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Steve Thomas BMW
View Poll Results: Having attended a number of track/auto-x, I would:
not worry about it, the car will be just fine. 20 62.50%
at least tape the front headlights, bumpers, fenders, etc... 4 12.50%
install a clearbra! 5 15.63%
...don't know, I had already clearbra'd the car and it still looks like new! 3 9.38%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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      05-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #1
MTROIS
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Car Prep for Track/Auto-X

For those of you who already went on a track or did an autocross with their cars, any recommendations on whether it is necessary to protect the front bumper, fenders, etc... and if, yes, what did you do to protect it?

Any other recommendation?

Thanks!
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Last edited by MTROIS; 05-06-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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      05-05-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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You will likely have to tape your headlights anyway.
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      05-05-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
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clearbra FTW
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      05-06-2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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My philosophy is, do nothing. If the paint gets chipped, etc., then just get the front end repainted over the winter. I feel the clear bras and other like-products are more hassle than they're worth. It's just paint. You don't have to worry about rust since the hood is aluminum and the fenders and bumper are plastic.
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      05-06-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
My philosophy is, do nothing. If the paint gets chipped, etc., then just get the front end repainted over the winter. I feel the clear bras and other like-products are more hassle than they're worth. It's just paint. You don't have to worry about rust since the hood is aluminum and the fenders and bumper are plastic.
+1.

Just don't put it into the wall!
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      05-06-2009, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
+1.

Just don't put it into the wall!
+10000
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      05-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #7
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Thanks guys for all your comments!!

Man do I love this forum...
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      05-08-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
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The last time I was at the track, several hundred bugs sacrificed their lives to protect my front end from tire debris. After I got home, all it took was 15 minutes and some Turtle Wax Tar & Bug remover to make it look as good as new!
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      05-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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i say put clear bra ... if helps to protect your car and there is no need to repaint it later ... it could be a big PITA taking it to the body shop ...
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      05-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #10
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OK, I am back from my first track day at Lime Rock Park (will post a summary later), but based on this experience (not a general statement though and of course things can happen randomly!), no real extra protection was needed.
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      05-16-2009, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
My philosophy is, do nothing. If the paint gets chipped, etc., then just get the front end repainted over the winter. I feel the clear bras and other like-products are more hassle than they're worth. It's just paint. You don't have to worry about rust since the hood is aluminum and the fenders and bumper are plastic.
+1. I might put some painters tape on the area around the wheels that previous events have left little paint chips. But 5 track events to date with minimal issues and no protection.
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      05-16-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
My philosophy is, do nothing. If the paint gets chipped, etc., then just get the front end repainted over the winter. I feel the clear bras and other like-products are more hassle than they're worth. It's just paint. You don't have to worry about rust since the hood is aluminum and the fenders and bumper are plastic.
Clear bra all the way. Body shop paint quality is all way to variable! Film from a reputable shop (Premier Auto Group for example) can provide a lot of protection on the track including headlights. And don't forget, this coverage continue while driving on the streets.
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      05-17-2009, 01:20 AM   #13
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At a minimum, I'd protect the headlights. About $1k easy if one gets cracked and I don't think you can buy the lenses separately.

I wouldn't worry if you are in a group where R compounds are allowed. I'd use some painter's tape if there are no tire restrictions since R Compounds tend to fling a lot of debris.
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      05-17-2009, 10:00 AM   #14
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When you track in the lower run groups, there are few cars that run r-comps. Also, one might not be 'riding up someone's ass' to set-up for passes.
In the faster groups, they use r-comps...get close enough and those tires on the guy in front of you suddenly become bb-guns. Don't believe me?...fine, next track day go look at the instructor/racer group's cars and see just what advanced group running has done for their front bumpers/fenders/windshields. And then ask them how much they've spent re-spraying their bumpers/hoods...

Having known that my M was going to live a time of it's life in advanced-group HPDEs, I had a professional shop install the clear-bra protection over a good amount of the "higher wear" areas.

If you have the funds...do it. If you plan on selling your car sometime in the future...do it. Try to explain the sandblasting to someone as "HPDE wear" and you'll lose over half your potential buyers within the first few seconds.

Be good,
TomK
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      05-30-2009, 12:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace996 View Post
When you track in the lower run groups, there are few cars that run r-comps. Also, one might not be 'riding up someone's ass' to set-up for passes.
In the faster groups, they use r-comps...get close enough and those tires on the guy in front of you suddenly become bb-guns. Don't believe me?...fine, next track day go look at the instructor/racer group's cars and see just what advanced group running has done for their front bumpers/fenders/windshields. And then ask them how much they've spent re-spraying their bumpers/hoods...

Having known that my M was going to live a time of it's life in advanced-group HPDEs, I had a professional shop install the clear-bra protection over a good amount of the "higher wear" areas.

If you have the funds...do it. If you plan on selling your car sometime in the future...do it. Try to explain the sandblasting to someone as "HPDE wear" and you'll lose over half your potential buyers within the first few seconds.

Be good,
TomK
I thouroughly enjoyed watching that video on youtube of you at limerock that is in your signature. Thanks for making such a great video and sharing it!
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      05-30-2009, 12:50 PM   #16
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I did a little research and there a few different companies supplying clearbra type products. Has anyone found an e90/92/93 M3 pattern?
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