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      03-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #67
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Another point to consider is what the MDM is doing with your brakes during a track run.

At Lightning this pass year, I was running with another M3 at the same speed for the last 5 + minutes on the track before we both came in. His brakes were steaming hot and mine were fine. He said he was running with MDM on and every tight turn, he could see the little light flashing a bit. I was running DSC off and if a little slippage occurred in some turns, that was what I was used to ( natural reactions being built up).

The point is that you are going to work your brakes more with MDM on than with them off, even if "you" don't touch your brakes.
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      03-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #68
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The point is that you are going to work your brakes more with MDM on than with them off, even if "you" don't touch your brakes.
Good point. And you're also going to work your tires more with MDM on. I tried the M3 traction control for the first time this past weekend, and I hated it because the tires seemed to be scrubbing everywhere as MDM kicked in. I could feel the rubber and money going bye-bye. And in the end I was .3s slower with MDM on.
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      03-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #69
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Bottomline: laptime is the only standard I believe someone should judge how good they are. If you can lap button CW13 under 2 minutes in an M3 you're a great driver, no matter whether your DSC is on or off.


Senna is spinning in his grave...and not because he forgot to turn traction control on.

The truth is you'll never earn a race license from a reputable sanctioning body if you don't learn how to drive without traction control. And the only folks who may consider you a great driver are other drivers who always drive with traction control on.

Car control has always been a big part of being a great driver and most would say the very biggest, and it'll be a very sad day if that ever changes.

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      03-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #70
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Senna is spinning in his grave...and not because he forgot to turn traction control on.
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      03-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #71
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Mdm

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Originally Posted by yyoo View Post


Senna is spinning in his grave...and not because he forgot to turn traction control on.

The truth is you'll never earn a race license from a reputable sanctioning body if you don't learn how to drive without traction control. And the only folks who may consider you a great driver are other drivers who always drive with traction control on.

Car control has always been a big part of being a great driver and most would say the very biggest, and it'll be a very sad day if that ever changes.
You guys are all making good points, and like I said, eventually, and who knows maybe it will be next time (although i'll be more concerned next time with setting up my new coilovers) I'll start driving with the DSC off. But I think you're overestimating the part MDM does for you when you're posting good lap times. To show great speed you still need car control, still need to know the line, proper breaking points and list goes on. Everyone knows that turning DSC off will make you somwhat faster, but I dont think it will all that much..
Just saying, you guys are going into extremes by bringing up Senna into this discussion.

I'll report back for sure on how it goes for me
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      03-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #72
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To me it's not a matter of mdm slowing you down, but but rather each time you're at the track you're training your brain with dsc in play. It covers a lot of very bad habits - mistakes where without dsc you would simply spin. This gets magnified even more when you approach the limits of the car.

If you're having fun and don't want to risk trashing your nice toy, by all means leave it on.

But if you're possibly pursuing a racing career then you should never have dsc on.

This is coming from a guy who leaves mdm on at the track
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      03-15-2012, 10:41 PM   #73
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As for gizmos allowing me to go faster, I'll agree. But, again, w/ modern cars like M3, the entire car is a "gizmo." You think people who get 1:55 at Buttonwillow CW13 can do the same with a (for example) '68 Mercury Cougar? Look how much gizmos there are in these modern sports GT cars.
I think all of us respect guys who can drive slow or difficult cars fast. On the other hand, most of us don't have much appreciation for the noob who brings a high-powered car to the track and is faster than most but 15 seconds slower than he should be. Because it's his car and not his skill that is producing the lap times. Similarly, traction control makes it less about the skill and more about the car.

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Do people with "good" driving habits get a prize and a pat on the back? And, how "really good" are the driving habits of HPDE DSC-off M3 drivers in general? As a direct result of going DSC off, and honing their skills, are they now ready to compete in SCCA or DTM series? Hmmm?
Turning DSC off won't make you a professional racer or driver, but you'll never reach that level without learning to drive fast without DSC off.

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Sure, given time, one can improve driving skills so that you can be very fast without needing additional/better equipments. But, how long does that take? Remember, we're only occasional/weekend hobbyists. We can't be dedicating 60 hours a week on this.
I don't think most of us have deadlines. I think most of us want to be doing this for many years. I don't think anyone here is rushing to reach a particular lap time so that he can finally say, "Wonderful! Now I can quit the hobby." The journey is the reward. And the journey to becoming a good driver is a very rewarding one.

