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      05-26-2009, 12:23 PM   #1
gemini330zhp
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I have a Few Questions about Taking my car on the track....

Hey Everyone I always wanted to take my car on the track and I have a few questions on what I have to do to get started.

1. First off does my car insurance cover any damage on the track if not is there track insurance offered??

2. What Good Driving Safety programs are out there for a NOOB on a track North East??

3. Brakes!!! Are the stock brakes decent enough for noob on a first track day with an instructor.

4. What do you bring to a track to be prepared for the first time?? Example Car Fluids, Air Pump, Locked container ect...

5. Is there any issues with the E9x M3s on the track. Example Over heating PS fluid???

6. Anything else I missed???? All info helpful I just want to be prepared before I try my first track day.
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Last edited by gemini330zhp; 05-26-2009 at 12:44 PM.
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      05-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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Great idea on going to a track.
First, I recommend you check out local BMW clubs in your area if you have not yet joined one, then select one near you to join. (You can check with BMW CCA for a list)

Some clubs offer track insurance for the HPDE event they are running. It is not inexpensive, but unless your own insurance covers you, it is an option. Check with your insurance agent re your coverage. In my state, my insurance is valid at the track provided the event is not a competitive activity. HPDE is considered educational.

Safety programs is what a HPDE event is all about. It is not racing. You will learn a lot from the instructors, both in car and in class. The more you participate in these the more you will learn. Once you begin, you will most likely continue.

I would think that for the first, and even second time at a HPDE event, your car right out of the box will be fine. Before any event, have your car inspected by a reputable (BMW) shop mechanic, and signed off that it is capablale and ready for track use. You want to enjoy the week end driving on a track, not working on your car. Most tracks have a vender who provide fluids etc that you are likely to need. If your car is in normal and good operating condition, I doubt you will require any thing for the week end. Logically, oil, and brake fluid are the most frequently needed things.

Read through this section for track issues people have had. I would suspect however that these issues reported here are the exception to a beginner at the track.

Go, have fun, and learn what driving a BMW is all about.
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      05-26-2009, 01:44 PM   #3
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Agree with von zoom 100%.
For your first time out, just bring your car in good condition and your own good attitude. The M3 is quite capable in stock form.

The only thing I can even conceive of being a problem is your brake fluid. If your car is more than a year old, consider having the brake fluid changed out prior to the event. Stock BMW fluid from your dealer will be fine. You don't need anything special.
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      05-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini330zhp View Post
Hey Everyone I always wanted to take my car on the track and I have a few questions on what I have to do to get started.

1. First off does my car insurance cover any damage on the track if not is there track insurance offered??

2. What Good Driving Safety programs are out there for a NOOB on a track North East??

3. Brakes!!! Are the stock brakes decent enough for noob on a first track day with an instructor.

4. What do you bring to a track to be prepared for the first time?? Example Car Fluids, Air Pump, Locked container ect...

5. Is there any issues with the E9x M3s on the track. Example Over heating PS fluid???

6. Anything else I missed???? All info helpful I just want to be prepared before I try my first track day.
1. Usually insurance won't cover you on track. Accidents are rare, just be prudent.

2. ??

3. Stock brakes are good enough if its your first time at the track.

4. For the first time, just bring your M3. Make sure your tire pressures are in spec and you have good life left on your pads.

5. The PS fluid issue has been confimed by many here but its not a big deal and nothing to worry about too much. If you lose a bit, refill a day later.

6. Relax, do not overdrive - a track day IS NOT RACING. Take it easy and have fun. You will be passed by *slower* cars most likely. It is normal, do not take unnecesary risks, drive as fast as you feel comfortable and safe and gradually increase your speed as you get comfortable.
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      05-26-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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Great to see that you are considering entering the dimension where your car will really come to life!

In addition to the replies already made to this posts as well as the many past threads that you should be checking out, I would highly recommend to take a Track specific insurance, like the one offered by the BMW CCA organization through LocktonAffinity (see under www.bmwcca.org). Yes, accidents are very rare, but what if? In the big scheme of things, $300 dollars are not much...especially if something happens.

For the rest, no need to overdo it when it comes to helmet, special gear, etc...

Be safe, have fun and learn a lot! I know I did recently at Lime Rock Park with BMW CCA!!
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      05-26-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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Accidents are rare in the novice groups because people are not ready to drive fast. And even if you tried to drive fast, your instructor would cool you down anyway.

Accidents are not rare in the other groups IMO. I see pretty much at least one car every track day with some kind of body damage, but that's probably because the tracks around here don't have a whole lot of run off areas. But then people do strange things. One guy went off the track on a warm-up lap under the yellow flag for instance. Go figure.

I was checking out a C6 Z06 the other week at the Glen which was parked in a lot. Left front and rear suspension totally mangled, body panels swiped. Looked like it jumped the curb somewhere around 2-3-4, but who knows... (Yes, the damn track has a curb!)

I think it is a good idea to have coverage...
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      05-26-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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Ok, I took delivery of my 09 E92 in March and took it to the track in april at Summit point, Shenadoah course. I am 55 yrs old no track exp. I had a blast. I never felt that I was in a danger of wrecking the car. You are with an instructor linked with a radio system, so he is talking to you and you him as you are driving around the track. This track had 18 turns, twice as many as usual still no problems. I let my instructor drive my car flat out , beside my white knuckles, the car did everything he asked of it.

Since then I have been back to Summit Point with the Track Daze outfit, for two more track days. I warn you it is addicting. I plan to go to New Jersey Motor Sport Park for June 20-21. You will love your M, it is such a amazing car, after one day at the track, you will love it even more.

So to sum it up from a first time M owner, and a first time tracker, GO MAN GO. Trust me you are safer on the track then on the road getting there.
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      05-26-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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I did my first Driving School a couple weeks ago at the Glen, and the car held up very well on a stock setup. The stock pads will hold up considering how hard you will be pushing the car as a novice. You will take some life out of them, but it's good to learn what the car is capable of.
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