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BMW race car

Broadcast dates : 16th October 2005
22nd October 2005


Think BMW and you think speed. And the perfect proving ground for speed is the racetrack. Which was why Clint was so looking forward to driving the fastest production racing car in South Africa, currently campaigned by Etienne van der Linde.

Production-based it may well be, but the level of sophistication in a Class A Sahara Production racer is in the upper echelons.

Strict rules govern modifications to the engine, but these cars produce lap times far quicker than road-going supercars like Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Production Car racing is all about getting the car to turn better, and planting power on the road. 
The challenge for BMW and the Van der Linde Racing team, which prepares the cars, was to get the new-shaped BMW 3 Series competitive as soon as possible.

The new car had a number of suspension developments that needed to be understood by the drivers and the team.

As the season progressed, Etienne van der Linde was drafted into a third car to protect Anthony Taylorís championship lead.

Interestingly, the engine gets less attention than any other component, because it has to remain basically standard, apart from some electronic tweaking.

Teams like BMW use the roll cage safety regulations to introduce stiffness into the body, and often the roll cages get "extended" well beyond the passenger compartment.

The stock 330i motor is rated at a 190 kiloWatts and this finely-tuned example probably produces around 205 kiloWatts.

A driver used to a standard road car would be amazed at the difference the suspension and chassis changes make. Over a race weekend, hours and hours are spent adjusting the set-up of each individual wheel for maximum traction.

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