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      04-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #1
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M3 DSC on track

Hi All,
just finished my first Autocross in the M today. It was a blast. 8 practice runs, one with instructor driving and after that 3 timed runs. I did all my practice runs with DSC on and it was fun however the DCS kept me from accelerating out of turns, cutting the power whenever the back end slipped. On the timed runs I said, what the hell, and turned DSC off. My, what a difference and how much more fun it was. Definitely a lot more work for me to keep the car on track but so exhilarating. I'm kicking myself for doing those 7 practice runs with it on.
I went from 1.08 to 1.04 to 1.03 on the last run (but with 3 cone hits on last).
I didn't track my times on the practice laps but definitely much slower than that.

So much fun! I'm totally hooked.

I got a ton of compliments on the car. There were 2 E9x M3's, my E90 and another E93.
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      04-04-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
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Hi All,
just finished my first Autocross in the M today. It was a blast. 8 practice runs, one with instructor driving and after that 3 timed runs. I did all my practice runs with DSC on and it was fun however the DCS kept me from accelerating out of turns, cutting the power whenever the back end slipped. On the timed runs I said, what the hell, and turned DSC off. My, what a difference and how much more fun it was. Definitely a lot more work for me to keep the car on track but so exhilarating. I'm kicking myself for doing those 7 practice runs with it on.
I went from 1.08 to 1.04 to 1.03 on the last run (but with 3 cone hits on last).
I didn't track my times on the practice laps but definitely much slower than that.

So much fun! I'm totally hooked.

I got a ton of compliments on the car. There were 2 E9x M3's, my E90 and another E93.

Sounds fun. Where did you do this? and how much did it cost? I'm up in Orange County and was looking for something like this.
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      04-04-2009, 08:00 PM   #3
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The Q in San Diego. There were a few OC cars there. $60 (sat only) $115 Sat+sun including lunch and drinks all day. You need to be a bMWCCA member to run. Next event is in same place in Mid May.
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      04-04-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
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I did the opposite of you. The first time I took my car to the track, I turned the DSC completely off, and in fact have yet to turn a lap with it on. I just knew from driving a lot of other cars with similar electronics that it sucks the joy out of it. Good to hear you had fun though. Next time out, be sure to turn it off before mashing the throttle

Just out of curiosity, did you use LC?
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      04-04-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
I did the opposite of you. The first time I took my car to the track, I turned the DSC completely off, and in fact have yet to turn a lap with it on. I just knew from driving a lot of other cars with similar electronics that it sucks the joy out of it. Good to hear you had fun though. Next time out, be sure to turn it off before mashing the throttle

Just out of curiosity, did you use LC?
Don't have LC, no tech package, 08 M3. I did smoke the tires on launch, probably wasted valuable seconds but put a smile on my face, I never get to do that on the street.
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      04-04-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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... I did all my practice runs with DSC on and it was fun however the DCS kept me from accelerating out of turns, cutting the power whenever the back end slipped. On the timed runs I said, what the hell, and turned DSC off. ...
Were you in MDM when you had it on?

Dave
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      04-04-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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Were you in MDM when you had it on?

Dave
No tech package. Power Button off.
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      04-04-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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No tech package. Power Button off.

Ok, big difference. Yeah, I only use full DSC on ice and snow.

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      04-05-2009, 02:22 AM   #9
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Got back from M school not long ago, the DSC killed my time exiting the corners. MDM on the other hand is magic.
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      04-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #10
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Thanks to the OP for the report...

For my first outing it will be DSC OFF for the AutoX and MDM on the track!
Countdown has started...can' t wait!
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      04-05-2009, 08:44 AM   #11
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...For my first outing it will be DSC OFF for the AutoX and MDM on the track!
Countdown has started...can' t wait!
I generally agree. I'm practicing switching the DSC on and off. In autocross, I think that MDM will be advantageious for slaloms and most corners, but you'll want to let the car rotate on the tightest corners so DSC would need to be off for those. So, I'll wait until I see the course and be prepared to change on the fly.


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      04-05-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMBO_M3 View Post
Sounds fun. Where did you do this? and how much did it cost? I'm up in Orange County and was looking for something like this.

