BR Racing Blog

New Porsche 991.2 GT3

New Porsche 991.2 GT3

500 hp from a naturally aspirated four-liter flat-six available with PDK or six-speed manual

Porsche North America – Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche motorsport technology continues to be incorporated into street-legal sports cars. The new 911 GT3 was developed in Weissach,and will be manufactured on the same production line as all other 911 street and 911 GT3 Cup racecars. The centerpiece of the latest 911 GT3 is the new naturally aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine which produces 500 hp and 339 lb.-ft. of torque. This new, high-reving powerplant is based on the one now used in all 911 race cars, including the 911 GT3 R and 911 RSR. The redesigned chassis with Rear Axle Steering and systematic lightweight construction is specifically tuned to produce superior driving dynamics in conjunction with the naturally aspirated engine.

Thanks to a power-to-weight ratio of 6.4 pounds per hp, the 911 GT3 feels very much at home on the test track. With the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) – specifically constructed and tuned for the GT3 – the 3,153 pound two-seater accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds with a top track speed of 197 miles per hour. For purists, Porsche will also offer the 911 GT3 with a six-speed manual transmission. With this transmission, the 911 GT3 weighs in at 3,116 pounds, allowing it to achieve a top track speed of 198 miles per hour and hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Fast in corners, stable on the straights: Track-bred chassis with rear axle steering
The chassis of the new 911 GT3 benefits from Porsche motorsport racing experience, and it has been tuned for improved handling and driving dynamics. The chassis and active Rear Axle Steering offer superlative handling characteristics. Depending upon the speed, the rear wheels are steered either in the opposite or the same direction as the front wheels, improving the vehicle’s agility and stability. The dynamic engine mounts and the rear locking differential, both fitted as standard, also boost the car’s driving dynamics.

Visually, the lightweight carbon fiber rear wing reinforces the fact that the design of the car is driven by aerodynamics. The lightweight front fascia and the front spoiler are designed for optimum airflow. The rear end with exhaust air openings and a new diffuser also contribute to the overall aerodynamic efficiency.
Interior: A control center for exceptional driving dynamics
The interior of the new 911 GT3 is designed to underscore the exciting driving experience. The GT Sport steering wheel designed with a 14.1 inch diameter was adopted from the 918 Spyder. The Sport Seats Plus feature enhanced bolsters for increased lateral support and electric adjustment of the seat back and seat height.

There are two other seat options available for the 911 GT3. The Adaptive Sport Seats Plus offer an 18-way electric adjustment along with a power steering column and seat memory. Alternatively, Full Bucket Seats with electric height adjustment and a fixed carbon fiber reinforced backrest are also available. As on all GT variants, the rear seats are omitted to save weight.

Porsche Track Precision App as standard
In addition to the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) – which includes a navigation system capable of real-time traffic information and the Connect Plus Module including Apple Car Play – the Porsche Track Precision App is also included as standard equipment. Using this app, 911 GT3 drivers can display, record, and analyze detailed driving data on a smartphone.

Pricing and availability
The 2018 911 GT3 is scheduled to reach U.S. dealers in fall 2017. The base MSRP will be $143,600, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee.

BMW Intro’s new M4 CS


The new BMW M4 CS closes the gap between the BMW M4 Competition Package model and the uncompromising BMW M4 GTS.

The new BMW M4 CS, a special-edition model from BMW M GmbH, will be produced in limited numbers from 2017 – 2019.

The M4 CS also sees BMW M GmbH introducing a new nomenclature for its models. Positioned above the standard M models will be the performance-boosted Competition versions. Then come the CS, special- edition models, a notch higher still. Positioned on top are the performance-maximising “brand shapers” which display a clear motor sport or club sport character but are also fully road legal.
The new BMW M4 CS is fitted with the same six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that has proved its potency in the existing BMW M4 models. It channels the engine’s power through the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as standard.

The output of the new BMW M4 CS has been raised to 338 kW/460 hp (10 hp more than the BMW M4 with Competition Package) and peak torque to 600 Nm / 442 lb-ft (+ 50 Nm / 37 lb-ft). Fuel economy and emissions are the same as those of the BMW M4 Coupe with DCT (fuel consumption combined: 8.4 l/100 km [33.6 mpg imp]*; CO2 emissions combined: 197 g/km*).

The new BMW M4 CS sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.
Top speed is an electronically limited 280 km/h (174 mph).

The new BMW M4 CS has even sportier suspension tuning to further enhance performance. Like the other BMW M4 models, the new BMW M4 CS has been honed at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Its fastest lap is 7 min. 38 sec.
One of the key ingredients in the supreme dynamic ability of the new BMW M4 CS is the rigorous application of lightweight design. The bonnet / hood, roof, front splitter, gurney, rear diffuser and even the single-piece drive shaft consist of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The result is a low curb weight of just 1,580 kilograms (EU).

