Works style rally car preperation for the clubman budget


     Well in keeping with the new year theme of "out with the old and in with the new" we find ourselves looking for a new shell to replace our old one which is looking decidedly second hand at the moment. I suppose you can't leave the explanation as short as that so here's the gory details. See if you can spot the excusses, I'll highlight them in red.

      We brought the car out to compete at the quarry two days after christmas and after passing scrutiny decided to walk the track to see just how slippy the the cold damp morning had left it. We found that one or two corners had still some frost left on the surface from the previous night so we both agreed that caution would pay dividends today. I was first up and completed my two laps fairly incident free, apart from getting a little too sideways over the finish line, must remember to take it a little easier there next time. So the morning moved on and it was my turn again, the sun had started to rise and most of the damp spots were starting to dry a little, so I decided to push a little harder and when coming over the hill to approach the start finish line I gave what in hindsight was a little to much throttle for the grip available. The ass of the car broke into a drift that Colin McRae would have been proud off, only difference being that he would have allmost certainly choosen a place with more space to complete the manouvere, as it was I was starting to come to the realisation inside the car that this was going to hurt!  From all reports the roll looked quite entertaining from the outside, unfortunately I didn't get to truely appreciate it as I was to busy inside praying that the bloody thing would stop rolling. At this point my colleague and co-funder of the BMW would like me to point out that despite all my excuses, that the actual cause of the roll was the pilot running out of talent rather the grip .
                We managed to get the car back on to the trailer with the aid of a few people pushing as there was now a rather large hole in the sump preventing the engine from being started. The following pictures show the extent of the damage, which at first doesn't look to bad but as ever the devil is in the details.




     Doesn't look to bad does it? That is until we had a closer look. The shell took the impact quite well and the cage did what it's supposed to do and kept the passenger cell fully intact. Thats where the good news stopped though, there was some rips in the front bulkhead where the front of the car had tried to part company with the rest of it, the two front wishbones were bent like a banana when the car landed back on it's feet. The front subframe was twisted, power steering rack had burst, the rear axle had shifted 3 inches to the right and was pointing two wheels in totally different directions! The roof behind the cage had taken the brunt of the impact and had driven the rear C pillars down into the rear quarter panels. Just to show how compeditive an engine BMW make, during the impact a few feet before the finnishing line, the engine, gearbox and driveshaft decided to try and part company with the car and make a dash for the finish to save grace. Unfortuately they hadn't notified the radiator or sumpgaurd of their intentions. Result? Two burst engine mounts, two burst gearbox mounts, a burst driveshaft carrier bearing, a burst engine sump and a burst radiator. Marvelous

      After assesing all the damage and taking a deep breath we decided that a reshell was the only way to go, so two days later we went out and arrived home with this...................


        I know exactly what your thinking, how do we allways manage to find such pristine examples of such a hard to find model.  Well in all fairness, she's got more panels than the last one started with!

                      As I type preperations are well under way on the new shell and we are flat out to make it out for the next event on the 13th of March, my colleague plans to make some modifications for when it's my turn to drive next time including the use of some heavy duty bike stabiliser's. I fail to see the funny side of this

                                         Click back soon for the next installment !