Web www.M3Forum.net

View Full Version : 10 things I learned at the track


mguy
Mon, Jan-24-2005, 07:44:17 PM
After 3 months of ownership I decided to take my car to the track. I went to Buttonwillow with Speenventures. I had the most amazing time of my life (gf hates it when i say that) and anyone who has not gone on the track with their M3, MUST do so.

1. M3 are godly on the track.
2. M3 was sooooo happy on the track. Was like letting a race horse loose in a field.
3. M3 is waste of money if you dont track it. Its like buying a race horse and locking it in a stable.
4. Best mod for an M3, is learn how to drive it. (better brakes would also be nice)
5. M3 requires no mods to outrun most cars on the track.
6. 8-9/10 of drivers at this specific event either a) are not great drivers or b) were not pushing hard to test their setup and practice their line. My little M was passing most cars (NSX, Imprezas, Lancers etc 95% of which were modded).
7. SMG is awesome on the track.
8. DSC on was a great idea for my first track event.
9. Tracking is so addictive.
10. There are some DAMN fast civics, and some DAMN good drivers out there (very few though).
11. Wait one more! Supercharged Mini KICKs AS$!

jonam
Mon, Jan-24-2005, 08:42:16 PM
welcome to the track! and Glad you had fun!
but you're in trouble now...there's no way back :D:D

M3-peat
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 02:21:58 AM
that sounds awesome! I'm afraid that once I try it, I'll never stop. I currently autox(for 16 years off and on but only twice in the ///M) and that alone is quite addicting, at least on the longer courses. I can only imagine a track, continously driving 90+% for an hour or so. Talk about an adrenaline rush.

Which tires did you run? Stock or special track tires?

:thumbsup:

flabmaster
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 02:41:31 AM
Haha, you've just screwed yourself out of a lot of future money :D
Happy to hear that you enjoyed it!
Which tires did you run? Stock or special track tires?
I'm willing to bet if he ran stock brakes, he ran stock tires. Also, it's not really a good idea for newbs like mguy and myself to run r-comps until we get better and are able to use our street tires to their fullest.
-Dave

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 02:59:08 AM
Haha, you've just screwed yourself out of a lot of future money :D
Happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

I'm willing to bet if he ran stock brakes, he ran stock tires. Also, it's not really a good idea for newbs like mguy and myself to run r-comps until we get better and are able to use our street tires to their fullest.
-Dave

Lol funny you mention that.

I did run on my 19's, but since this morning i've been looking for a decent set of OEM 18" wheels to keep the tire cost down. I ate up about 20% of my tires in 1 session, and replacing 19's is gonna cost too much too fast. In the future though, like you said, i will be investing in some RGR's =)

Anyone selling OEM 18's for cheap??

flabmaster
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 03:11:50 AM
Actually, yes.
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=54396
I'm not, nor do I stand to make any money off of that deal - that was just the first thread I found in the "for sale" section that dealt with oem 18 inchers.
-Dave

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 03:18:40 AM
Actually, yes.
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=54396
I'm not, nor do I stand to make any money off of that deal - that was just the first thread I found in the "for sale" section that dealt with oem 18 inchers.
-Dave


Talking to that guy now =)

worse yet, i have the SpeedVenture March 11th Buttonwillow registration form open in another firefox tab!!!

sk8ermoo
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:12:58 AM
welcome to the track! and Glad you had fun!
but you're in trouble now...there's no way back :D:D

Hey Jonam I see in your sig you cover up your rear fender with that tape. Does debris really get up there? Does enough debris kick up there that it might scratch the rear fender? Geez how many areas do I have to protect when going to the track.

Will ZCPM3
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:22:38 AM
the supercharged minis are awsome track cars. they handle like go karts

jtappan
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:26:30 AM
Welcome to the disease... :thumbsup:

There is no turning back now. On your 10 things I learned list: Item 4 is right on the money. I have instructed for several years now and can tell you that most people take an already fast car and make it a whole lot faster without increasing their own personal skill level. I have watched many of them watch their car leave the track on a flat bed. Luckily I have never personally been in a car that ate a wall or worse, but have had many oh sh!t moments in students cars. Learn to drive the car without the DSC, and get the most out of the stock setup before you even think about raising the cars performance level.