The weight of the door trim has also been minimized, featuring compacted natural fibers and surfacing with a classy carbon-fiber look. The lightweight door pull loops also enhance the sporting character of the new BMW M4 CS.

The front splitter and spoiler lip on the boot lid have been newly designed and reduce lift.

The new BMW M4 CS is equipped as standard with M compound brakes featuring blue-painted four-piston brake callipers at the front and two- piston callipers at the rear. M carbon ceramic brakes with gold-coloured, anodised six-piston brake callipers for the front and four-piston callipers for the rear are available as an option.

A new DTM-design light-alloy wheel variant has been developed specially for the BMW M4 CS in Orbit Grey. It comes in a 9 x 19 –inch format for the front and 10 x 20 inches for the rear. The ten-spoke wheels are fitted as standard with road-legal Michelin cup tyres (front: 265/35 R 19, rear: 285/30 R 20). Higher-profile sports tyres can be ordered as an option.

The sports exhaust system with four tailpipes – each with an 80- millimetre diameter – have been carried over from the BMW M4 with Competition Package. The four tailpipe embellishers are made from stainless steel and carry the M logo.
Two new and exclusive colours are available for the BMW M4 CS special edition specifically: San Marino Blue metallic and Lime Rock Grey metallic. Plus, the M4 CS can also be ordered in Alpine White, Sapphire Black metallic or Frozen Dark Blue II (limited availability, est. from November 2017).

The interior of the new BMW M4 CS is dominated by a mixture of sporty and sophisticated Alcantara and leather. The lightweight-design centre console is likewise trimmed in classy Alcantara, as are the interior trim strips. The handbrake lever gaiter is in Alcantara and also features contrast stitching.

The optional M Alcantara steering wheel is covered with ultra-grippy, anthracite-coloured Alcantara in the finest M tradition.

Special lightweight M sports seats with exclusive Merino leather and Alcantara covers, plus illuminated BMW M badges in the backrests, accentuate the sporty appearance of the M4 CS.

The new BMW M4 CS features the rear lights in futuristic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology with 3D effect designed exclusively for BMW M GmbH.

Standard features designed to increase driving comfort in the BMW M4 CS include the BMW Navigation system Professional, automatic climate control, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, plus optional adaptive LED headlights with BMW Selective Beam (dazzle-free high beam assistant).
BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim with extended features.
The new BMW M4 CS special-edition model will be built alongside the M4 Coupe at BMW’s birthplace – Plant Munich. Production is scheduled to begin in July 2017.

Technical data for the BMW M4 CS at a glance:

Six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology (with two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Injection, variable valve timing (VALVETRONIC) and variable camshaft timing (Double-VANOS). Capacity: 2,979cc.
Output: 338 kW/460 hp at 6,250 rpm,
max. torque: 600 Nm [442 lb-ft] at 4,000 – 5,380 rpm.
Acceleration (0–100 km/h [62 mph]): 3.9 seconds,
top speed (governed): 280 km/h [174 mph].
Fuel consumption combined: 8.4 l/100 km [33.6 mpg imp]*,
CO2 emissions combined: 197 g/km*, exhaust standard: EU6.

DATA courtesy of BMW Gmbh, BMW press release, April 18, 2017.

Porsche 991 GT3RS – Mean

Porsche 991 GT3 RS – MEAN

As the car industry continues to mature, and become very technical, and very flexible in meeting the specific needs and wants of its customers, the overall “modding” of cars is going down.  If you want coil-overs on your new BMW M3, you can get them from the factory, want Carbon Fiber parts, you can get them from the factory, want special colors on your Porsche (like a Lambo green), you can order it just that way…want different interior elements, you can get that too.  So, the enhancements and modifications that are either being asked for by customers, or added later are diminishing.  But, nonetheless, there is still room for improvement, and that is just what this customer wanted.  The target….brand new, just off the boat (literally…landed in port on a Tuesday, to the dealer by Thursday, cleaned and prepped on Friday, to the customer on Saturday, and to BRR for this project on Monday), brand new Porsche 991.1 GT3RS, in a stunning color….UltraViolet.

So….what did the customer want?

  • Sound (exhaust)
  • Power (headers, tune)
  • Safety (roll bar)
  • Refinement (trim, decals, clear lenses, painted reflectors)


What does it mean, “sound”?  The customer wanted MEAN, Porsche Cup Car sound….well….that means a GMG sport exhaust.  Lighter weight, better flow, and the mean, menacing scream of extreme power at high revs….oh, THAT SOUND. I could listen to that sound all day long.  Fitment, weld quality, looks, details…everything is just right.  Almost like a piece of art.


Not a lot that you can do to one of the most refined engines on the planet.  But, there are small touches that can add to the solution, help flatten the torque curve, bring a little more at high RPMS….and for the GT3RS, that means headers.  Again, we choose GMG.  Proven, fitment, quality, flow….they didn’t cut corners, they didn’t just make a set of headers, they made a set that anyone, just looking at them, knows they kick butt.  And that goes well w the theme for this car, MEAN. Combine the headers and the rear exhaust….oh baby.


