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      09-18-2018, 07:09 PM   #111
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Hi Dreamtime

You stated that your goal is to be a race car driver. Lots of advice some good some bad. There is no shortage of people wanting to separate you from your racing dollars, keep that in mind. Doing HDPE's is fine but that is not going to prepare you for w2w racing other than having track time. I would recommend Bertil Roos school, tracks are pocono, njmp, palm beach and a few others. Take a 5 day, 3 day beginner, 2 day advanced. You get two races at the end of the advanced school that qualifies you for a NASA or SCCA License. Drive the slide car, hopefully it will rain, more experience, passing from the get go, all in an open wheel 2 liter formula car. If you can drive this car well you can drive anything.

Take that knowledge and decide what you want to race and go from there. Not knocking HPDE's at all but chasing lap times is a fools errand and HPDE's does not teach racing. If you want to race go to a racing school and do it proper, there are no shortcuts.

Lots of people giving advice on car mods, save your money and put it into your driving. Hire a coach for a weekend or a day. Define a plan with him/her, and execute. There are many classes to race in, arrive and drives to dip your feet in. Don't make the classic mistake of spending all your money on mods, so there is nothing left to spend on learning how to drive.

Good luck and welcome to the dark side should you decide to go w2w.
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      09-18-2018, 11:07 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
Hi Dreamtime

You stated that your goal is to be a race car driver. Lots of advice some good some bad. There is no shortage of people wanting to separate you from your racing dollars, keep that in mind. Doing HDPE's is fine but that is not going to prepare you for w2w racing other than having track time. I would recommend Bertil Roos school, tracks are pocono, njmp, palm beach and a few others. Take a 5 day, 3 day beginner, 2 day advanced. You get two races at the end of the advanced school that qualifies you for a NASA or SCCA License. Drive the slide car, hopefully it will rain, more experience, passing from the get go, all in an open wheel 2 liter formula car. If you can drive this car well you can drive anything.
Hello m13s,

Thank you for your response, you have provided some great advice. You are much appreciated!

I checked out the 5 day Bertil Roos school, that seems amazing. Price is a little high - but, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. I'm going to be thinking about this pretty damn hard now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
Take that knowledge and decide what you want to race and go from there. Not knocking HPDE's at all but chasing lap times is a fools errand and HPDE's does not teach racing. If you want to race go to a racing school and do it proper, there are no shortcuts.

Lots of people giving advice on car mods, save your money and put it into your driving. Hire a coach for a weekend or a day. Define a plan with him/her, and execute. There are many classes to race in, arrive and drives to dip your feet in. Don't make the classic mistake of spending all your money on mods, so there is nothing left to spend on learning how to drive.

Good luck and welcome to the dark side should you decide to go w2w.
I fully appreciate the No Shortcuts approach to everything in life. Your words definitely resonate with me. To be fair, my current HPDE situation is a bit more specialized than most, and for this, I am very thankful. When I went to Watkins Glen earlier this year, I became friends with the person who has become my personal driving coach. He is one of the best drivers I have ever known personally (no need to elaborate/name drop/gush about shit), and since the Glen we have done Pitt Race and Mid Ohio. Next is VIR, then Sebring in the winter. Next year, we will be on track as often as our schedules will allow. He doesn't let me chase lap times. He also doesn't put up with any bullshit. I have improved dramatically since meeting him. Also, when I'm not with my driving coach at the next year's worth of HPDEs I will be with my best track friend, who just bought a racecar, which I will get to drive for my first time at VIR in a couple weeks. While I work towards the goal of obtaining my race license by the end of 2019, I will be practicing in his E30 racecar (when I'm not in my E90 M3) so we can be teammates as soon as I have my license. FuzzyPeaches JMJ Racing FTW Thanks, buddy. Much love!!

As far as mods, I find my car more than capable at the moment. I have listened to all the people who, from the beginning, have told me that seat time is the single best thing to spend my money on. I will know when I am pushing my car past the point of its limits, at that point I can upgrade. Although, by then I will probably need a car just for the track, for real.

And, the goal has been w2w since day 1. So, darkside... here I come

All that being said, I hear what you are saying. I can tell good advice when I hear it, and I will take everything you have said to heart. Thank you.

