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      06-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
CJ421
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100 degree track day photos - NJMP Lightning

We had a nice group go out to NJMP Lightning with the PCA today - enjoy the photos! It was 100*F on the tarmac with full humidity. Absolutely sweltering. No limp modes or any cooling problems in our group though - 2x 335i (N55), 1M (N54), and a 325i (N52).

Lightning is a great track with - 1.9 miles, 10 turns; a "fast" time for a BMW is in the 1:20 range. Not uncommon for a 335i to hit 130+ on the front straight - stock tune!
The track was blistering due to the heat and tires overheated/chunked fast. My Hankook V12's were cooked as were turugara's RS3's about 10-15 min into each session. No problems with stock intercooler on my N55 (planning to get an upgraded one though).

This event was mostly P-cars, about 70% worth. A couple Lotuses, a Corvette Z06 (amazing vehicle), and the odd Toyota or two, including a turbo MR2 which just blew everyone's doors off. A good smattering of Bimmers including our four cars.

There's one pic you can see a P-car go off the track in front of me. Overall a phenomenal day and we had a ton of fun. There's a reason BMW is called the Ultimate Driving Machine.
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      06-22-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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Great pics! So I say the first pic of the Porsche with all the blue tape on it and thought "I wonder who that n00b is." Then I scroll down to the pick of him spinning off into the grass. LMAO! Classic... Blue tape all over your car is the best way to tell everyone "Get out of my way 'cus I have no idea what I'm doing."
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      06-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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Awesome guys, can't wait to join ya in August
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      06-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Sick pics!
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      06-22-2012, 09:21 PM   #5
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Picture of the MR2?
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      06-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Great pics! So I say the first pic of the Porsche with all the blue tape on it and thought "I wonder who that n00b is." Then I scroll down to the pick of him spinning off into the grass. LMAO! Classic... Blue tape all over your car is the best way to tell everyone "Get out of my way 'cus I have no idea what I'm doing."
Thanks! Definitely a classic scenario. I pointed him by on the previous straight, so pretty much as soon as he was in front of me and back on line he lost it. IDK what happened - either too much speed or he upset the balance of the car mid-corner. I saw the rear end go and on a 911 ... it's gonna keep going.
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Picture of the MR2?
This is the only shot I have of it:
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      06-22-2012, 10:14 PM   #7
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Hopefully August won't be as hot! Last year we had good weather in August.

Still better than being at work. Great pics.
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      06-23-2012, 07:56 AM   #8
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Awesome pics!

So you guys don't ride with instructors at the PCA events?
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      06-23-2012, 11:16 AM   #9
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Awesome pics!

So you guys don't ride with instructors at the PCA events?
Thanks!

They are optional. I signed up for an instructor but there was a shortage, so he was in my car every other session. It worked out. I think solo time on the track is very important to your overall learning.
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      06-23-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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Awesome pics. Looks like you guys had a good time.
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      06-24-2012, 08:24 AM   #11
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Here's a video of the 4th Session in the Green Group. The view is from the 1M. I think only 3 or 4 of us were out there as it started raining.


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      06-26-2012, 12:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Awesome pics!

So you guys don't ride with instructors at the PCA events?
Beginner groups do ride with instructors, other groups are optional.

My experience: my instructor made me drive unbelievable slow in my already slow car, in D, with traction control on... + he kept telling me when to brake and release, which lines to take, and when to turn... It was not very fun to say the least, you need some room for error/learning. However, I did learn a few things. As Charles already mentioned driving solo is a very important part of the learning process since no one is there to hold your hand.

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Here's a video of the 4th Session in the Green Group. The view is from the 1M. I think only 3 or 4 of us were out there as it started raining.
I tried getting out after the last session, but my numbers were already off. There was only 1 car on the track.

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      06-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #13
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68 degrees and slight wind today at Thunderbolt. 8 cars in my group, It's a good day
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      06-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #14
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68 degrees and slight wind today at Thunderbolt. 8 cars in my group, It's a good day
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      06-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #15
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Noice!
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      06-26-2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90 87ss View Post
Beginner groups do ride with instructors, other groups are optional.