The Porsche GT3RS was targeted, by the factory, to be a track weapon. In Europe, you can order the car with an integrated, interior roll bar / harness bar.  But, you can’t get that here in the US.  So, we wanted to add that element to this car.  Several firms make roll bars / harness bars.  Is there any difference?  You bet.  The same type of elements we look for in any product….fitment, quality, details, materials, finish.  But, there are also a few differences in the design as well.  Roll bars / harness bars are meant to be there for safety…and the design of the bar then becomes critical.  Mount locations, base plates, and most important, the triangulation of the bars themselves….yet, at the same time, doing so without sacrificing rear view.  This is where the GMG bar, in our opinion, sets itself apart. Another key point on the GMG bar, is it allows for full movement of the drivers seat….you can get the stock sport seats to go ALL the way back.  We have several customers, who are very tall, and this is a critical issue.  The angle of the horizontal harness bar is also key for safety…it needs to be a couple of inches (actually, there is a specific angle for the harness that it needs to be at) below the lowest point of the seat harness window opening.  The GMG bar does all of that.

Refinement / Trim / Art / Touch of Class

The Porsche 991.1 GT3RS is an amazing car…stunning.  But, at the same time, there are little things that can be done to truly make this unique, stunning.  To accomplish that for this car…

  • clear rear tail lights
  • painted rear reflectors
  • custom decals that tie all the colors together

The color theme for this car was the UltraViolet base purple, and the accent would be metallic silver.  The clear rear tail lights also look like they tie in with the silver…they have a clear silver hue….perfect.

Decals / Paint – side GT3RS decals, rear wing PORSCHE decal.  Not too much here, were not trying to go over the top, but that perfect refinement.  To complement the new silver decals…painted the wing end plates in silver too…now the project ties together.  NAILED it.

In addition the project elements detailed above…the customer wanted to know if we could enhance the front and rear integrated cameras….so, that when parking and approaching the front parking stops, the driver would know and be warned of the approaching items, and the same type of functionality for the back up camera….indeed we can.  We added front and rear view cameras, and integrated them into the factory navigation system, and utilized one of the stock dash buttons to allow for manual activation / de-activation of the front camera.  Works like a charm…fully integrated.

MEAN…that’s what this car is….just MEAN, aggresiveness, stunning to view from all angles.  WOW.


BRracing – bringing JOY and smiles for miles.

BMW E93 M3 – Evolving

BMW E93 M3 – Evolving

We would like to know what it is w BMW E93 convertible owners?  Of all the BMW E9x version M3’s we have upgraded….the majority seem to be the M3 convertible. I would have thought the 2 door coupe (E92), but nope…it’s the M3 convertible time after time. That is the case here too….this project was fairly straightforward, but as the title suggests, this is an ongoing project, and will continue to evolve.  But the requirements, objectives from the start were fairly simple – power, style, sound. That makes the answers fairly easy too….SC for the power, wheels / tires / tint / trim for the style, and exhaust for the sound.

With almost all naturally aspirated BMW engines, they are very finely tuned from the factory, and there is not a lot of head room for traditional tuning (in fact, if you come in and see us, and have a non-turbo engine, and ask about tuning…we will say there is no need to waste your money on a tune…you need to go extreme, go big, or do nothing).  So, in this case, if you want power, we go big. If we are going big, then we go w VF Engineering SuperCharger solutions.  A VF-540 kit (non-intercooled).  Upgraded boost (4- 4.5 PSI), new injectors for better flow, cooler plugs to deal w possible “pre-detontation” from the increased power, Vortech V3-Si Supercharger, cast intake manifold (manifold is upgradeable, should the customer desire to move to a Stage 2 or Stage 3 solution), ECU software update / flash, and all the other supporting parts.

The kit installs great.  No unusual acts, no trimming…it just fits. It just works. It just delivers power, torque.

We can attest to not only the kit, fit, finish, but longevity and reliability of the kit as well…we starting installing these kits (Stage 1, 2 and 3) all the way back in 2010, and all those customers are still our customers today, and we have never had ANY issues….NONE.  We even have  a VF Engr SC kit on our own M3…and we drive it almost every day.

There are a range of exhaust solutions that we will recommend for BMWs.  Meisterschaft, Eisenmann, Armytrix, and Akrapovic.  We always like providing a suite of options, especially when it comes to exhaust.  The sound an exhaust produces is very personal…each person has a different set of tastes.  We may like loud, high pitched tones, but the next person may want something completely different.  There are cheaper exhausts out there…but there is a reason we lead w the solutions mentioned above…we know they work, we know they fit, and we know they last.

We have struggled with so many other exhaust solutions out there…and the manufacturing / fabrication quality shows.  Not only in the material, but, mostly in the fitment or method of fitment.  This mostly has to to w the tip area…if the exhaust does not have adjustment options, then the fitment inside the rear bumper cover or diffuser will not be correct….and you are stuck forevermore w an exhaust that will drive you crazy.  Every time you look at it, you are reminded of the issue…don’t make that mistake.