LA chapter BMWCCA is doing one at Cal SPeedway parking lot April 26.

DSC off FTW!!!
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      04-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #13
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DSC off FTW!!!
I suspect NOT. Too bad we're not in the same region to find out.

Anyone running BMWCCA Rocky Mountain Region's AX later this month in a E9x?

Dave
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      04-05-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I suspect NOT. Too bad we're not in the same region to find out.

Anyone running BMWCCA Rocky Mountain Region's AX later this month in a E9x?

Dave
For me (no tech package) DCT off FTW on autoX.
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      04-05-2009, 04:15 PM   #15
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For me (no tech package) DCT off FTW on autoX.

Without MDM, I think it's your only choice.

For me, with MDM, the extra confidence to take slaloms and chicanes very agreessively should be good for a tenth or two.

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      04-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Without MDM, I think it's your only choice.

For me, with MDM, the extra confidence to take slaloms and chicanes very agreessively should be good for a tenth or two.

Dave
MDM sounds fun. Makes me think about getting tech next time around. Though running the car raw is fun too.

I have some photos of the autox, a buddy took some, I'll post a link after I talk to him.


FYI: I had been preparing for autox by learning heel and toe the last few weeks. I have a link to a good 5 step program if anyone is interested. Any way my practice involved doing clovers on the freeway late at nite, onramps off ramps build up speed, downshift for hard exits. I did my regular practice session today, incorporating much of what I learned from the autox instructors and I was pleasantly surprised. DSC was on by the way :-( , but the basic skills like looking ahead and looking closer, steering wheel use, corner approach, brake/shift timing all were different than the way I approached my "special" course before. And it was a lot more fun. Maybe the fact that I had pushed the car hard at the autocross and seen what the "limits" were made a difference, but either way, everything seemed so much smoother and I felt the car and I were working together. (even though I felt the car was saying "push me harder"). I also realized after autox, heel and toe from 5th is pointless, you never get to 5th on a track, 4-3 probably rarely, so I started approaching my corners with 4-3, 3-2 in mind instead of 5-4, 4-3, 3-2 and it is so much different. The 5-4 is a light blip, almost pointless, the 4-3 and the 3-2 are IMO the most important to nail correctly. Having 2 shifts instead of 3 on a tight corner is so much easier (for me) to handle and I tend to get those 2 shifts better than trying a 543 shift in the same space.


Beginners mind FTW !
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      04-05-2009, 10:56 PM   #17
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Paddy, you're heel-and-toe practice sounds good. Do it on the street all the time, once you've developed confidence in your technique. By doing it all the time, you'll put the ball of your foot in the perfect positions all the time and it won't be a change in the heat of battle. On the street be smooth.

The most likely heel-and-toe downshift in AX is 3d to 2d, but the braking will be much harder than you should be doing on the street. A 3d gear straight is fast for AX and almost certainly will be followed by a relatively slow corner. Getting to where you can threshhold brake while heel-and-toeing will take a bit of practice.

Dave
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      04-05-2009, 11:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Paddy, you're heel-and-toe practice sounds good. Do it on the street all the time, once you've developed confidence in your technique. By doing it all the time, you'll put the ball of your foot in the perfect positions all the time and it won't be a change in the heat of battle. On the street be smooth.

The most likely heel-and-toe downshift in AX is 3d to 2d, but the braking will be much harder than you should be doing on the street. A 3d gear straight is fast for AX and almost certainly will be followed by a relatively slow corner. Getting to where you can threshhold brake while heel-and-toeing will take a bit of practice.

Dave
You know, even after all the heel and to practice I did, there were only about 2-3 spots on the course I could actually do it. In the end I doubt I was even heel and toeing at all during runs cos I was spending so much time concentrating on the track. I'm hoping I can get to the point where h&t is natural, and I suspect, as you say, incorporating it into every single stop I make (on street) is the key. There's one corner on my route, offramp, into a 90 degree left (no stop sign) that requires pretty hard braking (speed limit plus alpha->20mph), that's the closest to autox on my "course". It's also the hardest corner for me because I haven't figured out the timing yet.

