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GSR Autosport BMW 350R - Click above to watch the progress of the build
Formula DRIFT is recognized as the North American professional drifting championship series. Autoblog has been invited behind-the-scenes with GSR Autosport, and their driver Michael Essa, as the team builds, tests and campaigns a V10-powered BMW 350R during the 2010 racing season. This is the third installment in our series (see Part I and Part II) as we follow the team throughout the creation, testing and race season.
The BMW V10 ripped from an M5 and transplanted into a 3 Series does turn over on the first try - but then it starts to backfire. The GSR Autosport team shuts it down promptly and dials Apex Speed Technology. The engine and its related electronics are the most sophisticated part of the 350R. Its digital ECU is tasked with controlling fuel, spark, four-cam VANOS, dual drive-by-wire, electronic oil pumps and a variable-speed electric cooling fan. Without delay, the experts diagnose the problem (exhaust cams) and download a few fixes to the S85B50's ECU. Set straight, the BMW Motorsport engine growls without a hiccup.
Once the engine is warmed, Michael Essa does exactly what most of us would do - he takes the brand-new 350R for a celebratory spin around the block at the industrial complex and does screaming donuts in the middle of the empty street.