Mary
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      09-19-2018, 05:02 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
Hi Dreamtime

You stated that your goal is to be a race car driver. Lots of advice some good some bad. There is no shortage of people wanting to separate you from your racing dollars, keep that in mind. Doing HDPE's is fine but that is not going to prepare you for w2w racing other than having track time. I would recommend Bertil Roos school, tracks are pocono, njmp, palm beach and a few others. Take a 5 day, 3 day beginner, 2 day advanced. You get two races at the end of the advanced school that qualifies you for a NASA or SCCA License. Drive the slide car, hopefully it will rain, more experience, passing from the get go, all in an open wheel 2 liter formula car. If you can drive this car well you can drive anything.
Hello m13s,

Thank you for your response, you have provided some great advice. You are much appreciated!

I checked out the 5 day Bertil Roos school, that seems amazing. Price is a little high - but, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. I'm going to be thinking about this pretty damn hard now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
Take that knowledge and decide what you want to race and go from there. Not knocking HPDE's at all but chasing lap times is a fools errand and HPDE's does not teach racing. If you want to race go to a racing school and do it proper, there are no shortcuts.

Lots of people giving advice on car mods, save your money and put it into your driving. Hire a coach for a weekend or a day. Define a plan with him/her, and execute. There are many classes to race in, arrive and drives to dip your feet in. Don't make the classic mistake of spending all your money on mods, so there is nothing left to spend on learning how to drive.

Good luck and welcome to the dark side should you decide to go w2w.
I fully appreciate the No Shortcuts approach to everything in life. Your words definitely resonate with me. To be fair, my current HPDE situation is a bit more specialized than most, and for this, I am very thankful. When I went to Watkins Glen earlier this year, I became friends with the person who has become my personal driving coach. He is one of the best drivers I have ever known personally (no need to elaborate/name drop/gush about shit), and since the Glen we have done Pitt Race and Mid Ohio. Next is VIR, then Sebring in the winter. Next year, we will be on track as often as our schedules will allow. He doesn't let me chase lap times. He also doesn't put up with any bullshit. I have improved dramatically since meeting him. Also, when I'm not with my driving coach at the next year's worth of HPDEs I will be with my best track friend, who just bought a racecar, which I will get to drive for my first time at VIR in a couple weeks. While I work towards the goal of obtaining my race license by the end of 2019, I will be practicing in his E30 racecar (when I'm not in my E90 M3) so we can be teammates as soon as I have my license. FuzzyPeaches JMJ Racing FTW Thanks, buddy. Much love!!

As far as mods, I find my car more than capable at the moment. I have listened to all the people who, from the beginning, have told me that seat time is the single best thing to spend my money on. I will know when I am pushing my car past the point of its limits, at that point I can upgrade. Although, by then I will probably need a car just for the track, for real.

And, the goal has been w2w since day 1. So, darkside... here I come

All that being said, I hear what you are saying. I can tell good advice when I hear it, and I will take everything you have said to heart. Thank you.

Mary
You should sign up for BMWCCA club racing school. You can do it in a street car if you wish. It's a lot of fun and will give you a nice taste of W2W. I bet that's been suggested to you already. Skip Barber is up and running again to. A friend of mine Christine Lam is an instructor. She also races with NASA. You should also consider NASA TT in your street car.
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      09-19-2018, 08:41 AM   #114
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BMW CCA is a good school as well, I coach for BMW they have excellent programs, as does PCA. Spending money on seat time is great, but you need a plan with that seat time. Sounds like you have a mentor that is helping you, which is really cool and hopefully he has a plan for you to help you get to your stated goals.

When I started in motorsports, 30 years ago, there were no HPDE's or 'track days'. The market has grown quite a bit and with all the different organizations there are no standards (MSF is working on that) so going to different track day events can bring a wide range of results. (I coach for many) Some are formal and rigid, some are loose and relaxed. Either way I want you to understand that none of them have training for w2w. If you are serious about the Roos school let me know and I will make an intro to Dennis, the owner. He is a no BS guy and has been doing this for 20+ years and the 5K that you spend in 1 week is better than 10 years of HPDE's. There are other schools but I can only speak from my experience. I know Skippy has been resurrected from the dead and is now run by Demonte with caged cars and talk of F4 cars in the future. They had a great reputation and hopefully they can restore themselves to previous glory.

You may also want to look into TT events. Unless you're prepared to toss your E90 into the trash can with w2w, TT's offer a fun environment without contact. Could be a great place to start and like most track events you will find cool people willing to help.

Just a thought.

