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      08-17-2009, 09:21 PM   #45
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Our local CCA club has a rule that if you have DSC it cannot be completely turned off. I am in the B class but an intermediate driver at best. My main goals at driving events are 1. take my car home 2. have fun driving and enjoying the company of other enthusiasts and 3. incremental improvement in my driving skill. Now having MDM on may be a hindrance re 3., but I'm not getting paid to do this and at my age will never progress to racing. Pacific Raceways is not a great venue to test the limits. I've observed 4 cars totalled at driving events I have attended in the last year.
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      08-17-2009, 10:48 PM   #46
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Wow.. just took about an hours to read all these posts, makes me feel like a very noobie all over again. I've had about 11 track days so far... another two coming up this weekend and for the first time I turned DSC off at Summit Point, which was my 10th track day. It was so much of a difference than having MDM on because I almost PISSED in my PANTS !! lol... Like most noobies do, I was in pedal to the metal mode exiting the turn and took me long enough to realize that method was STUPIDITY~! Still got WAYYY too much to learn, but time to time putting DSC off and knowing your limits will indeed help increase your driving skills.. (I think)~
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      08-18-2009, 09:00 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by tallycoolies View Post
It was so much of a difference than having MDM on because I almost PISSED in my PANTS !! lol... Like most noobies do, I was in pedal to the metal mode exiting the turn and took me long enough to realize that method was STUPIDITY~! (I think)~
Bet you learned heaps about throttle control. Next time you turn it off it will feel more natural.
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      08-19-2009, 08:52 PM   #48
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I agree with you - and I was the one that suggested taking a racing school or high performance driving class with pro instructors instead of spending money on slicks, rims, tint, exhaust, etc. I didn't say to get a race car to practice...
I never said anything about taking a racing school, but I did mentioned somebody who got a slower caged car for the track, and that was Lucid. But thanks for agreeing anyway
By the way, you wrote "that" many times when you should have written "who". "I was the one WHO suggested taking a...". Sorry, that's just a pet peeve of mine.

Take care all, drive fast, be smart, and have fun for a long, long time!
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      08-20-2009, 08:16 AM   #49
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There's nothing wrong with learning with your street M3 as long as you don't act ignorant and take the time to listen to your instructor.
I agree with what you are saying above about learning in your street car, but the problem is when people are just beginning to learn, they are, by definition, ignorant. At that point, you don't really know where the limit is, how its approached, and what happens if you go over it under different circumstances. Yes, your instructor will try to slow you down to introduce all that in a safe manner, so if you just listen to him/her, the chances of you putting it into the wall without traction control will be decreased early on, but realistically speaking, how many beginners actually are in a position to "get" that during their initial track days? I will confess that I didn't when I started. It's not as if I was mashing the throttle coming out of every turn or yanking on the wheel or anything, but I still didn't get the nuances of what they were trying to say--in retrospect, I was driving faster than I should have--and I am glad that MDM was available to me at that time, especially in an expensive high powered car. An intermediate driver should get it, and behave and make choices accordingly, and this should be a non-issue for an advanced driver.

I was actually advocating getting a fully caged race car for drivers who are in the process of picking up and practicing advanced skills--mainly for safety reasons. Obviously, you should still be mindful of the amount of risk you are taking, but, by definition, there is more risk/experimentation involved in practicing some of the advanced skills and driving faster. Your "limit" should be going up as you learn and you should obviously never intentionally exceed it (not to mention the car's limit), but you should drive somewhat close to it or you will not learn how to go faster--if that is your goal. And, sometimes that is what happens for you to really understand where it is (otherwise, there would never be any accidents, incidents, spins, run offs, etc. on the track in advanced groups--excluding pure stupidity).

However, you, as a long time instructor, have a much deeper understanding of how students behave in general, so I'd defer to your opinion if you disagree about that part of what I said. Cheers.
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      08-20-2009, 08:16 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
I never said anything about taking a racing school, but I did mentioned somebody who got a slower caged car for the track, and that was Lucid. But thanks for agreeing anyway
By the way, you wrote "that" many times when you should have written "who". "I was the one WHO suggested taking a...". Sorry, that's just a pet peave of mine.

