Meet RMVR driver Ryan Groves

To say that RMVR driver Ryan Groves loves vintage racing would be an understatement. In the profile below, Ryan shares more about his love for BMW, vintage racing his own personal connection to pediatric cancer.

Ryan Groves

Run Group: B-Sedan: 1969 BMW 2002  

How long have you been racing? This will be my 3rd season with RMVR but I have been racing other cars on and off for about 8 years now.

Why do you race for RMVR? I was fascinated by the vintage spirit of RMVR and the group of people that I race with make it very special. Everyone is willing to help and make sure you have a good time!

Why did you pick your run group? I have ALWAYS had a love for all things BMW. When I had the opportunity to buy a 1969 BMW 2002 race car, I could not pass it up. So, I was given my run group based on my personal love for BMWs and the B-Sedan it is!

What's your favorite track and why? My favorite track of all time is Road America in Elk Hart Lake, WI. This is an incredibly fast and technical track and is a place that holds a special place in my heart.

Fastest time at that track? I raced at Road America this year in May of 2019 and did a 2:41 lap while driving one of Dan Candee's team-built race cars. Dan Candee owns Sweet Spot Racing and we are a big group of friends and racers that participate in endurance series races. Dan Candee is also a long time RMVR member and sports a couple of vintage race cars from time to time. You should see his black/gold BMW 2002 named Smokey out there this year.

Do you have other cars? YES! I have been building and restoring cars for a long time now. Of course, these are all BMWs. I have restored three BMW 2002s now. One of them I kept for myself and the other two were for clients that asked if I would build them a car. My latest restoration was a 1974 BMW 2002 that is owned by Tom Buddig out of Chicago, IL. Tom Buddig is the owner of Carl Buddig Meat Company, a popular deli meat company.

What's your scariest racing story? Racing at Road America this last May. I am lucky (knock on wood) that this is my scariest story, but I was coming into turn 12 at Road America (fast) and went to apply the beefy and big Willwood Brakes on this BMW E30 with a V8 Swapped motor. The brake pedal went to the floor and a quick panic and pedal pump and I re-gained the brakes. After backing off a bit on the lap and letting the brake fluid cool down a bit, the brakes were good to go and I finished the rest of my two-hour stint in the car.

What's your bucket list track? I would love to go overseas and race at Monza, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, or Silverstone. I would say all those tracks are bucket list items! Of course, I would need to race them in some sort of BMW!

What's your daily driver?  On fair weather days, I drive an E46 BMW M3. In my eyes (and others), the E46 M3 was the last best M# ever made. It was the last of the naturally aspirated straight 6 motor. Since the E46, BMW has played around with forced induction and heavily integrated computer systems. Not a bad thing all the time, but the E46 was the last of the gritty M3. On poor weather days or in the winter, I drive a 4Runner.

Who is your racing hero and why? I have a lot of racing heroes. Of course, a lot of people will say Senna or Michael Schumacher - both good choices. But I say this, if you are a car enthusiast that is willing to spend your hard-earned money and time building, buying or fixing up a car to go racing with, you are my hero. If you are brave enough to strap yourself in a 5-point harness and test your car's machinal limits as well as your mental and physical limits, you are my hero.

Why do you support the Race Against Kids' Cancer? This is an easy one! It's the opportunity to do what I love; racing cars AND supporting and donating money to MAF! There are many children out there that do not get to live a full life and that is heartbreaking. To be able to use our passion for race cars to build a network of individual donors and business donors is amazing. While I haven't been able to help RAKC too much this year, I have enjoyed my time on the committee helping to gain corporate sponsorship for the event. I had a very good and close connection with Trevor Kling, a Morgan Adams Foundation Ambassador that we unfortunately lost. Trevor changed my views on how I approach life in general. He was in his mid-teens when he passed away, and I never thought I could learn as much as I did from being around him and his uplifting spirit.

Do you have a personal connection to pediatric cancer (or cancer generally)? Yes. Unfortunately, I don't think it is too hard to draw a connection to cancer in most families. One of my cousins' daughters has been struggling with Leukemia for the past few years. In fact, she just received a bone marrow donation from her older sister and so far, things have been good. We continue to keep our fingers crossed for her and hope that she continues to fight the hard fight!