My experience: my instructor made me drive unbelievable slow in my already slow car, in D, with traction control on... + he kept telling me when to brake and release, which lines to take, and when to turn... It was not very fun to say the least, you need some room for error/learning. However, I did learn a few things. As Charles already mentioned driving solo is a very important part of the learning process since no one is there to hold your hand.



I tried getting out after the last session, but my numbers were already off. There was only 1 car on the track.

I agree with you and Charles about running solo, but only to a certain extent. I've been doing track events for over 5 years and have had an instructor for 95% of them. I'm in NO way shape or form a professional driver so I feel I always have something to learn.
Recently I had an instructor at Lime Rock and I complained about talking about threashold braking, correct lines and turn-in points. He said that he was able to attend a professional Grand Am drivers meeting and they were discussing the exact same thing.

One of the main reasons to have an instructor is so you don't start any "bad habits" that you're not aware of. It can take a lot longer to progress if you have to correct issues rather than learning them the right way from the start. I caught myself dragging my brakes at Thunderbolt and quickly stopped it. Hadn't I had the past instructions I may have thought that was okay since I was still quick, but overheating my brakes and wearing them out quicker were the costs that weren't necessary. I ended up being quicker by running a cleaner lap and braking where I was supposed to. Dragging my brakes made the car more unstable.

Are some instructors better than others? Definitely, but once you get a really good instructor, you'll really see a difference.
You also need to realize that these instructors are putting their lives in your hands. They aren't paid much of anything (if anything other than track time) to take this type of risk. I know professional drivers who refuse to instruct because they've been scared for their lives a couple of times. Not worth it to them.

I'm always requesting my instructor who is a part of PCA and likes to run with BMWCCA. I learned a ton from him! He will feel out the driver first to assess their ability and make suggestions and see how quickly they can be implimented. From there, he will begin to push you slowly to see if you can handle it and once he's satified with that, he will be aggressive and really teach you to push your car. It's a process, but it works the best for all parties.

Getting out alone for one or two sessions and then discussing what happened with your instructor is also very helpful in getting yourself to be aware of what you're doing. So you're not relying on someone pointing out what you're doing.

The ultimate goal for these events is to learn, not to be a racecar driver. If we were, then we wouldn't be doing these events. We'd have our SCCA license and be racing on the weekends instead.
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      06-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM330i View Post
I agree with you and Charles about running solo, but only to a certain extent. I've been doing track events for over 5 years and have had an instructor for 95% of them. I'm in NO way shape or form a professional driver so I feel I always have something to learn.
Recently I had an instructor at Lime Rock and I complained about talking about threashold braking, correct lines and turn-in points. He said that he was able to attend a professional Grand Am drivers meeting and they were discussing the exact same thing.

One of the main reasons to have an instructor is so you don't start any "bad habits" that you're not aware of. It can take a lot longer to progress if you have to correct issues rather than learning them the right way from the start. I caught myself dragging my brakes at Thunderbolt and quickly stopped it. Hadn't I had the past instructions I may have thought that was okay since I was still quick, but overheating my brakes and wearing them out quicker were the costs that weren't necessary. I ended up being quicker by running a cleaner lap and braking where I was supposed to. Dragging my brakes made the car more unstable.

Are some instructors better than others? Definitely, but once you get a really good instructor, you'll really see a difference.
You also need to realize that these instructors are putting their lives in your hands. They aren't paid much of anything (if anything other than track time) to take this type of risk. I know professional drivers who refuse to instruct because they've been scared for their lives a couple of times. Not worth it to them.

I'm always requesting my instructor who is a part of PCA and likes to run with BMWCCA. I learned a ton from him! He will feel out the driver first to assess their ability and make suggestions and see how quickly they can be implimented. From there, he will begin to push you slowly to see if you can handle it and once he's satified with that, he will be aggressive and really teach you to push your car. It's a process, but it works the best for all parties.

