Originally Posted by MaxL
I agree to some extent, but there is also the real-life factor. What I mean by this is that 1) some cars are easier to drive than others; 2) in some cars you need to memorize exactly what you need to do in each moment to make the car fast - you cannot just feel traction but need to figure out the optimal level by many trial-and-error attempts and then just repeat it perfectly for a fast lap.
The advantage of M3 is that it is pretty good on both ease of driving and communication dimensions, so you can get close to full potential of the car in few sessions. In Corvette, for example, same driver would need much more practice time to be fast, but would be faster in the end. For amateurs who are limited to <20 days a year, the car that's the easiest to drive and communicates the best would consistently be faster in real life.
Another thing is that we never drive one lap. With closely-matched cars, it takes 5 or more laps to pass someone. And in those conditions consistency matters as much as one-lap speed. Whichever car provokes fewer mistakes and whichever stays more consistent over time in terms of engine power, brake feel, tire temperature etc. wins. Case in point - my fastest laps with stock brakes and Alcons are the same, but with stock brakes average lap times were noticeably worse, and I could not push for more than 15 mins without cooldown. So obviously the car with Alcon BBK would be faster in real life, but the best lap time would not tell that story.
Just to provide background - I am not M3 fanboy or have any attachment to it. I like the car, but I only got it because of the rear seats, and now I am bored with it a bit and considering either building a track car or putting a deposing on the next GT3.
All very good points.
Confidence is a huge factor for an amateur like me. After dropping 230 lbs worth of instructor during day 2, my laps were not necessarily any faster due to the weight loss. Being alone in the car on track with traffic and a huge disparity of speeds, definitely made me be a little more cautious. A communicative and forgiving car like the M3 is golden for someone like me.
But by all accounts, the Boss seems to be a good drivers car. I too would like to sample one on track, or on my secret test facility in Mexico.