Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BMW 1M Autocross In-Car Cam (UPDATED)

A few weeks ago, I did Quick Takes on the BMW 1M, followed by a Track session video at Watkins Glen. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take the same car out for a run at the BMW CCA Autocross event:

The 1M did very well right out of the box!

The best time for the fastest car on street tires at the event was 69.72. The 1M pulled off a 73.62 on a first try. Even though that would put it just outside the Top 20 cars on street tires at the event, it's a lot like comparing apples to oranges because the vast majority of cars are set up with stickier tires and suspension tweaks and each gets 8 runs. My feeling is that given the opportunity to do best of 8 runs in the 1M, it had easy potential for 72 seconds flat. Autocross rewards suspension setup over power and the 1M's suspension is already significantly stiffer compared to a stock 135i's. However, you can tell from the video that although the suspension is very good for a factory setup, the car leans quite a bit in fast transitions, which could easily be improved with stiffer springs and more aggressive damping. The power comes rushing in very fast, which leads to moderate understeer with the stock setup. Negative 2 to 2.5 degrees of camber would go a long way with dialing the understeer out. I think a 1M set up with springs, shocks, camber, and better tires would definitely have great potential to fight for first place in its class and even top honors in its tire category.

10/24/2011 UPDATE: Adding a 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS in-car video from the same event.