Rapid & Reliable: An E46 M3 Built For The ‘Ring – Speedhunters

Fabian E46 M3-93
Fabian E46 M3-66

The audio and HVAC and been replaced with oil pressure/temperature, water temperature and battery voltage gauges, whilst body coloured pedals and Fabian’s body-coloured race helmet round out the interior accessories. Oh, and the great big Tesla-esque data logger and lap timer facing the driver of course.

Fabian E46 M3-77

Pop the bonnet and you’ll find… not much to be honest. After the raw speed of the GT-R and the lazy grunt of the V8 E30, Fabian decided the best bet would be a higher-revving, low-stress engine. A standard S54 does the job perfectly. The only modifications are to improve flow and reliability. An upgraded aluminium radiator and oil cooler ensure engine temps stay steady, whilst a 100-cell catalytic converter and Friedrich Motorsport titanium rear section help the car to breathe (and sound) a little better. Gold heat tape at the back of the bay helps to prevent heat soak into the cabin on longer runs.

Handling has been Fabian’s priority with the M3, and the list of chassis upgrades makes for impressive reading. If the purple top mounts weren’t a give-away, the car is suspended on a set of KW Competition 2-way adjustable coilovers. Arguably one of the best sets on the market for the M3, they’re a mainstay among Nürburgring die-hards.

Fabian E46 M3-20

All of the bushes underneath the car have been either been replaced with solid aluminium or rose-jointed. This is one stiff M3, but if feedback is your ultimate goal, this is the way to achieve it to the max. This is further enhanced by the genuine CSL steering rack that has also been fitted. I can understand why Fabian has the Pole Positions. Anything less supportive and the lack of ‘slop’ in the chassis would leave you with a sloppy spine instead.

Fabian E46 M3-88

Braking is taken care of an AP Racing big brake kit on the front axle, with upgraded discs and Endless pads all round. Brake cooling is provided by a Burkhardt Engineering ducted backing plate setup.

Fabian E46 M3-30

Team Schirmer-spec BBS E88s fill the arches, measuring in at 18×10.5-inch and 18×11-inch front to rear. These are one of my favourite wheel designs; timeless motorsport. 265 and 295-section Nankang AR1s provide the grip the car needs at the speeds it regularly achieves on the ‘Ring.

Fabian E46 M3-22

With all of this work, Fabian has an M3 that takes lap after lap of hard driving on a very arduous track in its stride. It’s powerful enough with a touch over stock horsepower, and with a wet weight of 1,290kg (2,844lb) it’s certainly light enough to be thrown around. Add to that how good it looks in its green paint and you have a winner.

It’s all well and good to have a cutting-edge, highly-strung build, but that’s not what a Ringtool is about. It needs to be capable but also resilient and safe. The last thing you want is to have sudden failure on a track as dangerous as this. Also, I reckon it’s nice to have a car you can thrash all day in the knowledge it will still get you home at night.

Fabian E46 M3-27

In Fabian’s own words: “For safety reasons and to get a new feeling, I bought the M3. I’m so happy with the light M3, and everything works perfectly.”

I couldn’t have summed it up better myself. Now, where do I start with my own Ringtool…

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn

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