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      03-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #1
FlyFish
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Launching techniques -- Manual 6 speed

I need some advise here; I am about ready to receive my car back from the dealer (1200 mile service) and am ready to take my M3 out to the race track. Never done this kind of thing before; even going out to get a Snell 2000 helmet (evidently this is needed for cars that can go faster than 13.5 seconds in a quarter mile). Buddy of mine that owns a Mustang GT with a few mods thinks he is going to wipe me up and down the track. Not because his car is faster, but that he is a self proclaimed, 'better' driver. We will see...

Anyway, I need some advise. Especially when it comes to launching off the line. How much do I rev her up before the launch? Pop the clutch hard, or just 'briskly'. RPM's to the next shifting point???? Help!
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      03-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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I launch my manual from about 1800 rpm everything set to sport, and drop the clutch... best of luck man, I think you will destroy your friend with the mustang if the mustang is stock
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      03-25-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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Rolling starts on a track day so don't worry about it. Look up some of the driving technique sites, there are loads of them, follow the advice, beat your friend, ignore the advice, get smoked, it's as simple as that. If you are really keen to learn ask a track official as well - they will say the same thing as the sites but might be easier to pick up face to face.
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      03-25-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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He's not clear, but I get the impression that he's going to a drag strip to run 1/4-mile standing starts, not rolling starts. There's a giant difference.

I swear there was a sticky about drag racing, but I don't see it up there. Still, using the search function he'll find plenty of advice about drag racing.

For rolling starts in the M3, have 4,000 rpm or more on the clock is critical. The torque sucks below there, but it's nice an flat all the way up to 8400 after you pass 4-grands.

Dave
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      03-25-2009, 05:09 PM   #5
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For drag racing from a dead stop, put the EDC in "comfort" mode. That way the car will drop more in the back when the weight shifts and give you better traction.
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      03-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
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i usually launch my car around 3500 ish and it seems to go pretty well... type 'interlagosm3' in youTube and look for my launch video- there is a little wheel spin but it hooks pretty well...
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      03-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #7
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This is why I won't drag race my ///M:


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      03-25-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
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This is why I won't drag race my ///M:


good find...i wasn't sure what to expect, but i liked it!
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      03-25-2009, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineweissM3 View Post
This is why I won't drag race my ///M:


I see your point....hmmmm....now what?
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      03-25-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
now what?
Take it to a track with a road course, not a drag strip...
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      03-25-2009, 07:38 PM   #11
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The M3 IS NOT set up for drag racing. There's a reason that Mustangs still carry live rear axles. Prior SVT vehicles had IRS and many owners protested because it wasn't as suitable for drag racing. The M3's suspension is light weight and not easily upgraded with 32-spline axles, etc.

With just a little luck you can drag at the strip without damage, but if pro cars are running and the launch pad has been gooped up, then you chances of twisting an axle goes up exponentially. On a street surface with street tires or at a road track, you'll not experience any trouble, but a drag strip puts totally different loads on the car than it was designed for.

Dave
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      03-26-2009, 08:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
The M3 IS NOT set up for drag racing. There's a reason that Mustangs still carry live rear axles. Prior SVT vehicles had IRS and many owners protested because it wasn't as suitable for drag racing. The M3's suspension is light weight and not easily upgraded with 32-spline axles, etc.

With just a little luck you can drag at the strip without damage, but if pro cars are running and the launch pad has been gooped up, then you chances of twisting an axle goes up exponentially. On a street surface with street tires or at a road track, you'll not experience any trouble, but a drag strip puts totally different loads on the car than it was designed for.

Dave

Hi Dave--

Your explanation makes sense; however it contradicts what BMW Servicers are saying. They told me the car was 'track-ready' and no damage could be done. But your explanation makes very good sense--especially if there has been complaints lodged.

Quick question; the M3 only has about 300 ft pounds of torque; is that really enough to twist an axle or do other damage? Isn't the resistance of the road and torque usually the factors in that type of damage?

I took my 135i out to the track (1/4 mile), ran it probably two dozen times without incident-- M3 a different animal? Both cars have the same torque rating and weigh close to the same... More information would be helpful.

Thanks!
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      03-26-2009, 08:31 AM   #13
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Torque is multipled in the transmission (lowest gear yielding the highest multiplication ratio) and the diff (fixed ratio), so the crank numbers you are quoting are not all that relevant. Your drive shaft will experience peak torque in 1st gear (assuming your wheels have traction). If the 135 is geared the same as the 335 (I don't know if they have the same gear ratios or not), a stock M3 will have more peak torque at the wheels than a stock 135 due to aggresive gearing. If you want to read 15 pages of debate on this, go here:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...35+driver+test

The service people you spoke with were most likely referring to a road course as "track" and not to a drag strip.
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      03-26-2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Quick question; the M3 only has about 300 ft pounds of torque; is that really enough to twist an axle or do other damage? Isn't the resistance of the road and torque usually the factors in that type of damage?

