I, like many others, started my track experience in a stock street car but it wasn't long before I realized just how important safety gear is. In my opinion you can't spend too much money on safety gear. I knew I wanted a cage added to the M2 and while a full cage would have been safer it would have limited the SVMC M2 to the track as it would no longer be street legal. Because this build had to be street legal, I went with a half cage. But not just any half cage, an extremely custom and over-engineered half cage by TC Design.
I could have gone for an off the shelf half cage and pre-fabricated rear seat delete panels. I could have gone with the high end options from BMW Moto GP, RKG, or Fall Line. But when you look at all of these options you will notice some design compromises that seem to be a little less safe. All of the cages I looked at were built to some spec (NASA or SCCA usually) and certainly are better than no cage, but they seem to have sub par mounting points or had the horizontal bar at the wrong height or used a simplistic design that sacrificed strength. I have no doubt they are all "good" cages but I wanted the best possible half cage.
That is what led me to TC Design who I commissioned to design and fabricate the cage and rear panels. TC Design took inspiration from the BMW M4 GTS cage but made design improvements on how and where the cage mounted to the chassis as well as changing the design of the horizontal bar. The gusseted main hoop cross showcases Tony's welding skills, increases the strength of our design over the M4 GTS, and puts the horizontal bar in a better position for the racing seats and 6 point harness. We then topped it off by powder coating the cage in white to match the car.
Tony then moved onto designing and fabricating the panels which are a work of art. He was able to bend and cut the panels to fit perfect and give it an OEM look. The panels are removable as needed and were powder coated in black for durability. It is almost a shame that these panels will be upholstered in OEM Alcantara and Polar Blue stitching to match the factory interior. Be on the lookout for a future blog posting focused on the upholstery which has been one of the most difficult parts of the build to source and plan.
The end result was a stronger cage that stayed with the theme of a no compromise GTS. Next stop....back to Edge Motorworks to have the brakes and suspension finished before some much needed test and tuning. Then it goes to the uphostery shop to have the racing seats and rear seat delete panels dressed up before going back to Edge for some carbon fiber aero parts installed. Stay tuned to watch my madness unfold.