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Track day in Zandvoort (13-07-2003)

BMW Sport Club NL has organised a track day at the Zandvoort track last sunday. I went there with a couple of friends to take the 320/6 on the track and see how it performs with it's freshly rebuilt engine, and a new carb and correct timing.
We arrived around 11am after a smooth 250km ride from Belgium, and after registering and paying the fee we went to the track parking where all participants would be. Not seeing much except that there was a session being driven, one of my friends and I decided to join in on the track. I think I didn't do bad given this was my very first time on track, I could keep up during the slow sessions.
There were a couple of E21's out there, most notably two Alpina C1 2.3. I had my doubts about the true origin of these cars, because even though they had a full Alpina interior and dash, they didn't have an Alpina diff cover and one of both didn't even have Alpina rimms. Anyway, they were still very fine E21's.
There were two 323i's, one of which was bright yellow with black interior and the other black in mint condition (with Alpina rimms as well). The black 323i was really beautiful.
There were three 320/6 (including mine) and the two others both looked better than mine (but didn't have a new engine, hah).
I did a couple more slow sessions and although my engine purred happily all the way to 6000rpm (never went to 6400 on track), I noticed some smoke on my rear when braking hard on the motor (downshifting to 2nd gear and revving to 5000-5500rpm to slow down the car before turns). Appearantly the engine can suck in oil though the valve guides under these conditions. That was pretty weird given the fact the head has been completely rebuilt 3500km ago. My outtake valve guides were replaced, but the engine workshop decided the intake guides were still good. I guess they were still too good to be replaced but not good enough to prevent oil leaking under extreme conditions. Anyway, nothing major to worry about.

I met several people there in Zandvoort, and it was pretty cool to know so many people even though I came all the way from Belgium. I met RJ there, who had come with his E30 325i, and spent most of the day with him. I also met Patrick, who I bought my 323i from. It was very nice to see Patrick there, seeing as it was a 200km drive to Zandvoort for him as well. I also met Jeroen from for the first time in person. All of these people are really nice.
I also got to know some of the E21 drivers which drove their car on the track. There were two people about my age with a very nice 320/6 (although it had an auto transmission) who were nice to talk to, and also the owner of the 320i/4 with the three-spoke 17inch rimms. He had a kick-ass suspension for track driving.

The biggest limitation of my car on track was the suspension. I had no idea how bad my suspension was until I went on track and took it to it's limits (which were reached very quickly, as matter of fact). It's a comforting thought to know that the 323i has a full Bilstein suspension and will probably drive a lot better on track. It was great fun to drive the 320/6 hard, but I decided not to drive it on track any more. The suspension just won't cut it and there's that oil burning thing. I'll remember to have all my guides replaced on the 323i head :)

So Zandvoort 2003 was great! There were a lot of nice E21's on track, but also a lot of them on the visitor parking, including a very nice Baur 323i. There were a lot of E30 (almost all participants were E30s, most of them M3's or 325i's prepared for track). There was also an 850CSi, a Z3 ///M cabrio, a 3.0CSL, and one single 2002 on the visitor parking.
Greetings to everyone I met there!



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