BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > E90/E92 M3 Technical Topics > Track / Autocross / Dragstrip / Driving Techniques
 
BPM Sport
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      04-14-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
VictorH
Captain
16
Rep
637
Posts

 
Drives: '09 M3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SC

iTrader: (2)

Track Experience – Barber with Porsche Driving School

Just back from the two day “Masters” course (April 12, 13) at Barber run by the Porsche Driving School. Weather was great, low to mid 70s both days with clear skies. The course is very well run and organized, but run a bit differently than the BMW Performance Center courses (I’m talking about the VIR and CMP “advanced” courses I’ve run with them). I’ve never done any Porsche driving classes so I had to call and request an exception, since the masters course has a basic course prerequisite, based on experience. This took about a week to get approval.

The course: Instructors are uniformly excellent. Plus it was cool at sit at the table with Hurley Haywood at dinner and ask questions and listen to many of his racing stories. He’s very personable and has a huge history in motor racing. He’s also not a big fan of how traditional DE instructor education is run including within the PCA (Porsche Club of America). The actual activities included:
-Wet skid pad: Surface is almost too slick. It’s sealed asphalt that is watered and it’s not much different than driving on an Ice and Snow mix. Probably takes about 30 HP to break the rear end loose and then it snaps around so quickly (at all of about 10-15 mph) that it’s quite challenging to catch. This was clearly the most boring activity. It does tune your reflexes a bit, but was not that interesting. We just ran alternating circles (there are two small circles on the surface that you drive back and forth between) and were timed but never told out times.
-Autocross: A bit better, more of a mini-course with the cones serving as lanes as opposed to a real autocross track where the cones are used to direct the driver and create the course. This was run in a Boxster. Was more fun, but again for some reason our times were “secret” so we couldn’t compare times or learn if we were improving. I noted one of my group’s drivers was able to get to full throttle in one part quite early, so we talked, but out of our group of 5 we had no idea as to times. Not a huge deal but on day 2 when there is a competition for total time, between the 6 groups, it would have been nice to know where you stand.
-Lane change and trail braking: Also a parking lot exercise was run in the Caymen. A bit more interesting but still relatively low speed stuff. For each of these three events feedback was by radio from the instructor to the car.
-The track events: Clearly the highlight of the course with ½ of day one on track and ¾ of day two on track. What was really great about the coaching part of the track experience was the many different ways feedback was provided. Instructors, rode in the student’s cars, instructors drove student’s cars and pointed out corner specifics, instructors were stationed at various corners and then at the end of the session gave specific feedback about how you approached a given corner and finally there was the usual lead and follow. For me this was remarkably effective as you could work on the identified issues and fix them for the next session. Also on Day 2 we had open track sessions where we got to go out “alone” in our own cars for a session and then come back for feedback.
Just like the BMW driving school they try to group students by experience but this is really hit and miss. I and another of our group of 3 for the track sessions were quite closely matched (my other group mate had racing experience and was pretty quick) the third person was substantially slower and for whatever reason was unable to hit most of the apexes (all marked by nice tall green cones). Thankfully the instructor was willing to “lose” him for a couple of laps until it was time to rotate the student cars in line. Overall, very effective and fun, plus they provided us on day 2 with memory sticks to record video and telemetry by Racekeeper® systems installed in the cars. I’ve not looked at my data yet but should be interesting.

The Cars: I’ll only comment on the cars I drove on the track since the parking lot exercises weren’t really extensive enough to render a solid opinion.

Caymen R- A really nice track car which would be a reasonable dual-purpose, i.e. street and track vehicle. Very well balanced, will pretty much go where-ever you point it and has great adhesion and balance in the corners. Motor sounds nice too, but really needs another 50 HP to make it exciting. Hard to go wrong with this car on the track. Had the PDK (dual clutch) transmission which was nice and very similar to our DCT.

997 Porsche 911, Carrera S, manual transmission- This is the older generation, now replaced by the 991-911. Overall, a nice car, nothing spectacular, good power, nice handling with perhaps a tad less front grip than the newer generation 911. No real faults.

991 Porsche 911, Carrera S, PDK – This is the latest generation 911 that just came out this past February. I’ll start with the conclusion, I was expecting more. The magazine reviews have been great and I was thinking that the performance would blow me away, but it didn’t. However, not to be overly critical it’s an overall very impressive car. Seat are super comfortable, headroom is excellent even with a helmet (I’m 6’2”), motor sounds great (better on the outside than inside) and handling is very neutral and predictable. Motor is not unlike the S65, not a lot of bottom end and it gets better with higher rpm. Clearly it’s a higher performance vehicle than the E9x M3, but it’s in my view only incrementally better and would not justify a change if I were so inclined. Acceleration is a bit stronger, but not huge (it does get off the line though pretty hard) and the top end pull is really good too. Grip in corners also exceeds the M3 but again the margin of improvement is not huge. It’s a nice car and clearly a “driver’s car” but I think that given the M3 (I have an E90) is so practical as a daily driver that can be driven at the track too, it’s still the best compromise from my view.

