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      08-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
NoSoupForU
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MDM mode at the track?

Is MDM still too intrusive for the track (road course)? I'm not sure if I want this option yet. It would be nice to have a setting that only intervenes right at the cusp of spinning.
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      08-05-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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That question all depends on your driving ability...very difficult to quantify that question. What one person might find too intrusive might not be intrusive enough for another driver.
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      08-05-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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That question all depends on your driving ability...very difficult to quantify that question. What one person might find too intrusive might not be intrusive enough for another driver.
Good point. The only track experience I have is with an AWD turbo car. That thing had so much grip I would never spin no matter how early I got on the gas during a turn. Even when it would start to get loose, I would just floor it and everything would be fine.
I would consider myself an experienced beginner on the track.
What do most ppl here use at the track? MDM or completely off?
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      08-05-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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Went to the track 3 days ago and I played around with different traction settings. Sometimes MDM would be a little too intrusive if I got on the power too early but I had faster lap times when I used MDM rather then having it OFF.

Plus I feel a lot better knowing that there's a safety net in case I mess up.
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      08-05-2009, 04:28 PM   #5
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It's nice to have because if you don't want it you can turn it off but if you are at an event or if the roads are slick from rain you can keep it on. I usually keep it off.
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      08-05-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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Too bad they don't sell the Mdrive as a stand alone option. The Tech package is kinda pricey since I don't want Nav.
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      08-05-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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I think the MDM is very useful at the track. My biggest mistake on the track was going faster than the car is capable of in that particular turn. I would go in hot and exit too strong too early. A lot more fun to drive that way but your time will suffer as a result. What I am trying to say is, if you are getting more wheels spin than the MDM will permit you are actually going to end up going slower around the track.
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      08-05-2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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So is it even possible to spin at the track on dry pavement with MDM on?
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      08-05-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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MDM off 100% of the time if you want maximum performance from your car even in the wet.MDM is way too intrusive to get even near the limits when it is on.The other big problem with MDM on is that your brake temps will be much higher as the yaw control uses the brakes to intervene.If you are concerned about your ability to control a slide,invest the time & money in learning skid control.Most proper schools will have at least 1 skid pad session to teach the basics of car control.Besides its a lot of fun to slide an M around
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      08-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSoupForU View Post
So is it even possible to spin at the track on dry pavement with MDM on?
Absolutely, until MDM also takes control of the steering wheel anyone can spin it off the track or street with ridiculous inputs. DCT will save you from small mistakes but tossing the wheel back and forth will still result in a loss of control.
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      08-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSoupForU View Post
Is MDM still too intrusive for the track (road course)? I'm not sure if I want this option yet. It would be nice to have a setting that only intervenes right at the cusp of spinning.
MDM, DCT off, it's just a lot more fun and can be a better, albeit steeper, learning experience.
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      08-05-2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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MDM, DCT off, it's just a lot more fun and can be a better, albeit steeper, learning experience.
DCT off? I'm assuming you mean DSC off. And you can't have DSC off and MDM on at the same time. Its either one or the other.
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      08-05-2009, 08:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I think the MDM is very useful at the track. My biggest mistake on the track was going faster than the car is capable of in that particular turn. I would go in hot and exit too strong too early. A lot more fun to drive that way but your time will suffer as a result. What I am trying to say is, if you are getting more wheels spin than the MDM will permit you are actually going to end up going slower around the track.
This is lost on many people. They get upset because DSC is intruding on their fun. However, if it is intruding, most likely it is because you are making mistakes. In my e46, there was only one turn on one track where the DSC actually slowed me down. Typically, any other time it would step in was to tell me I was being too abrupt on corner entry.

This last time at Thunderbolt in the rain, MDM was too intrusive, but that was only because I wanted to have some fun in the rain. If I really wanted to be juvenile, I should have turned it off entirely.

For the most part, the DSC can be a tool to tell you when you are not driving the best that you can.
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      08-05-2009, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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MDM, DCT off, it's just a lot more fun and can be a better, albeit steeper, learning experience.
Yes, you meant DSC, of which MDM is just the aggressive setting, as Big Windy pointed out.

For a beginner in any high-performance car, DSC off (or its equivalent) will be a "steeper" learning experience for sure, and it may also be a very expensive one. Even DSC in the standard mode will not save you from a bad mistake. Even for someone with average track experience, MDM will likely be the quickest way around the track.

In the high-performance driving schools I've been through driving school cars (e.g. C6 Z06), they will not let you turn stability control off. If you do and if you depart the track with contact, their insurance (which you pay for, $1500 deductable) is null and void, and you pick up the whole tab.

On car forums people always like to brag (or think) that they are quicker without it. I never see any data to support that. For a pro, it's a different matter. There are not many pros on car forums. Moreover, the really fast pros do crash on occasion.
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      08-05-2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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I've not tracked my M, but have raced in FF and tracked Porsches. This always comes up in many places. Here's my opinion. If you want to learn the limit of your car, these stability aids are best turned off. The best way to learn is with everything off. Even ABS if you could. You will never learn without spinning here and there and making plenty of mistakes. Of course, if your goal is simply to go fast around a track, but not near any sort of limit of the car (which is a lot higher than most realize), and you don't want to spin and cause damage, then by all means leave it on.

A better option is to take a racing class and learn on their cars. This is in fact the best way to learn IMO. People say it's expensive, but when I see how much money some put into mods and then go to the track, they'd be better off going to a racing school and putting their money there. They'd be faster in the stock car after taking the class than with mods and no proper instruction.