Good luck.
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      09-19-2018, 09:02 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
When I started in motorsports, 30 years ago, there were no HPDE's or 'track days'.
Well I did my fist track day event at Road Atlanta in 1981! So 37 years ago the BMWCCA was well involved in holding track day events. The month after the RA event, Ray Korman and I trailered my Bavaria up to Mid-Ohio for another CCA track event in May 1981. Scott Hughes was the organizer up there for that event. At O'fest in 1982, the track event was held at Lime Rock, which at the time I didn't think much of the course compared to RA and Mid-Ohio. I spent the better part of the 1980s doing track events all over the east coast, mainly with the CCA. In the National Capital Chapter circa 1985, we used to even hold a "Hot Shoe" Fall weekday track event at Summit Point for advanced drivers only where lap times were recorded and posted in the newsletter.

Point taken though...just wanted to point out to the younger forum members that the CCA started doing track events in the 1970s.

Regards,
Chuck
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      09-19-2018, 09:36 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Well I did my fist track day event at Road Atlanta in 1981! So 37 years ago the BMWCCA was well involved in holding track day events. The month after the RA event, Ray Korman and I trailered my Bavaria up to Mid-Ohio for another CCA track event in May 1981. Scott Hughes was the organizer up there for that event. At O'fest in 1982, the track event was held at Lime Rock, which at the time I didn't think much of the course compared to RA and Mid-Ohio. I spent the better part of the 1980s doing track events all over the east coast, mainly with the CCA. In the National Capital Chapter circa 1985, we used to even hold a "Hot Shoe" Fall weekday track event at Summit Point for advanced drivers only where lap times were recorded and posted in the newsletter.

Point taken though...just wanted to point out to the younger forum members that the CCA started doing track events in the 1970s.

Regards,
Chuck
Hi Chuck, My bad I should have stated that when I started it was road racing motorcycles in relation to track days. That is where my frame of reference is from.

Apologies for the confusion.
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      09-21-2018, 08:20 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
Hello m13s,

Thank you for your response, you have provided some great advice. You are much appreciated!

I checked out the 5 day Bertil Roos school, that seems amazing. Price is a little high - but, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. I'm going to be thinking about this pretty damn hard now.



I fully appreciate the No Shortcuts approach to everything in life. Your words definitely resonate with me. To be fair, my current HPDE situation is a bit more specialized than most, and for this, I am very thankful. When I went to Watkins Glen earlier this year, I became friends with the person who has become my personal driving coach. He is one of the best drivers I have ever known personally (no need to elaborate/name drop/gush about shit), and since the Glen we have done Pitt Race and Mid Ohio. Next is VIR, then Sebring in the winter. Next year, we will be on track as often as our schedules will allow. He doesn't let me chase lap times. He also doesn't put up with any bullshit. I have improved dramatically since meeting him. Also, when I'm not with my driving coach at the next year's worth of HPDEs I will be with my best track friend, who just bought a racecar, which I will get to drive for my first time at VIR in a couple weeks. While I work towards the goal of obtaining my race license by the end of 2019, I will be practicing in his E30 racecar (when I'm not in my E90 M3) so we can be teammates as soon as I have my license. FuzzyPeaches JMJ Racing FTW Thanks, buddy. Much love!!

Mary
JMJ Racing will be awesome! I can't wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
You should sign up for BMWCCA club racing school. You can do it in a street car if you wish. It's a lot of fun and will give you a nice taste of W2W. I bet that's been suggested to you already. Skip Barber is up and running again to. A friend of mine Christine Lam is an instructor. She also races with NASA. You should also consider NASA TT in your street car.
I'm not going to speak for Mary and her plans, as she's perfectly capable of doing that for herself But BMW CCA Club Race School is something we've discussed for her. I just went through last year, and as she mentioned, I just bought a car that I will begin racing this year. Once she has her license, she'll start racing with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Well I did my fist track day event at Road Atlanta in 1981! So 37 years ago the BMWCCA was well involved in holding track day events. The month after the RA event, Ray Korman and I trailered my Bavaria up to Mid-Ohio for another CCA track event in May 1981. Scott Hughes was the organizer up there for that event. At O'fest in 1982, the track event was held at Lime Rock, which at the time I didn't think much of the course compared to RA and Mid-Ohio. I spent the better part of the 1980s doing track events all over the east coast, mainly with the CCA. In the National Capital Chapter circa 1985, we used to even hold a "Hot Shoe" Fall weekday track event at Summit Point for advanced drivers only where lap times were recorded and posted in the newsletter.

Point taken though...just wanted to point out to the younger forum members that the CCA started doing track events in the 1970s.