Also, since you ran with Speed Ventures I take it you are in Calif. Here is the link to the open track events all over California:

Open Track Calendar (http://track-days.org/page1.html)

One more thing. The BMW CCA runs an excellent school with top notch instruction. I know it is expensive, but in my opinion none of these other groups can match instructor talent available to you via the CCA. As an example my first instructor back in 97 was Steve Dinan, my second event it was Carl McGinn, and my third time out it was Dan Tackett.

jonam
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:02:13 AM
Hey Jonam I see in your sig you cover up your rear fender with that tape. Does debris really get up there? Does enough debris kick up there that it might scratch the rear fender? Geez how many areas do I have to protect when going to the track.
If you run on Rcompund and/or wider tires in the front, cover the area as shown in the pic. That's the worst spot. If stock sized (or two size up) street tires, it's not that bad.

lazytrax
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:21:58 AM
Welcome to the disease... :thumbsup:

There is no turning back now. On your 10 things I learned list: Item 4 is right on the money. I have instructed for several years now and can tell you that most people take an already fast car and make it a whole lot faster without increasing their own personal skill level. I have watched many of them watch their car leave the track on a flat bed. Luckily I have never personally been in a car that ate a wall or worse, but have had many oh sh!t moments in students cars. Learn to drive the car without the DSC, and get the most out of the stock setup before you even think about raising the cars performance level.

Also, since you ran with Speed Ventures I take it you are in Calif. Here is the link to the open track events all over California:

Open Track Calendar (http://track-days.org/page1.html)

One more thing. The BMW CCA runs an excellent school with top notch instruction. I know it is expensive, but in my opinion none of these other groups can match instructor talent available to you via the CCA. As an example my first instructor back in 97 was Steve Dinan, my second event it was Carl McGinn, and my third time out it was Dan Tackett.

Where is the school or where is the training at? i would love to try one of these.

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:22:05 AM
Thanks for info! I am all over that website =) Also, I will definitely consider a CCA driving school. In fact, I think SD chapter is in BW this weekend and they still have room i think! Well on my first event, with no instructions I kept it on to be safe, but definitely want to eventually get to know the car enough to turn it off.

BTW, you have my track dream car, in my dreak color too!! :bow:

fred

Welcome to the disease... :thumbsup:

There is no turning back now. On your 10 things I learned list: Item 4 is right on the money. I have instructed for several years now and can tell you that most people take an already fast car and make it a whole lot faster without increasing their own personal skill level. I have watched many of them watch their car leave the track on a flat bed. Luckily I have never personally been in a car that ate a wall or worse, but have had many oh sh!t moments in students cars. Learn to drive the car without the DSC, and get the most out of the stock setup before you even think about raising the cars performance level.

Also, since you ran with Speed Ventures I take it you are in Calif. Here is the link to the open track events all over California:

Open Track Calendar (http://track-days.org/page1.html)

One more thing. The BMW CCA runs an excellent school with top notch instruction. I know it is expensive, but in my opinion none of these other groups can match instructor talent available to you via the CCA. As an example my first instructor back in 97 was Steve Dinan, my second event it was Carl McGinn, and my third time out it was Dan Tackett.

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:23:51 AM
Where is the school or where is the training at? i would love to try one of these.

Hey bro,

check out http://www.bmwcca.org/services/calfset.shtml the events are there.

San Diego chapter is up this weekend I think.

Ced
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:37:55 PM
Nice. I got started tracking last summer, and can't get enough of it. You will be dying to get back just to improve, and have more fun each time, as you you learn something each time you go out. You can practice what you learn on the streets too, which is very beneficial in your daily driving and spirited street driving. I'm planning to do my 4th event next month. My 3rd event was basically a wet weekend, but I learned so much about control and smoothness, but I had no other choice if I wanted to stay on the track.

