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About this blog

I am embarking on the journey of building a rules correct Group 5 2002. However i plan on using modern technology and my engineering degree to make it the most bad-ass group 5 car ever. The hope is to be smoking Porsche 935 KKKs. Personally, i graduated in 2017 from Purdue University. While i was there i was part of the SAE car teams. There i learned how to weld, machine, design, and test an open wheel race car. Now that i've graduated i still have the itch to do a project like that so i figured why not do it to my dilapidated BMW.  The rules of Group 5 are very vague and i hope to use that to my advantage by introducing modern technology to a 1970s race series. 


Entries in this blog


As I mentioned before, the goal of this build is to build a car that meets the regulations of group 5 while implementing modern technology to make it faster. A set of the rules is located at https://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/whistj?open . The specific rules im following are the 1976 versions since that is the year of my car. I will cover in brief the simplified versions of the rules as i have read them. I would ask if you have time please read them as well to make sure i haven't misinterpreted anything.  


The Main rules are in articles 268 and 269

Part A states the minimum acceptable weights as a dry weight(actually at end of race but lets add a safety factor)

Part B ) The shape of the body must be retained but sections can be removed for weight savings. The Doors, hood and trunk may be made of different material but cannot change shape.All but windscreen material can be replaced. The Fenders are open but must retain the wheel arch shape and cover at least 180 around the tire and the full width of the tire. The interior is open but the driver should remain in the same area of the vehicle, with no sharp edges present.

Part C) The block must be same as the original vehicle with displacement open. It must also be in the same orientation as the production vehicle.

Part D) Gearbox and diff are open but should remain in same location in the vehicle

Part E) The suspension type should be the same type as the production vehicle but points can change location

Part F) Steering system is open

Part G) Widths should match chart based on displacement

Part H) Brakes are open

Part I) There must be a safety cell. It may not be in drivers compartment or engine compartment.

Part J) Aero Devices may not protrude out past the frontal projection of the car. Front splitter may not be longer than 10% of the wheelbase as measured from the furthest forward point on the original bodywork. It must also be installed below the plane of the wheel hub. The rear wing may not exceed 20% of the wheelbase as measured from the outermost part of the bodywork


There are more rules in the earlier sections regarding cage material layout and size but that's a bit too technical for this post. 


Now time for me to explain the game plan. I have taken lots of inspiration from articles and pictures i have found on the internet. The most helpful was a speedhunters article on the Zakspeed Capri. It had great explanations as well as great pictures of the car less bodywork.  http://www.speedhunters.com/2013/02/fire-breathing-neck-snapping-the-ultimate-capri/


Chassis - The main frame structure will rely on a 4130 Chomoly tube frame structure that will include all the major mounting points. This means both front and rear sub-frame structures disappear in order to reduce weight. Also the whole front clip will be removed. This frame structure allows for easier repair and modification to meet the needs of the car. It also increases the structural rigidity of the vehicle. This frame structure will also replace the rear of the car and provide safer mounting for the Rear wing and fuel cell. 

Suspension - Both ends of the car will have the original parts replaced by custom structures in order to reduce weight and have better kinematics since point dictation is free. Both ends will receive coil-overs with external reservoirs. Hubs will be upgrades to a modern 5 lug BMW setup in order to easier obtain aftermarket big brake kits and for easier choice of rims. Rims will stay a traditional 3 piece but with turbine fans in order to aid under-body air extraction. These wheels will be complimented with modern race rubber. Steering will be converted to forward mount Rack and Pinion Setup(I work for a steering company, its easy to get a spare one)

Driveline - The Motor will stay an M10 Block but the head choice hasn't been finalized. The plan is to sleeve the engine down to 1.6 liter or a similar size that allows an already in production race piston. which will be paired to a lightweight con-rod. AS with the spirit of Group 5 the car will have a nice healthy turbo mounted to it. The goal is for around 450HP at the crank. The exhaust will have a side exit just before the passengers door. The Motor will also be equipped with a dry sump system and an external electric water pump. The Radiators will be moved rearward to in front of the rear wheels. This is because the front will have an oil cooler and intercooler. The transmission will be a 6 speed sequential that can either be set up for lever or paddle actuation. The rear differential will be from a newer BMW that can handle the power. The engine itself will be shifted back in the car balance out the weight and to reduce the rotational moment of inertia. 