Okay, the two “dream cars.”

997 Porsche GT3 – Wow! This is a track car and I don’t think I would want to use it much on the street, but on the track it is spectacular. The steering response is telepathic, it just goes wherever you think you want to go. The motor sounds as good as any flat 6 on the planet. Far and away the best brake feel, response and modulation I have ever driven. As soon as I hit the first braking zone, I thought “wow these brakes are really nice” and they remained rock-solid consistent throughout the session. Only afterwards did I find out that this car has the Ceramic-composite brake system. The only downsides, there is very little view out of the rear-view mirror as the wing obstructs (no one is going to pass you so no worries), the clutch is pretty stiff, but was not big deal for me and I was warned the transmission is stiff and notchy. Yes, it is, but again for some reason it did not bother me as I was able to find the gears without problem and it was the easiest car to heel and toe. The gears are pretty tall and the red-line is high, but just for comparison, on my car (DCT) third gear is good for a bit under 105 mph, on the GT3 I hit the rev-limiter once which was at 118 mph in 3rd gear (just entering braking zone so no use shifting). This is a car I would love to own but I know from others (I know lots of people who used to own GT3s but no more) the cost of upkeep and a motor rebuild after 80 track hours gets to be too expensive for most people.

997 Turbo: Another very impressive car. Many of my classmates were not too fond of this car. I’m not sure why but they thought it was heavy and not as responsive. For some reason I really liked this car and was able to overlook any shortcomings. Any lag is really negligible, in fact waiting for the GT3 to come on cam takes a lot longer if, for example, you’re coming out of a turn at 3,500 rpm you put your foot down and then have to wait for a few hundred more rpm to get going. On the turbo wait a fraction of a second and then you’re off, at pretty much any rpm. Suspension is a bit stiffer than the 991 so for the track it was pretty good. It does feel a bit heavier (it is) than the 991 but it’s not super noticeable. I grew up on low power cars and this one is just plain fun, maybe I just like power now. I describe this car as “it comes with a tractor beam” installed. Say you let the instructor or your classmate in the GT3 get several car lengths ahead of you (both the GT3 and Turbo were only allowed in lead follow groups), put the right foot down, wait a couple of seconds and any cars in front of you will soon be glued to your front bumper. This car clearly could be dual purpose as it seems more civil for potential street use.

Overall, the whole experience was pretty fun. I still like and plan to keep my M3 but this was a nice change of pace and it was fun to drive another company’s cars on a pretty nice track.

Last edited by VictorH; 04-14-2012 at 08:27 PM.
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
signes
Brigadier General
signes's Avatar
United_States
63
Rep
4,213
Posts

 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Spinnin at 8k

iTrader: (3)

Great write-up. I had a friend that did this last year and also had a good experience. I think the next option for you after this course is the one where you can drive the Cup car, right? That would be e-p-i-c...
__________________
08 E90 | Jet Black / Black | 6MT
Mods: RAC RG63 w/ Pirelli Corsa 255F/285R | Akrapovic Evo Exhaust | OEM Blacklines
Winter Setup: OEM 18s w/ Nokian Hakkapeliita R 245/40-18
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
Porschefile
Major
Porschefile's Avatar
16
Rep
1,233
Posts

 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tennessee

iTrader: (6)

Nice write up, sounds like a fun time. I am going to Barber next weekend for a Rezoom event in my M3. The GT3 actually isn't crazy up-keep though, it doesn't need motor rebuilds every 80 hours unless it's a GT3 Cup (the non street legal racecar). The street GT3 models don't need rebuilds frequently at all.
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
Brainofjjj
Astronaut
Bahamas
14
Rep
638
Posts

 
Drives: car
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dallas - Preston Hollow

iTrader: (5)

Garage List
2012 BMW X5d  [0.00]
2003 BMW M3  [0.00]
1970 240Z  [0.00]
Victor you just made me very jealous.
__________________
Current: SBM X5d, Jet Black E46 M3, Black FJ Cruiser, 1970 240Z
Former: '11 MCB E90 M3, 2011 Lotus Exige, 2003 350Z, 2002 WRX, 1996 Supra turbo, 1984 320i, 1987 E28 M5
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
OC3
Havin' a blast!
OC3's Avatar
United_States
53
Rep
4,819
Posts

