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      07-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #1
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Skid Pad Training

I'm interested in advancing my car control skills and would like 2-3 days of solid skid pad training. I've searched the forum and Google and couldn't find anything dedicated to skid pad training.

In the past 3 years I've attended 12 days of BMW HPDE's including several at Summit Point and BMW's 2 day M School but each leave me longing for more dedicated time on the skid pad. I'm an intermediate driver looking to learn more. I'm headed back to Summit Point in July and am scheduled to attend 10days of BMW HPDE this summer.

I welcome suggestions on how to advance my car control skills.

Thank you,

Chris
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      07-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #2
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Congrats in recognizing the value of skidpad time. And yes - its usually only available in very small amounts at HPDEs.

One thing that I did to get a lot of skidpad time was to attend a commercial HPDE that had skidpad offered. Commercial HPDEs (if they offer skidpad at all) usually have it an an option for participants - and very, very few people seem to be interested in it - so you can get a LOT of skidpad time because no-one is waiting.

Hope this helps.
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      07-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Not sure if there are any drifting events or organizers in your neck of the woods, but I took a couple of days of drifting lessons a few years ago (before I started tracking) that has come in handy when things get loose on the track.
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Last edited by OC3; 07-04-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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      07-04-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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The Skip Barber Racing Advanced Car Control program makes use of a skid pad: participants drive sightly modified Mazda RX-8s (the cars have extra toe out in the rear), identifying, reacting to, and creating types of slides. On autocross courses, participants learn to use brake and throttle release as techniques to make a car rotate in a corner.

Barber's Advanced Car Control program encourages participants to learn how to drive a car when it is operated beyond its limits.

http://www.skipbarber.com/formula.asp
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      07-06-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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+1 on the Skip Barber Advanced Car Control. I took this class earlier this year at Laguna Seca and it was very helpful. I had previously taken the 3-day and 2-day and while those class really breakdown the basic and advanced techniques of road racing, the Advanced Car Control class really focused on just controlling the car at the limit. It's only one day but you are exhausted before the class is over. You really get to beat on the cars all day while you are learning to slide, skid and drift on both wet and dry surfaces. The instructors are always very good and I spend the day with Rene Villeneuve(ALMS), Mike Miller(Grand-Am) and Jeff Rodriguez. They gave me solid feedback and lots of encouragement.

My only complaint was the MX5s are setup for the track and they are very difficult to control vs the RX8s. Believe me if you can drift the MX5 with the Penske shock setup they run at Laguna, exploring the limit in your M3 will be cake.

Cheers
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      07-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC3 View Post
Not sure if there are any drifting events or organizers in your neck of the woods, but I took a couple of days of drifting lessons a few years ago (before I started tracking) that has come in handy when things get loose on the track.
I need to learn and practice this more...
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      07-06-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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I did the advanced car control at skip barber (laguna) as well and highly recommend it. I plan to do it again sometime.
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      07-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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I did one drift practice and it was a tremendous help! Especially if you can get a good instructor. And it will be much cheaper than attending a HPDE.
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      07-06-2012, 05:36 PM   #9
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If you've been to a few local BMW CCA HPDEs, check with the chapters and see if they also hold Car Control Clinics and/or auto-crosses.

Our local chapter bring water truck and soap to wet down a circular skid-pad for our Car Control Clinics and it's a lot of fun...You can spend as much as 2 hours on the skid pad exercise which is more than enough time to hone your car control skills.

In addition, auto-crosses really give you a chance to experience losing control of the car in the dry and trying to regain control, so it would be another opportunity to "push" the boundary without the risk of doing serious damage to your car.

Lastly...This is probably financially inefficient, but I find the greatest learning opportunity for car control, is BMW's ///M school's rat race exercise. When they brought out the ///M school to Auto Club Speedway, I was fortunate enough to attend it on someone else's dime, and literally spend about 45 minutes on the oval shaped skid-pad and won 20+ challenges in a row...In that 45 minutes of trying to keep the car right on the border of maximum slip angle and spinning out of control, I learned MORE about car control in a single 45 minutes than I have in my entire life. And you have to drive as fast as possible otherwise you get kicked out of the car if the other guy beat you...The challenge aspect of the exercise forced you to learn on the edge.
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      07-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #10
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Thanks Everyone for your thoughts - great suggestions! You have given me the Action Items I was seeking.

So I'm going to contact my local BMW Clubs (NJ and Del Val) and learn if they have or know where I can do Commercial HPDE, Autocross, Drifting and/or skid pad training. I also liked the Skip Barber sugestion, I will check that one out as well.

M School "Rat Race" - boy do I remember that and agree, it was very helpful. Just wish I could do alot more!

Thanks Guys and I hope to see you at the Track!

Chris
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      07-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
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So I'm going to contact my local BMW Clubs (NJ and Del Val) and learn if they have or know where I can do Commercial HPDE, Autocross, Drifting and/or skid pad training. I also liked the Skip Barber sugestion, I will check that one out as well.

NJ BMWCCA is on Summit Main the end of July with combined club races and HPDE - check and see if they are running the skidpad. They are also on Shenandoah in September - which has its own dedicated skidpad and they always run it.
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      07-07-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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Look into TrackDaze events on Shenendoah. They usually open the skid pad all day. A few friends once rented the Jefferson skidpad for the day in December for like $40 a person. We were lucky to have ice in the morning, then slush, then wet. Try to do skidpad events in the winter or spring due to it being hard to keep the ground wet.

Autocrosses are a good way to simulate skid pad....register for a bunch and you're likely to get a wet autocross. Maybe look into autocross school. DC Region SCCA puts on a GREAT one.
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      07-08-2012, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoril Blue View Post
NJ BMWCCA is on Summit Main the end of July with combined club races and HPDE - check and see if they are running the skidpad. They are also on Shenandoah in September - which has its own dedicated skidpad and they always run it.
They usually do run the skid pad at this event - I hope so, I'm signed up again to attend. Thanks for mentioning Shenandoah in September, I'll look into that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
Look into TrackDaze events on Shenendoah. They usually open the skid pad all day. A few friends once rented the Jefferson skidpad for the day in December for like $40 a person. We were lucky to have ice in the morning, then slush, then wet. Try to do skidpad events in the winter or spring due to it being hard to keep the ground wet.

Autocrosses are a good way to simulate skid pad....register for a bunch and you're likely to get a wet autocross. Maybe look into autocross school. DC Region SCCA puts on a GREAT one.
I have never done an AutoX, guess I need to look into it as well as TrackDaze on Shenendoah. Thanks!
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      07-08-2012, 06:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
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They usually do run the skid pad at this event - I hope so, I'm signed up again to attend. Thanks for mentioning Shenandoah in September, I'll look into that one.

I'll see you there!
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      07-09-2012, 07:52 PM   #15
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^ Sounds good - I'll look for your M3.
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