Aero - The front will include a larger front spliter with side shields in order to maximize the available front downforce. This will transition into 2 small tunnels that open to the suspension area. The Front fenders will vent on top and out the back and include wing elements before the wheel to produce extra downforce. The side of the car will have large sideskirts in order to minimize air bleed over. The underside will be flat bottom until after the rear diff where a diffuser will be located. The diffuser will extend past the bodywork slightly to help with downforce. The rear fenders will house the radiators so they will have a forward intake and the air will be routed to vent in conjunction with the rear wing. Extra winglets will be mounted on the fender behind the wheel as well as the lower section of the fender will be used as a smaller diffuser section. The rear wing will be mounted with large endplates and in a location as to balance out the aero. All bodywork will be replaced with fiberglass except the roof. The doors hood and trunk will only change material not shape.

Other - For safety and easy of use an airjack system will be mounted in the car. Also a fire suppression system will be mounted in the engine compartment. The dash will be replaced by a digital readout. The engine will be controlled by an aftermarket ECU from MOTEC. The race seat will be a proper FIA approved seat. 



The car will most likely look like Formula SAE met Group 5 which is basically whats happening. Let me know what feedback or questions you have about my plan. I haven't covered everything and there is still plenty of time to change things. 


The Big Move

What a busy week I've had. Monday the 17th is the big day. The day that i take my final step into the real world and start my first job. I'll be working at a company called NEXTEER Automotive where ill be doing R&D work on electric power steering systems. To go along with this new job i had to move from York, PA. to Flint, MI.(Feel free to send me a Brita filter LOL). The move included not only my personal belongings but also packing up my car and everything i had with it. Thankfully my father had an enclosed trailer that i borrowed to take everything with me. I ended up packing the car full with stuff in order to maximize space. 


For the trip i left at at 12.30 in the morning.The idea was to make it to Michigan before mid day. The other benefit is that there was no traffic so i could get used to towing the trailer without too much stress. I carried on until about 5 am where i stopped just after the PA Ohio border. I took a 2 hour cat nap laying across the front row of the truck. I carried on the rest of the way after that. 


Here in Flint i'm living in a 2 bed house that i'm renting. The big benefit is the extra large 2 car garage that comes with the place. I can fit the 02 and my daily in there and still have 4 feet all the way around the 02 to work. I look forward to using this place over the next year or 2 to make massive progress on the 02.



Its been 2 years since the car came off the road with a non working engine. What started as an attempt to fix and improve the car has turned into a full on tear down. This was for a few reasons. First the new engine i had bought for the car had a bent crank so i struggled to get that engine back running. Next i tried to replace the seats with more supportive sport seats. During welding of the new seat brackets i stumbled upon multiple holes in the floor well. Some new and some poor botch jobs from previous owners. All of these developments led me to decision to turn the car into a race car. The tear down started last summer in the few and far between times that i was home. from college. Now that i graduated i had a few weeks to really dig into things. The main goal was to get the interior out. So far this goal was accomplished. I also managed to take out all the main glass although i did crack the front windshield when i removed it. I tried to keep most of the interior in tact as i removed it so that  could sell it or use it in another car. The rear side glass was a pain to remove. The way the cotter pin sits makes it almost impossible to remove without either damaging the rubber seal or the cotter pin itself. As i pulled more out of the car i found more and more rust spots, some serious and some minor. This only confirmed my idea that it was a good idea to strip this car to its frame. I haven't touched the suspension or sub frames yet as i have to move the car from Pennsylvania to Michigan. More on that in a future blog post. As for now i'll just share some pictures of the current mess that is my car. 








This is the car in question. Its a 1976 BMW 2002 that i bought senior year of high school for 4K. The car served me well and lasted 2 years as a daily and even manged a trip from PA to IN and back. When it returned i took it auto-crossing and binned the valve-train. I tried to fix it in the apartment parking lot but had no luck. This is where the tear down began.I ended up pulling the motor to try and rebuild it. Upon removing the engine i also tried embarking on other maintenance things such as bushings. As the car came further and further apart i found more and more rust. I also started to discover botched jobs that the previous owners did(i'm surprised a passenger didn't fall through the floor). I stopped work to head back to college and this is where i though long and hard about what  wanted to do to the car. Did i want to restore it. Did i want to part it out and buy another one. What i finally decided on was that i wanted to turn it into a race car. I could replace lots of the metal with fiberglass to reduce weight and prevent rust, as well as make the car completely how i want to while having fun improving my skills. So this is where the journey of the Group 5 2002 begins.