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      07-29-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
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Buttonwillow experience

Went out here for the Saturday. I say "experience" because my video is not of me killing it out there! This was only my 2nd day on a track with the m3 (6th hpde overall and the power still scares me at times) and my 2nd time ever at buttonwillow. My focus was on technique (rolling the throttle, squeezing the brakes, smooth steering input) and not on being the fastest and letting MDM kick in to save me all day. Planning to go in lower group sessions from now on and running with DSC off (I intentionally signed up for the blue group but when I got there I was in the black group somehow) - I need to learn more car control first before I start to go fast. Its fun to go fast with all nannies on, but my goal is to be a much better/skilled driver in the long run. Then I can start posting awesome times like a lot of you on here and maybe post some clips to the "save" thread.

Video is with a gopro3 (720p 11mp wide, spot setting on) mounted to a $3 DIY "custom" head restraint mount with an external mic with $3 DIY "custom" windsock suction cupped (gopro suction cup mount) next to the license plate. The sound is the oem exhaust mod I just did on Thursday - I am glad it didn't catch on fire, or blow up, or fall off.


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      07-30-2013, 03:15 AM   #2
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Looks good!
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      07-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Thanks! Im trying to get at your level
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      07-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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I need contructive criticism/advice on the video above: line, throttle, steering, etc.
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      07-30-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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You have the right idea. Move down a run group and run with DSC off. I can't comment on your lines as I have never run the track.

Your downshifting did look sharp.
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      07-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Your line looks fine (especially at Off-Ramp & Sweeper). And, I don't think you were turning in early at Phil Hill. For a while, I thought so too, 'til a track buddy followed & videotaped me for several laps, and it looked fine too in the video.

Hahah re: "waiving off point-by"

Re: lowered EZ-Up, yep, that's what I do too. And, on windy days, lower only the side/2 legs that face the wind, 'lest the whole canopy lift & fly away.
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      07-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC3
Your line looks fine (especially at Off-Ramp & Sweeper). And, I don't think you were turning in early at Phil Hill. For a while, I thought so too, 'til a track buddy followed & videotaped me for several laps, and it looked fine too in the video.

Hahah re: "waiving off point-by"

Re: lowered EZ-Up, yep, that's what I do too. And, on windy days, lower only the side/2 legs that face the wind, 'lest the whole canopy lift & fly away.
Makes sense on the ezup haha.

I waived off the point by and just gave him some space. Didnt want anyone just harassing me a few car lengths behind the whole time. Lol.

I will get them all next time!!
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      08-02-2013, 01:31 AM   #8
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pkim1079: I'll take you as my student any day of the week! I like your thought process, pre-planning your session w/goals in mind, and you're willingness to slow down to go fast. Well done!

Ok, now for what I hope is some constructive criticism. I've done a few laps at Buttonwillow, in pretty much every configuration for the full-ish track, including 13CW. I confess I haven't done Buttonwillow in my E90M3, but I have raced there quite a bit, I've been airborne twice that I can think of, so I've explored the edges there. I'm not the fastest guy out there, and I'm kinda old -- just a sec, some damn kids are on my lawn -- ok, I'm back, where was I?

First, let's talk about your body. No, not that way...but rather what you are doing with it in the car as you drive. Sit still already! Don't lean into the turns or tilt your head from side to side (you lean more than tilt). It messes up your equilibrium (until you get really used to it like a MotoGP rider) and balance. Don't do it. Turn your head from side to side (like it's on a swivel). There are a couple of spots (turn 2 and the sweeper) where you should be looking out your side door window opening looking for your marks (and what's happening ahead of you). Driving well is all about your vision first. You drive where you look so look far ahead to give your brain time to process the info and keep you out of trouble (when someone goes off, etc.).

Second, is your M3 the rare one w/o brakes? The engine is for accelerating, not braking, no matter how cool your exhaust sounds (and your exhaust is very cool sounding). I would like to see you come to a braking zone, sqeeeeeeze on the brakes to about 85 - 90% (giving you a margin of error to recover if you start your braking too late), downshift at the end of the braking zone (not at the beginning like you do for the sweeper), then sqeeeeze off the brakes and turn in. Use those brakes please. If you are on stock pads, then get some PFC 08's (all around) and you can stop worrying about brake fade.

