Technical Creativety. The Belcar series, Belgium's national endurance championship, finds its popularity in the wide variety of sometimes astounding cars. Running these cars is only possible because of the liberal technical regulation, ...
The Belcar series, Belgium's national endurance championship, finds its popularity in the wide variety of sometimes astounding cars. Running these cars is only possible because of the liberal technical regulation, which originates from Belcars' clubracing roots. The series has seen cars that would be banned from any other professional series. Despite all this, Team Qvick was worried that their new car would not pass the technical control. Because the new race car is outrageous, even for Belcar.
Team Qvick is a small West Flemish team, which raced a BMW E36 M3 in the Belcar touring class. After two successful years, a New Mini will replace the BMW. But not just any Mini. According to article 39 of the technical regulation, an engine of the same make may replace the standard engine. So the Qvick engineers opened the hood of a Mini, and found what they were looking for. It was a small BMW emblem. Stretching article 39 allowed them to replace the original engine with any BMW engine they pleased. Article 39 also dictates that the new engine must be placed in the original engine compartment.
So under the watchful eyes of the technical inspection, the engineers set about doing something that many insiders deemed impossible. The engine choice was obvious to Qvick, as they already had two years experience with it: a 340hp 3.0l BMW M3 inline-six. One of the longest engines, under one of the shortest bonnets. It was placed between the two axles, and as low as possible, for an ideal weight distribution. The chassis had to be changed from FWD, to RWD. And the bodywork heavily modified, the rear wheel arches for instance grew by 6" each. Months of hard work would be needed, with actual labour on the car done during the weekends. The car will be more than a just visual attraction. Getting yourself noticed in this manner creates on obligation to do well. Nothing is worse than falling flat on your face with all the eyes focussed on you. Qvicks' goal is to be back on top of the Touring class within two years.
It was huge task for a small team, but the hard work has payed off. The Cooper SM3 will be ready for the first Belcar race, 20-21 April. It won't be shown to the public until then. An official presentation will follow on 28 April.