driven many a 3 series BMW before, from the much sought
after collector’s item 325is, M3’s be it
e36, e92 and even the new F30 (non M3) model. But there’s
one particular M3 that has eluded me, until now.
The e46 M3. Sure I have sat shotgun in many, but not
actually been behind the wheel, and with the CSL model
being one of my all time favourite M3’s, the time
had to come sooner or later.
Opportunity presented itself to me when I had the chance
to drive not only an e46 model M3, but this beast of
a machine, the fully prepared track spec M3 of Junaid
Slamang. There’s no other place to drive this
brute but Killarney. I fear our normal public roads
would not be able to handle its rubber claws and only
crumble upon hard acceleration. Besides, it’s
a full track car so we’re not allowed to drive
it on public roads anyway.
The track was booked out solely for testing purposes.
We arrived at a barren and lifeless race track we’re
so used to seeing buzzing with energetic race car life.
But in this case, it was much welcomed as private track
time is hard to come by and soon enough everyone quickened
their pace to prepare the car for testing.
The car sleeps alone in Junaids pit garage and I don’t
see it any other way. A beast like this would not take
kindly to sharing its lair.
A few checks are made from fuel, tyre pressure, oil
levels and then… the beast is awakened into life
in a roar of 6 straight BMW cylinders. Test driver Masood
from R&M Coachworks, who also maintains the car
along with his brother Riaz, pulls the car out for a
warm up session before Junaid jumps in for some aggressive
laps in the pursuit of shaving time of previous personal
While Masood is out on track warming the car up, I chat
with Junaid and Riaz about the car as I’m curious
to know what’s going on under that carbon bonnet.
They tell me it has… wait for it, this is a mouthful…
ARP head and main stud kits, ATI Super Damper (harmonic
balancer), a lightweight aluminum flywheel matted to
an AP racing 140mm 3-plate race clutch… Shrick
cams – 288/280 degree high lift (14mm), Shrick
DLC coated CAM followers, VAC Motorsport high performance
valve springs and titanium retainers as well as hardened
valve locks, an Evosport VANOS delete kit because of
the Shrick cams and up rated injectors and coils. Van
der Linde Developments in Joburg prepared and flowed
the cylinder head and ceramic coated the exhaust manifold
which ends up in a Powerflow exhaust.
It also has a custom made and developed carbon air intake
After Masood re-entered the pits it was now Junaids
turn to give it a go. Lap after lap he waged war with
his beast against the clock. Riaz actually had to call
him in to let the car have a break, not that it needed
it, but rather safe than sorry.
After he stops and gets out we all check the time on
the MOTEC CDL3 dash display unit. It says 1:22.4. Brilliant!
That’s almost a second quicker than before! Everyone
was delighted. A testing day well worth it as targets
With everyone happy and a job well done by all, it was
now my turn to have a go. Don’t get me wrong,
it was never my intention to try and beat any times,
but rather to get a feel for this beast. I was more
honored to be able to get to drive such a machine.
Knowing now what exactly lay under its bonnet, I was
very curious to feel how it all comes together. But
before I got in, I just took a moment to have a closer
look at the car to sort of take it all in. I wanted
to absorb all the “thoroughbred-ness” that
this race car was. From the front there was no denying
that the Vorsteiner front bumper suited this car perfectly.
Ending off the rear, which most competitors would be
seeing often was an M3 CSL bootlid, a massive carbon
rear wing with custom brackets and rear diffuser. All
that was joined together by the CSL carbon fibre roof.
So there were some similarities between this car and
my all time favourite M3 after all.
The white Enkei light weight racing wheels wrapped in
Kumho 280/60/18 suit the Leguna Seca Blue colour scheme
just brilliantly. Peering behind the wheels you notice
massive AP Racing calipers and discs.
Getting into the driver’s Sabelt carbon racing
seat you are engulfed by the custom built roll cage.
The first thing you notice when you’re sitting
inside is the MOTEC digital dash display unit. Just
like the ones in NFS SHIFT! How cool is that! I placed
my hands on the sued Sabelt deep dish steering wheel
instantly making me feel like a racing driver. I check
to see if all the switches are where they should be…
ignition… turn the key. The car swings for a while
but eventually roars into life once more.
Put it into first gear... wait a minute, this is a fully
sequential 6-speed Quaife box! Awesome! The clutch pedal
is still needed to pull away and to downshift, but no
clutch pedal is needed for shifting up. Masood tells
me to rev it up and release the clutch… The accelerator
pedal is hard! Very hard! I have to press my foot down
solidly before the digital rev counter even moves. Nonetheless
I give it some foot and hear that straight six BMW engine
I stalled it! I feel like such a noob! Try again! Rev
a bit more this time and off we go! The first thing
you notice once driving it is that it’s extremely
loud inside the car. The whining noise of mechanical
gears and diff noise is insane! I change gear…
BANG! Yes, that’s the noise it makes. I feel the
cogs turning over and the diff working, change to third,
BANG! The sounds, the noises, the smell, the feel…
this really is like sitting in race car heaven.
Coming out of turn 4 and heading down Killarney’s
back straight I put my foot down firmly and the car
surges forward while pushing me back into its seat.
The rev range seems endless as it builds up to peak
torque of 355nm’s at 6500rpm and then peak power
of 277kw’s at 7800rpm until the MOTEC shift light
flashes and the next gear is selected… BANG! All
of that done all over again until you reach the next
corner. I reach the 100m brake marker board and stand
on the brakes.
Stopping power is incredible! I thought the car accelerated
quickly but it seems it stops just as fast!
Turn the wheel and point the car towards the apex.
The full slick 280 section Kumho tyres claw into the
tar and the car turns on a dime! No understeer what
Mid corner the car is extremely well balanced and weighted
thanks to the full-track race BC suspension and Turner
Motorsport adjustable control arms, making it very forgiving
if any mistakes are made. The amount of grip feels relentless!
You can literally change where the apex should be. Acceleration
can be initiated so much sooner now and there’s
no worry of oversteer either. It has so much grip its
mindboggling! Mindboggling maybe because of the amount
of lateral G-force it gives.
Junaid, achieved a max lateral G figure of 1.6G in the
corner. I can tell you that because of the onboard VBox
Masood took me for a proper spin later on and he made
turn 4 look like a joke. For those that don’t
know, Killarney’s turn 4 is a double apex. Which
means there’s 2 turns in one corner, but the right
way to do it is make those 2 turns into one. So usually
you would approach the corner, brake, turn in, clip
the first apex, balance and set the car up on half throttle
and point it towards the second apex. Once the second
apex is clipped then floor it out. Masood however clips
the first apex and then immediately floors it out! That’s
how much grip and balance it has!
This car, as intimidating as it initially is, inspires
confidence in leaps and bounds. I suppose it comes down
to having so much grip you don’t have to be worried
about the tail stepping out of line. It’s almost
like an all wheel drive. Junaid intends to race the
car in the Midas Clubmans Series, but not just yet.
He wants to get to know the car 110% first. So hopefully
it won’t be too long before we get to see it wage
battle once more against other competitors!
Thanks to Riaz and Masood from R&M Coachworks as
well as the owner, Junaid Slamang, for letting me have
a go in his beast.
how it goes, listen to the sounds, watch how it corners,
sit shotgun by watching the video below to get an idea
of what's it like to drive this machine... enjoy!
and dont forget to view the entire gallery further down
too... till next time.