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      08-20-2009, 09:16 AM   #49
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Drives: E30 M3; Expedition
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA

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Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
There's nothing wrong with learning with your street M3 as long as you don't act ignorant and take the time to listen to your instructor.
I agree with what you are saying above about learning in your street car, but the problem is when people are just beginning to learn, they are, by definition, ignorant. At that point, you don't really know where the limit is, how its approached, and what happens if you go over it under different circumstances. Yes, your instructor will try to slow you down to introduce all that in a safe manner, so if you just listen to him/her, the chances of you putting it into the wall without traction control will be decreased early on, but realistically speaking, how many beginners actually are in a position to "get" that during their initial track days? I will confess that I didn't when I started. It's not as if I was mashing the throttle coming out of every turn or yanking on the wheel or anything, but I still didn't get the nuances of what they were trying to say--in retrospect, I was driving faster than I should have--and I am glad that MDM was available to me at that time, especially in an expensive high powered car. An intermediate driver should get it, and behave and make choices accordingly, and this should be a non-issue for an advanced driver.

I was actually advocating getting a fully caged race car for drivers who are in the process of picking up and practicing advanced skills--mainly for safety reasons. Obviously, you should still be mindful of the amount of risk you are taking, but, by definition, there is more risk/experimentation involved in practicing some of the advanced skills and driving faster. Your "limit" should be going up as you learn and you should obviously never intentionally exceed it (not to mention the car's limit), but you should drive somewhat close to it or you will not learn how to go faster--if that is your goal. And, sometimes that is what happens for you to really understand where it is (otherwise, there would never be any accidents, incidents, spins, run offs, etc. on the track in advanced groups--excluding pure stupidity).

However, you, as a long time instructor, have a much deeper understanding of how students behave in general, so I'd defer to your opinion if you disagree about that part of what I said. Cheers.