Regards,
Chuck
Scott Hughes is a friend of both of ours. Great guy and fantastic driver!
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      09-24-2018, 07:17 PM   #118
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Sorry, been busy AF... work + school = kicking my ass lmao


Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
You should sign up for BMWCCA club racing school. You can do it in a street car if you wish. It's a lot of fun and will give you a nice taste of W2W. I bet that's been suggested to you already. Skip Barber is up and running again to. A friend of mine Christine Lam is an instructor. She also races with NASA. You should also consider NASA TT in your street car.
The plan is to do BMWCCA race school next December 2019 at Roebling Road. I have thought about doing NASA TT with my E90 as well. I'm sure at some point that will be a part of my plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
BMW CCA is a good school as well, I coach for BMW they have excellent programs, as does PCA. Spending money on seat time is great, but you need a plan with that seat time. Sounds like you have a mentor that is helping you, which is really cool and hopefully he has a plan for you to help you get to your stated goals.

When I started in motorsports, 30 years ago, there were no HPDE's or 'track days'. The market has grown quite a bit and with all the different organizations there are no standards (MSF is working on that) so going to different track day events can bring a wide range of results. (I coach for many) Some are formal and rigid, some are loose and relaxed. Either way I want you to understand that none of them have training for w2w. If you are serious about the Roos school let me know and I will make an intro to Dennis, the owner. He is a no BS guy and has been doing this for 20+ years and the 5K that you spend in 1 week is better than 10 years of HPDE's. There are other schools but I can only speak from my experience. I know Skippy has been resurrected from the dead and is now run by Demonte with caged cars and talk of F4 cars in the future. They had a great reputation and hopefully they can restore themselves to previous glory.

You may also want to look into TT events. Unless you're prepared to toss your E90 into the trash can with w2w, TT's offer a fun environment without contact. Could be a great place to start and like most track events you will find cool people willing to help.

Just a thought.

Good luck.
Mentor is absolutely the right word. I am very fortunate to be working with him.

I do not plan to race my E90. I love this car so much I could never strip it down and put it in an environment like that where damage is likely. When the time is right, I will get a car specifically for racing. I keep going back and forth between E36, E46, or E92 M3s... choices choices lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Well I did my fist track day event at Road Atlanta in 1981! So 37 years ago the BMWCCA was well involved in holding track day events. The month after the RA event, Ray Korman and I trailered my Bavaria up to Mid-Ohio for another CCA track event in May 1981. Scott Hughes was the organizer up there for that event. At O'fest in 1982, the track event was held at Lime Rock, which at the time I didn't think much of the course compared to RA and Mid-Ohio. I spent the better part of the 1980s doing track events all over the east coast, mainly with the CCA. In the National Capital Chapter circa 1985, we used to even hold a "Hot Shoe" Fall weekday track event at Summit Point for advanced drivers only where lap times were recorded and posted in the newsletter.

Point taken though...just wanted to point out to the younger forum members that the CCA started doing track events in the 1970s.

Regards,
Chuck
As always, I love your stories!!! It is so cool to hear about Scott Hughes' involvement back in the day. We are lucky to have him here in Greenville, love that guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyPeaches View Post
JMJ Racing will be awesome! I can't wait!



I'm not going to speak for Mary and her plans, as she's perfectly capable of doing that for herself But BMW CCA Club Race School is something we've discussed for her. I just went through last year, and as she mentioned, I just bought a car that I will begin racing this year. Once she has her license, she'll start racing with me.



Scott Hughes is a friend of both of ours. Great guy and fantastic driver!
I can't wait to drive the race car this weekend!! VIR here we come!
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      09-24-2018, 08:18 PM   #119
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I can't wait to drive the race car this weekend!! VIR here we come!
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      09-25-2018, 04:15 PM   #120
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Take it from somebody who has done it: owning and maintaining production-based racecars, even reliable ones that don't need much, is annoying. Weird stuff breaks. They're all old. They're all designed around all-season tires (period ones, so, low-grip) and the forces they can impart on the chassis. Only the very best cages running around in club racing are worth a shit. Sheetmetal is annoying to fix. Frame racks are worse. "Real" repairs are hard to do. They need bigger tow vehicles, more spares, more trailer. Get a Formula Ford, or an F500, if you must tinker. But At some point in an aspiring club racer's life, that person should rent a ride in a Spec Racer Ford Gen3.

