There was never any question the late actor Paul Walker was a car guy our generation could all aspire to. We got to meet him—or at least his R34-driving character, Brian O'Conner, anyway—through The Fast and the Furious movie franchise, but it wasn't until stories got out about his real-life vehicle collection (one that partly went up for auction not long ago) most began to realize he was a legit enthusiast. It made his untimely passing in an automobile accident in 2013 all the more painful and also cemented his legacy as an icon among car people. But what many may not know about, and even more may have never seen, is his time attack BMW M3.
In 2010, Walker campaigned an E92 M3 in the Southern California-based Redline Time Attack championship, a series that traveled the United States but had a good chunk of their events on the West Coast. That year we were lucky enough to hit up RTA rounds at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in Rosamond, Calif., Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, and Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nev. (among others), all competitions where Paul entered his Street Tire Class Bimmer. At Spring Mountain, we even got to witness him get on the class podium.
Modifications for Street Class cars are highly limited but Walker's Hankook-liveried M3 was built as much as the rules would allow. The interior was gutted and a full rollcage installed. Aerodynamics were optimized with APR Performance carbon-fiber rear wing and front splitter. Under each fender were Ohlins two-way dampers, upgraded Brembo brakes, and either Volk Racing TE37 or SSR Type C wheels shod in Hankook Ventus RS-3 tires (the man had good taste in rims).
It's pretty clear the car enthusiast universe still misses Paul deeply. Seeing him race his time attack E92 M3, however, takes us back to happier times when it was just Walker, his machine, and a ribbon of tarmac.