I'm probably going to get FLAMED for this...but nevertheless, I will go ahead and
say what I think :
Manual Transmissions will be a thing of the past - as technology progresses, and
we have sophisticated gearboxes the typical foot clutch manuals will go away
from high performance cars. Just look at the pricing on some Ferraris and even
the BMW M3 with manual tranny compared to DCT tranny. The times for shifting
will make people that cling onto manual tranny think again.
That aside, you should either goto BMWCCA and drive your own car OR you can
goto the BMW M School/Advanced M School and drive their cars. Either way you
will learn a lot. You don't require track experience for either. I did not have
any track experience before going to the M schools.
Good luck and drive in good health.
PS: I would highly recommend you buy the Skip Barber Racing book. It is fantastic!