Bubbabones New Reader
March 21, 2011 12:22 p.m.


I have been looking for a car as a dedicated autocrosser. My 2006 GTO is my DD and would need far too much work to be a competitive car in any class. I want to stay rwd and not blow the budget.

In my looking around, I found a nice 1990 325i that was prepped for Spec e30. Still need to look more closely, but it seems to have been done with care and looks to be a good value.

My question, and I have looked though the classing guides, is where would a Spec e30 fall in Solo land? I think DSP would be about right, but am interested in any feedback.

Also, when looking at e30's, what are some things to be aware of?


scardeal HalfDork
March 21, 2011 2:50 p.m.

I think, I'm not sure, but I think that spec e30 allows gutted interiors, and that overshoots street prepared.

Javelin SuperDork
March 21, 2011 2:58 p.m.

Unless you plan on going to Nationals, there's no reason NOT to run your GTO. Plenty of GTO's have won Regional events in STU (including one I drove) or their respective SP class.

Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
March 21, 2011 3:02 p.m.

The Spec E30 would also be an ITS car which would be legal in DSP as-is....fun car for that class, but hard to keep up with higher HP 2.8 liter BMWs with less weight to lug around (and bigger allowable wheels/tires). Great for regional work though.

mtn SuperDork
March 21, 2011 3:07 p.m.
Bubbabones wrote: Also, when looking at e30's, what are some things to be aware of? Thanks


mad_machine SuperDork
March 21, 2011 3:11 p.m.

and timing belts

scardeal HalfDork
March 21, 2011 3:30 p.m.

There's been speculation that a fully built LS2 GTO could do fairly well, even nationally, in ESP against the Mustangs, thanks to that crazy IRS.

Bubbabones New Reader
March 21, 2011 4:28 p.m.

I love the GTO and have alot of fun in F-Stock, but all that weight is not going to magically disappear. Some of the courses in my area allow me to really take advantage of the motor, but more often than not I am wishing for more tire. To put much more tire on, I'd spend as much on suspension bits as I would on a miata or e30 and still need to lug 4000 lbs around the course.

DSP could be fun, some real good drivers in my region I would need to start chasing after.


Duke SuperDork
March 21, 2011 4:30 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: and timing belts

Are they not a chain?

<~~~~ E30 experience = zero

Ian F SuperDork
March 21, 2011 6:33 p.m.
Duke wrote:
mad_machine wrote: and timing belts

Are they not a chain?

<~~~~ E30 experience = zero

Nope. The M20 uses a belt. Not that the chain in the later DOHC engines doesn't have occasional problems of its own.

ddavidv SuperDork
March 22, 2011 6:36 a.m.

In reply to Bubbabones: I run mine in FP (I think). Something about it makes it illegal for DSP, I think it's the level of interior gutting. I'm sure you could return it to a SP level though. There are two of us that race each other and nobody else in the Prepared class, so we don't really care about it being competitive against the real world.

The SE30 suspension package makes for a fantastic handling car, and the M20 provides good power. I can be pretty violent driving mine and it seems to thrive on it. I run my Toyo track tires and they are good but could certainly be improved upon. It's made autocrossing fun again. Stock based cars suck.

Jamesc2123 Reader
March 22, 2011 8:30 a.m.

IT cars can run in their respective SP autox class, even if they would not be legal to otherwise (ie, even with gutted interior).

There are others too, like Spec Miata and American Sedan classes can run in SP.

Ian F SuperDork
March 22, 2011 8:43 a.m.

I'd have to read the rules again, but IIRC, the Spec cars (Miata & E30) run in their respective SP classes, despite some otherwise non-SP legal modifications. The catch is they have to be current to their Spec class road-racing rules, which puts them at a disadvantage regarding tires and engine modifications vs. a dedicated SP-prepped car.

Bubbabones New Reader
March 22, 2011 11:31 a.m.

Thanks for all the good information. I am leaning toward this if I can get a few bucks knocked off or continue looking for a miata.

Ian F SuperDork
March 22, 2011 11:45 a.m.

Continued to dig a bit... like I posted in another thread, I love researching this stuff, for some wierd reason...

Re: SE30 & IT:

Cars listed as eligible in and prepared to the current national Improved Touring rules are permitted to compete in their respective Street Prepared classes. Neither Street Prepared nor Improved Touring cars are permitted to interchange preparation rules. Improved Touring cars may use tires which are eligible under current IT rules even if they are not eligible in Street Prepared.

Spec Miata is specifically addressed:

Cars eligible for the current Spec Miata rules are permitted to compete in class D Street Prepared, with the additional allowance that they may use any size of any tire which meets the requirements of 15.3 and fits on the Spec Miata allowed wheels and within the allowed bodywork. Spec Miata cars in DSP may not intermix use of the Spec Miata and Street Prepared allowances. The competitor is responsible for being in possession of the Spec Miata rules and for proving that his/her car conforms to the rules.

Bubbabones New Reader
March 22, 2011 12:58 p.m.

So that would mean sticking to the Se30 regs. Then make a plan to move to DSP. Sounds like fun.

ddavidv SuperDork
March 22, 2011 4:45 p.m.

Well whatya know? Maybe I should read that SCCA rule book every now and then.

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