I was surprised to read in another thread that the M "Advanced" school has the students use MDM. That's a shame. But it's cheap insurance for them I suppose.

I agree 100% with Gearhead999s.
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      08-05-2009, 09:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foosh View Post
On car forums people always like to brag (or think) that they are quicker without it. I never see any data to support that. For a pro, it's a different matter. There are not many pros on car forums.
An intermediate driver is equal or faster with DSC, an advanced driver will be faster without it. I'm over a second quicker at my local 1.7 mile track w/o DSC. I'm not even close to being the fastest anything.

DSC will let you get out of shape but cuts in during trail braking, rotation, throttle steering in smaller radius corners. Big sweeping high speed tracks it's about equal. Not saying sliding is fast, but sometimes larger slip angles than DSC likes is.

It's good to learn how to drive the car without it, learn where the edge is and drive to it, instead of being bounced off it by the car. It's just more fun also.

I think the myth is actually the opposite of yours, that we're told it's faster with the babysitter, that the car is faster than any driver, I disagree.
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      08-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #17
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I've not tracked my M, but have raced in FF and tracked Porsches. This always comes up in many places. Here's my opinion. If you want to learn the limit of your car, these stability aids are best turned off. The best way to learn is with everything off. Even ABS if you could. You will never learn without spinning here and there and making plenty of mistakes. Of course, if your goal is simply to go fast around a track, but not near any sort of limit of the car (which is a lot higher than most realize), and you don't want to spin and cause damage, then by all means leave it on.

A better option is to take a racing class and learn on their cars. This is in fact the best way to learn IMO. People say it's expensive, but when I see how much money some put into mods and then go to the track, they'd be better off going to a racing school and putting their money there. They'd be faster in the stock car after taking the class than with mods and no proper instruction.

I was surprised to read in another thread that the M "Advanced" school has the students use MDM. That's a shame. But it's cheap insurance for them I suppose.

I agree 100% with Gearhead999s.
Agreed, in principle, but I don't think 99.9% of people on car forums like this are prepared for the damage part. I get concerned with the type of advice that a lot of people toss around in these forums. It gets a lot of newbies in trouble.

I particularly cheer your advice to get professional instruction. I always marvel at the sanity of those who take an expensive car to an HPDE with no professional instruction. The schools are expensive, but they very cheap compared to what people pay for after-market exhaust systems, wheels, and carbon fiber bits.
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      08-05-2009, 09:09 PM   #18
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In that driving show on speed with Tommy Kendall, they had 3 pro racing car drivers take the m3 through the tests they put you through in m school. In the Slalom test, one of the drivers remarked that they had the fastest time with traction control on.

Traction control was banned in F1 in 2008. I doubt it was because traction control was making drivers too slow.
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      08-05-2009, 09:42 PM   #19
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I have 4 days of track experience, so I wouldn't think to run DSC off at this point. I drove Summit Point for the first time a couple weeks ago with MDM and I have to say it save my car. On the last session of the last day, I was working the car as hard as I could. I kept late apexing turn 3 because I would start braking where the classroom instructor told me he started to brake (he has a lightweight e30 M3) and therefore didn't scrub enough speed. This time I braked late, but turned in where I needed to but with too much speed. I hit the apex, but the compression popped the car up enough that when I landed, I started to rotate counterclockwise. I felt MDM grab my front right brake then my left rear brake (to keep from spinning clockwise) then my right rear brake and I think left front brake. There is no way that I could have saved that car from a spin without traction control, and to be honest, I don't think a professional driver could have either (I understand he probably wouldn't have done what I did to get in that mess in the first place).

I have a lot to learn before running DSC off, and my only suggestion is that you run MDM until you know that it is holding you back.

In short: If you have to ask others if you should run DSC off, then you probably shouldn't.
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      08-05-2009, 09:48 PM   #20
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I particularly cheer your advice to get professional instruction. I always marvel at the sanity of those who take an expensive car to an HPDE with no professional instruction. The schools are expensive, but they very cheap compared to what people pay for after-market exhaust systems, wheels, and carbon fiber bits.
I don't get it either. It's one thing to mod for looks, but if you want to mod for track performance, you'll be better served getting proper instruction. I've seen too many nice cars with expensive mods get badly damaged at the track. It's a shame really. To each his own I suppose. Walk, then run. Learn properly, and speed will come.
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      08-05-2009, 09:55 PM   #21
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In that driving show on speed with Tommy Kendall, they had 3 pro racing car drivers take the m3 through the tests they put you through in m school. In the Slalom test, one of the drivers remarked that they had the fastest time with traction control on.

Traction control was banned in F1 in 2008. I doubt it was because traction control was making drivers too slow.
A transient slalom is a totaly different scenario than lapping a racetrack will ever present.A modern tire usually presents its greatest traction up to a level of 10% slippage and unfortunatly MDM seems to intervene well below this threshold.When I have tried the MDM it really slowed up the car on corner exit in fast 3rd gear corners where I had no problem using full throttle with the MDM off and wheelspin was not much of an issue before the rear tires went off during the day.

A racing level traction control is a very different item than the way it is managed in a street car that must meet emission standards and has catalytic converters.Most race systems just cut fuel and or spark to control the engine power which is why you would hear all the poping & banging when the system was active.Street systems control throttle plate angle and then varying other levels of intervention from fuel & ignition timing and brake intervention in order to control wheelspin and or yaw angle.Two totaly different systems for sure.
I also imagine that the racing TC systems have become much more sophisticated in the last few years than when I was exposed to their use.
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      08-05-2009, 09:57 PM   #22
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Yes, in virtually all cases, it's the driver who needs to be modified, not the car.
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