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      08-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
crash32
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Thinking about tracking the M3 for the first time ever...

My previous car was a CTS-V and I have always regretted not taking it out to the track and tracking it. Now that I have my M3 which in my opinion is even more of a track car than my V.... I have the itch to give it a lap or two around the track.
Obviously being a newbie I have a few questions! First off is I have 19" wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Two concerns with that.... one is that the 19" wheels would not do well on the track and two is that one lap would vaproize my daily driving tires.
Do most people have "rentals" at the track? I would be going to VIR. Sorry if this is a stupid question.
Also, what modifications would I have to do? Would I absolutely have to get different brake pads because honestly this is only something I might do once or twice. Different brake fluid?
If I am going around the track for the first time how does it work? Do I usually have an instructor with me? Will there be 800 hp Vipers zipping past me going 160 mph? I have no idea what I am getting into..... I just know that I would enjoy it!
Thanks in advance for the help!!
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      08-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
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All you need are decent tires with enough tread to meet Tech requirements - and drive within the limits of those tires. 19" wheels will be fine. Its not a race. You will not "vaporize" your DD tires - just drive within their limits.

No - generally no-one is driving a rental. They are driving their street cars in most cases.

You will want quality brake fluid - changed within a time period that may be specified by the sponsoring organization. You do not need track pads for your first few DE events. Just use quality pads (like OEM) and avoid the hyped "dustless" pads like the plague. Ensure your pad thickness meets sponsor spec. Again - drive within the limits of the pads.

You will have plenty of technique to focus on and learn. Don't think in terms of modifying your car to make it fast.

You will have an Instructor assigned. Avoid organizations that don't. Your Instructor will help you manage your mirrors and traffic behind.
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      08-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Also, do your first event with one of the car clubs, i.e. BMW, Audi or Porsche. I would recommend avoiding NASA as their drivers tend to be more aggressive in all categories.
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      08-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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I went stock my first time with 19" and PSS. Didn't even change the brake fluids. Trust me, you'll be fine. Your first time, you will be learning the correct lines and braking points. You won't go anywhere near the limits. My first event, people couldn't pass me unless I point them by.
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      08-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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Brake fluid (if anything) and learning proper technique w / instructor (critical) and you will be fine. PSS while not the greatest on the track are actually good considering is a street tire and will easily last 5 HDPE 20-25 min sessions with little wear if you have the right technique. Same with brakes. Stock brakes maybe wear out 10-15% on hilly/technical tracks. You can really have a blast going about 70%-80% of your limit without a bunch of undue wear.
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      08-01-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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I did my first event on stock 19s, contisports, and ATE super blue. I think the tires had barely any wear. Same with my brake pads. It will be sensory overload on your first day. Don't sweat it. Bring plenty of fluids and snacks. Also bring glass cleaner and a towel to clean your windshield. It will get dirty and may distract you.

Register with your local BMW CCA. You will be in the novice group. Everyone will be at similar experience levels there. There is no passing without a point by. You may have faster cars behind you but you will point them by. You may also pass other cars. They will explain all of it at the morning drivers meeting. You will have an awesome time. Do it!!!
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      08-02-2013, 08:41 AM   #7
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Ditto on what the other guys said. You can show up totally stock.... most of the beginner guys do. Even totally stock the M3 does pretty damn good on the track.

VIR is my home track too so that's where i did my first track day. I was a little nervous too on the first day not knowing what to expect, but trust me... most clubs are very well organized and make safety the #1 concern (especially in the Green and yellow groups) so you will absolutely have a blast.

Which club/day you looking to go up there? Possibility i may be up there too and could say hello.
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      08-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #8
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Once again I agree with what most of the other members have said. Do not waste money on brake fluid or different tires at this point. For a beginner the tires will be plenty and the brakes will hold up fine. If you love it (im guessing you will), you can still take it stock many more times. The better driver you become the more you will find the stock M3's weaknesses. You will start to notice when its time to upgrade pads, brake fluid, tires etc...

