Project #YAE92 M3: Part 4 – Let’s do some catching up.
Remember that blue E92 M3 build that we were featuring here on MotoIQ a while back? The one that seemed to fall off the face of the Earth? Good news, it’s still out there and many of you may have already seen recent photos of that project bouncing around the internet without even realizing it’s the same car. Unfortunately the car has progressed so drastically and quickly that I just couldn’t keep up with the articles. Now that the car is largely “done” I have some time to get our faithful MIQ readers caught up.
If you want a refresher before continuing on, check out the original build articles here…
We left you all at a very early stage of the build, and in-fact many of the things we’ve already covered in the first three build articles have been redesigned, changed, or replaced all together. In fact we are already on the 3rd major version of this particular build. Where we left you wasn’t even the end of Version 1. It doesn’t really make sense to cover much more of Version 1 or even Version 2 of this build since most of the stuff we’ve done in the early versions has been changed or modified so we’ll just give you a crash course to get you caught up and then get into more detail on the current version.
This is about where we left you last. At this point the car was basically a stock M3 with a roll cage, some bolt-on aero, and some bolt-on suspension modifications. A serious track day car if you will. Version 1, the blue period, didn’t last long in fact we didn’t even race this version. Most of the time spent in this phase was on R&D designing a slew of new products from scratch with a bunch of awesome companies we’ll cover in a minute. Since the R&D and prototyping phase took longer than we anticipated we scrapped much of our 2014 racing plans and just focused on getting the car to the 2014 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Enter Version 2…
The decision to skip the smaller races in 2014 and just focus on the 25 Hour was a tough one but in the end, a great decision. It bought us months to work on the car and get it to Version 2, a 25 Hour ready race car. Version 2, the green period, gave us AP Racing air jacks, re-designed aero from APR Performance, a Pyrotect fuel cell and Aeromotive fuel system, AP Racing brakes from Essex Parts, custom double-adjustable coilovers from BC Racing and much more. Version 2 will always hold a special place in my heart as it carried us all the way through the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill without major problems; a tremendous task. Photo: European Auto Source
Before we get into the details of how we got the car to where it is now, let’s talk a little about that inaugural race; the 2014 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
Like you’ve heard or experienced yourself in almost any new race car build scenario, we finished Version 2 of this car at the track the night before practice up at Thunderhill Raceway. We had less than 2 hours of drive time on the car and many changes had been made since we last drove it, but we had made it to our first major goal, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. While we were there we still had a tremendous amount of unknowns and a lot of prototype or developmental parts on our car. We had spent many hours building the car, working with our partners to develop parts that we were confident in, and preparing for this one race, but while confidence is good we were about to put our money where our mouth is. Here’s a little perspective on just how tough this race is. Teams spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year preparing for this particular race, one of which is Davidson Racing who fielded two cars; one in our class (ES) and one in the prototype class (ESR). Their ES car was the first car out of the race yet their ESR car went on to win overall. Some teams have shown up year after year and still have yet to finish the entire 25 Hour. Most teams show up with a team of 15+ people assigned to each car as drivers or crew. We showed up with 6; 3 drivers, 3 crew, after an additional 4 crew members backed out last minute. It was an arduous task no doubt. Fortunately for us, we have the heart and determination of 1000 men.
When the checkered flag flew on the 2014 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the Yost Autosport #YAE92 M3 was still out there turning laps, 545 of them to be exact and over 1,500 race miles under its belt without ever having to go behind the pit wall for repairs. Don’t get me wrong, we had our issues, but none of them major and none of them hard to fix. We did it.
High on success we drove back to Las Vegas with our heads held high, but we spent that entire 12 hour drive home planning and focusing on the next year, Version 3 of this build. While we tried to give our crew some well-deserved time off after the race, we didn’t last but a few days before we started to completely tear down the car to the bare chassis and start all over. Crazy right? We had already proven we can build a car that can run for 25 Hours straight, now we needed to build one that can do the same thing…faster. Version 3 would become the baseline platform we wanted to build from day one. We now had 6 months to complete it before our first event of 2015.
The bare E92 M3 chassis up on the rotisserie at 3saurus Fabrication for what would equate to over 100 man hours of work.