:05 AM   #7
sb_600
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We couldn't have done it without our sponsors:

Perry performance - www.perryautolaval.com

8Legs Racing - www.8legsracing.com

Lachute Performance/LP Motorsport - www.lachuteperformance.com, www.lpmotorsport.com

Permatex - www.permatex.com

And of course, our title sponsor :

Metric Homes - www.metrichomes.com
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #8
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Awesome! Congrats
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:51 PM   #9
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SOOO JEALOUS, can't wait for our first race.

So much for the penalty laps making the E36s uncompetitive huh
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:30 PM   #10
sb_600
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Originally Posted by BigD View Post
SOOO JEALOUS, can't wait for our first race.

So much for the penalty laps making the E36s uncompetitive huh
Yup, but we got lucky in Sunday's race - a couple of the top contenders had reliability issues - that being said, reliability is part of endurance racing.

So yes, the e36 is still a competitive car, but I think the e30 still has the competitive edge though!

oh well, we have no regrets
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-03-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb_600 View Post
Yup, but we got lucky in Sunday's race - a couple of the top contenders had reliability issues - that being said, reliability is part of endurance racing.

So yes, the e36 is still a competitive car, but I think the e30 still has the competitive edge though!

oh well, we have no regrets
Hopefully you're right

Definitely with you on the reliability too. We are taking every precaution to avoid being the team that goes out due to a bad 20 year old sensor, seal, balljoint or whatever.

But we feel the same... I'm sure the E30 advantage will be neutered by the rules next year, so if they force us into EC then we'll just build the car properly. I'm still pissed that they don't at least let everyone have an off the shelf non-adjustable shock and spring. Will it really take away from the spirit of the series if the "racecars" didn't have to ride on stock shocks and cut springs? (I just felt bile come up my throat typing that) Some billies and H&R race would make such a difference... blah.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:23 PM   #12
sb_600
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Quote:
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Hopefully you're right

Definitely with you on the reliability too. We are taking every precaution to avoid being the team that goes out due to a bad 20 year old sensor, seal, balljoint or whatever.

But we feel the same... I'm sure the E30 advantage will be neutered by the rules next year, so if they force us into EC then we'll just build the car properly. I'm still pissed that they don't at least let everyone have an off the shelf non-adjustable shock and spring. Will it really take away from the spirit of the series if the "racecars" didn't have to ride on stock shocks and cut springs? (I just felt bile come up my throat typing that) Some billies and H&R race would make such a difference... blah.

meh, stock shocks and cut springs aren't that bad
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-03-2014, 05:26 PM   #13
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meh, stock shocks and cut springs aren't that bad
I know I know... it's just such a ricer thing to do lol
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #14
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I know I know... it's just such a ricer thing to do lol
haha, yeah - i had the same initial reaction, and then the parts cars we bought had them already cut - so we said, f&ck it - lets see what happens.

the results speak for themselves!
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1992 BMW 325i (CHUMPCAR #296 - Metric Homes Racing)
1992 3.0L M52 325i (ex-daily driver - track car only)
2002 330Ci (ex-daily driver - sold!)

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Old 06-03-2014, 06:04 PM   #15
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

What kinda cars came 1st and 2nd?
Also sorry I dont know the rules better, but it sounds like the E36 gets penalty laps? Why is that? is it because it's newer/cost more than what is considered a 'chump car'?
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