For this customer, after listening to the many sound clips, the Meisterschaft solution was the right selection.  Enhanced w the upgraded black tips as well, this was a great choice.  Fit, fitment, style, looks, sound….perfect.

One of our objectives when we lay out a full project view…and we do this for all customers, we want to provide a complete “master plan” view of what the car could be, and then allow the customer to select and pick & choose the elements most important to them, and that also fit their budget.  So, to tie all the pieces all together, the look has to say the same thing…that this project ties together.  We will determine what the base color to be enhanced or built off is, and then add the enhancements to that.

One of the first elements here…w the base color being the main car color, but the secondary colors were going to be black, carbon, and the accent color of red, was the trim.  We could not do w the chrome trim then on the outside of the car.  Rather than replace, we just blacked out all the trim.  We have done this hundreds of times, and know the right material / vinyl that will last.

Original Side Chrome Trim

Updated, Black Side Trim


Probably the most significant element for a car in terms of style are the wheels…no question, they need to change.  There are three budget catagories….cast wheels, flow formed wheels, and forged. There is a drastic price difference in each of those catagories.  Cast wheels – thousands of styles, but heavy, not artistic, and don’t do much to enhance the look of the car.  Flow Formed / Flow Forged – this is the newest catagory, and there are more and more options every day (see the new versions from Vorsteiner and HRE as an example).  These are nearly as light as forged, and offer great styles, and at a fraction of the cost of the forged wheels.  Forged wheels are the ultimate…strong, light, and as artistic as you can imagine.

For this customer, we went w the Vorsteiner Flow Forged wheels…not only due to the look, but also the color option to match the project color scheme.  With the new wheels, we added the new Michelin Pilot 4S, and they are just as good as all the reviews said…they hold like nothing else, don’t make any noise, ride comfortably…what’s not to like.  Even the price is better now.

BEFORE – OEM Wheels                      AFTER – Vorsteiner FF Wheels

There is always more to do, and more to come….look for more updates again.

BRracing – producing JOY for our customers.  How about you?

BRR Motorsport 2017 Schedule

BRracing Motorsports 2017 Event Schedule

2016 was an “Over The Moon” type year for BRracing Motorsports (BRR Motorsports), as our “track customer” base continued to grow in all manners (I know, we just keep saying that), and our customers again traveled all over the scenic United States to sample all sorts of tracks, hotels, airports, restaurants, and other cultural hangouts. And we thank all of our customers for such a great year…and for having such a great time together as a group.

But, 2016 provided a set of results that are beyond what we had dreamed.  When we start any new Motorsport year, there are a variety of elements….but, if we have racing customers, then their expectation is usually to WIN.  That is much easier said than done.  And the higher you climb the sport car racing ladder, the harder the results come.  The outlook at the start of 2016 was bright, and we had set our sites on two championships….the Pirelli Cup 991 Cup Car class, and the Pirelli Cup 981 GT4 ClubSport class. The results at the end of the year were amazing, overall champion in the 991 Cup class and overall champion in the new 981 GT4 ClubSport class….and this was against a group of competitors that was strong and deep.  You will hear some teams say they did well or won this or that…only to find out there were 2 or 4 cars in their class.  In the Porsche 991 class, there were over 18 strong competitors.  In the 981 GT4 ClubSport class, there were over 25.

We also had the intangible results…as we had several new customers join BRR Motorsports in 2016, and the scope and type of cars we supported expanded that needed full race support (Spec Boxster, Spec911, 997.1 Cup Cars, 997.2 Cup Cars, 991 Cup Cars, F458 Challenge Cars, BMW race cars).

BRracing Motorsports offers the following services for track activities: (1) Race Car or Car Storage, (2) Transportation, (3) Track / Crew support, (4) Setup / alignment / corner balancing (5) Tires / Mounting / Balancing, (6) Instruction, (7) Video analysis, (8) Complex data acquisition and analysis.