 
Drives: 2013 M3 E92 Jerez Blk DCT ZCP
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SoCal

iTrader: (1)

^+1
__________________

BRP CW13 1:56 | CVR CW 2:01 | CVR CCW 2:02 | ACS 1:53 | WSIR 1:34
2013 E92 M3 Jerez Black DCT ZCP | JRZ RS Pro | Brembo | Endless | Volk TE37 18x10.5 squared | NT01/TD/ContiGrandAm | no other mods, nor weight shavings
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 07:09 PM   #6
Darth One
Former yr 1of1 owner
Darth One's Avatar
United_States
11
Rep
1,109
Posts

 
Drives: SGM E90
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FL

iTrader: (0)

What a great sounding experience. I did the M school so I think this needs to be my next thing. Did they teach you how to heel-and-toe, and how easy was it to pick up? Let's say for a person who's been driving stick all his life but never learned to heel-toe
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
VictorH
Captain
16
Rep
637
Posts

 
Drives: '09 M3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SC

iTrader: (2)

No, you'll need to learn how to heel and toe. They show you a couple of videos as a "refresher" but it's not the place to learn. However, if you can't drive a manual then they'll just make sure you are only in PDK cars. Not the end of the world, but then you don't get to drive the GT3.

Brian, maybe you can help me post a video of the last session. I can't send now, but maybe tomorrow.
Appreciate 0
      04-14-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
klammer
Brigadier General
40
Rep
3,244
Posts

 
Drives: 11 spc gry m3 e90, 07 X5
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: chicago

iTrader: (0)

Nice write up. Looks like a bunch of fun.
__________________
mods: akra evo, dinan 3.45 diff, ess akra tune, dinan stg.3, Alcon bbk, HRE P40
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 09:16 AM   #9
paradocs98
Major
paradocs98's Avatar
United_States
31
Rep
1,347
Posts

 
Drives: 2014 991 Carrera S
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NY

iTrader: (0)

Thanks for posting. Must have been worth it just to chat with Hurley Haywood.
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
signes
Brigadier General
signes's Avatar
United_States
63
Rep
4,213
Posts

 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Spinnin at 8k

iTrader: (3)

^^^Agree. When I did a Porsche school years ago, I got to do runs with Derek Bell both driving and riding in my car with me. Listening to his stories over lunch/dinner was amazing.
__________________
08 E90 | Jet Black / Black | 6MT
Mods: RAC RG63 w/ Pirelli Corsa 255F/285R | Akrapovic Evo Exhaust | OEM Blacklines
Winter Setup: OEM 18s w/ Nokian Hakkapeliita R 245/40-18
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
gan1hck
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
222
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 M3
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: huntsville, al

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by signes View Post
Great write-up. I had a friend that did this last year and also had a good experience. I think the next option for you after this course is the one where you can drive the Cup car, right? That would be e-p-i-c...
The next is Master's Plus where you then become eligible for a SCCA race license.

I did this in March....agree with the above.
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
gan1hck
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
222
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 M3
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: huntsville, al

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
No, you'll need to learn how to heel and toe. They show you a couple of videos as a "refresher" but it's not the place to learn. However, if you can't drive a manual then they'll just make sure you are only in PDK cars. Not the end of the world, but then you don't get to drive the GT3.

Brian, maybe you can help me post a video of the last session. I can't send now, but maybe tomorrow.
When I was there, they had drills on the parking lot where participants were encouraged to practice heel and toe technique while trail braking into corners.

But I agree, if you don't know how already, it's probably not a good idea to be doing so on the track at speed.
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #13
Darth One
Former yr 1of1 owner
Darth One's Avatar
United_States
11
Rep
1,109
Posts

 
Drives: SGM E90
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FL

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
No, you'll need to learn how to heel and toe. They show you a couple of videos as a "refresher" but it's not the place to learn. However, if you can't drive a manual then they'll just make sure you are only in PDK cars. Not the end of the world, but then you don't get to drive the GT3.

Brian, maybe you can help me post a video of the last session. I can't send now, but maybe tomorrow.
thanks, did a bit of research and there's a course where they said they would spend part of day 2 teaching you how to heel-toe. I think this might be the lower level course than the one you took...
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 02:57 PM   #14
Porschefile
Major
Porschefile's Avatar
16
Rep
1,233
Posts

 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tennessee

iTrader: (6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gan1hck View Post
When I was there, they had drills on the parking lot where participants were encouraged to practice heel and toe technique while trail braking into corners.

