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Asahi Kiko M3- First Race Report

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  • Asahi Kiko M3- First Race Report

    We had our first race last weekend with the M3 at the HMSA Spring race at Laguna Seca.

    Let me first give a big shout out to Pall, Luis, and Kevin for coming down and cheering us on. It was great fun to meet them and talk about all things M3! And if you haven't looked at Pall's Flicker album yet- don't miss it. He got some really great shots of the car.

    This was my first time in the car and I always approach a new car with the idea of just getting comfortable with it, the controls, the feedback its giving me, and making sure everything is operating nominally.

    Saturday morning was cool and damp. The track was dry, but off-line there were damp patches. I used the first few laps of the session to just get comfortable in the car and to build a little heat in the slicks. I also needed to scrub the mold release off their face.

    After a few laps I began to build up my speed. The gearbox in the car is pretty amazing. It is a Getrag 265 case with Samsonas innards. The cluster features straight cut gears and it has a dog ring so the clutch is not necessary once you are moving. I chose to use the clutch for now so as to not add another complication to my learning the car. Later I'll work at shifting w/o the clutch. The gear throw is VERY short; just a flick of the wrist and you're in the next gear. Really sweet.

    The car felt very neutral and I kept having to push myself deeper into the corners before braking as they are much more effective than any of my other cars.

    Saturday afternoon the rains came. It started just as I was sitting on pre-grid for the qualifying race with my 2002. By the time our race was over there were puddles starting to form on the track so I decided not to take the M3 out.

    Sunday morning was sunny and warmer. I took the car out for the morning warm-up session. The second time in a new car is always better. I feel like I at least know more what to expect, plus I am more comfortable with the steering, pedals, and shifter. So I turned it up another notch.

    As I began to push the car harder it began to show more of its personality. The first thing I noticed was a little bit of under steer on turn in. As I reached the apex and added power the car instantly neutralized and came off the corner like a freight train. There are in cockpit adjustments for the sway bars and brake bias. I will begin exploring those later. I have left them at the settings the previous owner recommended for now.

    The engine in the car is great. It dogs below 4500, which you would expect. Once you reach 5500 it really comes alive and pulls hard up until the red line. I was choosing to shift at about 8000-8200. Red line is marked on the tach at 8500.

    For our feature race I was gridded 4th behind 2 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup cars, and a 1990 Olds tube frame GTO car. How did we get 2 brand new GT3 Cup cars on the grid of a vintage race? Good question. I asked but never got a straight answer from HMSA. I'm guessing the reason was financial. There was also a 2012 GT3 Cup car in the field. He was gridded at the rear of our group because he didn't have a qualifying time.

    As the 2 GT3 Cup cars sailed off into the distance I chased the GTO car. I decided I would just follow him and keep him honest while I was still learning the car. My best lap was a 1:40, about 2 tenths quicker than the GTO's best lap. A few laps into the race the other GT3 Cup car came forward and passed us both so I finished 5th overall, but 2nd in the 'vintage' class.

    I love the car! It is very rewarding to drive though was more work to drive than either my 2002 or CSL. I am looking forward to exploring its capabilities throughout this season.

    I will be posting a video on my YouTube channel in a few days. I will be sure to put the link here.
    1976 Luigi BMW CSL
    1991 Asahi Kiko E30 M3
    1970 Koepchen 2002
    1968 Hyde Park 2002TA
    1965 TiSA #193
    1960 700 Vintage Racer
    1965 1800Ti Vintage Racer
    1971 NSU 1200 TTS
    www.msportvintage.com

  • #2
    We had a great time meeting Steve and watching the Asahi Kiko turn its first few laps!

    Here are my photos from Saturday with Steve's awesome car:
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsme9Ekxv

    Some highlights









    First time through the corkscrew!













    Somehow I managed to go home with zero engine bay photos, but Luis and Kevin were snapping away so hopefully they'll post those up!
    1988 DS
    1988 Lachs
    Bay Area M3 FB group

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    • #3
      Car looks great, cant wait to see the video. They are a pretty active ride (especially if yours still has any crazy heavy spring rates still in it from its pro life).
      Mine still has a stupid heavy set of springs in it which someday I will swap out for something more suited to US tracks. Its on the list of "when I get time and the lift is open.

      They are a blast to drive. The more you drive it the more fun you will have.
      I always start the day cautious and feeling slow as shit and by the end of the day Im having a ball.
      They really do respond better the more you push them.
      Whenever I drive mine, I always then later watch a BTCC video from back in the day and berate myself for taking it to easy...
      I suggest that before the next time you drive it LOL.

      Cheers
      jimmy p

      jimmy p.
      87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
      88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
      88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
      92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
      98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
      04 Ford F350 - V10

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      • #4
        Very nice. Yes, video's please..and thanks for the update/post!!

        Don

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