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The Crenshaw family is living the dream, rallying a 1988 BMW 325ix Turbo in the Colorado Hill Climb Association (CHCA) as a father and son team. Fraser (driver) and his father Mike (co-driver) have developed their E30 into a highly competitive rally car within the championship and we at Condor Speed Shop are proud to support their competitive journey.
Their ‘88 ix E30 was originally utilized as a ski resort shuttle vehicle before the Crenshaw team purchased it and eventually converted it into a fully caged rally car for the 2022 CHCA season. Since then, the development and performance trajectory have been trending in a positive direction as they just recently closed out their 2023 campaign finishing 2nd in the points among a highly competitive field which includes more modern platforms such as Subaru WRX’s and Mitsubishi Evo’s.
The car is fully equipped with all of our E30 racing components, including our full line of UHMW IX bushings, engine and transmission mounts, chassis-mounted shifter, stainless steel brake and clutch lines, and E30 subframe reinforcements. The “Condor Treatment” as we sometimes call it is the perfect solution for any competitive racing BMW, especially a rally car that will endure difficult terrain and harsh conditions.
Their 2023 campaign began at the Monarch Hill Climb located close to their hometown of Salida, Colorado. Here the car felt great off the bat, but a broken differential caused them to lose a significant amount of time and put them out of the race for a podium position. Even though this was a bit disheartening, the team replaced what was broken and finished the event strong. All in all, it was a successful early season shakedown, especially considering that they had made a considerable amount of updates to the car in the previous offseason.
Following that was the series’ first event at Pike Peak’s International Raceway. This included a section of the Rally/Sprint Course recently utilized by the Gridlife series. This event was a great test in terms of conditions due to heavy rain and a very muddy track surface. This was more of a war of attrition for the team and drivers, and the car held together well without any mechanical issues to speak of. The team finished well, showing that they had a competitive pace compared to the other cars, most of which are built on more modern platforms compared to their E30.
The historic Lands End International Hillclimb was next up on the calendar and it took place in the peak of summer. Temperatures this year were consistently running over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat was brutal and they were battling against a newer Subaru in their class for a podium position. “Through a combination of decent, consistent performance and non-stop problems with our Subaru competitors, we snuck out a 2nd place finish for the weekend”, Fraser said, “which was phenomenal for morale and our first podium of a season and a half of competing with CHCA”
A similarly tough test for the car would be up next at Temple Canyon. Here, the surface and terrain are particularly grueling, and it lived up to its reputation putting all of the competing cars through a true litmus test. The E30 handled it all like a champ and made it through the event relatively unscathed. “Lots and lots of broken cars” Fraser said, “ but the e30 survived entirely other than a completely missing lower rear shock bolt that I only noticed when I was loading the car onto the trailer to leave. Who knows how many runs we did with it like that.”
The final event which would decide the championship took place at Monarch Pass in late September. Here is where their season-long battle came to a head since the Crenshaw team was in close competition for second place in their class with a very competitive Mitsubishi Evo. The conditions and terrain were ideal at this event and the IX performed beautifully. Everything seemed to come together perfectly and they were able to secure a fourth-place finish in the event and 2nd in the overall championship, a true milestone for the team.
“By Reason or By Force” is a long-standing motto of ours and the Crenshaw Rally Team is certainly a representation of what that's all about. There will always be struggles and sticking points when it comes to racing, especially rallying, but it is how you work your way out of those situations and consistently work hard towards your goals that counts the most. Their success is just as much a representation of their effort and hard work as it is of their heroic, well-built car which was able to compete with and in some cases outshine much more modern platforms in competition. We look forward to all of the exciting things to come from the team and look forward to sharing their continued progress in the future.
For more articles like this, please head over to the resources section of our website where we have build blogs, event recaps, product deep dives, and more. Would you guys like to see more season recaps from our customers and sponsored drivers? Perhaps you have a story to tell about your Condor Equipped BMW. Feel free to let us know in the comments below or hit us up at Support@CondorSpeedShop.com