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      07-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #1
Ludey
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Autocross

So, are guys autocrossing their Ms? I see a ton of track racing, but not nearly as much auto-X. Why is that? I realize that the M itself is designed more for road courses but Auto X is still within the realm of possibility.

I was thinking about going to the event later this month here in Charlotte and was wondering if anyone else is going. And also just looking for general feedback from guys that have done it.

Thanks!
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      07-19-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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Me too. I'm interested to others feedback as well. I was considering the auto-x school they are holding, but its on the wife's birthday and I don't think that would go over too well.

I have done some track stuff with Skip Barber, but that was in their cars. I'm hesitant about taking my daily driver to track days for the increased wear and tear or the odd off track excursion and though auto-x would be a good compromise.
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      07-19-2014, 04:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banditM3 View Post
Me too. I'm interested to others feedback as well. I was considering the auto-x school they are holding, but its on the wife's birthday and I don't think that would go over too well.

I have done some track stuff with Skip Barber, but that was in their cars. I'm hesitant about taking my daily driver to track days for the increased wear and tear or the odd off track excursion and though auto-x would be a good compromise.
Oh wow, I was just reading up on that school thing myself. I came to the same conclusion as you regarding the wear and tear.


I did the "driving experience" where you pay to drive the Ferrari a couple weeks ago and I realized that it was a very good compromise as far as getting some track time in. IE - It wasn't all that much wear and tear on the car and the margin of error was very wide compared to going to, say, going to Kershaw and getting it up in the 140+ range where a mistake could be massive. The instructor in the Ferrari was the AutoX Charlotte leader (or whatever) and said to come on out.

On top of that, there just wasn't all that much more "abuse" the car was taking beyond some cornering I already do here and there at opportune times on the street.

If you end up going, PM me and maybe we can meet up and be beginners together
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      07-19-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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I have auto crossed my M3 since I bought it in May 2008. The car is very capable to say the least. Perhaps there is the perception that more people track the M3 vs. auto cross, but I'm not sure if this is true....I could GoPRo and post lots of auto cross runs, but personally I'd rather watch the videos from the track rats that are more than just a quick 1 minute dance around cones. Perhaps other auto crossers think like I do?

From my stock M3, to adding software and exhaust, to adding Michelin PSCups, to supercharging, to doing a conservative weight lose, to running Conti slicks, the M3 is a very capable auto cross car. But it's not ideal.

I run against two highly modded Corvettes: a sc/d, Hoosier A6 shod C6 'vert and a bolt on/tuned, Hoosier A6 shod C6 Carbon Edition. On a 50sec course, I'm 1 sec off the 'vert and about 2.5 secs off the Carbon Ed. What's causing the difference? Assuming the drivers are a wash, it's the weight difference (even with my savings), the A6 Hoosiers (my Conti's are more of an R6), and ... not sure.

Nonetheless. I'm not about to gain 20 years, and lose my hairline to justify a Corvette



Wear and tear? A little more brake dust to clean off the rims, a little higher gas bill on the way home, and you visit your tire guy more often.
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      07-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnell325 View Post
I have auto crossed my M3 since I bought it in May 2008. The car is very capable to say the least. Perhaps there is the perception that more people track the M3 vs. auto cross, but I'm not sure if this is true....I could GoPRo and post lots of auto cross runs, but personally I'd rather watch the videos from the track rats that are more than just a quick 1 minute dance around cones. Perhaps other auto crossers think like I do?

From my stock M3, to adding software and exhaust, to adding Michelin PSCups, to supercharging, to doing a conservative weight lose, to running Conti slicks, the M3 is a very capable auto cross car. But it's not ideal.

I run against two highly modded Corvettes: a sc/d, Hoosier A6 shod C6 'vert and a bolt on/tuned, Hoosier A6 shod C6 Carbon Edition. On a 50sec course, I'm 1 sec off the 'vert and about 2.5 secs off the Carbon Ed. What's causing the difference? Assuming the drivers are a wash, it's the weight difference (even with my savings), the A6 Hoosiers (my Conti's are more of an R6), and ... not sure.

Nonetheless. I'm not about to gain 20 years, and lose my hairline to justify a Corvette



Wear and tear? A little more brake dust to clean off the rims, a little higher gas bill on the way home, and you visit your tire guy more often.
Oh yeah man, take some vids. I'd love to see an in car of some Auto-X.

So if you could, give me some insight as I'm a 100% newbie. What should I expect if I just show up at an event, knowing basically nothing? Should I even do it this way, IE should I prep some other way. I've only auto-x'd that one time in the Ferrari so I know basically nothing other than those 3 laps
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      07-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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Search the forum here. Board member Maypo placed trophied in 3rd place in F-stock last year at Nationals in an E92 M3, came close to winning 1st overall, after placing 1st on day 2. F-stock is of course F-street this year, and a properly setup M3 is extremely competitive. There aren't any other stock classes where any BMW is competitively classed.

Staying within the stock class rules, I have a larger front sway bar, pins out for max negative camber up front, almost zero toe alignment, stock width wheels with BFG Rivals, 275/35-18 all around for autocross. I've autocrossed for almost 40 years now and track/instructor for over 30. The M3 is wonderful on course for a stock class car; turn-in with the Rivals (and setup as above) is sharp and accurate, car has just the right amount of rotation available with trail braking into elements, and most importantly it's a beast at putting down power coming off elements -- that part is amazing actually.

Check out threads/posts by me, Richbot and Maypo in this section. Here are a couple of the more useful ones:

Really long and extremely useful thread:
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=408290

2013 Nationals info from Maypo:
www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=885123

If you're just getting started, one of the best things to do is take an Evolution Phase 1 school.