Your self awareness on not using the whole track is good. It's a vision and confidence thing that takes time. Think of corners as smooth arcs. Riverside to Magic Mountain is two big arcs. You should use a good deal of the track as your track out of Riverside and also as you exit the left hander before MM. Don't bind the car up with too much steering input. Use just enough to make the corner. Smooth, steady (or slightly accelerating throttle) through that section. the 5-6 combo would seem like one big arc, it's actually interrupted by very short section where you need to straighten the steering wheel for a split second before turning in towards the back straight (shift on the hump, btw). The slight 'pause' in steering input allows the suspension to relax and gets you to a later apex so you can get on the throttle earlier. Entry to the bus stop and the next left hander are two arcs.

The esses have a nice visual trick when going CW: look for the worker station at Riverside when you enter the esses. It forms a straight line through them and you can use that to place the car so you stay off the middle few curbs (entry curb is ok) and use minimal steering input. Again, steady to accelerating throttle here.

You are correct to use 3rd in turn 2. Even when I'm instructing at BW I only use 3rd. In races I'd drop to 2nd, but that 2-3 shift is awkward with the car in mid-corner. You don't need that tenth of a second. You have bigger fish to fry first.

Bus stop exit: Hammer that inside curb and get on the gas just after turn in. Most people over brake going into the exit corner of the bus stop and pussy foot through there. You can be aggressive here, just don't turn in early!

Remember, as you are learning a track, use your warm up lap to find the corner workers first, the hard spots where you don't want to fuck up (i.e., 2 off on exit of esses or sunset can equal a "I don't think that'll buff out" moment). Escape routes if your brakes fail or someone fucks up in front of you need to be determined too. Look for open spaces and soft spots (the video in this section where the Honda driver takes pit in is an excellent example of someone who knew where to go when someone else runs out of talent).

Now explore the line. As you exit a corner, pick a spot where it is safe to look at your revs. Now take the corner with a later apex, or earlier if you think you were too late, and see if anything changes. More revs = more speed through the corner. Rinse, repeat. If you run out of track on corner exit you either were off the apex or you were too early. Get repeatable on your laps. Inches count. I see too much thrash and mash in many videos, instead of smooth precision. Thrash and mash is fun, but seeing someone do it smoothly and precisely with little drama is a thing to behold.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
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      08-02-2013, 03:03 AM   #9
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I can see a few areas you can improve on.

You can brake a lot later in some areas.
You can get on the gas a lot earlier in some areas.
I trail brake into sweeper.
You can take Riverside much faster.
Even on straights hold the steering wheel correctly, you never know when a tire will pop... Knock on wood**

What mods are you currently using?

Also drive with DSC off if you can, take it slow the first time because a common problem is DSC cuts power THEN brakes if you keep sliding. The problem with that is for example the max throttle you can use through a corner is 50% but you can do 70% with DSC on. Then next time with DSC off you take the same corner muscle memory will kick in and you will take it at 70% throttle and spin out. Traction off is the way to go << Ignore if you have it off haha.

I am sure rest is addressed by the guys above me. In any case it is really hard to help someone out on the internet. Next time you go PM the guys here or me and I'm sure they will gladly help like I will.
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      08-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #10
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As was already said, you're taking the right attitude I would highly recommend that you attend a few BMWCCA schools in the area. I have started with them and have learned a lot from every events I have attended. I hope I don't have people mixed up... but I'm pretty sure I had admranger as a classroom instructor in the B group. Great instructor

I'm not an instructor and not the best out there but I know it helps me to see videos of other people driving to see what they are doing differently. Here is a video of me driving the same week-end as you (so track condition and all is similar). There's data overlay so you can see the speed, when and where I brake, ...
I wasn't driving my M3 that day so to keep it M3 related, the videos are from me following my friend in his M3 I know the cars are different but hopefully it's helpful... This car doesn't have traction control so no question as far as turning it off or not
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      08-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #11
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Awesome thanks for the feedback.

I do brake a little early and not as hard ever since ive experienced my pedal dropping to the floor and the car not stopping and almost flying off track a couple times. Since then i have changed fluids and gotten track pads but i guess mentally its still triggering me to do otherwise.