Try to get some videos next time you go. It's really awesome to see your own videos and look at ways to improve next time; and hearing your instructor giving you advice is so cool. Somehow, everything becomes engrained in your brain. You can even drive around the track sitting at home with you eyes close. Just having that mental picture in your head will make you even better the next time you go out. Have fun!! :thumbsup:

After 3 months of ownership I decided to take my car to the track. I went to Buttonwillow with Speenventures. I had the most amazing time of my life (gf hates it when i say that) and anyone who has not gone on the track with their M3, MUST do so.

1. M3 are godly on the track.
2. M3 was sooooo happy on the track. Was like letting a race horse loose in a field.
3. M3 is waste of money if you dont track it. Its like buying a race horse and locking it in a stable.
4. Best mod for an M3, is learn how to drive it. (better brakes would also be nice)
5. M3 requires no mods to outrun most cars on the track.
6. 8-9/10 of drivers at this specific event either a) are not great drivers or b) were not pushing hard to test their setup and practice their line. My little M was passing most cars (NSX, Imprezas, Lancers etc 95% of which were modded).
7. SMG is awesome on the track.
8. DSC on was a great idea for my first track event.
9. Tracking is so addictive.
10. There are some DAMN fast civics, and some DAMN good drivers out there (very few though).
11. Wait one more! Supercharged Mini KICKs AS$!

flabmaster
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 04:48:59 PM
Try to get some videos next time you go.
I've been thinking about taping for a while so that I can watch my mistakes and hear some repetition of the instructors voice. Do all HPDE's allow taping or is that something that varies by track and organization/chapter?
-Dave

Ced
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:05:14 PM
I've been thinking about taping for a while so that I can watch my mistakes and hear some repetition of the instructors voice. Do all HPDE's allow taping or is that something that varies by track and organization/chapter?
-Dave

I don't see any problems with recording in any event. Your camera mount must be sturdy and pose no safety hazards while driving.

It's really cool to be able to even review your tapes the afternoon prior to the next days session too.

jtappan
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:47:43 PM
Where is the school or where is the training at? i would love to try one of these.

Just joing the BMW CCA and then depending on where you live you will find the available CCA schools. For more info look here and click on the events button to see all CCA driving events this year:

BMW CCA Website (http://www.bmwcca.org)

jonam
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 05:53:05 PM
I've been thinking about taping for a while so that I can watch my mistakes and hear some repetition of the instructors voice. Do all HPDE's allow taping or is that something that varies by track and organization/chapter?
-Dave
for stock seats, this works great.
http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/speedcom15.htm

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 06:03:10 PM
Nice. I got started tracking last summer, and can't get enough of it. You will be dying to get back just to improve, and have more fun each time, as you you learn something each time you go out. You can practice what you learn on the streets too, which is very beneficial in your daily driving and spirited street driving. I'm planning to do my 4th event next month. My 3rd event was basically a wet weekend, but I learned so much about control and smoothness, but I had no other choice if I wanted to stay on the track.

Try to get some videos next time you go. It's really awesome to see your own videos and look at ways to improve next time; and hearing your instructor giving you advice is so cool. Somehow, everything becomes engrained in your brain. You can even drive around the track sitting at home with you eyes close. Just having that mental picture in your head will make you even better the next time you go out. Have fun!! :thumbsup:


Awesome idea. I wish so bad I could watch it all over again.

This week my goal is to get the following:
1. 18" OEM wheels + tires
2. Compact car jack + stand for the track
3. video camera
4. video cam mount

jtappan
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 06:10:37 PM
BTW, you have my track dream car, in my dreak color too!! :bow:

fred

Thanks for the kind words... I love it too.

As for the DSC... Don't get dependent on it. Learn to live without it. Your right foot should be your traction control system.

:soapbox:
True story... Last season at Thunderhill I was having lunch with a guy that is a friend and has been a student of mine on one occasion. --- I have asked him repeatedly to stop using the DSC at the track. His excuse was he didn't want to hurt is $50k car. Meanwhile he has put on coilovers, Pilot Sport Cups, AP Brakes, Dinan stuff, etc... and he has also gone to about a dozen events in the last year or so. His laptimes have greatly improved, but there are other guys with no mods on street tires who are consistantly faster. --- So back to lunch. Peter Guagenti walks up to the table and says "Hey, would you mind letting me pass you next session out instead of holding me up the whole time. And by the way that traction control system is saving your a$$" My friend is really pissed about this comment and decides to turn it off in the first session out after lunch. He spun the car in turn 13 and just missed hitting the wall on his second lap out. He was scratching his head when he came back to the pits, confused as to how he spun. The bottom line is that he never learned how to "feel" the car because his electronic nanny was always helping him out.

