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      12-01-2007, 07:00 PM   #1
lucid
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Question M School Opinions and Alternatives?

I'm thinking about attending M School soon--the one day event for $1295. What are people's opinions of it? Worth the money? Are there better alternatives for that much?
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      12-01-2007, 07:53 PM   #2
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+1 Also interested in this.

Thought about going to one they had near me recently.
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      12-01-2007, 08:26 PM   #3
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Theres the Skip Barber racing school at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut
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      12-01-2007, 09:42 PM   #4
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A regional BMW CCA event would be more days (2, at least many in CA are 2 days), more driving and less expensive. Other track clubs would lkely offer similar or even better deals. Both would be better than these over priced M Schools. These do focus more on track skills and less on defensive driving, i.e. dealing with surprises, panic maneuvers, driving in the rain, etc. The M school may be better for the latter but I have not actually been to one, so a bit of guessing there.

BTW, you can do a one day event (like WCD) and drive all of the following; F430, Gallardo, SLR McLaren, 599, AM Vantage, GT3, Ford GT (albeit much more conservatively) for about the same $. For this price I would do this instead. I actually signed up for one and due to poor communication on their end ended up missing it. I will get re-scheduled for one soon.
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      12-01-2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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M-School is not a defensive driving school, it is a competitive driving event. It is expensive, but I wouldn't say particularly over priced for what you get. I have done the two day M-School followed by Advanced M-School at VIR. You learn how to best drive BMW M cars, driving their car. I think a big plus is two instructors for each group of five students. They give you drills that teach you particular skills and then follow it up with track time. Basic M-School is paced at about a maximum of 90mph at the PC and the Michelin Proving Grounds. I was reaching 130-140 at VIR in an E46 M3. The instructor told me the speed I wasn't watching the speedometer. At the finish of Advanced M-School/VIR we were doing complete laps of VIR and could take an instructor or do it on our own. A number of the events were timed during both M-Schools, so you can watch our progress against the group and it gets competitive. Both events are well organized and very professional. The instructors are excellent and have included guys like Joey Hand, Bill Auberlen and Dave Russell. The price included room and meals for M-School as well as transportation around Spartanburg. We paid for our own rooms at VIR.

I have also done club events and you do get track time. If that's what you want they are great for that, but it's you car, tires, etc. There's not much instruction that compares with M-School. You can find a good instructor, but you might not. There is also no provision to focus on the skid pad/car control or practicing of lines through lead follow. There are other schools, but nothing that gives you sort of BMW Culture like M-School.

BTW, I also drove the E90 M3 on the Nurburgring this past October at BMW NA's invitation. It wasn't necessarily an M-School and I did have to pay for the event, but I'm still smiling after the four days there. The E90 M3 is amazing, but that's a different subject.
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      12-02-2007, 12:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan6470 View Post
Theres the Skip Barber racing school at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut
Thanks. I'll look into this.
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      12-02-2007, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
A regional BMW CCA event would be more days (2, at least many in CA are 2 days), more driving and less expensive. Other track clubs would lkely offer similar or even better deals. Both would be better than these over priced M Schools. These do focus more on track skills and less on defensive driving, i.e. dealing with surprises, panic maneuvers, driving in the rain, etc. The M school may be better for the latter but I have not actually been to one, so a bit of guessing there.

BTW, you can do a one day event (like WCD) and drive all of the following; F430, Gallardo, SLR McLaren, 599, AM Vantage, GT3, Ford GT (albeit much more conservatively) for about the same $. For this price I would do this instead. I actually signed up for one and due to poor communication on their end ended up missing it. I will get re-scheduled for one soon.
I understand BMW offers a variety of programs, ranging from defensive to aggressive driving skills. I think the M Schools focus on the latter.

I looked into the WCD, but I would like to get some real-time instruction on pushing the car to the limits. It would be great to drive all those cars, but since it is happening on public roads, not what I am looking for at this time.

I'll also look into the regional BMW CCA events. Thanks.
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      12-02-2007, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveT View Post
M-School is not a defensive driving school, it is a competitive driving event. It is expensive, but I wouldn't say particularly over priced for what you get. I have done the two day M-School followed by Advanced M-School at VIR. You learn how to best drive BMW M cars, driving their car. I think a big plus is two instructors for each group of five students. They give you drills that teach you particular skills and then follow it up with track time. Basic M-School is paced at about a maximum of 90mph at the PC and the Michelin Proving Grounds. I was reaching 130-140 at VIR in an E46 M3. The instructor told me the speed I wasn't watching the speedometer. At the finish of Advanced M-School/VIR we were doing complete laps of VIR and could take an instructor or do it on our own. A number of the events were timed during both M-Schools, so you can watch our progress against the group and it gets competitive. Both events are well organized and very professional. The instructors are excellent and have included guys like Joey Hand, Bill Auberlen and Dave Russell. The price included room and meals for M-School as well as transportation around Spartanburg. We paid for our own rooms at VIR.

I have also done club events and you do get track time. If that's what you want they are great for that, but it's you car, tires, etc. There's not much instruction that compares with M-School. You can find a good instructor, but you might not. There is also no provision to focus on the skid pad/car control or practicing of lines through lead follow. There are other schools, but nothing that gives you sort of BMW Culture like M-School.

BTW, I also drove the E90 M3 on the Nurburgring this past October at BMW NA's invitation. It wasn't necessarily an M-School and I did have to pay for the event, but I'm still smiling after the four days there. The E90 M3 is amazing, but that's a different subject.
Thanks for the M School impressions. I am looking for quality instruction at this point, and it sounds like the M School delivers that. The advanced school is more than what I would like to pay for at this time, but sounds like more fun.
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      12-02-2007, 02:38 AM   #9
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I agree with Steve. The two day M school is the one to attend. The chief instructor Jim Davis and all the others instructors do a great job of teaching you how to be fast and safe in the school M cars. I went in July and will be going to the advanced school at VIR in 2008.
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      12-02-2007, 02:53 AM   #10
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For some reason I remember something about, if you buy a M5 then you get the M-driving school trip for free.

Maybe someone can correct me or elaborate on that?
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