I do try not to tilt with the car but i dont know i have to break that habit!! Some laps im thinking to myself not to do it some laps im not.

Next time i go out maybe i can get some feedback at the track (ride along, etc).

Thanks guys.
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      08-02-2013, 07:15 PM   #12
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I will be going to the bmw cca event on sep 27. I like getting the instruction there. I will have a few things to focus on out there.

Vision - no leaning (these damn seats suck!) lol

Brake zones (use the damn brakes!!)

Throttle/steering inputs (smooth and get on the gas early!)
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      08-02-2013, 09:46 PM   #13
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Ti-Jean, if you are referring to Chuckwlla, yes, that was me (thanks!).

I won't be at the Friday CCA events, unfortunately...
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      08-02-2013, 09:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti-Jean View Post
As was already said, you're taking the right attitude I would highly recommend that you attend a few BMWCCA schools in the area. I have started with them and have learned a lot from every events I have attended. I hope I don't have people mixed up... but I'm pretty sure I had admranger as a classroom instructor in the B group. Great instructor

I'm not an instructor and not the best out there but I know it helps me to see videos of other people driving to see what they are doing differently. Here is a video of me driving the same week-end as you (so track condition and all is similar). There's data overlay so you can see the speed, when and where I brake, ...
I wasn't driving my M3 that day so to keep it M3 related, the videos are from me following my friend in his M3 I know the cars are different but hopefully it's helpful... This car doesn't have traction control so no question as far as turning it off or not
Dayum, dogbone is tearing it up!
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      08-02-2013, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
I will be going to the bmw cca event on sep 27. I like getting the instruction there. I will have a few things to focus on out there.

Vision - no leaning (these damn seats suck!) lol

Brake zones (use the damn brakes!!)

Throttle/steering inputs (smooth and get on the gas early!)
You should attend the upcoming Porsche Owner Club event at the Streets of Willow in September. They have really good instructors and you will have a blast out there. Try to attend the 2 day event.
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      08-02-2013, 10:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
Ti-Jean, if you are referring to Chuckwlla, yes, that was me (thanks!).
Yes, that's the one. I was in my E90 M3 that day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OC3 View Post
Dayum, dogbone is tearing it up!
Yep Look how much he is gaining on me on the front straight... taking off like a rocket with all that HP

Quote:
Originally Posted by skxf430 View Post
You should attend the upcoming Porsche Owner Club event at the Streets of Willow in September. They have really good instructors and you will have a blast out there. Try to attend the 2 day event.
I'm probably going to be there for that event.
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      08-02-2013, 10:47 PM   #17
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Do you have to be a member or know a member to go to the event? Really dont like streets of willow though.

What is: PDS drivers clinic #2 vs pds #6 (sat vs sun) for sep at sow.
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      08-03-2013, 12:45 AM   #18
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Btw, what car is this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti-Jean View Post
As was already said, you're taking the right attitude I would highly recommend that you attend a few BMWCCA schools in the area. I have started with them and have learned a lot from every events I have attended. I hope I don't have people mixed up... but I'm pretty sure I had admranger as a classroom instructor in the B group. Great instructor


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      08-03-2013, 01:04 AM   #19
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Btw, what car is this?
It's a 2004 GT3. My M3 overheat during the summer so it's parked until sep/oct... looking forward to take it back on track though
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      08-07-2013, 09:14 AM   #20
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Your line looks good but as others have said - Stay full throttle longer down the straights and USE THE BRAKES!

Tire noise is good and tells you you're getting closer to the limit, only heard a few chirps during your lap.

The buttonhook (T2) is a great place to work on car control. Low speed and nothing to hit if you spin. Use 2nd and work on it!

Your line is good but here's a good turn-by-turn track instructional:

http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticl...ion-13-CW.aspx


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      08-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #21
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You just have to become a member which is not much at all.

They have a number of PDS clinics throughout the year. This this will be #6 of the year. Streets is a decent track to learn on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
Do you have to be a member or know a member to go to the event? Really dont like streets of willow though.

What is: PDS drivers clinic #2 vs pds #6 (sat vs sun) for sep at sow.
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      08-08-2013, 12:10 AM   #22
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thanks billyJ.

skxf430 is this clinic as in hpde with an instructor or clinic as lose control on purpose and learn?
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