In Reply to: Evolution of a Z3 racer... posted by Lester on October 23, 2000 at 23:58:52:
I bought a 91 318is for the track. Turns out that it is easier to understand what is happening when I autocross it (I've only autocrossed 6 times so far, so I'm still a beginner) then the Z3, so I'll be using the 318 next year. I'll probably run the Z3 at least once, however, just for fun. I suspect I'll soon get tired of the stock setup and have to get an adustable front rollbar and some nice shocks, as well as R tires (although I'll run streets on the track for a long time, of course).
Miata's are fun, although you may want more power for a track. The top Miata autocrosser here (3rd at nationals in 99) bought a Mustang for the track (as a cheap, powerful car). He finished 2nd in the runoffs, but was penalized a spot for passing under the yellow and disqualified for illegal modifications (which apparently most drivers do, but usually somewhere less public then in the paddock).
I find that the whole point of the Z3 (wind in the hair) is lost when wearing a helmet, so I may never seriously autocross it (that and the fact that it is 500 lbs heavier then the new MR2 Spyder that will soon dominate the class). The 318 currently runs against Neons, and experts say that it should be competitive.