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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Review HPDE wreck



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      03-01-2017, 03:12 PM   #1
jcolt
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Review HPDE wreck

I did my 3rd HDPE with my 08 M3 and put it in the tire barrier at Sonoma past turn 3A. Rather than focus on the bill I'll get from the body shop, I'd like to learn from my mistake and ask for some clarification on what happened.

GoPro from inside: https://streamable.com/5pdk8

It sounds like I hit the throttle, lifted because the blind crest was intimidating me all day, and then I gave it gas again at the worst possible moment.

Does that sound about right? Not sure if there's a lesson besides I need to be smoother with throttle application (and less of a chickenshit), but I wanted to ask.
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      03-01-2017, 04:07 PM   #2
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As you go up and over the hill the car gets "lighter" and accelerating and abrupt steering corrections would further upset the car. I have moderate track experience and I would struggle through that roller coaster myself. My advice would be to have stayed off the gas, go wider and turning later to take the line that will get you on the left side of the track upon exiting.
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      03-01-2017, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcolt View Post
I did my 3rd HDPE with my 08 M3 and put it in the tire barrier at Sonoma past turn 3A. Rather than focus on the bill I'll get from the body shop, I'd like to learn from my mistake and ask for some clarification on what happened.

GoPro from inside: https://streamable.com/5pdk8

It sounds like I hit the throttle, lifted because the blind crest was intimidating me all day, and then I gave it gas again at the worst possible moment.

Does that sound about right? Not sure if there's a lesson besides I need to be smoother with throttle application (and less of a chickenshit), but I wanted to ask.

Yep, that'll do it. With the car light and rotating about the lateral axis over a crest the rear will come down lighter than the front and then you get instant oversteer when you hit the throttle. And yes blind hills are intimidating alright, gotta power through and trust you're on the right line for the road to be there in the right place.
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      03-02-2017, 07:27 AM   #4
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      03-02-2017, 01:16 PM   #5
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Well that sucks. Weight transfer is probably the culprit but wonder if different suspension setting and tires might have prevented a wall kiss. What tires and suspension are you running?
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      03-02-2017, 02:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TomU View Post
Well that sucks. Weight transfer is probably the culprit but wonder if different suspension setting and tires might have prevented a wall kiss. What tires and suspension are you running?
Once the rear end is light and oversteering no driver input will have any effect other than in-a-spin-both-feet-in. Tires and suspension don't matter, or at least not enough to be worth talking about.

There's a blind hill with a right turn downhill on the MSR Cresson 1.3mi circuit that can total your car if you muck it up enough. I've seen a brand new Evora ahead of me go fully over the kerb on the inside of the turn downhill grinding the undercarriage the whole way. At least he didn't take the oh-shit route.

FWIW, I'm running Toyo R1R 255/35ZR18 square with a custom designed Swift/AST/Moton race suspension from Inertia Labs along with a race geometry/alignment setup.

Last edited by justpete; 03-03-2017 at 04:04 PM.
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      03-02-2017, 06:32 PM   #7
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That stinks, I hate seeing stuff like that more that anything.

Maybe a little hot into the corner, followed by an over correction in steering and slowing down brought that puppy around. Hindsignts 20/20 and I drive a car with 180hp less power but I probably would;ve kept light throttle, left foot brake light, and light steering correction. It looking like you were driving in a snowy parking long intentionally going donuts.

Ones you get the brakes to catch up with the spin the tail will come around and if there's something close to hilt, thats gonna happen.

Glag your ok, its just a car.
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      03-02-2017, 06:49 PM   #8
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Don't listen to these people, the mistake you made is that your traction control was not turned on!
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      03-03-2017, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justpete View Post
Yep, that'll do it. With the car light and rotating about the lateral axis over a crest the rear will come down lighter than the front and then you get instant oversteer when you hit the throttle. And yes blind hills are intimidating alright, gotta power through and trust you're on the right line for the road to be there in the right place.
This, exactly. I've been in that exact situation, a blind crest where I ran out of talent. Fortunately I've had enough run off and didn't make contact with anything. The net of the lesson is exactly what justpete said, stay on throttle and trust your line; commit to it and don't lift. Build speed slowly; in that corner you likely would carry wide on exit and go off track on the left. At that point you know where the limit is and you can back off a little on the next lap or try to alter your line in that sequence (I'm not familiar with the track, so take this with a grain of salt).

Best thing here is that you're okay, except for maybe your ego. Fix the car and get back out there.
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      03-06-2017, 09:13 PM   #10
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No crash on track ever happens at the turn. All crashed happens LONG before you even get to the turn.

IMO you're merely focusing on the end result and not the root cause. Post the whole lap before the crash, post your HPDE history (what track you've been to, in what car, with what org), and MAYBE then someone smarter than me can diagnose the root cause. Otherwise, this is may not be the first car you wreck on track, especially if you insist on going to Sears Point.
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      03-07-2017, 02:31 AM   #11
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Same HPDE program at Sonoma Stage 1-3. First two are lead-follow with instructors and classroom, third is open, but still instructors positioned around the track radioing in feedback and classroom debrief after each session. All told, I've probably done around 50 laps around the track in my M3.