See Post #7.
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      03-26-2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Hi Dave--

Your explanation makes sense; however it contradicts what BMW Servicers are saying. They told me the car was 'track-ready' and no damage could be done. But your explanation makes very good sense--especially if there has been complaints lodged.

Quick question; the M3 only has about 300 ft pounds of torque; is that really enough to twist an axle or do other damage? Isn't the resistance of the road and torque usually the factors in that type of damage?

I took my 135i out to the track (1/4 mile), ran it probably two dozen times without incident-- M3 a different animal? Both cars have the same torque rating and weigh close to the same... More information would be helpful.
Lucid and that video beat me to it.

I think that the SAs are referring to road tracks, not drag strips.

Here's kind of a hierarchy of stress vs. the design parameters:
  • Rolling starts on the street produce stresses well within design limits
  • Standing starts, with street tires and stock gears, on "normal" pavement, are generally within limits, unless you repeat too much, too quick & build heat
  • Drag strips with clean, concrete launch pads and stock tires, start to put you at the limits of the design
  • Add slicks or R-compound tires and your on borrowed time
  • Drag strips with traction goo, stay away without modded axles. The issue becomes "when", not "if"

I'm guessing that the stress on the axle with slicks and a gooy launch pad is probably triple that of a standing street start. If you can spin the wheels between 2000 and 4000 rpm (typical street conditions) then you're probabably ok. OTOH, if you need 5-grand to spin the wheels at a strip, then cross your fingers and pray.

I was big into Mustangs at one time. ALL of those guys that got serious about dragging ended up with 32-spline axles and Tremec transmissions. The stock parts in the 'stangs are massive vs. the M3 and yet they routinely broke after a few runs. Watch "Pinks" for a while. You'll see 500 hp cars twisting off drive shafts and parts flying like shrapnel. Because our drive train parts are even lighter, we run those kinds of risks, when we run one too many runs at the drag strip. Have your wallet at the ready and the phone number of a good tow truck driver.

Dave
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      03-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #16
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Wow, good thread. No way i'm drag racing the m3.
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      03-26-2009, 11:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Lucid and that video beat me to it.

I think that the SAs are referring to road tracks, not drag strips.


Here's kind of a hierarchy of stress vs. the design parameters:
  • Rolling starts on the street produce stresses well within design limits
  • Standing starts, with street tires and stock gears, on "normal" pavement, are generally within limits, unless you repeat too much, too quick & build heat
  • Drag strips with clean, concrete launch pads and stock tires, start to put you at the limits of the design
  • Add slicks or R-compound tires and your on borrowed time
  • Drag strips with traction goo, stay away without modded axles. The issue becomes "when", not "if"
I'm guessing that the stress on the axle with slicks and a gooy launch pad is probably triple that of a standing street start. If you can spin the wheels between 2000 and 4000 rpm (typical street conditions) then you're probabably ok. OTOH, if you need 5-grand to spin the wheels at a strip, then cross your fingers and pray.

I was big into Mustangs at one time. ALL of those guys that got serious about dragging ended up with 32-spline axles and Tremec transmissions. The stock parts in the 'stangs are massive vs. the M3 and yet they routinely broke after a few runs. Watch "Pinks" for a while. You'll see 500 hp cars twisting off drive shafts and parts flying like shrapnel. Because our drive train parts are even lighter, we run those kinds of risks, when we run one too many runs at the drag strip. Have your wallet at the ready and the phone number of a good tow truck driver.

Dave
Great information, thank you. I have to tell you though; I am kind of disappointed--not that I was planning on going to 1/4 mile track every weekend. But it sure was fun the one opportunity I had last summer with the 135i, I couldn't wait to do it again with the M3. But now--I don't think I want to risk it. Even if it's just a few times in it's life time. Only $30 bucks to drag race and $250 for the road track--ouch.

Dang it!
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      03-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Great information, thank you. I have to tell you though; I am kind of disappointed--not that I was planning on going to 1/4 mile track every weekend. But it sure was fun the one opportunity I had last summer with the 135i, I couldn't wait to do it again with the M3. But now--I don't think I want to risk it. Even if it's just a few times in it's life time. Only $30 bucks to drag race and $250 for the road track--ouch.
Sorry 'bout that. My little analysis isn't gospel, but it's based on general experience seeing cars break at drag strips, looking at the axle in that anti-drag video and general experience with performance driving.

Have you considered autocross. It's great fun and low cost. The car is ready to roll as an AX car and I can't imagine you ever hurting it.

For road courses you'll need to add a lot more to that cost to cover brakes and tires. Depending on your driving skill level, it'll double or triple the cost.

Dave
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      03-27-2009, 11:33 AM   #19
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There's a thread in here about warranty that sort of veers into the question of insurance too. You might want to read that before taking it to the track (another expense).

