March 23, 2011

Axis 1 Lap: It's here and it's nuts!

1 Lap M Coupe

OK, some of you guys guessed right, the car my friend Eric and I will be driving is, well let's be honest, probably the nuttiest street legal BMW M Coupe in existence in North America.

What used to be a sedate S52 engined M Coupe is not a Carbon fiber clad animal powered by a 600HP racing V8. What could possibly go wrong?

This M Coupe is the dream of Dr. Eric Brum who has owned it from new and steadily built it up to what you will see here. Eric is a long time Axis reader and of course I was ecstatic when he asked me to co-drive the car in this year's One Lap of America. How could you say no to driving such a mad car?

1 Lap M Coupe

OK let's go over some of the details starting with the body:

  • Carbon Fiber hood saving about 55 lbs
  • Carbon Fiber roof saving about 40 lbs (from the original with sunroof)
  • Carbon Fiber front bumper cover with splitter and additional cooling ducts
  • Grand-Am spec Carbon Fiber rear wing by Crawford Composites
  • Carbon Fiber front and rear quarter panels

1Lap MCoupe

Now some of the underneath bits:

  • CCW 18x9.5 and 18x 11 wheels
  • Michelin PS2 265/35/18 and 315/30/18 tires (1 lap requires street tires)
  • Rotora 6 piston 355x32 and 4 piston 330x34 brakes
  • TC Kline Double adjustable shocks and camber plates
  • H&R swaybars
  • Ireland Engineering Subframe Bushings and rear Toe Adjusters
  • RRT front and rear subframe reinforcements

1Lap MCoupe

Now the juiciest bit, the engine:
  • Dinan Built race spec BMW S62
  • Custom 3 ring lightweight composite Mahle pisons
  • race spec camshafts, billet steel crankshaft, solid lifters, velocity stacks, Carillo rods, valve springs and valve retainers
  • Dry sump side mounted on oil pan
  • Engine management and traction control via Pectel SQ6 ECU
Transmission and final drive:
  • TR2CD racing clutch by OS Giken
  • Super Lock LSD by OS Giken
  • Two Setrab SET125 oil coolers
  • Dual PAss racing spec radiator
Of course putting all this together requires not just, Eric considerable energy but sone serious technical knowhow, in this case the wizards are:

Shawn Bayliff of Trinity Motorsports in Ohio. A racer with experience in Daytona Prototype and Porsche Cup car preparation, Shawn is the man who installed the engine in the car. He is also responsible for the carbon Fiber fabrication.

Dusty Renteria, Dinan Engineering, lead the engine building and tuning. His goal was power combined with the reliability needed to complete the almost 3600 miles of the One Lap.

Neel Vasavada, Apex Speed Technology, is responsible for managing electronic integration, including ECU, ABS and traction control.

These guys were asked to produce a lightweight BMW Z3 M Coupe with 600 hp from a bulletproof engine while still maintaining street drivability, a comfortable interior, and the original exterior design M Coupe perfectly suited for One Lap of America, the descendant of the legendary Cannonball Rally and the most grueling week of racing in America. This year One Lap will bring drivers in street-legal racecars from Tire Rack Headquarters in Indiana, through West Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama before returning north to Illinois and Indiana for a variety of time trials, drag racing, autocrossing, and skid pad challenges...all in the span of one week!

Like I said, what could possible go wrong? The engine is supposed to be fired up this week, as soon as it does we'll try to bring you at least a sound clip so, stay tuned. In the meantime revel in the huge build gallery after the jump.

1 Lap M Coupe


  1. Totally fantastic, I cannot wait to see some action videos :) Good luck in the 1 lap event!

  2. You could just call this "The universal dream car."

  3. That's bananas! For the love of all that is holy, please get some good, music-free video of the car ripping around. I hereby nominate the nickname of "The Behemoth", so long as it's pronounced in the style of Stephen Wright from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.

  4. a FRAM Oil filter on a quasi race car?

  5. Who made that front bumper cover? That would be perfect for my M Coupe track car. I'm currently using a non-M cover with a CF splitter on the bottom of it. That looks much cleaner.

  6. How can anyone work in a shop like that? It's too big, too clean, and there's even an empty workbench!

    Signed: JEALOUS (aka Randy Forbes)

  7. I am definitly going to see you guys in Peru for sure! :-)~~~~~

  8. Looks absolutely awesome. Is it going to any track days before One Lap? Why PS2s? Are you worried grippier tires would wear out before the end? Best of luck for One Lap.

  9. @BJMeyer worked with Shawn Bayliff at Trinity Motorsports (link above) to design and build the front end as well as the other carbon bits...he can do both prepreg and wet layup carbon in-house, so we can certainly make more if you'd like.

    @FirstAnon it's actually a low resistance racing filter to match the high flow rate from the dry sump...and FRAM's from my home town going back almost 80 years, so I'm happy to represent :)

    @RandyForbes great to see you're following the project, and many thanks for all your advice (and Ron Stygar's also) back when the coupe was still mostly stock...stop by Shawn's shop in Lima next time you're in town!

    @LastAnon PS2s because we're required to run a true DOT (ie not a competition DOT like a RA1) from Tire Rack and options are a bit thin in the 315 range...ran the Kumho Ecsta XS previously but they only seemed to be happy on dry, hot tracks...only get 3 laps from a standing start so need tires that will work well when cold and also in the wet.
    And we'll certainly be keeping everyone posted on track testing as we get closer to the race.

    And in addition to Shawn, Dusty, and Neel, mentioned above, I also want to thank everyone else whose helped bring the carbon V8 coupe to life, especially JamesM at RRT, who built the strong foundation we're now working off...TC Kline, for the original inspiration to go carbon and go for the V8 as well...Dave Flogaus, my co-driver from 2009 One Lap who will now be coming out to South Bend in his own V8 M3 this year...Will Taylor for timely technical advice... and last but not least, the great Woody Hair, for inviting me to try One Lap back in the day, and especially for not making a mess in the car after going sideways around South Bend at VIR :)
    much love to all

  10. Awesome build! I look forward to following the adventure.
    The Great Famous One Lap Driver Woody Hair caused all of this to happen . . his effect on people is unmatched! :)

    Good Luck!


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