Take care all, drive fast, be smart, and have fun for a long, long time!
My pet peeve is when people use pet peave instead pet peeve. Let's stick to driving, since the grammar above needs some punctuation as well.
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      08-20-2009, 09:11 AM   #51
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Yes, your instructor will try to slow you down to introduce all that in a safe manner, so if you just listen to him/her, the chances of you putting it into the wall without traction control will be decreased early on, but realistically speaking, how many beginners actually are in a position to "get" that during their initial track days? I will confess that I didn't when I started. It's not as if I was mashing the throttle coming out of every turn or yanking on the wheel or anything, but I still didn't get the nuances of what they were trying to say--in retrospect, I was driving faster than I should have--and I am glad that MDM was available to me at that time, especially in an expensive high powered car. An intermediate driver should get it, and behave and make choices accordingly, and this should be a non-issue for an advanced driver.
Then I'd say you just didn't have very good instructors early on. In the 10 years I've been a high-performance driving instructor, I have never had a student hit a wall or barrier, but that's not to say they didn't get it. They got it eventually, when I felt they were ready. Some of them went on to be successful racers too.

Quote:
I was actually advocating getting a fully caged race car for drivers who are in the process of picking up and practicing advanced skills--mainly for safety reasons. Obviously, you should still be mindful of the amount of risk you are taking, but, by definition, there is more risk/experimentation involved in practicing some of the advanced skills and driving faster. Your "limit" should be going up as you learn and you should obviously never intentionally exceed it (not to mention the car's limit), but you should drive somewhat close to it or you will not learn how to go faster--if that is your goal. And, sometimes that is what happens for you to really understand where it is (otherwise, there would never be any accidents, incidents, spins, run offs, etc. on the track in advanced groups--excluding pure stupidity).

However, you, as a long time instructor, have a much deeper understanding of how students behave in general, so I'd defer to your opinion if you disagree about that part of what I said. Cheers.
Like I said in my response, a fully caged car is a good idea, but not for everyone. Many are barely able to afford the nice cars they have and cannot even entertain the thought of buyig another toy to learn in at the track. So I say, go have fun in your fast high$ ride on the track if that will make life more pleasureable... but be precautious about it. That's why I believe in classroom instruction as well as on-track instruction. Good drivers don't go off track unless something unpredictable happens (a tire punctures, suspension arm breaks, coolant hose on car ahead bursts, etc.). They need o know how to react, which can be taught in a classromm, and then by doing (at slow speeds). When I raced Spec Miata, Id go to my local track during an "off" day and run laps at 10/10ths all day long without ever putting more than a wheel off. It's what test drivers do. There's no better way to quantify the effects of a change (tire brand, tire pressure, alignment setting, etc.). It's important for an instructor to be able to discern whether or not a student has natural ability. I've been with a few who I knew would NEVR get it, and would never be able to drive their cars anywhere near the limit. However, they had a blast going as fast as they did, and that's what it's all about... having fun. That holds true even for racing schools. If somebody signs up for a racing school and isn't having fun, then they should just make the best of it and go back to doing what they were doing before. But this thread sin't about racing schools, it's simply about how much fun one can have with their track-worthy M cars without taking too much risk. How close they can drive to the limit isnt' as important as how much fun they having. if an instructor tells a student to do deeper, brake later, carry more speed here and there, and the student gets nervous, then the instructor isn't doing his job properly. The student needs to be having fun, and that pays dividends when he signs up for another event

Peace!
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      08-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #52
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Sure, a pro test driver can/should run the car like clockwork around a track, but that is not the norm during an HPDE in any of the groups as far as I can tell. I see plenty of incidents that are not linked to unexpected events in the instructor groups and club races, etc. So, in that sense, an advanced driver is not an expert driver. Anyway, but I do agree that an HPDE should primarily be about having fun, and that competitive driving is not exactly a part of this discussion, but there is still an element of learning how to drive faster. I do understand that does not happen because you start "pushing" though. Cheers.
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      08-20-2009, 06:38 PM   #53
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Hey Guys - just thought I would add my $0.02 worth. I had my second track day in the M yestersday. The first day I ran MDM on all day as I wanted to get used to the car.

