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      04-14-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
drburton
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BMW Rules for DE Event

I'm signed up for a DE event locally in May. I have done some before through the PCA with my Boxster S. I am finding the rules for BMW are much more restrictive than Porsche related to the tech inspection.

Here are some of the local group rules, just wanted to see if this is standard:

1) No convertibles - I don't have one but really you can't track an M3 convertible?
2) Required: new brake fluid within 90 days of event. My car is only 9 months old and I have to get new fluid put in.
3) Bring extra set of brake pads

So I will be spending $250 on brake pads (fronts only hopefully) and $100 on brake fluid flush to participate in the event, even though these would normally be covered under the service plan when needed. Is this a normal requirement? No such requirements from the PCA. They just validated the pads and fluids seemed good enough for the event.
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      04-14-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Is this with BMWCCA? I know their insurance won't allow convertibles in general, but they have a list of "allowed" convertibles.
As for the fluid and pads, I think that's your local chapter's doing.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      04-14-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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These are not unusual requirements. 90 day brake fluid change is on the short side, but not unheard of. Here in NJ, the State Police regulate track events, and their requirements are similar, although they have a 6 month limit on brake fluid. Everyone has to play by their rules when they're here.

It's true that they don't allow convertibles, even the "hard top" E93 M3 - unless the owner wants to put a cage in it and get it approved. (I'm not sure about this one, so anyone trying it should consult the local CCA Tech Inspector first.) (NJ also doesn't allow convertibles without full cage on anything other than paced laps.)

BMWCCA's rules are the result of over 30 years of experience, and are designed to make the events as safe as possible for everyone.

I'm glad they have the rules. I feel safer on the track as a result.
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      04-14-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
All PCA/BMW/Audi and other HPDE events that I have ever attended in the past 20+ years require you to either bleed or flush your brake system before every event to remove moisture from the fluid that is absorbed from the air. 9 month old brake fluid is definitely unsafe for the track. Water boils at 212 F where as brake fluid boils above 400 F. Any moisture in the brake system can lead to catastrophic brake failure from boiling resulting in a very expensive and dangerous accident.

Track pads are recommended for HPDE events because OE pads can over-heat and wear very quickly. BMW and Porsche OE pads are better than most but the cars are pretty fast depending on your skill level. Track pads are recommended for the track and street pads for the street in most cases. Some folks just leave their track pads in if they do several events during the Summer and other folks change them for each event.

Each club/region has slightly different rules and you must abide by them. No matter what you decide flushing the brake fluid of all moisture is absolutely mandatory and having track pads will prevent big time wear and possible brake fade/overheating. You only get ONE chance to stop.
If the water is absorbed in the brake fluid, the argument you state above using temperatures (i.e. 212degF) is not correct unless there are pockets of water in the fluid. The brake fluid will boil at a lower temperature due to the change in the composition of the fluid in it's hydrated state (as shown in the specs on the side of the bottle) and will not perform to its maximum designed spec. The fluid will boil as an azeotrope, the boiling temperature of which will change depending on the composition of the fluid.

It doesn't alter the fact you need fresh brake fluid. It is all part of being safe. The spare pads seem a little extreme unless the current pads are well worn.
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      04-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
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I appreciate the responses. I certainly want to be safe in participation and I know taking the car to the track has some obvious financial commitments. Given I am a novice driver and have not seen this requirement in the past (via the PCA), I initially felt it seemed a bit over the top. As someone who is still contemplating if I really want to attend multiple events or not, it's too bad that there is so much upfront cost just to start.

Regarding the comment on track pads, I don't think I'm ready to go there yet. If I decide to participate on a more regular basis and my skills demand a better pad, I will certainly take that into consideration.

The event is mid-May, I will post my experience afterwards. Looking forward to it.

Thanks again.
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      04-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drburton View Post
I appreciate the responses. I certainly want to be safe in participation and I know taking the car to the track has some obvious financial commitments. Given I am a novice driver and have not seen this requirement in the past (via the PCA), I initially felt it seemed a bit over the top. As someone who is still contemplating if I really want to attend multiple events or not, it's too bad that there is so much upfront cost just to start.

Regarding the comment on track pads, I don't think I'm ready to go there yet. If I decide to participate on a more regular basis and my skills demand a better pad, I will certainly take that into consideration.

The event is mid-May, I will post my experience afterwards. Looking forward to it.

Thanks again.
It took me 5 days for it to become apparent that I needed dedicated high temperature pads. I glazed the rotors, which feels like warped discs. I ran with race pads for the first time last week and they are awesome once they are up to temperature
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