APEX: Tell us some details about yourself & your car.
Michael: My name is Michael Slevin and I can pretty easily describe myself in three words: Cars, coffee, and computers. I live in Sunnyvale, CA and like many other people I know, work in tech and spend every free moment I have working on my cars. I also spend a ridiculous amount of time researching, discussing, brewing, and drinking coffee – I have a penchant for very bright Ethiopian light roasts.
My track and weekend car is a 1993 BMW 325is. I’ve owned it for about two years, and in that time it has gone from my college daily driver to a track rat. I’m currently sponsored by Slevin Racing & Fabrication (aka myself).
APEX: What is your track day wheel setup?
APEX: Why did you choose APEX Wheels over the rest?
Michael: Primarily, I think ARC-8s may be very close to the perfect wheel for many BMWs. They look great and are strong enough for me launch off T3 at Thunderhill West and get a little too aggressive with the berm at T6 at MRLS (WRLS? WTRLS?).
Part of the reason I love BMW so much is because of their history in and strong connection to motorsport, and I really believe that APEX is very similar. Go to any track day or race, and you’ll see at least a handful of cars with APEX wheels. This, paired with great customer service, makes them the obvious choice.
APEX: What other modifications have been done to your car?
Michael: Pretty much everything has been modified in some way apart from the motor itself, and even that has had all new seals and hardware.
Some of the major points:
– Ground Control coilovers, 650# F 850# rear, with KW camber plates
– Racing Dynamics 27mm FSB, no RSB
– AKG 75D poly bushings everywhere
– 330Ci front calipers, Hawk HT10s front and rear
– MaxVelocity GTR front lip
– Felony Form overfenders
– Dinan Chip
– K&N CAI
– GripForce Stage 2 clutch with LWF
As for the interior, I haven’t gone “full racecar” on it (yet). I have a Sparco Sprint L as my seat, on custom brackets. Its the lowest and farthest back seat I’ve ever seen in an E36. Its the best seating position of any car I’ve driven, which isn’t easy when you’re 6’6″.
Obviously the exterior is the most interesting part of this car. The car is wrapped in a livery inspired by Lindner Racing’s 1993 Jagermeister DTM car driven by Harald Becker, with my own custom touches. On the rear I have a PTG-style adjustable wing, which has “Freude am Fahren” written on the underside. BMW used this phrase in some of their older advertising, and it translates to “Driving Pleasure”.
APEX: How did you get into track racing & for how long?
Michael: I’ve always been interested in motorsport and cars in general. Over the first year of ownership with my E36, I started to upgrade things instead of fix them. It finally got to a point where I said to myself, “I should see how this thing actually does on track”. I wasn’t exactly fast my first time on the track, but I was instantly hooked.
APEX: What is your favorite memory or entertaining story from the track?
Michael: That’s tough. I had my dad spin out in front of me in his 911 in T10 at Laguna Seca – scary that he almost wrecked both of us but hilarious to us both now. Last weekend at HooptieCon I got to be on track right behind 959 (and about 100 other cars) for some parade laps, and then got to chase Matt Farah in his brand new AMG wagon while my buddy shot photos out of the rear hatch.
Some of my best on-track moments come from tracking with good friends. Things are a lot more fun when you can sit a few inches off your buddy’s bumper through a corner because you know he won’t do something stupid.
APEX: How many events do you participate in each year, care to share any track results?
Michael: I’ve done about a dozen events up to this point, hoping to do about 8 more this year. I’m planning on buying a truck and trailer soon, so I’ll be able to make it to some of the SoCal tracks too.
My best time at MRLS is 1:50. Not setting any records, but I’m getting faster every time I go.
APEX: If you could give one tip to a new racer, what would your tip be?
Michael: Be social! I can’t count the number of friends I’ve made through track days and other events. Join forums and Facebook groups, go to meets, whatever. The people you meet are an invaluable resource for racing line tips, emergency repairs, and good times all around.
APEX: Where can we follow you?
APEX: Do you have any clubs, shops or racing buddies you want to give a shout out to?
Michael: Huge shoutout to my parents for letting me fill their garage with parts and the street with BMWs! I really appreciate everyone who tolerated my million questions and still talks to me. Huge thanks to everyone who helped fulfill my “DTM Dreams” and get my car to where it is today, whether it was vinyl work or advice or leads on cool LTW parts.