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 07:22:55 PM
Thanks for the kind words... I love it too.

As for the DSC... Don't get dependent on it. Learn to live without it. Your right foot should be your traction control system.

:soapbox:
True story... Last season at Thunderhill I was having lunch with a guy that is a friend and has been a student of mine on one occasion. --- I have asked him repeatedly to stop using the DSC at the track. His excuse was he didn't want to hurt is $50k car. Meanwhile he has put on coilovers, Pilot Sport Cups, AP Brakes, Dinan stuff, etc... and he has also gone to about a dozen events in the last year or so. His laptimes have greatly improved, but there are other guys with no mods on street tires who are consistantly faster. --- So back to lunch. Peter Guagenti walks up to the table and says "Hey, would you mind letting me pass you next session out instead of holding me up the whole time. And by the way that traction control system is saving your a$$" My friend is really pissed about this comment and decides to turn it off in the first session out after lunch. He spun the car in turn 13 and just missed hitting the wall on his second lap out. He was scratching his head when he came back to the pits, confused as to how he spun. The bottom line is that he never learned how to "feel" the car because his electronic nanny was always helping him out.


I agree with you that I should definitely learn to drive the car on track without DSC. I think I may feel more comfortable turning DSC off during my first formal schooling experience, which will probably be my next track session.

My friend who came with me, first time on track, turned DSC off and ended up spinning the car into the mud...

Ced
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 07:28:36 PM
Awesome idea. I wish so bad I could watch it all over again.

This week my goal is to get the following:
1. 18" OEM wheels + tires
2. Compact car jack + stand for the track
3. video camera
4. video cam mount

You the man :D. You will thank yourself for that purchase, each time you watch the video... :thumbsup:

Ced
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 07:33:00 PM
My first track event I left DSC off, and spun once throughout the whole weekend, because I was so inexperienced.. I've used DSC in the other events and it's not intrusive, I've seen it flash a little a couple of times...I assume as you get smoother then DSC doesn't really activate,based on my experience..As you get more aggressive and more experience, then you may want to turn DSC off... DSC is your friend early on...

Blue///M3
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 10:55:58 PM
Hey! The prodigal son returns.
Welcome back Ced.
Back on topic. It is recommended that you keep the DSC active for a few runs until you are comfortable with it (instructors as well, most will want it on to save your butt until they are comfortable with your driving ability). Keep it on in the wet too, It's better to let it save you and lose a few seconds of time than a costly spin into the armco. Seeing as I don't have DSC this is a moot point for me.
The cameras are usually allowed as long as they dont inhibit your view, or not properly attached (ie. bungee corded tripod. Don't laugh either) to where it is a distraction or danger while on the track. Check at tech or registration if you have any questions. As long as it is not dangerous and mounted properly you shouldn't have a problem. I'm hoping by my next event in April or May to have a roll bar, harnesses, and the camera mount on the roll bar. Maybe some more suspension goodies if I behave.

scansp7
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 11:17:24 PM
Awesome idea. I wish so bad I could watch it all over again.

This week my goal is to get the following:
1. 18" OEM wheels + tires
2. Compact car jack + stand for the track
3. video camera
4. video cam mount


is your car completly stock or do you have a modified suspension?

mguy
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 11:34:37 PM
is your car completly stock or do you have a modified suspension?

Completely stock.

mabbadgerbimmer
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 11:54:17 PM
DSC on DSC off. This is an interesting discussion, as well as very debatable. I for one suggest to all my students who have run 1 or 2 track events that they disable DSC. The point of being on the track is to learn how to control vehicle dynamics in highly stressed circumstances (the car not the person). With the DSC on you will never be able to master this skill.