Here is our current outlook for 2017 – these being the events customers have already targeted to participate in.
January 20-21, 2017 – Thunderhill (Friday / Sat), BRR private test day (DONE)
February 10-11, 2017 – Thunderhill (Friday / Sat), PCA / Speed SF (DONE)
March 3-5, 2017 – Circuit of the Americas (COTA) – PCA Club Race / DE (DONE, finished P1 in race, P1 in Enduro)
March 17-19, 2017 – Thunderhill, PCA – PCA Club Race, DE (DONE, finished P4 in class)
April 14-16, 2017 – Thunderhill – Pirelli Cup (DONE, finished P2/P3)
April 21-23, 2017 – Fontana, Festival of Speed, PCA Club Race / DE
May 1, 2017 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day
May 18, 2017 – Thunderhill – Private Test Day (DROIDS)
May 19-21, 2017 – Sonoma – Pirelli Cup
May 26-28, 2017 -Buttonwillow – PCA Club Race, DE
June 2-4, 2017 – Miller – Pirelli Cup
June 2-4, 2017 – Laguna – PCA Club Race
June 16-18, 2017 – High Plains Raceway – PCA Club Race
June 24-25, 2017 – Thunderhill, PCA DE
June 30 – Jul 2, 2017 – Sonoma, PCA Club Race
Jul 22 -23, 2017 – Laguna, PCA DE (92db)
July 28-30, 2017 – Laguna- Pirelli Cup
Aug 11-13, 2017 – Miller / Utah Motorsports Park – Pirelli Cup
Sept 1-3, 2017 – Thunderhill – PCA Club Race, DE
Sept 1-3, 2017 – COTA – Pirelli Cup
Sept 15-17, 2017 – Miller – PCA Club Race
Sept 22-24, 2017 – Road America – Pirelli Cup
Sept 29- Oct 1, 2017 – Willow Springs, PCA Club Race
Oct 6-8, 2017 – Hallet, PCA Club Race
Oct 13-15, 2017 – Laguna, Pirelli Cup
Nov 11-12, 2017 – Buttonwillow, PCA Club Race

MINI Cooper R53 Auto Tranny Issue

MINI Cooper Automatic Transmission Issue

For years, we have seen many MINI Coopers in the R53 / R52 line, and some models of the R56 line (up to 2011), with the AISIN automatic transmission (NOT the CVT transmission…those are still without a great solution), have all sorts of issues, usually starting at about 70-80k miles.  This, while concerning, would not normally be an issue, but for the longest time there were no solutions….if this occurred to your car, the only choice was to get another transmission (either used, or rebuilt from MINI).  This is still a solution, but a very expensive solution, and we have seen cases where the repair cost and transmission cost are more than the value of the car.  So, if this happened to you…before, you could just throw a stick of dynamite into the car and walk away, as there was nothing that could be done. You could even make the problem worse by trying to do a normal transmission service…replace the fluid (lifetime type fluid), filter, pan, gasket, and then test drive the car.  You may get about 1/2 mile into the test drive, and then the transmission will quit completely, stranding you.  The new fluid, and clean filter, are so thin, that they “blow by” the current used internal seals / gaskets, and the hydraulic solenoids can not develop the right pressure, and therefore, stop working.

Thank goodness, there now finally is an answer.

The problem laid in the valve body inside the transmission.  Before, you could not obtain any parts, at least not from MINI or BMW….you couldn’t find part numbers, nothing  And, for the most part, that is still the same.  However, there are many other cars out there that use this same transmission.  So, after much research, BRracing has found a source for the internal parts of the AISIN type GAF21WA-TANA or 6F21WA/TF60N automatic transmission.

We can now get any of the solenoids, the valve body, or any of the normal “re-build” type parts.  Not only can we get them, but we have tried various approaches on the rebuild…doing a complete valve body, doing individual solenoids..or some combination, and we can joyously report that ALL these approaches work.  Woo Hoo…no more dead cars, no more throwing the car out w the bath water.

BRracing – solving the tough service issues, and bringing JOY to our customers



Audi TT – Pizzaz

Audi TT – Pizzaz

We have lots of customers w the Audi TT….and almost all of them truly love their cars, BUT….the car in stock form does not cause a lot of heads to turn, nor does it excite you.  Our customer wanted to spice it up a little bit….tires, wheels, suspension, handling, alignment.

To appreciate the transformation of this project…you have to see the base car we started with:

Does the above car get your blood running?  Nope…we didn’t think so.  But the finished project….yep, a winner.


When it comes to wheels…there are thousand of options.  The brands that we trust / know / use / offer the biggest benefits are BBS, HRE, Vorsteiner for Audi cars.  We reviwed all the options, and choose BBS CH in 18″ diameter as the best option for price / value / strength / look.

When it comes to tires…the answer is always easy if the question is this: “what is the best street tire”?   Answer = Michelin SuperSport.


This is always a hard choice….as we want to keep costs down, but at the same time, ensure we have the right solution for each customer.  What one customer thinks is the right ride and look, will be different for the next customer.  If you go the route of just sport springs, and / or combine them with sport shocks, you have a high probability of missing the mark.  If you miss the mark, and your budget is spent, you are stuck.  Instead of looking forward to driving your car every chance you can get, you now dread the task.  We never want that to be the case. Customers are often short sighted as well when selecting brands…and they think that the low price brand is just as good as the next brand…and this is not the case.  You select wrong, have an issue, and not only will you have additional expenses and headaches, but when you add in the additional labor to fix whatever failed, now the cost is more than if you had made the right decision at the beginning. Luckily for us, the customer understood the long term view, and also agreed the “adjustability” in the suspenion was key…..both in ride height, and spring / shock valving.  That led us to pick our “go to” suspension choice, Bilstein PSS9.  Quality, fitment, great ride, huge range of adjustment, and the single adjustment is adjusting both compression AND rebound, rare in a coil-over at this price point.  The kit includes all that you need: front struts w adjustable spring perches, front springs, rear shocks, rear springs, and rear adjustable spring perches.

