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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 Tue, Feb-08-2011, 04:13:33 PM   #1
Muray
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Default What can I expect at an HPDE?

I am thinking of attending a DE held by BMW CCA. I am a noob and have never been to any kind of DE or autocross events so I am looking forward to it. So after all the safety inspection is done, how much track time can I expect for a day? Is it half lecture, half track time kind of situation? Is a driving instructor riding with me 100% of the time since I will be brand-new to HPDE? Also, for bang for buck, is a two day event better than a one day event? Thanks.
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Old Tue, Feb-08-2011, 05:30:32 PM   #2
BlazenXLT
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

A BMW CCA event is a great place to start. You'll absolutely have an instructor with you 100% of the time. I suppose each chapter is a little different, but the last event I did with CCA was 3 x 30 minute sessions and 1 classroom session of about 45 min for each day.

Just remember to start slow. Your first session will just be about getting comfortable with the track, flag stands, pit in/out and so on... Listen to your instructor and get a ride along with them if possible. You'll learn a ton.

Money wise, I think 2 days is always a better deal than just one. Also remember to bring extra clothes, food, drinks and basic tools. My theory is if I can fit it in my car, I take it with me.
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Old Tue, Feb-08-2011, 05:47:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

If you've never been on track before. You should expect an instructor in the car with you for most if not all of the day. Which is a good thing. You can learn a lot from instructors. Especially if they have intimate knowledge of the track your on. I have been to a couple of BMW CCA events in the past and found them to be somewhat subdued compared to independent HPDE companies out there who let you get a little more aggressive depending on your driving ability. Yet, BMW CCA events are a great way to find your threshold for pushing a car harder than you ever could on the street.

I haven't been to a BMWCCA event in years so I don't know how they do things now. But most HPDE's are broken down into 4-5 run groups. Novice, Inter 1, Inter 2, Advanced, and sometimes Instructors will go out with their own cars. Some instructors will allow you to ride along with them. Which I highly recommend. You get to see what the right lines are on the track from a different perspective. And, it really helps you when you get back into the drivers seat. Most of the time companies will make it mandatory for novice and Inter 1 drivers to go into "Chalk Talks" when they aren't on the track. Some of the info can be very useful, some can be common sense. Track etiquette is the most important thing to learn. It saves you embarrassing your self or pissing another driver off on track.

Last edited by MMC2488; Tue, Feb-08-2011 at 07:37:56 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Tue, Feb-08-2011, 07:15:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

I think where you are located and what track your are going to will determine a lot of what you can expect.

Our chapter does (4) 20 minute sessions each day with a 20 minute classroom session before each track session. We only offer 2 day HPDE's for run group 1-3 students and the optional Friday session for advanced drivers and instructors.

For a rungroup 1-2 person, an instructor will be in the car at all times. Level 3's it's up to the instructor when they feel it is safe for the driver to be signed off, at that point the driver can go on track alone. Level 4 needs no instructor but most be aproved by the DE commitee.

This is how our chapter does it.
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Old Tue, Feb-08-2011, 10:55:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

First off you can expect to get hooked!

Usually depending on the region you will have at least three run groups plus instructors. If there is a race that weekend, they get a share of the time too.

Our chapter goes with at least A,B,C groups and depending on track size and attendance, a D run group as well. C & D are beginners and can have a wide range of speed between drivers. When your not on track you are either in classroom, or prepping to go out. As other have said the most important things to pick up quick is track etiquette. It's simple. If another guy is faster, point him by as soon as safely possible, then follow them and learn why their faster.

For instance, A group is on track, B group is suiting up, C group is in class. These groups are then shuffled BCA, CAB, etc. Expect between 20-30min track sessions and the same in the classroom. The day will go buy quickly, so pay attention to the schedule they give you when you arrive.

The car has to be clean teched, meaning EVERYTHING is out of the car. Floormats, tissue boxes, EVERYTHING. It is for your safety and save yourself some time by just getting everything out before you get teched.

Don't worry about what run group they put you in, everybody starts somewhere. Just be courteous to others and enjoy yourself. After you do one, you WILL be back.

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Old Wed, Feb-09-2011, 01:10:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Great times being in harmony with your machine. Meeting new and interesting people, making new friends. Learning things you didn't know before attending the event. After, the best sleep you ever experienced.
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Old Wed, Feb-09-2011, 02:14:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grmnrkt View Post
First off you can expect to get hooked!
this.

2 day events are always the best bang for the buck. Especially your first time out you'll need a whole day to shake the nerves, get acclimated with all of the information you're about to take in. When you're done for the day you'll be drained and you will recycle everything your instructor told you as you're trying to go to sleep. By the next day you'll be a whole new driver.

Look at an instructor as a coach, I frequently still request available instructors to go out for a session so I can get pointers. Just regard everything they say as the law.

In the mean time study the flags so you have an idea of what is being communicated to you, even though they will go over it in a classroom environment you'll have so much information lodged down your throat on day one that you will probably hit mental saturation and in regards to safety knowing your flags is the best thing you can do.
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Old Wed, Feb-09-2011, 02:24:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Don't try to do too much too fast, listen to your instructor and get ready to have the time of your life.

Welcome to the track addiction
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Old Wed, Feb-09-2011, 02:41:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

This is long, but here is something to read:

http://www.rmcbmwcca.org/legacy/Driv...al%2003-07.pdf


Most importantly: remember to have fun.
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Old Wed, Feb-09-2011, 05:46:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: What can I expect at an HPDE?

Thanks for all your input. Very informative. I am making list of HPDE's I can attend this year. One quick question, do you guys know something about PDA Driving School? I can across their site when I searching for HPDE's.

http://www.pdadrivingschool.com
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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)