Next up we took out the M3 coupes. I got in a nice space gray coupe and we took off for a little heel-toe downshifting work. I was nervous for my wife for this part because her manual transmission skills aren't that great. She did great. This was only her second time driving a manual car. She did wonderful considering she was in a high pressure environment. We took several runs at the same curve as in the first exercise. We took off at the turn at full speed in second, shifted to third and had to heel-toe down to second as we approached the turn. I had a little trouble with this at first. My foot wanted to get stuck to the brake pedal and I couldn't get the timing right to get my heel over to the throttle for the blip for the downshift. Towards the end of the exercise I got it better but not perfect. It is easy to heel-toe when you are sitting in neutral, but not so easy when you are barreling down towards a hard left doing 80+.
Next up was the skidpad in the M5's. The skidpad is basically a large circle of polished concrete that is wet down with sprinklers. My wife and I got in the same car with Paul , the instructor. My wife went first around and around the skidpad. We practiced understeer and oversteer and steering out of an oversteer skid. We spun that car more times than we could count. I feel sorry for that SMG gearbox because it went backwards in first gear SO many times. I did better than her but when you romp down on 500hp going in a wet circle to induce a skid, you can only turn the wheel so fast.
We headed in for a nice lunch and a few minutes of classroom and the instructors gave us keys to start the in-car video and audio systems. The rest of the day would be recorded by a camera in the car, on the front of the car and audio in the cabin. We will be receiving DVD's in the next few weeks.
We went up to the small oval, in the M6's for a little chase race. We chased each other around a small oval, on a wet track with stability control off. If you spun out you lost. We did a couple of laps, two cars at a time, one car each starting out on each side of the oval. Whoever passed their starting cone first after 3 or so laps was the winner and went on to the second round. I actually was declared the winner in this race. I got to do some victory donuts as my prize. Nothing like doing donuts in someone else's $100k car.