As we have mentioned many times in our other projects…having  an adjustable suspension, that you can’t adjust due to where the shock adjustment knob is hidden is just silly, wrong!  One of the big benefits of the Bilstein PSS9 is the ease of adjustment, both front and rear.  Want to make a change?  Want to go carve the mountains this weekend?  Adjust the suspension and off you go. When home again, dial it back to the normal commute setting, and your car is transformed in a matter of minute.

On Audi’s, when doing a coil-over install, one piece that many overlook, is the resulting alignmemt. With the new suspension and ride height, the rear stock camber adjustment is not sufficient to dial in the proper alignment. To solve this, and to provide some strength to the rear suspension, we added adjustable rear control arms.  This allows us to get the right camber / toe settings we need with the lower ride height, and provides the range of adjustment in alignment should we want an aggressive track set up, or a performance street solution.


To get real braking improvement…the only way to achieve that is to do a “big brake kit” (BBK). Changing pads, rotors, or stainless steel brake lines will add little increments, but nothing significant.  A BBK changes the fundamental dynamics of the brakes, and how they work. Its not just that there is a bigger rotor, but that the center of pressure has been moved out…thereby increasing the braking force.  Add to that the increase surface area of the bigger rotor, and different brake pads, and now you have real change.

And there you have it….and Audi TT w personality and pizzaz….ready for the weekend trip, ready to carve the mountain roads, or ready for the daily freeway commute.

BRracing – What can we build for you?

MINI Cooper S R56 – Ultimate Handling

MINI Cooper S R56 – Ultimate Handling

We often get asked about what can be done to improve the handling of the MINI Cooper.  Its already a great handling car…no question. But, if you want to take it further, how far we go all depends on your objective.  But, if you really want to go all out, and have one of the best handling MINIs, and have a larger budget than most, then this is the approach.

The constraining factor on the MINI Cooper suspension changes (whether its the R53, R56, or even the newer F56), is the limitation in the front suspension “travel”.  There is very little total amount of suspension travel given the suspension design and geometry.  So, if you are thinking of doing either sport springs or coil-overs, most of the time this will lower the ride height (better looks, lower center of gravity, lower CG, lower roll center), but it comes at a loss of suspension travel.  The loss of suspension travel means when the front suspension is compressed, it will encounter the bump stops earlier. This produces a harsh ride for normal street driving.  For track use, its not really an issue as much. So, we try to manage the limited suspension travel, and make the best of a not so great situation. (And, that’s one of the reasons why just doing sport springs is not a wise choice, and will produce a ride that feels like the car is riding on bricks).

This customer was willing to accept the slightly harder street ride, for an optimized track suspension.  Therefore, that moves the decison towards true “coil-overs”.  We still hold true and hard to our concern / requirement, that if you are going to have “coil-overs”, then we want them to be adjustable (to allow and support the dual duty implementation, and to allow the ride / use to be tailored to the users needs)…..and therefore, if they are going to be adjustable, it needs to be easy to do, something that can be done in less than 5 mins.  While that would seem like a logical requirement, almost all after market “coil-overs” hide the adjustment knob up inside the body, and eliminate the ability to tune the car to its use.  For this project / selection, that leaves us with solutions like Bilstein PSS9, KW v3 or KW Club Sport, or AST.  AST is at the top of the pyramid of these options (and also more expensive), and thats what this customer choose to go with.  Besides being more expensive, the AST offers the “inverted” strut design, to help eliminate “stiction” under cornering loads, and also is better matched in shock valving to the higher rate race springs.  Choosing AST versus the Bilstein PSS9 or KW v3 means we can also selected what springs / spring rates we choose, and we selected SWIFT springs (slighlty lighter, more travel before going into spring bind).

When doing a full suspension upgrade, it incorporates the normal subjects:  front coil-overs (AST single adjustable), front upper adjustable camber plates (Vorschlag), front lower control arm bushings (Powerflex), rear adjustable sway bar (Alta 21mm size for the R56, 19mm size for the R53), rear coil-overs (AST single adjustable, w solid upper shock mounts), rear sway bar adjustable end links (Alta), adjustable rear lower  control arms (Alta).

Other good options would be the NM Engineering adjustable rear sway bar.  But, don’t the mistake on sway bars of thinking that bigger is better…anything larger than the 21mm on the R56 will make the rear end feel twitchy, not confidence inspiring when driving the car hard, even on the street.

Rear adjustable lower control arms – allows for more camber adjustment, for alignment, and is also much stronger than the stock weak lower control arms. (see lower control arms in picture above, and new adjustable control arms below).  You can also see the ease of shock adjustment w the AST (gold adjustment knob on the bottom of the rear shock, see also the pic below this).