Have other cars to race against, everywhere you go. Run laps comparable to C6 Z06's, for miata money because 1560lb with driver, and never worry if the other guy has the better car. Rent, buy, arrive and drive your own car, all on the table. You can own a truck and trailer and work on it yourself, or you can decide not to and use the SCCA Enterprises CSR vendor of your choice, and have them service and crew the car trackside, or use one of their house-owned rental cars. Just add money depending on how much support you want, and how much carnage you bring on yourself. The rentals are some of the nicest cars you'll find, believe it or not, partially because aspiring sennas like to back them into stuff. And they're SAFE cars. More track miles than any other formula ever raced. They crash well and repair easily. The Hoosier spec tires are good for sessions well into the tweens. You run on *real* rain tires in the damp (which is like getting religion). The recently updated brakes last for ages.

I own an SRF3. I've had the car since 2009, before that I ran SM's. I've filled up two logbooks and about to start a 3rd. I raced it at the Runoffs last year with full-on trackside support and transport, this year I've been hauling myself due to limited schedule, both have been fun. The racing is always intense, clean, and the cars are really really really fun, even if everybody has run off into the distance because you suck. The cars are easy to set up, easy to make changes to, and every single part down to the brake pads is chosen for you by the formula. On top of it actually being, you know, a ground-up racecar designed to survive on the race track at qualifying pace for an hour at a time, it's a spec car so there's no need to test anything but setup at the racetrack. No wasted days wondering if your spring rate is just a bit too high, or if maybe the wing needs a new 3d element. Just drive, and turn knobs and spring collars and rod ends if you must.

But you can't have mine. It's not for sale.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk




EDIT: Also, plus Juan Pablo Montoya on the EVO school. I was an autocrosser for 4 years, semi-seriously, before I started doing track days for less than a year and transitioned to club racing back in 2005. I was fast out of the box beacuse of autocross. Still often a dumbass, but fast in raw laptimes speed, because of it. No better teacher of car control and car control + a little bit of "lack of imagination" makes a fast lap around a racetrack. It also makes you a whole lot more likely to be the guy who saves the car instead of hitting the wall when you hit the oil patch, or the rain starts, or whatever. Track days so often do not prepare people for being on and then over the limit and back again, and when they make the transition to club racing, they get frustrated because it turns out to be really effing hard to almost crash every corner of every lap for half an hour's worth of regional club race
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      09-25-2018, 04:48 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m13s View Post
Hi Dreamtime

You stated that your goal is to be a race car driver. Lots of advice some good some bad. There is no shortage of people wanting to separate you from your racing dollars, keep that in mind. Doing HDPE's is fine but that is not going to prepare you for w2w racing other than having track time. I would recommend Bertil Roos school, tracks are pocono, njmp, palm beach and a few others. Take a 5 day, 3 day beginner, 2 day advanced. You get two races at the end of the advanced school that qualifies you for a NASA or SCCA License. Drive the slide car, hopefully it will rain, more experience, passing from the get go, all in an open wheel 2 liter formula car. If you can drive this car well you can drive anything.

Take that knowledge and decide what you want to race and go from there. Not knocking HPDE's at all but chasing lap times is a fools errand and HPDE's does not teach racing. If you want to race go to a racing school and do it proper, there are no shortcuts.

Lots of people giving advice on car mods, save your money and put it into your driving. Hire a coach for a weekend or a day. Define a plan with him/her, and execute. There are many classes to race in, arrive and drives to dip your feet in. Don't make the classic mistake of spending all your money on mods, so there is nothing left to spend on learning how to drive.

Good luck and welcome to the dark side should you decide to go w2w.
This is good advice. The thing that bugs me about the formula car schools is a formula car is so far removed from the experience a student will be familiar with, or actually see in most club race environments that it can overwhelm the senses, even on the rock hard school tires they run, and you end up getting a very expensive thrill that you just barely catch up to in time to be told CONGRATS YOU'RE A RACECAR DRIVER NOW and you're sitting there going "wait what?"

But I agree it's a great one-stop shop. And you will learn a lot of good habits and be broken or at least have the bad ones pointed out to you in a real hurry. There's something to be said for immersion
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      09-26-2018, 04:12 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Take it from somebody who has done it: owning and maintaining production-based racecars, even reliable ones that don't need much, is annoying. Weird stuff breaks. They're all old. They're all designed around all-season tires (period ones, so, low-grip) and the forces they can impart on the chassis. Only the very best cages running around in club racing are worth a shit. Sheetmetal is annoying to fix. Frame racks are worse. "Real" repairs are hard to do. They need bigger tow vehicles, more spares, more trailer. Get a Formula Ford, or an F500, if you must tinker. But At some point in an aspiring club racer's life, that person should rent a ride in a Spec Racer Ford Gen3.