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      03-15-2012, 10:59 PM   #74
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Everyone knows that turning DSC off will make you somwhat faster, but I dont think it will all that much..
Just saying, you guys are going into extremes by bringing up Senna into this discussion.
The more skilled you are the more the DSC interferes with fast lap times I think. I can't imagine, for example, wwjd15 being nearly as fast as he is with MDM given his traction-defying, gas as early and as hard as possible driving style.

Yeah, the Senna reference was a bit over the top. But I had to do it...if only for the spin joke.
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      03-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #75
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The journey is the reward. And the journey to becoming a good driver is a very rewarding one.
+1

I could not have said it any better
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      03-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yyoo View Post
I think all of us respect guys who can drive slow or difficult cars fast. On the other hand, most of us don't have much appreciation for the noob who brings a high-powered car to the track and is faster than most but 15 seconds slower than he should be. Because it's his car and not his skill that is producing the lap times. Similarly, traction control makes it less about the skill and more about the car.
Yeah, it appears that a large part of insisting DSC off seems to be driven by "respect from peers." I don't need it. I'll go DSC off when I want to.


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Turning DSC off won't make you a professional racer or driver, but you'll never reach that level without learning to drive fast without DSC off.
And, what if I don't reach that level as a weekend hobbyist? So...?


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I don't think most of us have deadlines. I think most of us want to be doing this for many years. I don't think anyone here is rushing to reach a particular lap time so that he can finally say, "Wonderful! Now I can quit the hobby." The journey is the reward. And the journey to becoming a good driver is a very rewarding one.
Well, you're obviously more patient than I am. And, have a different goal.

Anyhow, after having driven thru high speed sweeping turns like Buttonwillow's Riverside and turns 2, 8 & 9 at Big Willow at certain exhilirating speeds in MDM, try doing that with DSC off (and no wing) & keep pushing it and see what this "rewarding journey" will get you and the car...

In case I haven't made it clear so far, it's a compromise. At this point in my tracking endeavor and car setup, I'll take MDM and deal with slow/tight turns and take being more aggressive over high speed sections.
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      03-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #77
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Well, you're obviously more patient than I am. And, have a different goal.
I see your point of view. Mine was exactly the same when I started tracking. The fun was all about lap times and being faster than the next guy.

If you stick around long enough though, I do beleive your goal WILL change .

Have fun, and mostly be safe so you do stick around long enough .

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      03-16-2012, 12:36 AM   #78
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Yeah, it appears that a large part of insisting DSC off seems to be driven by "respect from peers." I don't need it. I'll go DSC off when I want to.
I turned it off from day one so I could learn car control at high speeds. I think most people turn it off for the same reason. Doing it just to get respect is absolutely the wrong reason.

Back when I started in the hobby, the idea of having it off was not a big deal. There was no special respect attached to having it off nor any great fear of turning it off. Today, though, having it on seems to be the new normal.

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And, what if I don't reach that level as a weekend hobbyist? So...?
It's fun trying. And though I'll never be a professional, I might well return to amateur racing some day. But that's not for everyone.

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Anyhow, after having driven thru high speed sweeping turns like Buttonwillow's Riverside and turns 2, 8 & 9 at Big Willow at certain exhilirating speeds in MDM, try doing that with DSC off (and no wing) & keep pushing it and see what this "rewarding journey" will get you and the car...
Funny that you mention this. I told someone that one of the reasons I returned to the track after a 6-year hiatus is to learn how to consistently 'catch' the car at 120+ mph in T8/9 at Big Willow. This doesn't mean I want to get loose at 120 mph...but it means that, if it were to happen, I hope to have both the confidence and the ability to pull it off.

Speed is risky. Driving at the limit is risky. I choose to mitigate the risks with track insurance and by improving my skills as a driver. Others choose to mitigate with traction control.

Different strokes for different folks.

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      03-16-2012, 01:22 AM   #79
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Yeah, it appears that a large part of insisting DSC off seems to be driven by "respect from peers." I don't need it. I'll go DSC off when I want to.
Not asking you to do anything you don't want to do. And the last thing I want to hear is that someone wrecked his car because I convinced them to turn off traction control. So...if you turn off DSC...it's not my fault.

As for the "respect" thing... I brought that up because you're intent on lowering your lap times, and I assumed that meant beating your peers if not gaining their respect. Bad assumption?

