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    Auto-X SM Classification

    I started Auto-X earlier this year in much of the same fashion that everyone does - Turn up in a cars that's already been modified, rather than built to a specific class.

    Having provided my list of modifications (as per my thread here), I was steered into the SM Class.

    The deciding factor for the techs was my e46 steering rack.
    I've read the rules/classifications, and that ruling seems like quite the jump for a stock engined e30 with full interior.

    Are others just not using upgraded racks? I'm still having fun, but I'd imagine it'd be more fun against comparable cars and not stripped s54 cars on slicks lol

    There are advantages/disadvantages to SM, in that I can build quite the car within the bounds of the class, BUT that in itself introduces a whole bunch of tempting $$$ upgrades I'm trying to avoid.

    To me, my car would seem to fit the bill of Street Touring? The jury is split within the club.

    Pictures as a reward for reading:



    #2
    honestly - who cares - run what you brung. Unless you're planning on going all the way to nationals or something, does it really matter?
    Build thread

    Bimmerlabs

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      #3
      Originally posted by nando View Post
      honestly - who cares - run what you brung. Unless you're planning on going all the way to nationals or something, does it really matter?
      I guess it is subjective - if you're happy running around in a class within which you're unable to comparably judge your own progress within, then good for you. I can't see how you would be though?

      My aims aren't to go all the way to nationals, not even close lol.

      To be clear, all I want to do is draw comparatives with similar/consistent drivers and cars so as to have relatively consistent data against which to measure my own progression.

      That is what I thought Auto-X was about - improving one's own driving. If it is about people simply circling a parking lot and only looking at themselves, then we can all head to Walmart one at a time.

      It is a technical specification question relating to steering racks, not me wanting to win things.

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        #4
        Right, I'm not trying to say don't ask the question. But E30s typically end up classed with cars that are way faster than them no matter what you do (or if your club uses it, heavily penalized with PAX adjustments). But if you show up often, you'll notice the same people and have a good idea of who's fast and who has a fast car.

        Improving your driving can be done regardless of class - if you consistently place 10th, and start improving and place 6th, then you know you've made progress.

        To me, it's much more fun to just enjoy my car rather than constantly worry about classes and mods. It ended up working out that merely showing up consistently helped me win a season in 1st overall, even though there were often cars that were much, much faster than mine. That was my intended point.
        Build thread

        Bimmerlabs

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          #5
          You can still measure your improvements regardless if you are in a competitive class or not. I would personally say: mod the car the way you like it. E30's are not likely to be competitive nationally when built to class anyways (considering they are classed with FRS's and other cars that are much more capable). Whether it's competitive locally really depends. With the group I run with, I am usually in the top 3-5 cars overall out of 80-100 entries. I've never bothered to look at classing closely, so I just enter Modified, and have fun.

          Or you could just enter STX or whatever class you are closest to, and not give a shit about the steering rack. On a local level, nobody is going to care or call you out. If you are going to compete on a larger scale (nationals, etc.), then maybe adjust your mods to fit a class better.
          Last edited by Digitalwave; 04-23-2018, 01:19 PM.

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            #6
            I am an s52 swapped e30, also in sm

            I ran against a bunch of evos and a supercharged mustang. Yes I came in last but from my first to last run I improved 9 seconds, with no penalties.

            Do I want to be competitive yes, but in reality I’m just having fun

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              #7
              How would the tech guys know that the steering rack isn't stock? I've teched thousands of cars, and not once have I nailed anyone for a different steering rack. I've tossed people out of classes for having wrong engines, or race tires in a street tire class, but steering racks are a tough call. I'd say, don't say you modded the thing, and run the class you want to run. Unless you are running at Nationals, likely the steering rack will go unnoticed. Don't ask, don't tell.

              Run what ya brung, and work on being faster than you were the run before. SM CSP, either class is a good class, and will be very competitive. They are both great classes to learn in because of that. Running in a class where you are the only car is boring as all get out. Running in a competitive class, pushes you to be better, to hone your skills, and get faster.

              Will
              '59 Alfa Romeo 101.02 Giulietta Sprint
              '69 Alfa Romeo 105.51 1750 GTV (R.I.P)
              '69 Datsun 2000 roadster Vintage race car
              '88 BMW M3

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                #8
                hah, yeah good point. The tech inspection is mostly a safety inspection at the local level. Half the time it was me helping some kids keep their battery from falling out (zip ties FTW).