Have other cars to race against, everywhere you go. Run laps comparable to C6 Z06's, for miata money because 1560lb with driver, and never worry if the other guy has the better car. Rent, buy, arrive and drive your own car, all on the table. You can own a truck and trailer and work on it yourself, or you can decide not to and use the SCCA Enterprises CSR vendor of your choice, and have them service and crew the car trackside, or use one of their house-owned rental cars. Just add money depending on how much support you want, and how much carnage you bring on yourself. The rentals are some of the nicest cars you'll find, believe it or not, partially because aspiring sennas like to back them into stuff. And they're SAFE cars. More track miles than any other formula ever raced. They crash well and repair easily. The Hoosier spec tires are good for sessions well into the tweens. You run on *real* rain tires in the damp (which is like getting religion). The recently updated brakes last for ages.

I own an SRF3. I've had the car since 2009, before that I ran SM's. I've filled up two logbooks and about to start a 3rd. I raced it at the Runoffs last year with full-on trackside support and transport, this year I've been hauling myself due to limited schedule, both have been fun. The racing is always intense, clean, and the cars are really really really fun, even if everybody has run off into the distance because you suck. The cars are easy to set up, easy to make changes to, and every single part down to the brake pads is chosen for you by the formula. On top of it actually being, you know, a ground-up racecar designed to survive on the race track at qualifying pace for an hour at a time, it's a spec car so there's no need to test anything but setup at the racetrack. No wasted days wondering if your spring rate is just a bit too high, or if maybe the wing needs a new 3d element. Just drive, and turn knobs and spring collars and rod ends if you must.

But you can't have mine. It's not for sale.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk
There is so much cool stuff in here, I love it. Thanks for taking the time to write all this out! I have never considered anything other than a production based racecar for myself, I guess this is because of the obsession with M3s I have developed since buying my E90. I can't explain why that happened btw... but damn it... it did lol. Anyways, I can definitely see the benefits of buying a purpose built racecar that is designed to handle the rigors of competitive racing. Everything you have said makes perfect sense. I do absolutely love spending time with my car (like it's a person or something lmao) as well as working on it, and I would feel the same way about whatever other M3 I bought for my track/race car too. However, I obviously want to spend the majority of my time driving and not working on a broken car. I am very thankful to not have to rush into buying a racecar right away, but... before too long I will want one of my own. You have given me a lot to think about! I feel like I have a lot of learning to do since I am still learning about all the options out there for w2w racing. The Spec Racer Ford class with SCCA looks like a LOT of fun, and I literally didn't even know about that until you told me. The SRF3 looks like an awesome car too. There are some cool options out there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
EDIT: Also, plus Juan Pablo Montoya on the EVO school. I was an autocrosser for 4 years, semi-seriously, before I started doing track days for less than a year and transitioned to club racing back in 2005. I was fast out of the box beacuse of autocross. Still often a dumbass, but fast in raw laptimes speed, because of it. No better teacher of car control and car control + a little bit of "lack of imagination" makes a fast lap around a racetrack. It also makes you a whole lot more likely to be the guy who saves the car instead of hitting the wall when you hit the oil patch, or the rain starts, or whatever. Track days so often do not prepare people for being on and then over the limit and back again, and when they make the transition to club racing, they get frustrated because it turns out to be really effing hard to almost crash every corner of every lap for half an hour's worth of regional club race
I have not tried autocross, but I probably should. It is way cheaper than track events and there are a lot of options around that would be easy to fit into my schedule. I would love to do EVO school too. Any experience that teaches me car control I would enjoy. I do see what you and m13s are saying about the HPDE environment not setting you up for actual racing conditions. I think it's safe to say that overall most HPDE organizers and instructors would prefer the students NOT pushing things up to, then over, the limit, while learning how to retain/gain control of the car and keep going.