At any rate, most track drivers are very competitive and I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to be faster and admired for being faster.
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      03-16-2012, 08:11 AM   #80
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My comment about over driving if MDM interferes has to do with over driving on the street. Which, let's face it, is what most people do with these cars...street driving "hard".

BMWCCA teaches its instructors to be 100% indifferent as to what traction control a student should use. There's (perceived) liability in suggesting either one. It's totally a driver's choice.

There are two times when traction control are good as far as I'm concerned...when someone is just starting out and doesn't have car control skills and is generally overwhelmed with track driving. The second is when you are more advanced, you turn it on to see if you can drive the track without it interfering. Kind of like an instructor being with you to say dial it back a hair. Drive as fast as possible without it kicking in.

My last point is this. In my head...we all go to the track to become better driver's, learn new skills, and generally just have a good time. As you learn to become a better driver, you should also be learning the ability to jump into any car (or kart or whatever) and drive it fast. You learn to drive fast because of the mechanical abilities of the car...not because the car can save you. How would you ever begin to understand tire pressure, chassis dynamics, or finding grip if you have this third party between you and the road?

The M3 is a challenge of a car to learn on because it's fast and capable. Your mistakes happen at a much higher rate of speed and there's less room for recovery. Having traction control on is great but should really be reserved for the street. IMHO.
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      03-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #81
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The big problem with this discusion is not whether MDM should be on or off is the fact that proper car control skills need to be taught before a student ever gets on the track!If a driver is skilled in proper car control this discusion would never be happening as there would zero aprehension about switching it off.Is it not the goal of trackdays not to improve ones driving skill and then to improve lap times as the skills are polished?Using driver aids just impedes this process and does not help the driver out at all.
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      03-17-2012, 03:42 AM   #82
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Quote:
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I see your point of view. Mine was exactly the same when I started tracking. The fun was all about lap times and being faster than the next guy.

If you stick around long enough though, I do beleive your goal WILL change .

Have fun, and mostly be safe so you do stick around long enough .
Yeah, by my second or third year of tracking, my viewpoint and willingness to go DSC off exclusively very well may change.


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The big problem with this discusion is not whether MDM should be on or off is the fact that proper car control skills need to be taught before a student ever gets on the track!If a driver is skilled in proper car control this discusion would never be happening as there would zero aprehension about switching it off.Is it not the goal of trackdays not to improve ones driving skill and then to improve lap times as the skills are polished?Using driver aids just impedes this process and does not help the driver out at all.
Yeah, agree.

On my very first track day (Streets of Willow), I paid extra for an instructor. Long story short, all this guy (who was purportedly a part-time instructor at Skip Barber school) did was to go for a joy ride of sorts in my car, storming around a track that he was obviously familiar with but, just as obviously, I was not. The apprehension I felt as he was flying down the back straightaway ('twas CW configuration that day) and approaching a blind off-camber corner (it dips down and to the right) was not educational at all. I recall just holding on & murmuring "holy sh*t... I ain't learning crap with this guy."

Then, a couple months later, I sign up for "Performance Driving Clinic" at Buttonwillow, at which we were supposed to get some skidpad time. But, when we got to the track, we see a bunch of trailers unloading go-karts at the area where the car control clinic was supposed to be held at. Ok, so no skidpad time today then, whatever. May be instructor-ridealong would be useful, I thought. Well, this dude in his 60's gets in my car to drive it, and I'm riding shotgun. Since it's not his car, he's not driving that fast around the track. And, as I had been on that track once before, between my bit of track-familiarity and this guy moping around the track at 50%, there wasn't a darn thing to learn. He just had a good time playing with the paddle shifter. Every time he pulled the left lever to downshift and heard the engine rev-match, he'd go "ho ho ho, that's wonderful." What the f*ck... Good thing I did a couple of drifting clinic several years ago to at least learn the basics of car control (paid extra to rent the organizers' prep'd S14's and learned how to do donuts, figure 8's, J-turns, etc), as I didn't learn squat from instructors at these later track events.
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      03-17-2012, 08:04 AM   #83
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The big problem with this discusion is not whether MDM should be on or off is the fact that proper car control skills need to be taught before a student ever gets on the track!If a driver is skilled in proper car control this discusion would never be happening as there would zero aprehension about switching it off.Is it not the goal of trackdays not to improve ones driving skill and then to improve lap times as the skills are polished?Using driver aids just impedes this process and does not help the driver out at all.
Agree 100%. Very well stated
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      03-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #84
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The big problem with this discusion is not whether MDM should be on or off is the fact that proper car control skills need to be taught before a student ever gets on the track!If a driver is skilled in proper car control this discusion would never be happening as there would zero aprehension about switching it off.Is it not the goal of trackdays not to improve ones driving skill and then to improve lap times as the skills are polished?Using driver aids just impedes this process and does not help the driver out at all.
I agree, but...

