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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Looks like I will be taking my car on the track.



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      02-07-2006, 05:52 PM   #1
noflash
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Looks like I will be taking my car on the track.

AMAZINGLY, I just got the okay from State Farm!

They said they spent all day searching my policy and their website and they can't see why I can't put my car on a track.

So, in March there's a little cones-in-the-parking-lot fun (Solo II; $37). And in April my BMWCCA local chapter has rented out the Mid-America-Motorplex for a driving school. It's a pretty nice facility that a motorcycle instructor told me he can get up to 130 mph in the straight section.

So.... WOOHOO!!
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      02-07-2006, 06:01 PM   #2
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wow, that will be really nice! make sure to take lots of pics!
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      02-07-2006, 06:14 PM   #3
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Man! You are going to have a blast! You will walk away from that with much appreciation for your e90! Couple of quick tips:

Get a proper Snell rated helmet, Loaners are nasty!
Bring window cleaner to clean your windows
Bring wax to apply on the sides of your car prior to applying your #
Bring an air pump
Fasten all unused seatbelt buckles
Take all loose stuff out of the car
Bring a wood block to keep your car from rolling after a run(If you use the handbrake, it traps alot of heat and keep your hood up to help cooling...)

Have Fun!!!
Danny
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      02-07-2006, 06:29 PM   #4
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A current DOT helmet is OK. You will probably be given a check list upon registration.
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      02-07-2006, 06:29 PM   #5
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Good advice. Thanks.
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      02-07-2006, 06:31 PM   #6
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That is good news about the insurance. I take my Mustang to the track a lot. My understanding is that you aren't covered while on a racetrack, but it doesn't affect your policy otherwise.
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      02-07-2006, 07:31 PM   #7
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Read your policy carefully. This gets discussed quite often over on Rennlist a Porsche site. You will find you should be covered for Driver's Education events, but as soon as you start running a clock (autocross, solo I, or racing) you're not.

Driving on the track is really addicting, and seriously fun. I have an old DE checklist I used to use if you want it. However, for your first event bring water, a notebook to write things down your instructor tells you (or just things you want to think about), sunblock, a helmet (your region should tell you if you need a Snell SA or M rating), long sleeves, long pants, a tire pressure gauge, white shoe polish (works great for making numbers and putting dots on your tires to check tire rollover), and a strong desire to learn and have fun...
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      02-07-2006, 10:00 PM   #8
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take VIDEO, i stress VIDEO!
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      02-07-2006, 11:38 PM   #9
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I think that you are alright with the insurance so long as there are no other cars on the track at the same time and that you are not racing against each other. I have state farm as well. I would get something in writing though...just in case. Good luck.
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      02-07-2006, 11:55 PM   #10
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please take video or lots of pictures for us. I will live vicariously through you!
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      02-08-2006, 12:03 AM   #11
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If you've never done a Solo II, I'd recommend you get there as they're setting up the course and walk it a few times. Pylons with chalk in between are a little harder to see when you're driving fast than an actual track separated by dirt and grass.
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      02-08-2006, 12:31 AM   #12
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Auto-x and DE

I agree that these things can become addictive. Lots of fun!

Something to be careful and read your policy. It should say something about speed demonstrations, practicing for racing, racing etc..

Autocrossing is you against the clock, and, they do award trophies for placement and they also publicize that in local SCCA newsletters and on the web. You against the clock, being timed, and trophies in everyone's book is racing. And yes there can be more than one car out there on the course at the same time. Your risk is probably low because speeds are supposed to be low (less than 50 or 60 mph) and accidents are uncommon. But it is still racing.

BMW CCA DE: these are indeed schools. Many insurance companies now have language about taking your car to a place meant for racing. Guess you are lucky with that one. However, something that can kill your fun and everyone else's if there are people there timing. If they are timing each other then this is competition or practicing for competition. Some BMW CCA groups are real strict about this and they will kick out the timers. And, I agree with this because it is meant to learn at your own pace, to have fun, and be able to drive your car home. Go with a good attitude, open mind, learning mode in full gear, honesty about getting tired and taking a rest, and leave the ego at home. You'll learn a lot and have fun too. Also, talk to lots of other people and just absorb.

Regards,
Marc
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      02-08-2006, 12:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c5driver951
Driving on the track is really addicting, and seriously fun. I have an old DE checklist I used to use if you want it. However, for your first event bring water, a notebook to write things down your instructor tells you (or just things you want to think about), sunblock, a helmet (your region should tell you if you need a Snell SA or M rating), long sleeves, long pants, a tire pressure gauge, white shoe polish (works great for making numbers and putting dots on your tires to check tire rollover), and a strong desire to learn and have fun...
By M- rating, you mean for example the Snell M2000 sticker on my Shoei X-11 ? I know it's a motorcycle lid, but I wonder how many people wear them in their cars for these little events...

