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Laguna Seca IMSA RS 1982

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Published on Dec 24, 2011

Film from the 1982 IMSA RS race at Laguna Seca, original Super 8 taken by Michele Wynne. John Howland in the #24 BMW 320i belonging to Tom Walczuk of Alpine Auto / Bavarian Haus, Bill Elftman in the #23 1600 (my old car, sold to Tom) of Tom's also. Weekend was full of problems, just like Riverside the weekend before... car used so much oil it would not run a whole session and it tended to rattle the fuel injected linkage 'till it broke. We spent most of Saturday evening re-ringing the engine.. but to no avail, the car only lasted a few laps in the race - broken linkage.

What we found later was the engine pieces Tom has give to me to assemble were from different't suppliers and machine shops (I'm sure he had no idea, he just wanted the "trickest parts"), the cylinder bore was for larger pistons and the flywheel / clutch was not ballanced... hence the oil usagege and vibrations. Assuming (a bad thing!) all was matched all I did was set the ring end gap, check bearing clearance along with piston to valve clearancesce and valve spring stack height.

Real shame was I had a "mule engine" with us that I build from odds end ends Tom had, would run like a champ (Dyno'd at 186 HP with the headers on upside down to clear the dyno - with oval exhaust ports they were slightly blocked - so best guess is 190HP +) and it would run all day long.

Oh well, you live and learn... did turn me off of racing for a number of years, but I also had a new wife (still together), just started my own shop. A bit of a shame though, reflecting that if I'd stuck with it and worked with Tom to solve the problems life would have turned out quite different. No regrets though.

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