Will ZCPM3
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 12:08:00 AM
DSC on DSC off. This is an interesting discussion, as well as very debatable. I for one suggest to all my students who have run 1 or 2 track events that they disable DSC. The point of being on the track is to learn how to control vehicle dynamics in highly stressed circumstances (the car not the person). With the DSC on you will never be able to master this skill.


my instructor had me use it for one lap and had me turn it off. i think it deff helps you feel the track better when its off

Ced
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 12:08:22 AM
Hey! The prodigal son returns.
Welcome back Ced.
Back on topic. It is recommended that you keep the DSC active for a few runs until you are comfortable with it (instructors as well, most will want it on to save your butt until they are comfortable with your driving ability). Keep it on in the wet too, It's better to let it save you and lose a few seconds of time than a costly spin into the armco. Seeing as I don't have DSC this is a moot point for me.
The cameras are usually allowed as long as they dont inhibit your view, or not properly attached (ie. bungee corded tripod. Don't laugh either) to where it is a distraction or danger while on the track. Check at tech or registration if you have any questions. As long as it is not dangerous and mounted properly you shouldn't have a problem. I'm hoping by my next event in April or May to have a roll bar, harnesses, and the camera mount on the roll bar. Maybe some more suspension goodies if I behave.
Thks. You are getting serious... I'll have to point you by :-) :wave:

NoSoup4U
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 03:12:21 PM
I typically will do the first one or two laps with DSC on. This allows me to warm up the tires and also, to gauge how the track is. I use this as a safety/precautionary measure. I do this for all four sessions typically. After that, I turn it off.

I would really love to see how the new ZCP package with the dual DSC mode works ... that would be a really nice feature I think to have on all ///M's. A street DSC mode and a track DSC mode.

Blue///M3
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 05:17:15 PM
Point me by? :rofl2: I think you got me beat on hp and since I'm still hindered by this automatic tranny I will have a difficult time. It will still be fun. If I get the camera in and we're in the same run group we'll have to do a few runs and tape each other on track. A new perspective. :)

Thks. You are getting serious... I'll have to point you by :-) :wave:

Ced
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 05:21:49 PM
Point me by? :rofl2: I think you got me beat on hp and since I'm still hindered by this automatic tranny I will have a difficult time. It will still be fun. If I get the camera in and we're in the same run group we'll have to do a few runs and tape each other on track. A new perspective. :)

I hope to have so much fun in May with you guys. Yeah, we must tape it. I'm glad it is in May this year instead of 100+ degree in late July, like last year. The Rolex Grand AM should be fun in July though at Barber.

Mendoan
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 05:25:47 PM
Actually, yes.
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=54396
I'm not, nor do I stand to make any money off of that deal - that was just the first thread I found in the "for sale" section that dealt with oem 18 inchers.
-Dave
flab, do you track the car at the glen often ?

flabmaster
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 07:23:48 PM
flab, do you track the car at the glen often ?
No where near as often as I'd like. Only once or twice a year do I go to the Glen. This year I'll probably go to the glen for the BMWCCA school in may and then I might spend the rest of my money autocrossing with the cca at MCC and BIMP. Hopefully I'll be able to get out with a porsche club or some other group, but at this point I'm not sure yet. How often are you out there?
-Dave

mabbadgerbimmer
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 05:57:56 PM
Point me by? :rofl2: I think you got me beat on hp and since I'm still hindered by this automatic tranny I will have a difficult time. It will still be fun. If I get the camera in and we're in the same run group we'll have to do a few runs and tape each other on track. A new perspective. :)

Dinan makes an automatic transmission chip for the E36 M3. The auto tranny with the chip is substantially better on the track.

Super Gyros
Mon, Jan-31-2005, 11:48:25 PM
When I open my garage and dont have to work that much I ll go to every single F1 track in Europe... Been to a couple already! Its awesome!

Blue///M3
Tue, Feb-01-2005, 08:10:49 PM
Yeah I've been looking at the chip for a while but I am also saving up for the tranny swap too since it is starting to act a little funny

Dinan makes an automatic transmission chip for the E36 M3. The auto tranny with the chip is substantially better on the track.