San Diego Grand Challenge update

I realized we haven’t updated the blog in a while, and our legions of fans have been waiting with bated breath for updates! So here goes.

Three weekends ago, Don and I made it out to Barona 1/8 mile drag strip for the first racing event for the San Diego Grand Challenge. Being a mostly stock 125 hp car, I wasn’t expecting much, but we didn’t do so bad. Running on some really old worn out Azenis RT-215 autocross tires as our “slicks,” Don pulled a best of 10.105, and I ran a 10.139, both with 2.2_ 60 foot times. Surprisingly we were just a tenth or two slower than the other two E30 BMWs in the series, both of which should have at least 50 more HP than us. Everything was going great until I made a run and found the transmission wouldn’t budge from 2nd gear no matter what I did. We were done for the night, and Don and I had to drop the driveshaft from the car in the dirt by the light of his car’s headlights so we could tow it home. Luckily our times were good for 5th place out of the 9 competitors there that night. Here’s a photo of our drag monster in action thanks to Dave at


The following weekend Don and I pulled the transmission out of the car to survey the damage. One of the shift forks in the trans had jammed up, so we fixed it. We also noticed that the driveshaft “guibo” was in pretty bad shape despite having being replaced a year and a half ago. Then again we haven’t exactly been babying the car.


After getting the trans back together and installing a new guibo, we put it all back in last Saturday. Luckily the car actually ran and drove fine after our repairs, since an autocross for the SDGC was scheduled the next day.

So yesterday I headed down to the stadium for the SCCA autocross that the SDGC is a part of. I went solo, as Vince was supposed to be my partner but was busy working on his own LeMons pile err…. car. Long story short, the car ran great but unfortunately I didn’t. On the first run, I spun right at the end of the course when the ass end swung around and I plowed down a bunch of cones. Second run, the car understeered after the finish line and I plowed down a bunch of cones AFTER the timing lights. Third and fourth runs were better, with a best of 65.7. This, compared to the top two cars (the other two E3os which had bigger tires and experienced autocrossers behind the wheel - ricer excuses, I know) running 63 second laps put us in 5th place once again. Hmm, I’m detecting a theme.

I mainly wanted to run the car in the SDGC to shake it down in preparation for LeMons and have some fun in the meantime. By having the transmission failure at the drag races, we definitely succeeded in at least the first point! Talking about LeMons… it’s coming up fast. We still need to make a few changes to the car to meet some of the new safety rules (mainly add a 2nd door bar to the roll cage and extend the exhaust), and I have a few other durability modifications in mind since our next race will be in 100+ degree temps. I think I have bitten off a bit more than I can chew by running the SDGC and getting the car ready for LeMons, mainly because I’m the only one working on the car since most of the team has moved away (with the exception of some help from Don which is MUCH appreciated). I had some lofty goals to change the theme on the car which may not happen, but at least we’ll get to race.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll try to keep our race fans updated more often! Who am I kidding, maybe 3 people read this haha.


One Response to “San Diego Grand Challenge update”

  1. Willard Says:

    count me as one of the three

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