If I stick with my current plan, the first real taste of w2w racing will come at BMW CCA race school next December. Then, the following year I will be racing the E30. Because of the learning curve I expect to encounter, I recently decided to purchase track insurance on my friend's racecar whenever I will be driving it... just because. That part about almost crashing in every corner makes me want to cover my ass...
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      09-27-2018, 07:43 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Take it from somebody who has done it: owning and maintaining production-based racecars, even reliable ones that don't need much, is annoying. Weird stuff breaks. They're all old. They're all designed around all-season tires (period ones, so, low-grip) and the forces they can impart on the chassis. Only the very best cages running around in club racing are worth a shit. Sheetmetal is annoying to fix. Frame racks are worse. "Real" repairs are hard to do. They need bigger tow vehicles, more spares, more trailer. Get a Formula Ford, or an F500, if you must tinker. But At some point in an aspiring club racer's life, that person should rent a ride in a Spec Racer Ford Gen3.

Have other cars to race against, everywhere you go. Run laps comparable to C6 Z06's, for miata money because 1560lb with driver, and never worry if the other guy has the better car. Rent, buy, arrive and drive your own car, all on the table. You can own a truck and trailer and work on it yourself, or you can decide not to and use the SCCA Enterprises CSR vendor of your choice, and have them service and crew the car trackside, or use one of their house-owned rental cars. Just add money depending on how much support you want, and how much carnage you bring on yourself. The rentals are some of the nicest cars you'll find, believe it or not, partially because aspiring sennas like to back them into stuff. And they're SAFE cars. More track miles than any other formula ever raced. They crash well and repair easily. The Hoosier spec tires are good for sessions well into the tweens. You run on *real* rain tires in the damp (which is like getting religion). The recently updated brakes last for ages.

I own an SRF3. I've had the car since 2009, before that I ran SM's. I've filled up two logbooks and about to start a 3rd. I raced it at the Runoffs last year with full-on trackside support and transport, this year I've been hauling myself due to limited schedule, both have been fun. The racing is always intense, clean, and the cars are really really really fun, even if everybody has run off into the distance because you suck. The cars are easy to set up, easy to make changes to, and every single part down to the brake pads is chosen for you by the formula. On top of it actually being, you know, a ground-up racecar designed to survive on the race track at qualifying pace for an hour at a time, it's a spec car so there's no need to test anything but setup at the racetrack. No wasted days wondering if your spring rate is just a bit too high, or if maybe the wing needs a new 3d element. Just drive, and turn knobs and spring collars and rod ends if you must.

But you can't have mine. It's not for sale.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk




EDIT: Also, plus Juan Pablo Montoya on the EVO school. I was an autocrosser for 4 years, semi-seriously, before I started doing track days for less than a year and transitioned to club racing back in 2005. I was fast out of the box beacuse of autocross. Still often a dumbass, but fast in raw laptimes speed, because of it. No better teacher of car control and car control + a little bit of "lack of imagination" makes a fast lap around a racetrack. It also makes you a whole lot more likely to be the guy who saves the car instead of hitting the wall when you hit the oil patch, or the rain starts, or whatever. Track days so often do not prepare people for being on and then over the limit and back again, and when they make the transition to club racing, they get frustrated because it turns out to be really effing hard to almost crash every corner of every lap for half an hour's worth of regional club race
This is spot on. Spec racing and arrive and drive is the cheapest form of racing. Period. Having done bikes, f2000 (arrive and drive) and my E46M3 you can't beat the miata, FV, or SRF. Great advice. The statement of racing production cars is just that. At the end of the day they are old pieces of shit (e46M3) and require constant service and upgrades. Power to weight is shit, balance is shit, and they break constantly. Ask me how I know. I am in the process of an E90M3 build as I sold my E46M3 and here we go again. Love hate relationship.

So Spec racing is an option and a great one at that. The Miata guys put on a hell of a show and the front runners are FAST! Same with the SRF's.

There are many options for you with schools and racing, pick one and go. So true what you said on the track days and racing. HPDE's do not prepare you for w2w, a good racing school will. It is funny when I see guys/gals come from HPDE and into w2w they are initially overwhelmed, but if they stick with it, eventually they get competitive.
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      09-27-2018, 09:31 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
This is good advice. The thing that bugs me about the formula car schools is a formula car is so far removed from the experience a student will be familiar with, or actually see in most club race environments that it can overwhelm the senses, even on the rock hard school tires they run, and you end up getting a very expensive thrill that you just barely catch up to in time to be told CONGRATS YOU'RE A RACECAR DRIVER NOW and you're sitting there going "wait what?"

