Originally Posted by SkipSauls
If by "weekends" you mean "at the track", then it would be far better to get a real track car, or still better a real race car, than an M3. The M3 is going to get beat up on the track, you'll be in mod-hell trying to make it into a "real" track car (don't kid yourself into thinking that any M-car is a real track car out-of-the-box), and you'll be limited to doing things like DEs where street cars are okay.
If the guesses of a $20k difference between a 335i and a M3 are correct, you could get a very good SCCA or NASA legal race car and run several events, including tires, fuel, repairs, etc. Get a Spec Miata for anywhere from $5k to $15k for a nice one, get your SCCA license, and go racing! I can assure you it's a hell of a lot more fun than DEs, open track days, canyon blasting, or drag racing. I went through the progression and ended up competing in the SPEED World Challenge last year, and my only regret is that I didn't get into racing a long, long time ago!
"Better a racer for a day than a spectator for life"
Now an M3 for the week and a racecar for the weekend would also be nice, although I'd bet on the 335i being a nicer car on the street and would rather use the $20k or so on racing.
+1...didn't evo mag recently modded an e36 M3 to run less than 8min. at "The Ring"? I think they gutted the car, throw on a set of coilovers, brakes, and chip/tune...that was it.
These are halo cars. Few will ever see real track time…in its first round of ownership anyway. Fewer will ever be exploited to its intended potential.
Or, you can do what SkipSauls suggested…get a spec Miata for 5K…and have more fun that the bloke in the Porsche…and I HAVE a track ready 996. People just love bragging rights and bench-race on the internet I guess.