Yesterday morning I did the first two runs in MDM mode to get the track layout down (never tracked there before). After that I turned the DSC OFF for the rest of the day. I would say that I learned more about my car in the next two sessions than I had previous. It teaches you to be alot smoother and in turn makes you much faster. I feel like I am driving the car at about 8/10ths now and will build on that the next track day.

I spent a session in the passanger seat of Gearhead's M who drives at about 12/10ths so I know there is lots of room for improvement for me. He has some serious experience and skills!

All in all DSC OFF (with some self discipline) is the best way to track and learn your car IMO.
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      09-12-2009, 09:53 AM   #54
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MDM for track use?

Hi Guys,

I have spend some time on the track before but always with a front wheels drive car. The M3 was my first Rear drive car and I must say it is so much more fun to drive. Well anyways I went to the local track and put the car in MDM but is the MDM suppose to be used for a full day of track use? or is it just worthy for a couple of laps.? I know the true skilled drivers don't really need the DSC at all. I know the MDM is electronic controlled so will it over head or fail after heavy use??
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      09-12-2009, 10:20 AM   #55
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There is a sticky thread on this, so I merged your question into that thread. The first part of your question has been discussed here. As to wear on the brake system, you'll get more additional wear on the brake system to the extent that it is intervening. So, instead of your foot doing the braking, the computer is doing it. And, you do get uneven (and possibly more) pad wear (and you can say rotor and caliper wear) as a result. One can speculate that you would run higher rotor/pad temperatures as well. I don't know the specifics of how the computer executes MDM braking and if there are additional mechanicms that see use when MDM kick in that are not normally used.
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      09-13-2009, 02:47 AM   #56
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Quote:
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There is a sticky thread on this, so I merged your question into that thread. The first part of your question has been discussed here. As to wear on the brake system, you'll get more additional wear on the brake system to the extent that it is intervening. So, instead of your foot doing the braking, the computer is doing it. And, you do get uneven (and possibly more) pad wear (and you can say rotor and caliper wear) as a result. One can speculate that you would run higher rotor/pad temperatures as well. I don't know the specifics of how the computer executes MDM braking and if there are additional mechanicms that see use when MDM kick in that are not normally used.
Well it is only my theory. Because of the track day, I drove the car for a couple of days and left for business trip 4 days later. My entire DSC ECU was gone. I could drive the car but I lost some power, the car just doesn't to be as fast as it should be. The dealer in Taiwan is getting me a new ECU but I am always under the impression that the DSC usually don't brake down. So I came to the conclusion of using the MDM too much and somehow shorted out the DSC ECU unit.
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      09-13-2009, 09:34 AM   #57
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Well it is only my theory. Because of the track day, I drove the car for a couple of days and left for business trip 4 days later. My entire DSC ECU was gone. I could drive the car but I lost some power, the car just doesn't to be as fast as it should be. The dealer in Taiwan is getting me a new ECU but I am always under the impression that the DSC usually don't brake down. So I came to the conclusion of using the MDM too much and somehow shorted out the DSC ECU unit.
I don't see how the electronics can overheat because you are using MDM at the track. Several people have reported using it at the track without any issues. The extra wear should be mechanical in nature. Sounds like you just had a bad control unit. I wonder where it is located though. Do you know where the controller is?
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      09-13-2009, 12:09 PM   #58
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MDM is designed for the track....
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      09-13-2009, 03:50 PM   #59
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Reading through these post, particularly Lucid's you would be under the impression that MDM somehow is micro-managing your driving at the track. It's possible but I find it a bit hard to believe. I've ridden in the M3 when MDM clearly intervened and it sure feels to me when a given slip angle (moderate at least) is exceeded the system intervenes.