In my experience, having driven a stock E92 on the track and a fully race prepped E92, is that the first aspect of the car that you will notice is the brakes. After repeated runs with a decently competent driver they will become soft. But this is in the future if you decide to continue. Just make sure you have enough brake pad left and your tires and fluids are fine and you will have a blast! Break in a straight line! (at least for now...)
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      08-06-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32
My previous car was a CTS-V and I have always regretted not taking it out to the track and tracking it. Now that I have my M3 which in my opinion is even more of a track car than my V.... I have the itch to give it a lap or two around the track.
Obviously being a newbie I have a few questions! First off is I have 19" wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Two concerns with that.... one is that the 19" wheels would not do well on the track and two is that one lap would vaproize my daily driving tires.
Do most people have "rentals" at the track? I would be going to VIR. Sorry if this is a stupid question.
Also, what modifications would I have to do? Would I absolutely have to get different brake pads because honestly this is only something I might do once or twice. Different brake fluid?
If I am going around the track for the first time how does it work? Do I usually have an instructor with me? Will there be 800 hp Vipers zipping past me going 160 mph? I have no idea what I am getting into..... I just know that I would enjoy it!
Thanks in advance for the help!!
I'm so happy that you asked some of 'stupid' questions for me...
-Fellow track newbie
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      08-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #10
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Pretty much agree with all the other comments. I'm intermediate/advanced, and did 3 days at Mid-Ohio last year in my M3 (stock), because my R32 was in the shop unexpectedly, and had no issues. Pads and fluid is certainly something to consider after a few events, but unnecessary for your first. My only comments:
1) Make sure your brake fluid was changed sometime this year; if not, you should change it.
2) Strongly consider track insurance, unless you are absolutely positive your insurance will cover on-track incidents (very few do). I know some people will say beginners need not worry, I disagree, as bad things can happen at all experience levels.
3) Strongly agree with the advice about going with BMWCCA or PCCA, as they are better about providing good instructors for beginners, which you'll need. Aggressive driving shouldn't be as big of a concern in novice, but quality instruction is.
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      08-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
Pretty much agree with all the other comments. I'm intermediate/advanced, and did 3 days at Mid-Ohio last year in my M3 (stock), because my R32 was in the shop unexpectedly, and had no issues. Pads and fluid is certainly something to consider after a few events, but unnecessary for your first. My only comments:
1) Make sure your brake fluid was changed sometime this year; if not, you should change it.
2) Strongly consider track insurance, unless you are absolutely positive your insurance will cover on-track incidents (very few do). I know some people will say beginners need not worry, I disagree, as bad things can happen at all experience levels.
3) Strongly agree with the advice about going with BMWCCA or PCCA, as they are better about providing good instructors for beginners, which you'll need. Aggressive driving shouldn't be as big of a concern in novice, but quality instruction is.
all good points.
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      08-06-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
Pretty much agree with all the other comments. I'm intermediate/advanced, and did 3 days at Mid-Ohio last year in my M3 (stock), because my R32 was in the shop unexpectedly, and had no issues. Pads and fluid is certainly something to consider after a few events, but unnecessary for your first. My only comments:
1) Make sure your brake fluid was changed sometime this year; if not, you should change it.
2) Strongly consider track insurance, unless you are absolutely positive your insurance will cover on-track incidents (very few do). I know some people will say beginners need not worry, I disagree, as bad things can happen at all experience levels.
3) Strongly agree with the advice about going with BMWCCA or PCCA, as they are better about providing good instructors for beginners, which you'll need. Aggressive driving shouldn't be as big of a concern in novice, but quality instruction is.
Well said. OP, as you can see brakes are the main point of emphasis. The brakes simply cant keep up with the performance of this car on a track. Go to a couple events stock and if you decide to continue then look to brakes first. I also agree that BMWCCA or other clubs like PCA will give good instruction and make sure you are not out there with much more experienced and faster drivers. I personally would hold off on track insurance as in my experience most new drivers do not have horrible accidents as their speeds are lower. Going into the gravel is more likely than hitting a wall with new drivers. And I agree don't count on your insurance company to cover anything!
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      08-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
My previous car was a CTS-V and I have always regretted not taking it out to the track and tracking it.
That's too bad. CTS-V is a track monster, me thinks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
... I have the itch to give it a lap or two around the track.



Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
Obviously being a newbie I have a few questions! First off is I have 19" wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Two concerns with that.... one is that the 19" wheels would not do well on the track and two is that one lap would vaproize my daily driving tires.
At the beginning, it doesn't matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
Do most people have "rentals" at the track?
Most don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
Also, what modifications would I have to do? Would I absolutely have to get different brake pads because honestly this is only something I might do once or twice. Different brake fluid?
At the beginning, none.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crash32 View Post
If I am going around the track for the first time how does it work? Do I usually have an instructor with me? Will there be 800 hp Vipers zipping past me going 160 mph? I have no idea what I am getting into..... I just know that I would enjoy it!
Thanks in advance for the help!!
HPDE's are organized into run groups, groups being organized generally as beginner, intermediate & advanced. Just run in the group that befits your experience level and it'll be fine.

Whether you have an instructor or not depends on the organizer.
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Last edited by OC3; 08-06-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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