My rear PS2s are about shot after 4 track days and 16,000 miles. Stock tires are fine for the track (not best, but safe and easy to monitor) but you will wear through them faster.

My first weekend at the track the stock brakes were fine but the second weekend (with brand new stock brakes) I overheated them and they got stuck all over the rotors. Car vibrated horribly when braking. Some people here live with it and say the pad material eventually wears off the rotors. Brakes are harder to monitor and stock are not safe. I'd recommend not getting to the point I did and get track pads on the first or second trip to the track. Another expense right away.

You need a helmet too but I think you said you had that.

I just wanted to second what Dave wrote about the cost of taking the car to the track and give you an idea of what you need vs. what you want. Brakes = more of a need, tires = more of a want. It's a lot higher than just the cost of the event and Dave is right that what you need and thus the cost depends on how you drive.

BTW, it's also a whole lot of fun! For that cost you generally get to spend 200 minutes over the course of a weekend driving on the track. If it's a BMW CCA event you'll get an instructor in the car with you to teach you to drive better/safer. The drag strip near me is about $20 for 14 seconds. Which would work out to $17,142.86 for the same 200 minutes of actual driving fun. But who would want to make 858 runs down a drag strip over two days? The track is expensive, but not that expensive and it's fun enough to do for more than 14 seconds!

Enjoy, whatever road you take.
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      03-27-2009, 12:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Sorry 'bout that. My little analysis isn't gospel, but it's based on general experience seeing cars break at drag strips, looking at the axle in that anti-drag video and general experience with performance driving.

Have you considered autocross. It's great fun and low cost. The car is ready to roll as an AX car and I can't imagine you ever hurting it.

For road courses you'll need to add a lot more to that cost to cover brakes and tires. Depending on your driving skill level, it'll double or triple the cost.

Dave
My inexperience is showing through I'm sure; may I ask what autocross is? I wonder if there is such a place near Washington State....hmmm....I will have to google that.

Give me the scoop!

Thanks
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      03-27-2009, 01:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
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My inexperience is showing through I'm sure; may I ask what autocross is? I wonder if there is such a place near Washington State....hmmm....I will have to google that.

Give me the scoop!

Thanks
An autox course is usually set up in a large parking lot or old air strip with cones. They're usually, but not always, fairly tight & technical courses. Around here, it's usually ~$30 for the day, which includes 6-8 runs. I highly suggest doing a few autox's before going to the track. You'll learn how the car will react at lower speeds where it's easier to correct, and if you do spin, you're not likely to hit anything. Join the BMWCCA and find a local chapter; they're bound to organize autox's and track days. You'll be amazed at how much and how fast you'll learn. When I first started, I thought I knew how to drive. At my first event, I was in an E46 325 and got royally beaten by two stock PT cruisers. I've learned a lot since then.
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      03-27-2009, 01:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
My inexperience is showing through I'm sure; may I ask what autocross is? I wonder if there is such a place near Washington State....hmmm....I will have to google that.

Give me the scoop!
"Autocross" or "Solo" is relatively low speed driving, one car at a time, through a course laid out on a large, flat space generally. Cars are classed according to potential and there is a novice class for newcomers. In the stock class, car prep is limited to high performance mufflers, high flow intake filters and any tire size that'll fit on the stock rims. R-compound tires run in a different class than street tires.

BMWCCA, PCCA, SCCA, etc. all hold autocrosses. Check with your local chapters to find the schedules. SCCA tends to be more serious and the marque clubs are... more clubby. If you've got some performance mods outside the stock parameters, then you'll be up against cars that are fully modified at SCCA and you won't stand a chance. At BMWCCA many use a PAX system that penalizes cars with mods, but somewhat "realistically."

I used to do SCCA and a local club in DFW that both were very serious. I started in F-stock and moved to E-Street Prepared. Both were very competitive and fun classes. The M3's class placement is still up in the air. If it ends up in Super Stock, it'll be hopeless against the Z06 and other residents in that class. In A-stock, I think it'll do pretty well, but it'll be course-dependent vs. S2000.

I've elected to focus on club events. In BMWCCA it'll be AS and my car will carry PAX penalties for throttle bodies and gearing, but I should be able to have fun.

Solo will hone your driving skills. It demands smoothness and maintaining balance while driving on the edge. If you lose it, it's no big deal because there's nothing to hit but pylons. Each car is timed to 3-decimals. Generally, you walk the course in the morning and then have three to six timed runs spread throughout a day. Every driver has to work a session when they're not driving.

To win, you need to get good at analysing and memorizing the course before running. If you can lay down a solid first run, then you put pressure on your competition and are free to take some chances on your second and third runs. Your best time is used to determine trophy standings. It's harder than it looks, at least at the top level. Still, it's very easy to go out and have fun if you're not uber competitive.

Washington State has had some national champions, so I'm sure that you can find it around the major cities.


Dave
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