Running SE30 in SCCA ITS


Calling Chuck Baader…

Looks like SCCA does a few events at VIR every year, so thinking about possible running my SE30 in ITS to get more opportunities to race there, and just for some variety. Looking at times, it should actually be reasonably competitive in that field as-is, but wouldn’t have anything for the top 3 guys.

Chuck, you’ve mentioned before that IT cars can run Megasquirt and remove AFM. I don’t know what running without an AFM would look like, but I’m curious. Since ECU is free and AFM could be removed, could AFM also be replaced with a MAF conversion?

With extra HP from that conversion (or MS) plus some stickier tires, would go a long way to making it more competitive.


Cannot remove AFM, but can run a PNP megasquirt. An e30 won the ARRC the last two years in November at Road Atlanta. Qualifying time was 1:40.8. He was just behind my RX7 at a 1:40.6. I know he makes just less that 180hp since I helped him build the motor. (BTW, the 4.27 diff is correct for the ITS version of this car.) So, add the diff, megasquirt, and some fresh Hoosiers and you will be competitive. I can assure you that either of the two cars above are capable of winning at any track in the SEDIV.


Thanks Chuck. Just to be clear about the AFM, I saw a post here a while back where you said the following:

Was that something that you could do at the time and cannot do now?


NO, but I think we were talking about other than SCCA legal.


Cool, thanks for the clarification. Seems like some pretty straightforward mods that can be switched back without too much hassle. Now to investigate licensing and such. I was an SCCA member years ago when I first started racing and actually built an E36 with the intention of racing in ITS/R before I went another direction and made it a GTS car. Have been pretty focused on NASA ever since. It’ll be nice to expand horizons a bit.


I assume you had a SCCA license at one time? Call SCCA licensing and talk with them indicating that you have been very active during the time you have been away. With the NASA license you should be able to get the SCCA license.


Never did get an SCCA race license. Instructed in the PDX program, then went to BMW CCA Club Racing School and have been racing NASA since 2009. I’ll have a chat with them and see what they can waive. Even if it’s just one of the two schools it wouldn’t be the end of the world.


Go online and download the GCR…there is a comprehensive section on licensing.


So I did this transition, I went from SE30 to ITS. At first it was meant to be a temporary thing, so I bought some parts and made some changes and like you I am a technologist, so I experimented and wrote down a “what worked” and “what didn’t work” list.

What lowered lap-times and was cheap:

  • Nothing

What lowered lap-times and was not cheap:

  • 4.27 Diff
  • Hoosiers
  • Custom valved Shocks with higher spring rates

What didn’t Improve lap-times:

  • Conforti (TMS) Chip
  • Higher spring rates without custom valved shocks


  • I found that the biggest bang for the buck was the diff, but this was an investment of $1,300 to ensure that the car was competitive. The 3.93 is great n’all, but the 4.27 is a HOOJ improvement over the 3.93. Alone it was worth a full second over the 3.93 on a 1:24.0 lap with 7 turns.

  • The Chip isn’t actually all that helpful, it removes the dip in the M20B25 torque curve, but it’s not directly impactful on top speed or corner exit, it might be of course but I can’t tell seat of the pants, either way it’s impact is less than a 1/4 second IMO.

  • The Hoosiers are wonderful, and take some getting used to. They are tough to eek out a lower lap time with. The Hoosiers impacts are:

  • shorter braking

  • AND higher turn-in speed

  • AND react much more directly to steering input

  • I think the shocks and springs on the SE30 are fine for ITS, the Hoosiers might be a problem in combination with the soft H&R’s but unlikely to be an issue IMO.

I would recommend the purchase of a diff and another set of wheels with SpecMiata Hoosier take-offs. That would be the biggest possible bang for the buck for the money.


  • you have my email if you want to contact me.


From experience in trying to play catch-up with Kieran’s ITS car as he’s worked with the assorted setups and with my car still in SE30 prep, the gearing change with the 4.27 LSD is the most notable difference. The car just walks away from me in corner exit. His dialing in the suspension and the change to the 225 Hoosiers this season just added a bit more insult to injury.


The springs are not that far off what I ran. I used 400/600 front and rear and the largest sway bars I could find. In the end, I made my own bars that were stiffer than any available.
There is absolutely no substitute for good double adjustable shocks.
Hoosiers have a learning curve, but when you hit the sweet spot…WOW!!!


100% agree, the springs are OK.

I bought the TMS J-Stock shocks for the rear. I am thinking about buying Ground Control Koni front shocks and shorten my strut tubes, I need to have shorter front struts to get the ride height where I need it and still maintain wheel travel.

The other low hanging fruit item is that chip… The TMS/Conforti Chip is a real looser as far as cost.per.second relative to lowering lap times. There is Mark D’Sylva in Canada who will create an inexpensive custom tune for the E30, but he needs me to buy $300+ of analysis equipment to facilitate this. SO Megasquirt might be in my future.


Remember, when you shorten the strut tubes, you must go to 2.5" springs. To achieve proper ride height, you will need 2.25 x 5" springs in the rear.
The PNP megasquirt will get you probably 10hp. Another help is a good header, like a Stahl, and proper SHORT exhaust.
I have published my setup on here before, but if you need help let me know.


Chuck - yeah email me at kgobey at gmail, I would love to plan out the final build with some input.

I have a spare motor I plan to perform an ITS focused .20 over rebuild on.


Wow, lots of good info. Thanks! Probably the first time I run I’ll just run as-is. Then maybe try some of the low-hassle mods. Point isn’t to replace SE30 racing, just add something different to the schedule.

Kieran, curious why you recommend SM7 takeoffs? It’s been a while, but my experience with the Hoo-Hoo R6’s was that after 8-12 heat cycles or so, they would drop off by at least a second on a course like, say, Autobahn. Are they that much faster than Toyos that they would still be faster (and worth the expense) even after the drop-off?


The Miata guys will likely do one event, maybe 6 heat cycles on the SM7 Hoosiers. A reputable used race tire dealer will have many good examples lay around for $80 or less each. I get 225/50 for that $ BTW, but fender rolling was necessary for fitting. The SM7 is faster by a good amount over the RR and fits. Even after the drop. If you have room for 225/50 225/45 then, yeah, better still.


Hey Julian, I just wanted to let you know that I was given a SCCA Comp license based on my the fact that I had a NASA license. I did have to get a waiver from the head of our local SCCA Comp Director, no problem. I really enjoy the ITS racing it give you a chance to race against my different type of cars, tons of fun.


Hey, thanks Greg, that’s good to know!

I recently picked up a second race car (Miata) which may be easier to run in SCCA if I decide to. Just trying to maximize my VIR time since it’s in my backyard.


In my opinion, a MS tuned correctly even with the Spec exhaust should make almoust 170hp…DynoJet, at the wheels. A chip cannot maximize your motor!!!
4.27 is the ONLY competitive diff for ITS. Spec springs/shocks/sways are close enough to be competitive with the other changes…definitely a podium car depending on who shows at the track that weekend. (There are some wicked fast ITS cars in the South East).
Tires…if you don’t want to invest in 225 45 15s, the SM takeoffs will work just fine…however, you will be faster on the wider tires, which also gives a shorter gear ratio.(?)
A 4.27 doff can be sourced from an early 90s 7 car with an auto trans. The guts will interchange without problem between the two housings. I have never used a high lockup diff, so just a .010" shim on the bellville washers will work just fine.