Getting out alone for one or two sessions and then discussing what happened with your instructor is also very helpful in getting yourself to be aware of what you're doing. So you're not relying on someone pointing out what you're doing.

The ultimate goal for these events is to learn, not to be a racecar driver. If we were, then we wouldn't be doing these events. We'd have our SCCA license and be racing on the weekends instead.
Completely agree, unfortunately for me it was basically step by step instruction from the beginning in addition to him controlling the wheel at times... there was no assessment, simply taking orders + we were going so slow that I had to constantly point people by and could not focus on my line or the next corner. Looking forward to good instructors and some solo time as well.

I agree that learning the fundamentals is essential, but beyond that it depends on the vehicle and the driver; I was having difficulty learning since I had very little control unless I were to blatantly disobey the instructor and the vehicle was barely being pushed. Just about every corner I took had too little entry speed that turning in late would not have caused any drama.

I didn't argue or complain since going in humble usually serves the learning process... Anyways my thoughts and opinion... Obviously open to better thoughts and arguments. Perhaps my logic is incorrect.
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      06-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #18
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Completely agree, unfortunately for me it was basically step by step instruction from the beginning in addition to him controlling the wheel at times... there was no assessment, simply taking orders + we were going so slow that I had to constantly point people by and could not focus on my line or the next corner. Looking forward to good instructors and some solo time as well.

I agree that learning the fundamentals is essential, but beyond that it depends on the vehicle and the driver; I was having difficulty learning since I had very little control unless I were to blatantly disobey the instructor and the vehicle was barely being pushed. Just about every corner I took had too little entry speed that turning in late would not have caused any drama.

I didn't argue or complain since going in humble usually serves the learning process... Anyways my thoughts and opinion... Obviously open to better thoughts and arguments. Perhaps my logic is incorrect.
UGH! I feel for you! Yes, it's a difficult situation. You do have the right to request a new instructor if you feel you're not being helped (or hindered in this case I feel). It sounds like it would be excruciating. I know you and that stinks!

One thing that really jumped out at me is that your instructor touched your steering wheel. This should NEVER happen unless there is a chance that you're going to crash. You really need to let the person who is in charge of the event and instructors know that he/she was doing this. They should never touch your steering wheel under normal conditions.
Last year at NJMP a first timer gave someone a point by to the right, which was the correct side (the guy behind him was a first timer too, but driving a new 2011 GT3RS) so the guy behind went to the right and began the pass. The instructor of the car being passed said "no, no" and grabbed steering wheel, jerked it to the right and essentially cut off the passing car! The passing car had to hit the brakes and swerve out of the way, which put him off. So now you have a $150,000 lawnmower because the moron instructor grabbed the steering wheel when he shouldn't have! I spoke to both drivers afterwards and told the guy that gave the point by that he need to tell Geoff Ehrman (event organizer) what happened and the instructor shouldn't be instructing.

I'll try to see if you can get my instructor that I've had the last two years at Lightning in August. He's AWESOME!!!
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      06-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #19
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Good to know I can request for another instructor, still new at this.

yikes, would not want to be in the GT3RS' situation.

Appreciate it, a good instructor would be very helpful. Thanks!!!
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      06-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #20
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I will be running NJMP soon as well. Nice car you have, OP. Glad everything worked out with the stock intercooler as these cars can easily generate enough heat to overwhelm the factory one.

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      06-27-2012, 03:15 PM   #21
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Thanks Josh. I was surprised too but so far I haven't see much in the way of N55 limp mode. Nonetheless I have ordered an upgraded intercooler to be easier on the engine and hopefully get a little improvement in throttle response throughout sessions.
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      06-27-2012, 03:41 PM   #22
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Thanks Josh. I was surprised too but so far I haven't see much in the way of N55 limp mode. Nonetheless I have ordered an upgraded intercooler to be easier on the engine and hopefully get a little improvement in throttle response throughout sessions.
Definitely a good idea. Are you running on the factory tune?

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