The other standard element to upgrade on the MINI….any MINI, is the front lower control arm bushings.  The stock ones are soft, rubber, have too much flex, and wear out too soon. The standard that we use is to upgrade the front lower control arm bushings to Powerflex polyurethane.  You can select between two durameters of the poly, but we always go with the “purple” version, which is better for combined street and track use.  The other side benefit of the Powerflex bushings is that they offer a lifetime warranty…a nice thing to have when doing upgrades.


The final piece is brakes…and this is more guided by budget….the stock brakes  are horrible…and will not do for track use at all.  You can try all the little band-aid approaches (ss lines, brake fluid, different rotors, different pads)….and the brakes are still horrible. In fact, some of the band-aid approaches make the braking worse…as higher co-efficient of friction brake pads will generate more heat, and heat is the enemy here.

The two proven options are:  MINI JCW (John Cooper Works) brake system upgrade, or a true “big brake kit” (BBK).  Often the decidiing criteria has to do with wheels….the JCW upgrade will fit inside MINI 17″ wheels, whereas the BBK’s “may” NOT fit inside a MINI 17″ wheel, and often require an upgrade to 18″ wheels.

For this customer, we went w the JCW upgrade option, as we needed to be able to fit inside the existing MINI 17″ wheels.  You can do the JCW upgrade to the front only, or front and rear, and we did both on this car.

If you are thinking of a true BBK, then for us, there are only two options, either Brembo or StopTech. From a price point of view, we often get asked about Wilwood…but, we have had bad luck w WilWood every time a customer has wanted to go that route….they hold good promise, but fail to deliver.


For this customer, at this stage, it was all about handling.  So, no upgrades to the engine, downpipe, tune, blow off valve, or exhaust.

Completed car….happy customer.

BRracing – What can we build for you?

New Tire – Continental ExtremeSport

New Tire – Continental ExtremeContact Sport

At the moment, the most popular street tire for performance driving we believe is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. It’s the tire of choice for all enthusiasts who want the best possible performance from their cars. And for good reason, as the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is a superb summer tire and probably the best in the business for performance driving.
The Michelin SuperSport is amazing…with the number of days that we spend on the track, and in the passenger seat instructing customers, we have first hand experience of customers beating the crap out of the tire. At the end of a session, you expect to get out and see the tire just shredded…but, no, it looks like you just took a local drive. However, it isn’t perfect, and one of the most common complaints is that it’s expensive. So, if Continental is going to try to put up a better solution, that is a tall mountain to climb.

Continental is now offering a tire that provides the same sort of performance-oriented driving capabilities, with great wet handling abilities, increased longevity and at a lower price point — the Continental ExtremeContact Sport. This is the successor to the very popular Continental DW…probably the tire we sell more of than any other, as it was a close copy of the Michelin SuperSport, but at a much better price point.

An interesting marketing ploy as well….Michelin has just introduced a new tire to succeed the SuperSport, the Pilot Sport 4S, at the exact same time, there is the new Continental ExtremeContact Sport.  Therefore, we also have insight into the pricing of the two new tires:
Size 245/40/18
Michelin 4S =  $199
Conti Sport = $166

At the introduction of the new tire, Continental brought out a group of media to The Thermal Club in Palm Springs California for a few days of fun in the sun to test out its new tire against some of its mainstream competitors. To do so, they set up a series of tests and track sessions in a variety of different cars and on a variety of different surfaces to really get a good feel for this new tire.

Continental spent a lot of time and effort to ensure that this wasn’t just a marketing ploy in the design of the new tire, they wanted to ensure that they deliver a tire that owners could buy for their performance cars and still be able to drive in heavy rain and slippery roads, as well as last for tens of thousands of miles, while also not spending a ton of money. That has always seem like a tall order to us, to deliver a tire that can perform in the dry and the wet, and the track, and the standard commute. While the previous iteration of this tire, the Continental ExtremeContact DW (Dry and Wet), was a great all-around tire, it lacked some of the dry handling of its competitors like Michelin and Pirelli. So to push this new ExtremeContact Sport to higher levels, Continental brought in some big guns to validate their new design.

Pro racing driver Andy Lally, Joao Barbosa, Ozz Negri, Ryan Dalziel and Lawson Aschenbach were all pivotal in the development of this tire. With thousands of hours worth of testing, these drivers beat on these tires hard, pushing them to their limits. During a lot of the testing, the drivers would actually put the tire engineers in the passenger seat and describe to them in real time what the tires were doing, not doing and what they should be doing, so the engineers could get a better idea of what to change/improve on. This was all coming from five guys who know a thing or two about performance driving.

So this tire was not only designed to take the sort of performance beating that pro racing drivers can give it, but it was also designed to last and to be good in bad weather. So much of the testing for this tire was done in pouring rain, slick tracks and overall poor conditions. Continental wants this to be the best overall summer / performance tire on the market, not just for when you take your car to the track, but for running everyday errands as well.