I chose Sonoma primarily because it's 30 minutes from my house, but I do like the program and the instructors. It was through their guidance I started to gain confidence and pushed harder, but it's clear I got ahead of myself.

It's a humbling experience to say the least and I appreciate the feedback. The car will be fixed and I'll be back out there soon enough with a renewed respect for how quickly things can go sideways (pun intended I suppose)
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      03-07-2017, 11:36 AM   #12
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throttle, lift, throttle right at an incline and bumpy kerb apex is bad news bears. Also, you should try bringing the steering wheel closer to you so that you can actually drive your car rather than ride in it.

You live and you learn.

What tires were you using? Were they warm?
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      03-07-2017, 04:57 PM   #13
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Steering wheel is fully extended, problem is I'm 6'2" and I have to keep the seat reclined in order for my helmet to not wedge against the roof. It's a pretty ridiculous problem for the M3 to be honest.

The car is stock except for Apex 18x10's with Michelin PSS with about half tread left.
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      03-08-2017, 01:19 AM   #14
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Btw one thing I learned in DE is that drivers only begin to counter steer once they realize they're in spin mode but usually by then it's too late. Instead if you know you're driving at or near the limit, you have to almost assume a loss of grip is possible at any corner so you need to anticipate when that's going to occur.

In my second year I started picking up decent speed and would concentrate so hard on getting to the next corner. As a result I drove with a death grip and my arms would tense up. Unfortunately that meant I couldn't ever react fast enough...

Since then I've learned to drive with my ass, i.e. feel for when the back end gets light even before the car gets sideways. My arms aren't locked in place anymore and I'm ready to make adjustments constantly if need be. Basically hands and ass are now in direct communication with each other.

Not familiar with the track but after watching couple times looks like you turned in early and countered way too late. And if what you say is true, lifting only made it worse by effectively shifting all the grip to the front when you turned in early.
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Last edited by 3002 tii; 05-19-2017 at 10:58 PM.
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      03-18-2017, 09:49 AM   #15
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Did you hit that curb on the right? Looks that unsettled the car. Hold that left a few more meters longer wide and give yourself a slightly straighter exit over the right hander keeping the right inside tyres on the black stuff. don't accelerate aggressively while the suspension is being unloaded and wait until steering is being unwound. Also see if you can make something custom to get closer to the steering wheel.
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      03-26-2017, 03:25 AM   #16
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Something I noticed was the steering angle in the corner. I would probably want to straighten the wheel a bit or lift a small amount as I crest the hill.
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      04-23-2017, 03:35 AM   #17
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although i haven't been to sonoma, lifting mid-turn is generally a bad idea. consider leaving your traction control on. i leave it on when i track. if i feel it, it generally means i made a mistake.
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      06-18-2017, 05:10 AM   #18
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Old post I see but good video. Not an expert by any means, but here's what I see. Those more experienced can correct me if Im wrong.

I didn't see you unwind your steering angle at all to straighten the car after you apexed, combined with diminished grip and throttle lifting you began to spin.

Once you knew you couldn't recover with counter steer and throttle manipulation, you never attempted to lock the brakes and wheels in an attempt to steer off track on the track out side - instead changing direction back across the track into the inside wall.

Let me show you frame by frame (thankfully you have a performance steering wheel to help evaluate steering angle) And sorry this happened to you.
This is out of order on mobile for some reason.
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Last edited by drmdvl; 07-01-2017 at 03:15 AM.
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      07-06-2017, 11:19 AM   #19
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So sorry to see this, but huge kudos to you for being open to discussing what happened and being open to taking necessary steps to correct what may be the root. I wish the video was a bit longer before hand. I'd love to see what the few previous laps to this looked like. That said, with the limited video it seems to be a combination to me: TCS was off (not recommended especially when new to a track/car or HPDE's in general) and you blipped the throttle a little too much mid corner. With an added element that the car was unsettled from touching that inside curbing as well.
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      08-28-2017, 10:07 PM   #20
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+1 kudos for being really open and, at least at this point, calm.

Sonoma's a fun course. I've driven it in my old 944 S2 and my current E93 335is. It looks like you applied sudden, moderate throttle as you crested the hill. The weight was transferring forward and you have a lot of power, so it was snap oversteer, in a sense. IMHO, it doesn't seem more complicated than that, though I'm no expert.

Have you considered an ECU remap to smooth out the throttle? The MHD linear throttle option for N54 cars, for example, is a huge improvement over stock. There must be something similar for the E9X M3, whether through Dinan, BMS, or someone else.

Have fun out there again. Did you run with BMWCCA? I can't go with them because I have a convertible, so I run with SpeedSF, NASA, Hooked on Driving, and others.
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