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      09-01-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
patbrass
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Track day coming - advice?

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My first ever track day is coming this Friday. I'll use my 700-miles M235i (by the way, I don't care too much in break-ins and my car has seen more 7,000 rpms that I could count).

6MT, Michelin PSS should be fun. It's a full day with theory in the morning and afternoon lapping with an instructor.

Any advice for a track newbie besides not crashing it in a wall?
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      09-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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There is another post on this 2-series forum with the same subject - w/excellent info, worth a look

If it's your first time concebtrate on being smooth, which doesn't mean slow.
Learn to heal & toe and whether to double - clutch.
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      09-01-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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Which track day/club are you doing? I'll be at The Ridge in Shelton with the PCA on Friday.

I'd drive with Traction control off, Stability control on. The instructor will give you everything you need to know.

I don't know if the M235i is better suited for the track than other N54/N55 cars. They tended to have cooling issues that would put them in limp mode at some point in the day. The cars would be fine afterwards, just not particularly well suited to being pushed hard on the track. Maybe not a problem for how hard you'll push the car on your first track day.

As for other thoughts...smooth driving inputs, as in smooth steering, braking, and throttle inputs. And vision is paramount. Look as far ahead as you can so that you're prepared for whats coming versus reacting to things that you're right on top of. Of course your eyes will always be moving...not focused solely on far ahead and not your immediate surroundings.

Have the right attitude. Be there to learn, have fun, and push hard. Don't feel like you have something to prove to anyone else.

Have fun.
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      09-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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Much like going to the Ring - do not worry about a particular time but focus on the drive and employment smoothly of the machine and systems. Above all- grow in skill while having fun!
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      09-01-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSTR View Post
Much like going to the Ring - do not worry about a particular time but focus on the drive and employment smoothly of the machine and systems. Above all- grow in skill while having fun!
Smooth is good advice. I used to race a bit and an old-time racer told me something that I never forgot.

"Coasting is your friend."

Braking and acceleration introduce slippage to any situation, but when you are coasting, you have the maximum amount of tire grip and chassis balance.

As such, if you get your braking correct early into a turn, you should have plenty of speed and be able to coast as you crank through the tightest part of the apex just using the wheel for control. Just coasting. If you do it right, you will feel your chassis "hook up" into a groove like you're on rails. Then wait patiently to smoothly accelerate out again. Early braking, late acceleration and picking the smoothest line are the key.

Congrats, you are going to have a blast!
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      09-01-2014, 05:39 PM   #6
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I did one track event fully stock recently. Tires held up pretty well. If you push it hard they will look like crap by the end of your sessions but will eventually wear back nicely. Brakes started to fade after a few laps but were never too bad where I wasn't going to be able to stop. The car never went into limp mode and ran just fine even though I pushed it hard.
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      09-01-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeomatic View Post
Smooth is good advice. I used to race a bit and an old-time racer told me something that I never forgot.

"Coasting is your friend."

Braking and acceleration introduce slippage to any situation, but when you are coasting, you have the maximum amount of tire grip and chassis balance.

As such, if you get your braking correct early into a turn, you should have plenty of speed and be able to coast as you crank through the tightest part of the apex just using the wheel for control. Just coasting. If you do it right, you will feel your chassis "hook up" into a groove like you're on rails. Then wait patiently to smoothly accelerate out again. Early braking, late acceleration and picking the smoothest line are the key.

Congrats, you are going to have a blast!
I'm going to disagree with the coasting part. On straights you should always be applying as much throttle as possible. Brake hard as late as you can to have the car settled before turning into the apex. Then you should be on what's called maintenance throttle through the turn. Enough throttle to keep your speed up and moving through the turn. Apply more throttle as early as you can coming out of the apex. Meaning...as you are unwinding steering out of the turn you can be applying throttle in proportion to your straightening the wheel.

I'm not saying you're wrong Blade, just based on my very limited track experience (4 track days total so far, but many more to come), and reading, as well as paying for a professional race car driver instructor for an entire day, coasting is not something i've been informed is desirable.

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I did one track event fully stock recently. Tires held up pretty well. If you push it hard they will look like crap by the end of your sessions but will eventually wear back nicely. Brakes started to fade after a few laps but were never too bad where I wasn't going to be able to stop. The car never went into limp mode and ran just fine even though I pushed it hard.
This is about what i'd expect from the M235i. Good to hear there was no limp mode.
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      09-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #8
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first off, listen to your instructor and follow his directions, he will keep you safe and you will have a great time. Its not racing. For your first time ever, I'm pretty sure you won't bring the car near its limits. I instruct with NASA and first timers always think they drive much harder than they actually do.

Point by faster traffic, which there will be plenty of. Point bys aren't optional, they are an obligation. Don't worry if you are giving lots of point bys and aren't the fastest. Once you get hooked, and have more experience, you'll be the one passing everyone.
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      09-01-2014, 10:20 PM   #9
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What event are you going to?

