Originally Posted by JWE90
I had the same issue recently at Thunderhill. I could not get my track time under 2:20 in the stock E90 M3. The car should be capable of sub-2 minute lap times.
I am thinking I should disable traction control (no "M" button on mine -- just DSC on/off). Anyone have thoughts on this? I have 5 track days total, 3 at Thunderhill and 2 at Laguna Seca, all with traction control on.
My biggest specific complaint is on turns 11-12-13, specifically turn 12, when you drive over the rough, corrugated pavement on the right side of the track to straighten out those turns, the traction control essentially prevents any acceleration until you are on the smooth part of the track approaching turn 13 and the back straightaway. I think that alone is costing me a couple of seconds at least.
Sub 2 seconds doesn't sound realistic to me stock, but it's really hard to say without someone like Randy Pobst setting the pace in a stock car.
Everyone has their own opinion on driving with DSC off, but I'd say if you are going to try it, Thunderhill is the place to do it and definitely slow your pace down a lot and work your way up slowly.
The big issue with turning DSC off for the first timers is not knowing what to do when the car does start to oversteer. Everyone thinks they know, but from what I've seen, most have something wrong (including me until I got help). And if you start driving with DSC off, it's going to happen eventually.
I was lucky enough to take the Skip Barber Advanced Car Control class right about when I started turning DSC off at the track and I'm very thankful that I did. I would have ended up spinning and possibly crashing my car multiple times by now if I hadn't taken that class. It's basically a half a day of "drifting" in a sense as you are practicing trail braking and throttle lift oversteer, but they encourage you to go sideways so you can work on your car control. You gain a lot of knowledge, skill, and confidence in controlling a car that's potentially on it's way out of control.