The problem is that it is not easy to get the proper skills instruction and practice, unless you start out in karts or auto cross. Despite what a lot of clubs think about their ability to provide instruction, they all pretty much ineffective. So, people are on their own to learn in their own way.

As far as goals, I think most people just want to drive thei fast car fast. If that means driving their 1000HP car with all the nannys enabled, then most are happy.
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      03-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #85
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I agree, but...

The problem is that it is not easy to get the proper skills instruction and practice, unless you start out in karts or auto cross. Despite what a lot of clubs think about their ability to provide instruction, they all pretty much ineffective. So, people are on their own to learn in their own way.
Indeed.


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As far as goals, I think most people just want to drive thei fast car fast. If that means driving their 1000HP car with all the nannys enabled, then most are happy.
Exactly.

I think most weekend track people realize, without having to be drilled repeatedly and in condescending ways, that turning off traction control and relying on driving sense & experience is the better and preferred way.

So, I find it odd to hear people on this type of forum (i.e. this is not a forum by & for people who are seriously trying to get into competitive racing) stressing the importance of going DSC off as if all participants of this thread are in various stages of preparing for eventual wheel-to-wheel competitive racing. I thought this is a, by & large, M3 enthusiast forum? I mean, am I participating in a discussions thread in www.I-will-soon-be-racing-in-SCCA-series.com and didn't realize it? You hear "race license" and "Senna" being mentioned and gotta wonder am I on the same realm of reality as some of the people in this thread?

I realize that some are very passionate about all this, but come on.

It's the same kind of crap you see on this forum that goes something like "oh you drive an automatic, whereas I manually shift gears, so you suck and I'm a superior driver and a human being." Really? Rowing your own gears is that "rewarding" just as driving w/ traction control off is that much "rewarding"?
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      03-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #86
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i ran pacific raceways today in the wet for most of the day. i have never turned off the traction control but usually use MDM even in the wet. today partially because of this thread i ran a few laps with DSC full off and didnt feel much difference from running it in mdm and this was in the wet. i drive with the intention that its my responsibility to control the car not the nannies, but to this point have liked the feeling of the big errors possibly being caught by them. i to this point have used it as a tool to help me go faster without as big of risk. maybe that is in my head but after today i feel pretty good about my driving being able to control a high hp car in dangerous conditions. i will probably continue to run MDM in the wet and dsc off most likely in the dry now.
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      03-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #87
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Pacific Raceways in the wet is definitely an MDM track. Twice I've seen three cars totaled in one day! Just too many things to hit there. I'll be at the Ridge tomorrow where it is supposed to rain and probably snow a bit! It my M3's first track day and it will have MDM enabled probably all day.
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      03-18-2012, 01:02 AM   #88
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Quote:
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The problem is that it is not easy to get the proper skills instruction and practice, unless you start out in karts or auto cross. Despite what a lot of clubs think about their ability to provide instruction, they all pretty much ineffective. So, people are on their own to learn in their own way.
Yes, I wish there were HPDEs that taught you how to go off and how to catch your car if it gets loose at 80+ mph. For reasons of liability, that kind of driving school is very rare. There are rally schools, but they are expensive and usually inconveniently located.

With that said, people do seem to learn anyway. And I wouldn't discount the importance of a good instructor. Really good ones may be few and far between, but I've had instructors who helped me make leaps and bounds in my driving in just a session or two. And if you own an e9x M3, you can probably afford to buy the services of a professional coach for a day. A good coach can help pros go faster, so they should be able to help you as well.

By the way, I've found that the best way to find a second or two when I thought a second or two is impossible is to have someone really fast drive your car while you sit shotgun. Of course, choose wisely. You don't want that someone wrecking your car.

Last edited by yyoo; 03-18-2012 at 01:21 AM.
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