Let me know how much tire left you have at the end :-)

Might go to the BMWCCA HPDS at the ridge sep 13th
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      09-01-2014, 10:55 PM   #10
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Since there are some local folks on here, it would be very cool to try and get a few people together for a track day. Wouldn't be a bunch of guys in M235s , but Bimmer enthusiasts. I'll be in my S2000, as my 5 year old 335 is my reliable daily driver, and unmodified the 335 is not well suited to the track.

Check out the link below. It's a charity event (for kids with cancer) at The Ridge in early October. The event should be pretty great.

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events...8#.VAU-CEtgZfM
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      09-01-2014, 11:01 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the great info! The event I'm going to is the following - http://proformanceracingschool.com/o...mance-driving/ - at the Pacific Raceways. Upon completion, I'll have the right to do lapping without instructors. I'm a bit nervous but can't wait I have my new GoPro hero3+ all set up and will share my video if you guys care.
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      09-01-2014, 11:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremicium View Post
Since there are some local folks on here, it would be very cool to try and get a few people together for a track day. Wouldn't be a bunch of guys in M235s , but Bimmer enthusiasts. I'll be in my S2000, as my 5 year old 335 is my reliable daily driver, and unmodified the 335 is not well suited to the track.

Check out the link below. It's a charity event (for kids with cancer) at The Ridge in early October. The event should be pretty great.

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events...8#.VAU-CEtgZfM
I heard The Ridge is much better than Pacific Raceways so yeah, I'd love to meet some of you on Oct 9 there!
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      09-01-2014, 11:25 PM   #13
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I heard The Ridge is much better than Pacific Raceways so yeah, I'd love to meet some of you on Oct 9 there!
Ya I rode as passenger on the ridge and it's really nice and the pavement is quite new so is really smooth...

There is a free BMW CCA tour the same day of the HPDS on the 13th so the tour ends at the track and they allow people to do some parade laps on the track and ride with instructors on their cars...

http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/events/...he-ridge-tour/

totally worth it...
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      09-01-2014, 11:40 PM   #14
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I heard The Ridge is much better than Pacific Raceways so yeah, I'd love to meet some of you on Oct 9 there!
The pavement is definitely better at The Ridge, and the elevation changes are also pretty awesome. For me it's mostly that I live in Olympia and The Ridge is 30 minutes from my house.

As for the Turn2 event on the 13th. Price is right ($295), and it's for a good cause. I'll probably register for it in mid september after i've completed the PCA hpde on the 5th. Hope to see a few of you out there.

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Originally Posted by pikcachu View Post
Ya I rode as passenger on the ridge and it's really nice and the pavement is quite new so is really smooth...

There is a free BMW CCA tour the same day of the HPDS on the 13th so the tour ends at the track and they allow people to do some parade laps on the track and ride with instructors on their cars...

http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/events/...he-ridge-tour/

totally worth it...
I'll try and make the tour on the 13th. Got a concert at Whiteriver on the 12th, if I can get myself up in time i'll be there. Did that drive with the CCA a few years ago. The caravan got split and half of us had to blaze our own path.

As i'm seriously considering an M235i I wouldn't mind spending a little more time around a few of them.
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      09-02-2014, 01:22 PM   #15
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Listen to your instructor and not people on a message board. Don't crowd your mind with things like heel/toe and smoothness. Listen in the classroom and listen to your instructor. After you have a few track days under your belt, then start to try new stuff.

Your car will not overheat. Your brakes will not overheat. Your tires will not wear out. Don't worry about your car, it will be fine.
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      09-02-2014, 02:22 PM   #16
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Don't crash.
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      09-02-2014, 10:53 PM   #17
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Don't crash.
That reminds me the conversation I had with my wife:

wife: you're fully insured for this, right?
me: to go to the track, yes. to return from the track, yes. on the track, not sure
wife: you're crazy to take your brand new 50k car on the track without being insured
me: are you not more concerned about my safety or just the car?
wife: (crickets)
me: it will be a blast, don't worry. I'm not planning at crashing. You know my skills, right?
wife: whatever
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      09-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #18
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first answer should have been "I'm sure I'm not"

regardless the rigdge feels to me like a safer track than pacific where trees seem to jump on the track from nowhere
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      09-08-2014, 02:50 PM   #19
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so how was it ?
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      09-08-2014, 10:31 PM   #20
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so how was it ?
It was AWESOME! I pushed it relatively hard and the car performed like a champ. I got tons of comments from the instructors and other students on how amazing my car sounded (yup, I have the MPE). Break fade wasn't an issue but sessions were capped at 20 minutes. Kept the car in Sport mode. I think next time I'll try sport+ for a few laps just to see the difference. Tires are a bit messed up though - that worries me since I wanted to track every few months and I'm not clear on how many sessions it would take to completely trash them.

Had battery issues with my GoPro but I still managed to take a few videos. I'll find a way to share them but they're huge...
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      09-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #21
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nice... what do you mean with tires messed up, any pics ?
heading there on saturday

Did you use the laptimer?

Last edited by pikcachu; 09-09-2014 at 12:49 AM.
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      09-13-2014, 09:41 PM   #22
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wow.... what a trip at the ridge....
car did awesome...

best time was 2:10
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