Regards,
Chuck
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Last edited by CSBM5; 07-19-2014 at 07:40 PM.
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      07-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #7
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Just finished reading both threads and watching all the videos. WOW - thread like that long one are why I come back to sites like this one. I learned a TON and it's great to see our cars doing great once again. However, most of that info is completely foreign to me as I've never raced autocross, but I'm sure it'll all start making sense once I get a few events under my belt.

Thanks for the referral.
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      07-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludey View Post
Just finished reading both threads and watching all the videos. WOW - thread like that long one are why I come back to sites like this one. I learned a TON and it's great to see our cars doing great once again. However, most of that info is completely foreign to me as I've never raced autocross, but I'm sure it'll all start making sense once I get a few events under my belt.

Thanks for the referral.
Does Clt refer to Charlotte NC?

If so, the new SCCA intro event, Starting Line, comes to Charlotte next weekend: http://sccastartingline.com/
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      07-20-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Does Clt refer to Charlotte NC?

If so, the new SCCA intro event, Starting Line, comes to Charlotte next weekend: http://sccastartingline.com/
Yes, I'm in Charlotte. And yes, I heard about that event from the instructor in the Driving Experience event I did. I'd love to drive in it but I admit it, I feel embarrassed being so green. And I wouldn't be set up at all for it... I'd basically be driving my bone stock cherry car to the autocross event and directly on to the course... then proceed to drive it incredibly horribly compared to everyone else there due to my lack of experience. lol Things like this usually do not embarrass me, but I am concerned I'll do something really stupid... heck I had trouble reading the course layout at the last thing I was at, but it was the norm there since it wasn't a true autocross event so it didn't bother me.

I'll at least go check it out though. Are you coming in from Raleigh?
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      07-20-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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No, I'm not part of the school, but the Evo school instructors are outstanding, so if I were you, I'd not be concerned in the least at being a novice since that is the type of student these SCCA events are designed to attract. They expect your car to be 100% stock and/or not "setup" per se to the rules of whatever class it would be in, etc. Don't worry about any of that.

I've taught many pure novices at our local novice schools (THSCC.com), and it's a pleasure to have a student who is willing to learn, has an open mind and is willing to make mistakes repeatedly since that is the best way to learn. By the end of the day, you'll be a way better driver/autocrosser than you're giving yourself credit for.
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      07-20-2014, 09:19 PM   #11
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I think the E9XM3 is a great autocross car. If you could put in some front camber plates...just throttle your way around all of the turns.

I've auto-x'd a couple of times but, sorry, working cones doesn't seem appealing to me on my weekend. From what I've seen...your runs are kind of limited as well. Just rather be on the big track.
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      07-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #12
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Don't worry about being "green" with a stock car. Autocross events cater to newbies. Just have fun and focus on technique rather than trying to go as fast as possible.

A bone stock e9x m3 even on OEM PSS tires is nothing to sneeze at. Especially since it is now favorably classed in "FS".

Ive driven on track and auto crossed for over a decade now with experience instructing in both disciplines.I have just as much fun auto crossing my m3 as long as it is a proper course in a huge lot with good competition.
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      07-21-2014, 04:10 AM   #13
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The car will do well. Nothing wrong with being a novice. Try to get there on time. Made it to my first autocross late about 11 years ago, didnt walk the course, got lost a few times, overall a mess. Get there early, walk the course, have some of the experienced guys to sit with you and walk you through it, ride in there car, start out as course worker to get settled in & watch what people are doing. Keep it simple, have an open mind, and have a lots of fun. The rest will come later.
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      07-21-2014, 06:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple M View Post
The car will do well. Nothing wrong with being a novice. Try to get there on time. Made it to my first autocross late about 11 years ago, didnt walk the course, got lost a few times, overall a mess. Get there early, walk the course, have some of the experienced guys to sit with you and walk you through it, ride in there car, start out as course worker to get settled in & watch what people are doing. Keep it simple, have an open mind, and have a lots of fun. The rest will come later.
That's what I fear...getting lost! Hard to get lost on a road course.
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      07-21-2014, 06:23 PM   #15
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Thats Jae Kinda embarassing back then but the fun factor took over quick. It does help quite a bit in learning low speed oversteer correction and u get used to using lift oversteer harder rotations. You are absolutely right, I'd take road course anyday. Btw OP will probably benefit from proper clothing, as things get warm and sweaty when it's your turn to take the course worker position
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      07-21-2014, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple M View Post
Thats Jae Kinda embarassing back then but the fun factor took over quick. It does help quite a bit in learning low speed oversteer correction and u get used to using lift oversteer harder rotations. You are absolutely right, I'd take road course anyday. Btw OP will probably benefit from proper clothing, as things get warm and sweaty when it's your turn to take the course worker position
I got about 50% of that...
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      07-23-2014, 08:31 PM   #17
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We don't have a super competitive FS class, but I autocross mine. And the BMWCCA events are fun too though I always lose to a certain E30. I have done absolutely 0 to the car though, no sway bar, no camber, nothing, so there's that.

I am still on stock OEM Contis and have done 4-5 autocrosses and the tires are at like half tread after 1 year. They stick pretty good honestly.

The car isn't like a miata, but it is a lot of FUN to autocross. I had a built STU class subaru STI and it just wasn't as fun to race. It was faster around the track but not as fun truthfully. I sold it to my friend and he beat my time in the last autox, but I beat him in PAX ahah.

https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/...34456551_o.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=2&theater

hopefully the video link works.
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