But I agree, if you don't know how already, it's probably not a good idea to be doing so on the track at speed.
That is terrible advice IMO unless the person doing it is very advanced at heel toe. Mid turn is not a safe place to rough up a downshift. FWIW I learned heel toe on Road Atlanta in a Cayman S. I practiced some on the street first but it never felt right to me on the street going slow, and the throttle response required for heel toe just isn't there at low revs.
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 03:05 PM   #15
gan1hck
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
222
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 M3
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: huntsville, al

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
That is terrible advice IMO unless the person doing it is very advanced at heel toe. Mid turn is not a safe place to rough up a downshift. FWIW I learned heel toe on Road Atlanta in a Cayman S. I practiced some on the street first but it never felt right to me on the street going slow, and the throttle response required for heel toe just isn't there at low revs.
I think I explained the exercise in a less than clear manner.

The exercise is trail braking through the corner.

The participants were encouraged also the practice heel and toe braking....and explicitly told to get the shifting done before corner entry (on the parking lot).
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 03:31 PM   #16
Porschefile
Major
Porschefile's Avatar
16
Rep
1,233
Posts

 
Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tennessee

iTrader: (6)

Good, that makes more sense. Even an awesome driver would probably be ill-advised to heel toe in a corner. Back on topic, do all of the courses include the GT3? The car list on their website is just the "normal" 911's.
Appreciate 0
      04-15-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
gan1hck
Second Lieutenant
3
Rep
222
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 M3
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: huntsville, al

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
Good, that makes more sense. Even an awesome driver would probably be ill-advised to heel toe in a corner. Back on topic, do all of the courses include the GT3? The car list on their website is just the "normal" 911's.
The GT3 and Turbo's are only included in the Master's and Master's Plus.

The 2 day high performance driving school only has you driving the Carrera S's, Caymans, Boxsters and Cayenne's on their off road course.

Although, when I did the first school, I was lucky enough to drive the Panamera Turbo S on the Autocross track.

And on the Hot Laps with the instructors, they weren't changing gears in mid corner.
Appreciate 0
      04-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #18
King Tut
NASA SpecE30 Racer
King Tut's Avatar
United_States
34
Rep
1,310
Posts

 
Drives: 2006 Honda S2000 TT3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

iTrader: (2)

Send a message via AIM to King Tut
Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Cayman R- A really nice track car which would be a reasonable dual-purpose, i.e. street and track vehicle. Very well balanced, will pretty much go where-ever you point it and has great adhesion and balance in the corners. Motor sounds nice too, but really needs another 50 HP to make it exciting. Hard to go wrong with this car on the track. Had the PDK (dual clutch) transmission which was nice and very similar to our DCT.
Already on my way to the extra 50 hp as your review is about dead on with my review. Thanks for telling about your experience at the driving school.
__________________
King Tut
2012 BMW M3 Individual: Sold lsb.ridedomain.com
1987 BMW 325is SpecE30: spece30.ridedomain.com
2009 BMW M3 Coupe: Sold e92.ridedomain.com
Appreciate 0
      04-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
AMPowerJ
One mod leads to another ...
AMPowerJ's Avatar
United_States
62
Rep
2,613
Posts

 
Drives: 2015 F80 M3
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Blythewood, SC

iTrader: (9)

Great synopsis Victor. Glad to hear what we already thought that the E90 M3 is hard to beat for an all round street/track car. Looking forward to catching up with you someone this summer on a track around here. I have a free day at CMP I can use so if you ever want to bounce over there on a random day let me know.
__________________

Current: 2015 F80 M3 (SS, Full Black Interior, 6MT, LED Lights, Adaptive Suspension, 19's)
Previous: 2013 E92 M3, 2013 F10 M5, 2009 E90 M3, 1998 E36 M3
Appreciate 0
      04-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #20
Fab_vr6
Private First Class
Canada
3
Rep
112
Posts

 
Drives: 2011 E92 M3
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: vancouver

iTrader: (1)

thanks for the write up! How much was the cost? and how often do they offer this school?
Appreciate 0
      04-26-2012, 06:32 PM   #21
VictorH
Captain
16
Rep
637
Posts

 
Drives: '09 M3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SC

iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPowerJ View Post
Great synopsis Victor. Glad to hear what we already thought that the E90 M3 is hard to beat for an all round street/track car. Looking forward to catching up with you someone this summer on a track around here. I have a free day at CMP I can use so if you ever want to bounce over there on a random day let me know.
Hi Ashley, that would be fun. The other thing I've done here and there at CMP is to go to their kart track. They have some decent Italian karts (powered by Honda cement mixer motors) that are a kick if you have spare afternoon.

For the person above, prices for the different Porsche driving classes here
https://www.porschedriving.com/Event...ts-School.aspx
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:13 AM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST