Video: Chris Harris Races a Chump Car BMW E30!

If ever Chris Harris needed a defense against getting too big for his own britches, this would be it. The man’s sampled every four-wheel vehicle under the sun, and yet he isn’t even remotely jaded; throwing a 120-horsepower BMW E30 around Virginia International Raceway still has him giggling like a kid on Christmas. That, ladies in gentleman, is a bonafide car junkie.

Harris is in a familiar E30 for this footage. This machine has stage rallied, rallycrossed, drifted, rockcrawled, and raced in an endurance event over the last couple years. It took quite a while to get the car into racing shape, but its innate strength and some choice parts make it a wonderful endurance racer. Undoubtedly, the old workhorse will have the robustness to go through another year of abuse, and the Driftmeister deems it a stable car too—so it might be nice to tires over the course of a six-hour slog.

Yes, the E30’s rear suspension is inherently flawed, and exhibits a little toe-out under compression, but it’s underpowered for the BF Goodrich tires, and looks about as hooked-up as I’ve ever seen one. Running at the flowing, high-speed Virginia International Raceway might have something to do it, but it is nearly thirty years old and some of the grunt has faded, no doubt. Quite simply, the once-torquey motor does not have enough oomph to spin the driven wheels through the quick corners. Even in the hands of some of the quickest E30 racers around, these cars simply hook and fire out of the corner.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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