But I agree it's a great one-stop shop. And you will learn a lot of good habits and be broken or at least have the bad ones pointed out to you in a real hurry. There's something to be said for immersion

Because the Formula cars are 'real' race cars I think the schools try and get you to drive intuitively and gain instinct. At least that is what I came away with. Learning to drive a slow car fast as they say, either way each student learns at their own pace. Because I am older now I can drive the caged cars all day long. Formula cars kick the ever living shit out of you, and I like soft and cushy...
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      09-27-2018, 11:33 AM   #125
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Heh I hear you man. I went karting for the first time in a while a couple months ago. God I’m old.

The SRF is actually pretty cushy. Big drivers compartment, no downforce so your neck doesn’t take a beating, and the suspension is compliant over curbs with good (Penske) dampers. I’m usually not sore after a weekend except for all the ancillary trailer/tie-down/loading and unloading fiascos

We do run a lot of caster and no PS so the forearms and torso can get a little sore if you’re rusty but nothing like a downforce car

And if it catches on fire, park, pull the fire handle, stand up and walk away
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      10-01-2018, 01:31 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by m13s View Post
This is spot on. Spec racing and arrive and drive is the cheapest form of racing. Period. Having done bikes, f2000 (arrive and drive) and my E46M3 you can't beat the miata, FV, or SRF. Great advice. The statement of racing production cars is just that. At the end of the day they are old pieces of shit (e46M3) and require constant service and upgrades. Power to weight is shit, balance is shit, and they break constantly. Ask me how I know. I am in the process of an E90M3 build as I sold my E46M3 and here we go again. Love hate relationship.

So Spec racing is an option and a great one at that. The Miata guys put on a hell of a show and the front runners are FAST! Same with the SRF's.

There are many options for you with schools and racing, pick one and go. So true what you said on the track days and racing. HPDE's do not prepare you for w2w, a good racing school will. It is funny when I see guys/gals come from HPDE and into w2w they are initially overwhelmed, but if they stick with it, eventually they get competitive.
You got me thinking… Perhaps I should restate my original goal. Instead of a generalized statement of “I want to be a racecar driver”, maybe I should have said “I want to race old piece of shit BMWs” I particularly love E46 M3s. Aside from that, when considering which car to buy for my own racecar, I keep coming back to an E92 M3. To be completely honest, a huge part of what I am passionate about when it comes to this sport is the actual cars themselves that I am spending time driving, working on, staring at affectionately with little cartoon hearts in my eyes, etc. I honestly don’t know if I would derive the same joy from racing other types of cars, but I can’t say that with any certainty, as I have not tried. I’m definitely always open to new experiences and I always appreciate a fresh perspective that forces a paradigm shift in my own little world, so I will take all of your words of wisdom with me. I guess I just felt like I needed to clarify where I was coming from lol. And, I am having the time of my life doing HPDEs while I slowly, but progressively, learn how to handle my car in a track environment. This weekend at VIR only reinforced this
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      10-01-2018, 09:23 AM   #127
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“I want to race old piece of shit BMWs” I particularly love E46 M3s.
Hey. You're not wrong, but still, don't rub it in.
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      10-01-2018, 12:13 PM   #128
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Hey. You're not wrong, but still, don't rub it in.


Dude! I hope you know I was joking around! I would never, with any seriousness, refer to E46 M3s in general as old pieces of shit lmao
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      10-01-2018, 12:39 PM   #129
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Dude! I hope you know I was joking around! I would never, with any seriousness, refer to E46 M3s in general as old pieces of shit lmao
I know you were joking, but they actually are. Mine won't stop... doesn't really accelerate either. Barely turns for that matter too.
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      10-01-2018, 01:25 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by CorruptCommie View Post
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Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post


Dude! I hope you know I was joking around! I would never, with any seriousness, refer to E46 M3s in general as old pieces of shit lmao
I know you were joking, but they actually are. Mine won't stop... doesn't really accelerate either. Barely turns for that matter too.
My piece of shit E46 gifted me with spun bearing this weekend at WGI. I still think it's a fun car to drive but it has been a ton of work for the last 6 years.
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      10-01-2018, 02:25 PM   #131
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My piece of shit E46 gifted me with spun bearing this weekend at WGI. I still think it's a fun car to drive but it has been a ton of work for the last 6 years.
Sorry to hear dude, how old were they? Were you doing UOA's?

I agree really fun when most of it is working, but the damn thing always needs something...
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      10-01-2018, 07:00 PM   #132
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Richbot makes a great case for arrive and drive w/real race cars. SCCA is serious racing too!

Having owned 2 crew cab diesel dually trucks and a 40' pusher diesel motor home, all chosen based on towing capability, I did it all wrong.

DIY something else, not race car.
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