                And let's be real - a steering rack swap might make the car more fun, but it's not going to bring you from 10th overall to stomping over everyone else... Especially not in an M20 powered E30.

                BTW your car looks awesome. Just focus on having fun, and you'll be happier for it.
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                Bimmerlabs

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by nando View Post
                  hah, yeah good point. The tech inspection is mostly a safety inspection at the local level. Half the time it was me helping some kids keep their battery from falling out (zip ties FTW).

                  And let's be real - a steering rack swap might make the car more fun, but it's not going to bring you from 10th overall to stomping over everyone else... Especially not in an M20 powered E30.

                  BTW your car looks awesome. Just focus on having fun, and you'll be happier for it.
                  Exactly. (Seriously, what the hell is up with people showing up to a race with a battery flopping all over? Often times its the same people who never fix the problem. I've tossed a few people for repeatedly not fixing their batteries.) When you have 60+ cars on grid, looking at part numbers is not an option. Checking to make sure wheels, tires, wheel bearings, seats, and other safety issues are taken care of takes precedence over all.

                  Like you said, changing a steering rack from one to another isn't going to make you go from off the back to a front runner. You still need to know what you are doing with the car.

                  Will
                  '59 Alfa Romeo 101.02 Giulietta Sprint
                  '69 Alfa Romeo 105.51 1750 GTV (R.I.P)
                  '69 Datsun 2000 roadster Vintage race car
                  '88 BMW M3

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for the responses, folks.

                    It was never a matter of me wanting to set the world of Auto-X ablaze, I just had a number of more knowledgeable people come up asking "How are you in SM?".

                    Again, I'm new to this, but given that 4-5 people per event ask me what sort of monster have I lurking under the hood (then we all laugh when they see an m20), I figured I'd ask here if it was worth rectifying - The answer seems to be no.

                    Either way, I'm very happy with how I'm doing. Out of 62 cars on Sunday I was 16th RAW while having an absolute blast.

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                      #11
                      In the local events it doesn't matter as much , but I give you kudos for being honest about it and actually checking the rules!

                      I say go for it, chances are nobody will complain unless you start beating someone in your class that is competing for a trophy then he / she may say something about it :)
                      Mtech1 v8 build thread - https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=413205



                      OEM v8 manual chip or dme - https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho....php?p=4938827

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                        #12
                        I'm still having fun, but I'd imagine it'd be more fun against comparable cars and not stripped s54 cars on slicks lol
                        Then take out the rack, and classify lower. The rules are what they are, and they classify
                        your car. Some sanctions (NASA, ICSCC, etc) have mechanisms whereby reasonable
                        reclassifications of parts aren't that hard.

                        Others (SCCA) are more inscrutible.

                        You also have to figure that everything you have done to a limited extent
                        will be taken to an extreme by competitive national aspirants.
                        Thus, the SpecMiata rules against 1/2" thick roll bar base plates, holes in the radiator, etc.
                        As strange as they seem initially, almost every rule has a pretty fantastic story behind it.

                        So those of us who get sucked into the competition start developing to the limit
                        of the rules we want to run. If you wanna show up in a less competitive car,
                        cool, go for it, but if you want to show up in an illegal yet still uncompetitive
                        car, you may very well get protested,
                        because you're undercutting the line we've all worked so hard and spent so much money
                        to get right up against without crossing. It's not you, it's us.

                        And I never said we weren't cheating, just that we've not gotten caught!

                        heh

                        t
                        now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by TobyB View Post
                          And I never said we weren't cheating, just that we've not gotten caught!
                          Auto racing in a nutshell.

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                            #14
                            If you're running autox just for fun, then I'd say who cares what class you're in. Not sure how they organize your events, but at all the ones I've been to theres a big board that displays times so you can pick out a couple of cars/drivers that you think you ought to be competitive with and compare yourself.

                            To start though you're probably best off just focusing on yourself and concentrating corner at a time to pull your personal times down. After you start going more frequently you can kind of judge what you/the car is capabale of and aim for that. You'll also start recognizing cars/drivers that go regularly and gauge the course based on the times they put down (because they're more experienced and consistent).
                            '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD
                            Shadetree30

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Digitalwave View Post
                              Auto racing in a nutshell.
                              I know he's cheating, because I'm cheating like a SOB and he's beating me!

                              t
                              now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves

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