One question, is it better to downshift 4-3,3-2 as fast as possible just before the corner, or to go 4-3 continue braking then 3-2

Brmmm----------------Brmmmmmm

as opposed to

---------------------Brmmm--Brmmm


BTW, I reset my mpg gauge before autox, at the end of the day my average was 9mpg
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      04-05-2009, 11:29 PM   #19
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One other thing I should mention...on hindsight

Having DSC on killed me on autox mostly because I was making the car unstable. The instructor that drove me around the first time (with DSC on) was fast. So in retrospect, the fact that DSC was killing me was more a fault with my driving, destabilizing the car, than with DSC. I'm now between two minds about DSC, turn it off and have more fun or leave it on and work on my driving skills. It's an interesting question.... As a learner would I learn more by practicing how to go fast with DSC on (meaning I would need to have much more consideration of the stability of the car and approach to corners) or would I be better learning the raw approach to controlling the car without DSC and working on stability/speed from that angle.
Seems like working with DSC on is prevention whereas working with DSC off is cure, and we all know the proverb.

Personally, the fun aspect, DSC Off, is what I'm loving now, but I wonder if the approach..
Step 1. Become fast with DSC on
Step 2. Become faster with DSC off
might not be better for me as a novice?

Any comments?
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      04-06-2009, 01:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
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FYI: I had been preparing for autox by learning heel and toe the last few weeks. I have a link to a good 5 step program if anyone is interested.
Hey Paddy. 5 step program huh? Can I check it out?
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      04-06-2009, 01:17 AM   #21
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Hey Paddy. 5 step program huh? Can I check it out?
http://www.motoringfile.com/2005/07/...g_made_simple/

This mightn't be the absolute best method but it worked well for me.

BTW, I'm stuck on step 4, convenience of freeways to me, though I should head out to the mountains for step 5.

Let me know if it works for you.
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      04-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
One other thing I should mention...on hindsight

Having DSC on killed me on autox mostly because I was making the car unstable. The instructor that drove me around the first time (with DSC on) was fast. So in retrospect, the fact that DSC was killing me was more a fault with my driving, destabilizing the car, than with DSC. I'm now between two minds about DSC, turn it off and have more fun or leave it on and work on my driving skills. It's an interesting question.... As a learner would I learn more by practicing how to go fast with DSC on (meaning I would need to have much more consideration of the stability of the car and approach to corners) or would I be better learning the raw approach to controlling the car without DSC and working on stability/speed from that angle.
Seems like working with DSC on is prevention whereas working with DSC off is cure, and we all know the proverb.

Personally, the fun aspect, DSC Off, is what I'm loving now, but I wonder if the approach..
Step 1. Become fast with DSC on
Step 2. Become faster with DSC off
might not be better for me as a novice?

Any comments?
DSC can be informative, but it can be hard to interpret. The car SHOULD BE constantly slipping. MDM allows competitive slippng, but I'm not sure that full DSC does and will kill the slides needed for speed. You need to allow the car to rotate under braking in some really tight corners and the rear wheels need to slip a little in acceleration. So, I don't think that DSC is going to help you.

I've noted that the learning curve for drivers that have good car sense is not extremely steep. The fact that you were picking up big gobs of time tells me that you have a feel for the car and dynamics.

Tell me this, when you had DSC on, what most often caused it to trigger, acceleration or cornering. If it was acceleration, then you have a problem common to many hot-shoes, you're jumping on the gas too soon or two fast. You have to roll into the gas pedal to allow weight transfer to the back wheels before you get to full throttle. If you jump on it and nail it right as you pass the apex, then you're likely to spin the wheels and lose time. If the rear steps out, then you gave it way too much. It should feel like it's slipping in the car, but people watching shouldn't be able to see the tail wagging or any slip.

BTW, don't practice heel-and-toe at every stop. That just wastes the clutch. I'd suggest doing it for every corner where you need to downshift. If you do that all the time, then you'll get good at it. Doing it on the street, where you're driving at 50%, isn't the same as doing it at speed on a track or AX course, but it'll be helpful.

Dave
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