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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Fri, Feb-18-2011, 08:19:29 PM   #11
OneTenOctane
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

I've done a couple of PDA events, though I mostly run in with Porsche Club and BMW CCA in Upstate NY. In short, I think they're a good organization, but maybe not the best for novices.

In my own personal opinion, the PDA guys run a fine event, but they're not quite as well organized or closely/carefully managed as events run by the other clubs I run with. If I were a first timer or novice, I'd probably stick with BMW CCA or Porsche Club until I get more comfortable on the track. I've seen people promoted out of the novice group in PDA (in my opinion) a little early, and likewise, signed off for solo a bit early. I've never seen any problems, but I think sometimes PDA can have a bit of a "sink-or-swim" atmosphere.

As for your owiginal question: Most events I attend have 4 30-minute track sesions intermixed with 4 or 5 30-minute classroom sessions, per day. Run groups are novice, intermediate, intermediate solo (no instructors), advanced (no instructors), and instructors only. Definitely sign up for the second day -- you'd be amazed how much better you'll drive on day 2 and how much more you'll learn! Also, if you can reserve a garage space, I would definitely recommend it.

Have fun!
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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 02:57:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Many, if not all HPDE events require that you take a CCC (car control class) or such as a prerequisite to getting on the track.

The PNW BMW club events typically have 4 run groups, and you can expect 25-30 minutes per session, 4 sessions per day. The 2 lower run groups (called C & D here) always have an instructor in the car. When you are graduated into B group, you have the option for an instructor or not. Our club does not have formal class time between runs, but the instructor usually takes10 minutes or so at the end of each session to recap lessons and add things to think about while you are in between sessions. And, if not mentioned elsewhere, TAKE A LOT OF WATER with you. Performance driving is unbelievably hard and you will dehydrate, even in cool, wet weather.
Strongly recommend installing a video camera in the car and recording your runs, as they are not only a blast to watch over and over, but you can see your areas for improvement and hear your instructors' feedback in a more relaxed setting. On the track it can sometimes be too much to listen and focus well, so replaying the experience is a huge benefit.

As mentioned above, expect to get hooked, the thrill of driving your car at the limits of your ability in a safe and controlled environment cannot be underestimated. Enjoy!
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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 03:06:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

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Many, if not all HPDE events require that you take a CCC (car control class) or such as a prerequisite to getting on the track.
Never even heard of this in all my many years.
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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 04:37:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

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Never even heard of this in all my many years.
Neither have I.

Something else to consider, your insurance will likely not cover any 'incidents' you may have at the track. However, generally you're safer on the track than you are on the public roads on the way there -- so long as your car is mechanically sound, and most importantly that keep yourself under control and listen to your instructor. If it's still a concern there are plenty of track insurance companies that you can get per-event or per-season coverage from for a relatively reasonable price. This really shouldn't be a deterrent to trying it though.

Lots of solid advice in this thread, it should be stickied. HPDEs are incredible fun and I wish more people gave them a try.

edit: I also agree the BMWCCA is going to be the most first-timer friendly organization

Last edited by Cheeze; Sat, Feb-19-2011 at 04:43:20 PM.
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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 05:29:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

The amount of track time may seem small but you will be exhausted after 20', physically and mentally. The time between runs can be helpful as a time to recover as well as to evaluate and correct your performance, etc.

You may or may not be hooked. Most of the folks who hang out in this section, including me, are. But I have seem many newbies decide it's not for them. Life on the edge isn't their style and risking the car and their health doesn't seem worth it. The risk is small and the environment is controlled. But for some its just not their thing.

It can also be shocking to discover how really slow you are as a driver, and equally painful. There you are in your new M3 being hounded by a well-driven stock 325. So check your ego at the gate, plan to be slow, and enjoy how much faster you get, even if you are still just less slow, not really fast.

Some people just don't have track personalities.I recall an event at Mid Ohio where a guy in a Mustang was dangerously slow-all day. On my way home on I-71 he passed me going 90 mph-in his dually, towing his Mustang!
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Old Sat, Feb-19-2011, 07:42:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

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First off you can expect to get hooked!
+1000... Enjoy!
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Old Sun, Feb-20-2011, 01:56:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

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Never even heard of this in all my many years.
I checked the PCA (Porsche Club America) Alfa Romeo Club, and the Corvette club of America, ALL THREE have this requirement prior to participating in a HPDE.

Even if your local club doesn't have this requirement, if offered, it is an excellent introduction to driving your car at the edge of the performance envelope prior to getting on the track. Both my wife and son took it (in the M3) just to learn advanced car control technique. Very helpful both as performance driving training and everyday accident avoidance technique.
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Old Sun, Feb-20-2011, 05:26:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Just wanted to say, in all sincerity, that it's really cool that even though many people ask the same question in the OP, that all the track guys chime in with good input and enthusiasm instead of saying things like "search noob" or worse. A big thumbs up to the track community and support of the newer track guys
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Old Mon, Feb-21-2011, 01:57:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Glad I stopped in here, I am also a noob to the track and after talking to some people from a local BMWCCA I am going to try some HPDE events in the spring. Not sure if I will like it but id like to learn how to actually control the m3.
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Old Fri, Feb-25-2011, 12:33:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJMM3 View Post
The amount of track time may seem small but you will be exhausted after 20', physically and mentally. The time between runs can be helpful as a time to recover as well as to evaluate and correct your performance, etc.

You may or may not be hooked. Most of the folks who hang out in this section, including me, are. But I have seem many newbies decide it's not for them. Life on the edge isn't their style and risking the car and their health doesn't seem worth it. The risk is small and the environment is controlled. But for some its just not their thing.

It can also be shocking to discover how really slow you are as a driver, and equally painful. There you are in your new M3 being hounded by a well-driven stock 325. So check your ego at the gate, plan to be slow, and enjoy how much faster you get, even if you are still just less slow, not really fast.

Some people just don't have track personalities.I recall an event at Mid Ohio where a guy in a Mustang was dangerously slow-all day. On my way home on I-71 he passed me going 90 mph-in his dually, towing his Mustang!
Everyone advice is appreciated but this bit of advice is invaluable. As a newbie to the track, this couldn't be more true! I'm totally hooked. Attending my fourth track day this weekend and can't wait!
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Discussing What can I expect at an HPDE? in the M3 Track: Racing and DE Forum - Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)