Another big goal for Continental with the ExtremeContact Sport was comfort. It’s a lot easier to make a tire grippy and work well in bad weather if it’s loud and harsh. But to make it an excellent performing tire while also being comfortable and quiet, that’s a completely different ball game.

So enough about the marketing stuff that brand’s claim. What did they think of the new Conti ExtremeContact Sport, and what was it actually like to drive? Well, in a word, very good.

They tested the new Conti tire in a variety of different ways. First they did some timed laps around a street-style circuit created by BMW’s M Performance Driving School. They all drove BMW M235is wearing the new Conti ExtremeContact Sport. From that isolated experience, without doing any laps on that circuit with other tires, they were impressed. There was ample grip, more than they had anticipated going into corners, knowing how tail-happy the M235i can be. But they found that when it did break traction and slide, it was neutral and progressive, making the slide easy to control. Front-end grip was also impressive, with sharp turn-in and good feedback. However, without having testing any other tire on this track, it was hard for them to gauge just how much of what they were feeling was the M235i and what was the tire.

After that first test, they jumped into some BMW M3s out on a different, larger track at the Thermal Club. Their M3s were fitted with the old Continental ExtremeContact DW tire. They tested the tires in a variety of different ways on the track, from swerving in and out to riding the rumble strips, to test the comfort and noise level of the “DW”. After that, they jumped into M3s fitted with the new ExtremeContact Sport and did the same tests. They noticed marked improvements in both comfort, ride quality and noise. Especially so over the rumble strips, where the comfort and noise-level were significantly improved on the “Sport” set.

Next, though, was by far the most important test of all. They took to a different circuit laid out with cones in BMW M235is and Subaru WRXs. There were multiple BMWs and Subarus, all fitted with different tires. There were obviously cars wearing the new Conti tires, but also cars fitted with competitors tires, ranging from Michelins to Hankooks to Bridgestones. Parts of the track were wet and one part featured an emergency braking section, to properly gauge the tires’ all-around capabilities.

This was obviously the most important test, the actual litmus test, because it tested the tire directly against its competitors. The track was glass-smooth, making it slick, even the dry sections, so there was a lot of tail-happy, tail out sliding, which tells a lot about the grip and grip at the break away point. They indeed were sliding around all over the place in all of the tires. However, there was a noticeable difference between the various tires and brands of tires. In fact, some of the test drivers were wishing others good luck if they were about to drive a car with the competitors tires. The Contis were far more controllable and less snappy than any other tire there. Towards the end, they wanted to be in the cars with the ExtremeContact Sport tires.

Now, they didn’t set up a test to compare the Continental ExtremeContact Sport with the fan-favorite Michelin Pilot Super Sport directly, and like a good marketing test, you want to ensure your tire wins. However, they were impressed by the overall combination level of grip, predictability and comfort that the new Continental ExtremeContact Sport provides. It’s certainly up there with the best all-around summer / performance tire on the market and it comes in significantly cheaper than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport (just like the predecessor, the Conti DW), it will continue to hold its own. The new Conti ExtremeContect Sport is an excellent overall summer tire for any performance car, and is available now.

Given the prior experience and results we have had with our customers with the Continental DW, the new ContiSport indeed sounds like a good step forward, with the same attractive pricing.

BRracing – excellence / experience available all the time

BMW Recalls 2011 – 2012 Models – CV Joint Failure

BMW Recalls 2011 – 2012 Models – CV Joint Failure

February 14, 2017

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V067000

Manufacturer BMW of North America, LLC

Components POWER TRAIN

Potential Number of Units Affected 8,752


BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2011-2012 135i Coupe, 1 Series M Coupe and 135i Convertible vehicles, 2011 Z4 sDrive 35i, 335i, 335d, 335i Coupe, 335is Coupe, 335i Convertible, 335is Convertible, 535i, 535i xDrive, 535i Gran Turismo and 550i xDrive Gran Turismo vehicles and 2012 740i and 740Li vehicles. The rear driveshaft constant velocity (CV) joint on the affected vehicles may fatigue and break.


BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear driveshaft CV joint and, based on its production date, will replace it, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 27, 2017. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

BMW 1 SERIES M 2011-2012
BMW 135i 2011-2012
BMW 335d 2011
BMW 335i 2011
BMW 535i 2011
BMW 740i 2012
BMW 740Li 2012
BMW Z4 2011

According to the chronology that BMW submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company received its first complaint of this problem on August 2, 2016, when the driver of a 2012 BMW 750i xDrive reported a loss of power. An investigation eventually found the problem with the CV joint, and the company issued a service action for the affected all-wheel-drive 7 Series models.

On November 30, 2016, the company received a report of the driveshaft breaking on a 2011 BMW 335d that caused damage to the vehicle’s underbody and interior. Further research by the automaker showed three other incidents of the problem. An investigation indicated the same durability issue with the CV joint. Yet another case of this issue came to the company’s attention on January 24, 2017, involving a 2012 135i.


BRracing – keeping our customers informed