Jef Groff's Castro Motorsports LSM3 Drift Car
Headed up by Chris Castro, Castro Motorsports has a knack for putting out some high-quality work. If you haven’t seen the airbox on Pablo Mazlumian’s Project E46 M3, take a moment and give it a gander. It’s a beautifully crafted piece of art. Castro Motorsports is full of true die-hard enthusiasts with performance oozing through their blood. They do everything from custom fabrications to motor swaps and big-turbo builds, and speaking of motor swaps, who wouldn’t love flinging an LS3-powered E36 M3 around? Well, drifter extraordinaire and professional stunt man Jef Groff sure doesn’t mind…
Jef competes in Formula Drift's feeder series TopDrift in a 1997 M3 running a 2013 LS3 V8 mated to a T101 4-speed dog box transmission. Cool fact: Jef was working on chase and crash scenes in a Jason Statham action movie while Castro Motorsports was working on his LS3 swap… Tough life!
The DTM Fiberwerks body kit does a good job of hinting at the LS3-powered M3’s real purpose, with its flared fenders, venting, and integrated splitter.
Did we say fender flares? Those are much easier to see from the rear angle, as you can see the extended-width rear bumper and some of the other trick ventilation pieces that help keep things cool at hot SoCal drift events.
No argument on wheel choice from this E36-loving guy. The 18” APEX ARC-8 wheels are a great balance of strength and light weight. Plus, the black finish looks right at home with the matte finish of the LSM3. Stock-component front brakes, aside from the aftermarket cross drilled rotors, may not look like the business, but with adequate pads and fluid, they can be surprisingly robust. Plus, this car isn’t generally intended to be slowed in a straight line, so a BBK isn’t a necessity.
Dive planes in a paddock can often be a shin-shredding bit of havoc, but the blunt edges of those used on the LSM3 aren’t lethal, yet they still do the job of adding a bit more frontal downforce and airflow channeling.