I've also driven the M3 in MDM mode (every time at the track) and I can't say that I feel anything. Now I've never driven with DSC off, but if MDM is really intervening it's really subtle.

If you believe the manual which would argue that it doesn't activate until you are in trouble then there is no micro or early intervention for MDM. It states, (page 76) under M Dynamic Mode, "Only at the absolute limit of stability does the system intervene to stabilize the vehicle by reducing engine power and applying the brakes on the wheels."

This sure does not sound like what folks are talking about here nor does it reflect my experience. Am I missing something?
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      09-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #60
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The system seems to have two modes of intervention: cutting power and applying the brakes. I guess that is kind of obvious. I am inclined to believe when power is cut or major braking interventions are made, the light flashes for sure. I am also inclined to believe that the light does not flash when minor braking interventions are made although I have no proof. I am primarly basing that on how much more stable the car was at WGI after I turned MDM off (WGI is particularly bumpy at places and I didn't see the light flash much at all but the front pads were worn rather unevenly), and perhaps on a similar experience I had at turn 10 at NHMS where the surface is rather bumpy at the exit down the hill, but at that point the light will flash for sure if you throw the car around.
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      09-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #61
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Now that I would believe, particularly for bumpy or uneven surfaces as I think the system probably has a lower threshold for that sort of "unsettled" condition. I've run almost exclusively on pretty smooth surfaces and maybe that's why I don't think MDM is doing much.
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      09-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #62
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Quote:
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I don't see how the electronics can overheat because you are using MDM at the track. Several people have reported using it at the track without any issues. The extra wear should be mechanical in nature. Sounds like you just had a bad control unit. I wonder where it is located though. Do you know where the controller is?

hopes thats it.
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      09-18-2009, 11:09 AM   #63
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At the Advanced M-School at VIR we kept the MDM on all the time. It's a smooth, relatively high speed track with only one or two slower corners. Oak Tree, the tightest corner, is the only place that I felt the DSC intrude and that was when I was trying to agressively rotate the car at the end of the corner, to go onto the long straight. That's the only place where I felt like MDM was costing time. I was driving 8-10th and then 9-10ths for me and focusing on being smooth and learning the track, so maybe I would have felt the DSC intrusion more if I'd been at 10-10th and trying to qualify.

OTOH, DSC is a HUGE impediment in autocross. AX is almost all tight, 2d-gear corners, including 180-degree corners where you want to trail-brake in and have the car rotate toward the end of the corner. When you start rotating the car, the inside brake activates to kill the rotation AND the throttle response is killed for close to a second. It's a one or two-second penalty on a 40-second lap.

If you want to enjoy and have fun with your car at HPDEs, then I see no reason to turn MDM off. If you're being smooth and applying the throttle correctly, then you should hardly notice it. However, if you want to become a racer to compete in timed events or against other drivers, then, as Lucid says, you'll need to learn to drive with it off, to avoid bad habit and get the full potential out of the car. As Lucid also said, learning advanced techiques on fast tracks is dangerous and needs to be consider differently from HPDE events.

Dave
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      09-19-2009, 11:37 AM   #64
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No MDM for me on the track.

I do understand that some tracks (e.g., the Glen, ...) have very narrow escapes along the track so in these cases it might make sense but my take is: if I can't remove DSC on a track then when would I be able to learn the limits of the car (and mine)???

At Lime Rock I ran with DSC off and I will do the same at Lightning in October. Insurances are made for this I guess...

Again, this is just my personal preference and I am not suggesting that someone is right or wrong to do otherwise.
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      09-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #65
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I would run with it on. It will blink when it's coming on showing you that you're getting on the gas too early. After a few laps, I was at the point where it wouldn't come on anymore so I just learned from it. I'm sure that I could go a bit faster with it off after realizing how the car felt when it came on but I like my car shiny and in one piece
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      11-25-2009, 11:36 AM   #66
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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.
Yes you can have MDM on and DSC off, with both of them off it is when you finally experience S6 and you are able to do launch control.
I would suggest you try it once, it is very fun.
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