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      02-08-2006, 02:51 AM   #14
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You'd have to be pretty incompetent to cause serious damage to your car at a Solo II event. The courses are generally set up so that high speed sections have long run-offs and there are few, if any, fixed obstacles to hit within the course itself.
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      02-08-2006, 08:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
By M- rating, you mean for example the Snell M2000 sticker on my Shoei X-11 ? I know it's a motorcycle lid, but I wonder how many people wear them in their cars for these little events...
Yes the M-rating is the Snell Foundation rating, and is used to rate the safety of motorcycle helmets. The SA-rating is typically used for autoracing helmets, and is tested with more impacts than the M helmets. There are differences in the requirements for the eye openings as well. Regardless, for DE and autocross either will be safe. Most regions are now stepping to the 2000 standard for track use, but some will still allow SA-95 helmets for autocross. A helmet that fits well will definitely make the experience better.

Quote:
If you've never done a Solo II, I'd recommend you get there as they're setting up the course and walk it a few times.
This is great advice. It will also give you time to search out more experienced drivers. If you can, catch a ride. I caught a ride with a guy in an E46 M3 Vert at my first auto-x, Holy (&*^. I've been driving on the track a lot longer than autocrossing, and agree that a good autocrosser will be good on the track once taught. The car control taught in autocrossing will make you a better driver. Hand movements on the track are much slower.
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      02-08-2006, 11:28 AM   #16
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I am guessing you're going for SCCA Solo 2 D stock class...how competitive (i.e. how good are the drivers) is that class?

I have been toying with the idea of sourcing a beater civic hatch and going solo 2 H stock class but still waiting for time, resources and support (i.e. wife)

Good luck, I am sure you'll have fun.
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      02-08-2006, 11:34 AM   #17
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Don't mean to be a wet blanket but s bike can get up to 130 in 3-4 secs from a roll and can brake a lot faster than a car so don't be expecting to get your car up to 130 on the same straight stretch. Unless the motorcycle instructor was talking about getting his car up to 130 in the straight.
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      02-08-2006, 12:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agarbati
Don't mean to be a wet blanket but s bike can get up to 130 in 3-4 secs from a roll and can brake a lot faster than a car so don't be expecting to get your car up to 130 on the same straight stretch. Unless the motorcycle instructor was talking about getting his car up to 130 in the straight.
I was waiting for that comment.

Yes, I know motorcycles are faster. That was for example.

Regardless of top speed, I think it'll be a great time.

Currently, I am shopping for a helmet.

Of course, I will take pics. Sorry no video -- unless the CCA guys to it.

And thanks for the good advice on the SoloII.

Lastly, FWIW. "Timed" events (Solo II) may not be covered. But like akhbhaat aluded to -- the track is pretty harmless.
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      02-08-2006, 12:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noflash
AMAZINGLY, I just got the okay from State Farm!

They said they spent all day searching my policy and their website and they can't see why I can't put my car on a track.

So, in March there's a little cones-in-the-parking-lot fun (Solo II; $37). And in April my BMWCCA local chapter has rented out the Mid-America-Motorplex for a driving school. It's a pretty nice facility that a motorcycle instructor told me he can get up to 130 mph in the straight section.

So.... WOOHOO!!
Interesting. State Farm asked me specifically if I was going to track my car. I'd get it in writing from state farm. Never rely on anything someone tells you.
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      02-08-2006, 12:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksfrogman
If you've never done a Solo II, I'd recommend you get there as they're setting up the course and walk it a few times. Pylons with chalk in between are a little harder to see when you're driving fast than an actual track separated by dirt and grass.
hahah this is true, a few times I thought I was going the right way then realizes, wait, i'm not even on the course anymore. It's embarrasing.
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      02-09-2006, 02:09 AM   #21
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I recently signed up for the driving school event held by the local BMW CCA. I also just checked with my insurance agent, Allstate, to find out whether I was covered.

He stated that for a driving school event, with supervision, etc. I was covered just fine. In fact, he offered to get me a defensive driving discount on top of it.

On the other hand, he said the minute you get on an actual track, like the track days the club holds here, then I'm not covered. Which is fine with me, if I need to track the car I think there are other options as far as insurance goes.

I do like the tips for first-time tracking though. Have fun!
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      02-09-2006, 09:26 AM   #22
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A sportbike can out accelerate most any production car. It's all about power:weight ratio. Even my 600rr with 105hp weighs under 600lbs including me and a full tank of fuel. A 1000cc sportbike is typically in the 160-180hp range, with no significant change in weight. Any monkey can twist the throttle and clutchless shift.

Braking, it's a bit different. An excellent rider can hold a 1G braking maneuver (stoppie) but most cannot consistently. Production sports cars on good rubber should be able to out-brake a motorcycle, especially with a mediocre set of driver/rider.

In a turn, sports cars can hold significantly more lateral Gs than sportbikes. Bikes have no downforce and small contact patches. Bikes slow a lot more for a corner, then point-and-shoot on the way out, while cars can carry a lot more speed into the corner since they can brake better in turns without crashing.

That being said, nothing like some wank in a riced out civic revving his engine at a stoplight for me...

--gos
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