Power of the Haus
"I never actually considered moving into a Street Prepared class" says David Fauth, "But when Bob Tunnell pitched the idea of a partnership to me, I figured there would be no better opportunity to succeed quickly. The incredible technical experience of Bob, Jim Leithauser, and the rest of the gang at BimmerHaus Performance have given me a great car setup, that has made my learning curve much easier to traverse."
Bob is happy with the arrangement too. "I had wanted to build an E36 325 for DSP for several years, and was just waiting for the right project to come along," admits Bob. "David was at the top of a very short list of drivers I wanted to work with, and after his second consecutive G-Stock National Championship I approached him with the idea. I baited him by saying that great drivers can win in front-drive and rear-drive cars, low-powered or high-powered. He couldn't resist that," laughs Bob. The fact David is a nice guy, willing to share information - and his car - to fellow competitors, only proves his talents go well behind simply shuffling the wheel and clipping apexes.
David was introduced to autocrossing in the spring of 1993, and after that first event he knew he was hooked. "My first race car was actually my daily-driver 1986 Acura Integra," explains David. "I ran the car in E-Stock for a few years, one year on street tires, and two years on race tires."
He then moved into a 1990 Honda Civic Si that also ran in E-Stock. "The car was amazing in the slaloms, but was woefully underpowered, and couldn't keep up with the Neons at the time" according to David. Impressed by their speed, David jumped on the Neon train in 1998 and learned first hand how well setup these little machines are.
David explains, "I was always amazed at how much the Neon could do by brute force." He was obviously capable of harnessing that force, because David's first national success came quickly in his Neon, with a win at the Wendover ProSolo. That was only the beginning for David and his trusty Neon, because by the end of 1999, he had earned two Nationals trophies, a third in 1998 and sixth in 1999. Not bad considering the competition he was up against those years.
It's a good thing he was used to the competition, because when David decided to get into his next ride, a 1998 Acura Integra Type R, he would be heading for the crowded and diverse field of G-Stock. "The Type R was an easy choice" according to David, "It is by far the best handling front-drive car I have ever driven."
With such a solid, well-sorted platform underneath him, David had a great opportunity to improve his skills. "I probably learned the most driving the Integra" explains David. "It's pretty easy to drive that car quickly, but in order to get the most out of it, you have to ride a pretty ragged edge. This helped me to be a more consistent driver."
Consistently fast that is. David, right out of the box, won the G-Stock National Championship in 2000. As if that wasn't enough, David continued his winning ways in 2001, by winning his second consecutive National Championship, and the ProSolo Championship, proving his driving skills are second to none.
"I was ready for something different" explains David, "and the partnership with BimmerHaus Performance couldn't have come at a better time. When Bob and I sat down for the first time to review the options, it quickly became apparent to both of us that a 1995 BMW 325is would be the best car for the project." Luckily for David, the same 325is that he battled against at the 2000 National championships - driven to a second place by Neal Sapp - was for sale. "I flew out to California and drove it home," explained David.
DSP has long been a playground for sprightly little Fiat X1/9s, driven by fast guys like multi-time National champion Steve Hoelscher. But over the past couple years, some of the slower machines from CSP have been moved down into DSP, filling the grid with cars like the VW GTi, Acura Integra GSR, Dodge Neon, and other mid-size sporty coupes and hatchbacks.
Such a diverse grouping of cars puts a premium on driving and the car owner's ability to get the car properly setup for varying courses and conditions. The same is true for David, who is new to the world of Street Prepared setup techniques. David laughs, "Who knew so much went into car setup!"
Starting from the ground-up, David's BMW is running brightly polished 17x9-inch Forgeline aluminum wheels, wrapped with 245/40 Hoosier A3S03 Autocross Radials. According to David, "Nothing bigger will fit without cutting the fenders, and unless it's a really hot day with two drivers, the tires don't get overheated."
Keeping those big meats firmly planted is a set of custom-valved JRZ struts. The JRZs feature both high and low speed compression adjustments, and rebound adjustment. This amount of adjustability can be daunting, but David was given a great baseline setup since these units came off Bob's BSP M3, after Bob had stripped off the race parts to campaign a 2001 BMW M3 in Super Stock.
H&R 150mm race springs are used at all four corners, in varying spring rates. "I'm experimenting right now with spring rate combos ranging from 90-110Nm in the front and 70-140Nm in the rear. I haven't quite figured out what combo suits my tastes best yet, although all the combos have proven to be fast. It seems like you can't go wrong with this car!" exclaims David.
Adjustable Racing Dynamics anti-roll bars are used, with a five-position 27mm bar sitting up front and a three-position 22mm rear bar in the back. Poly bushings are used to keep things firm and crisp. TC Kline Racing camber/caster plates give David quite a bit of adjustment when it comes to alignment. Front camber is set at 3.5-degres negative, with rear camber at 2.0-degrees negative. He runs zero front toe, with a quarter inch of rear toe-in to help the car come off corners better.
Surprisingly, most of the braking system is left stock, except for the pads. "I've been doing some experimentation with both Carbotech Kelated Metallic green pads (what I've used in the past) and Hawk HPPlus pads." According to David, "Both seem to be great pads, so the decision on which to use is proving difficult."
David's BMW is already a powerhouse in DSP, so he hasn't spent too much time underhood. A Conforti cold-air intake sits in the left front corner of the engine bay, pulling air from the front fender. A Tunnell Race Products custom designed and fabricated exhaust system features 3-inch diameter pipe from the stock manifold back, with a single high-flow catalytic converter helping to keep things clean. The result is a mean, throaty rumble that is distinctive of BMW straight sixes.
All of these modifications add up to one heck of a quick combination, one that has seen David take four ProSolo wins this year, at El Toro, Topeka, Wendover, and Peru, culminating with his win at the Pro Finale, clinching yet another ProSolo Championship. At the recently completed 2002 National Championships, David got on the box, finishing third in DSP just 0.210 seconds off the win.
Getting on the top box is something Kathy Wolfskill - David's co-driver this year - has been eager to do ever since she started getting serious about her autocrossing in 1994. Kathy has been so close to a National Championship, placing second four times, that she is ready for the win. She has driven in DSPL, GSL, FSPL and last year finished only 0.033 seconds off the CSL win in her Miata.
"I'm ready to win" exclaims Kathy, I've never had a better chance than this year with all the support of Dave and BimmerHaus Performance." Winning is exactly what she did, clinching the DSPL National Championship by over eight seconds. What's more amazing, is that her performance would have put her in the trophies in DSP, further proving the capabilities of both car and driver.
Winning is surely on the cards for both Kathy and David next year too. David took quite a gamble, giving up running a dominant car that has earned him so many titles in favor of his new DSP venture. One thing is certain though, when it comes to gambling, David has a decided advantage in the form of BimmerHaus Performance. You know what they say; "The Haus always wins."