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      10-24-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
kaleb
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My first BMWCCA HPDE (at Eagles Canyon Raceway) - thoughts inside

Last weekend (October 18th and 19th) was my first ever track event. Prior to this I had done only autocross, and that was in a Nissan Maxima (I did win some trophies though).

Eagles Canyon Information

I had such a blast! I won't do a full review here, but I'll list some things I learned. The morning of day two I was "upgraded" from the beginner group to the intermediate group. I was really excited about it, my instructor said I did very well. I was passing all day in the beginner group, and in intermediate I was passed a few times while I still did my share of passing, including a Dinan S3 E39 M5 wow.

Some key points learned from the experience:
  • My car (stock) is VERY fast, way faster than it needs to be.
  • Slowing from 120mph on the back stretch to make a 90 degree left makes the brakes start to fade. They never totally failed, but I could feel them soften.
  • Stock run-flats aren't horrible but aren't that great either. LOTS of understeer especially when they got hot! What can I do?
  • I turned DSC off my last session, and I was surprised that I didn't lose control of the car. I was less agressive and in many ways I felt faster because of this.
  • Once again, our cars are FAST
  • Braking HARD and late seems to be one of the keys to being fast and timing it right is the key to a good corner.

I look forward to next time!
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      10-24-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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Glad you enjoyed it! Reducing understeer is a multifaceted endeavor. Right now, if you track enough (4+ days a year), I would get a set of Kosei K1 and some 245 or 255 tires. Same size all around. That should dial out some understeer and I bet you a single Kosei + a single good street tire will be cheaper than just a single runflat replacement. With all that pushing, you'll be chewing through your front runflats in no time.

In my mind, there is a hierarchy as to what you need to learn:

1) Line
2) Consistency
3) Corner Exit Speed
4) Corner Entry Speed

Entry speed is the LAST thing you should focus on. You can be a lot faster by focusing on corner exit because the extra x mph that you generate on corner exit will be carried down the whole ensuing straightaway. Maximizing corner entry speed gets you a few feet of driving faster. And it's really really hard to make super late braking consistent and you'll end up flubbing your turn in because the car is so unhappy from the 10.5/10ths braking.
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      10-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #3
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And you better start eating ramen noodles. Your new addiction is expensive and you'll need the extra funds.

On the braking - swap the fluid out to RBF600 immediately prior to the next event. That'll solve fluid fade issues, then we may need to examine your brake pads if you're still getting fade.
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      10-24-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftcoastman View Post
Glad you enjoyed it! Reducing understeer is a multifaceted endeavor. Right now, if you track enough (4+ days a year), I would get a set of Kosei K1 and some 245 or 255 tires. Same size all around. That should dial out some understeer and I bet you a single Kosei + a single good street tire will be cheaper than just a single runflat replacement. With all that pushing, you'll be chewing through your front runflats in no time.

In my mind, there is a hierarchy as to what you need to learn:

1) Line
2) Consistency
3) Corner Exit Speed
4) Corner Entry Speed

Entry speed is the LAST thing you should focus on. You can be a lot faster by focusing on corner exit because the extra x mph that you generate on corner exit will be carried down the whole ensuing straightaway. Maximizing corner entry speed gets you a few feet of driving faster. And it's really really hard to make super late braking consistent and you'll end up flubbing your turn in because the car is so unhappy from the 10.5/10ths braking.
Is it because you're adding contact patch to the front or removing contact patch from the rear?
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      10-24-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftcoastman View Post
And you better start eating ramen noodles. Your new addiction is expensive and you'll need the extra funds.

On the braking - swap the fluid out to RBF600 immediately prior to the next event. That'll solve fluid fade issues, then we may need to examine your brake pads if you're still getting fade.
I second the expense comment. Get ready to feed your addiction.

first: wheels & tires
second: brakes
third: seats / harnesses / roll bar
fourth: suspension
fifth: trailer and tow vehicle
sixth: GT3

The list goes on and on... Did I mention this can get expensive?
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      10-24-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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Is it because you're adding contact patch to the front or removing contact patch from the rear?
More the former. You want to increase your overall grip, obviously. I run 255 all around for that reason.
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      10-24-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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Did I mention this can get expensive?
Just IMHO, keep it stock and a lot of the costs go down
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      10-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the comments. Honestly I can't wait to spend money on wheels and tires... I hate the way the runflats behave and perform even in a daily driver context, and I think our wheels are way too heavy. I think I'll wait a couple more events before getting some track only wheels/tires, though.
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Sold in 2011: 2007 335i Coupe MT - Space Gray Metallic / Coral Red
Tracks driven: Nürburgring Nordschleife (05/2011), Eagles Canyon Raceway, MotorSport Ranch
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      10-25-2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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Once you start....... you're done and hooked for life

Enjoy, and save those pennies.
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      11-11-2008, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
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heavy. I think I'll wait a couple more events before getting some track only wheels/tires, though.
*lol* I thought that too, after my first event -- 2 weeks later, my wife wants to know what's with all the tires and wheels showing up at the doorstep.
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      11-12-2008, 09:23 PM   #11
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*lol* I thought that too, after my first event -- 2 weeks later, my wife wants to know what's with all the tires and wheels showing up at the doorstep.
same story here - she's been pretty patient so far with the wheels, tires and entry fees.......

a guy at a sister plant has hinted he might be selling his E36 M3 next year, we'll see what she says when I start seriously looking at that for my dedicated rack car
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      11-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #12
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my dedicated rack car
1) your wife won't like it if she knows that's what the car is for
2) E36 is getting old enough that chicks don't dig em anyway
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      11-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #13
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1) your wife won't like it if she knows that's what the car is for
2) E36 is getting old enough that chicks don't dig em anyway
hmmm, now that you mention it, both are excellent points

note to self, proofread TWICE (especially if single malt is involved when posting)
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