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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > Croft Circuit - BMW Day - 6th July 2009



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      05-20-2009, 03:05 AM   #1
Nick Wright
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Croft Circuit - BMW Day - 6th July 2009

Our famous annual summer track day - now in it's 14th year.

£150.
Open Pit Lane.
Free instruction.
Capped entry.
BMW only.

Overnight camping.
Lunch in the village pub!
Raffle prizes and trophies.

We are lucky enough to have been granted one of the few remaining 'noisy' days left over from the racing calendar - this may be our only opportunity to run an unrestricted day at Croft this season.

Taking bookings now sykehouse@hotmail.com
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      05-20-2009, 04:11 AM   #2
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I'm very interested, is this a good option for a first time trackday?

Matt
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      05-20-2009, 04:46 AM   #3
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Nick, just sent you an email - i am definitely keen to book this. Steve.
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      05-20-2009, 06:48 AM   #4
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I'm up for this Nick, will send you an e-mail for an entry form.
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      05-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #5
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Im definitely 100% going to book this - be good to see you there Spin!!! Was blasting around the Ring in your old 130 at the weekend with young Chris at the helm - good looking car and goes bloody well!!!
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      05-20-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
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Just sent you an email Nick, im only 30 mins away from Croft
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      05-20-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbailey View Post
Im definitely 100% going to book this - be good to see you there Spin!!! Was blasting around the Ring in your old 130 at the weekend with young Chris at the helm - good looking car and goes bloody well!!!
Be good to see you too.

The 130i offers superb value for money and I think is a real stealth car, I loved mine just needed some extra doors, wish it was me at the ring with it .


Will have the newly released Milltek on the 335 by then, not expecting any real gains but should sound a little better just need to swipe the keys from the Mrs
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      05-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RagingKileak View Post
I'm very interested, is this a good option for a first time trackday?

Matt
Yes it is - no one nurses novices like we do, the quick guys give you plenty of respect and we have some of the best instructors in the business.
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      05-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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Got a few of you asking about our day at Croft and I never know what to say. So I have copied in short story that was written by the Pepperami a few years ago (Sorry Tim if you're reading!)


Biographical information (no need to use any of this, but it is here if you want it): Tim Rayment writes for The Sunday Times. He was Feature Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards 2001 and is a former winner of the Sports Story of the Year in the British Sports Journalism Awards.

Croft, by Tim Rayment 1,424 words

Perhaps it was not my wisest moment. For a start, the driver’s legs weren’t working: he had been paralysed in an accident already. His BMW was capable of 155 mph and the track had a fast section bordered by a line of trees. But I asked for a lift anyway. The M Coupe is an intriguing machine and, like everyone else, I was totally relaxed.
Croft, 2004. Of all the Better Driving Days on the club calendar, this is the good-humoured one, where novices feel safe and experts either feel no irritation with the newbies or hide it well. A third of the 44 entrants regarded themselves as new, and the comments posted later on the club website showed that the event was another triumph for its organisers. They were saying much the same on the day.
“I can’t get over how friendly this is,” said Louise Hill, girlfriend of Nick Bell, a first-timer who had brought a barely run-in M3 CSL. And she was right. I was in the cheapest car there, a 325 Sport that cost only £1,000 more than the crash helmet, and if this north-east event is anything to go by, the BMW Car Club has no snobbery at all.
You know how it goes. After the drivers’ briefing and the familiarisation laps for newcomers, the pit lane was “open” all day. Even with a mix of ability, this is better than putting drivers in groups. There is no pressure to go out on track, and no pressure to stay out to make the most of the time you have paid for. Instead you go out, do a few laps, come back, have a cup of coffee and a chat, then go out again. And if you are alert to the day’s possibilities, you will take some laps as a passenger, too. It is a great way to learn.
I was one of the newbies – and not a wealthy one. Could I use my daily driver on the circuit, then go home without a repair bill on a car showing 150,000 miles? I warmed the old Sport and accelerated out of the pit lane. I could guess the racing line from karting in the 1990s (corporate-entertainment, bottom-of-the-heap stuff) and from watching Formula One on television in the years before it got dull. Apart from that, I knew nothing. Croft is ideal for such a klutz.
Sure, Mike Hodder was there with DTM 1T, the E30 M3 that is a track-day legend (Is This The Greatest Track Car Ever? asked Performance BMW magazine on a recent cover), but then, so was Roger Storrs in his silver E60 530, which looked as if it had called in on the way to Ascot. Mick Appleby brought a TVR, which broke down. My tired E30, feeling surprisingly at home on the circuit, would fare better.
The first lesson is that even if you are a driver who reads corners well, it takes time to read a track. The exit from one turn can be the entrance to the next, and with bumps to remember and faster traffic in the mirrors there is plenty to consider. Not to mention the trees you will see as you exit the Jim Clark Esses at 100mph.
At first I didn’t get it. I was up against the limiter in places, unsure whether to stay in second or to unsettle the car by shifting up to surf the torque of the old straight-six in third. Perhaps tuition would help.
Tuition is free at Croft, and so are the passenger rides if you have paid your £140 driver’s fee. You should take advantage of both. I went out with Gabby Bliss, a track-day veteran in a silver M3 CSL. It was not good for my confidence. Gabby made sense for me of Clervaux and Hawthorn, the turns at the end of the start-finish straight, demonstrating how to mould them into one elegant manoeuvre in which the steering wheel hardly moves. His CSL was impressive. But when I tried to emulate him in the H-reg Sport, the gap in our abilities was obvious. Circuit-driving seemed too serious; maybe it was not for me.
Or so I thought, until Nick Wright, the man who risks six grand each year for this Better Driving Day in the hope that 44 members will book and give him his money back, found another tutor, Tim Dorr, to be my passenger – again, for free. And it started to come together. But you don’t want to know about the pleasures of an E30 with a rumbling wheel bearing on a race track, do you? You want to hear about the M Coupe.
The Estoril machine belongs to David Relph, whose three-wheeled farm trike tipped over years ago, breaking his back and leaving him paralysed. This did not stop him buying a fast Ford and then a Nissan 300ZX twin turbo, “which I unfortunately rolled into a field near where I live”. Would you go out on a track with him? No, neither would I. But I did – which was that Nick Wright’s fault. This event is very well run and I was too relaxed.
David has had his car adapted so that everything is hand-controlled. The clutch pedal, brake and accelerator are worked from the steering wheel. The result is a quick lap, and a civilised one. Not as smooth as some drivers, but deeply impressive if you consider that every move of this manual M-car is controlled from above the driver’s chest.
Next time you do a Better Driving Day, I urge you to take as many passenger rides as you can. You will get to know people, learn by example, and feel from the passenger seat (which is a surprisingly good place to judge) the relative merits of different BMWs. Select your drivers with care, of course. I didn’t. My next choice was Ian Barford.
Ian had been blackflagged earlier for trying too hard. But he is a nice man and I have always fancied his Boston green, Schnitzer-modified E36 328i Sport. Besides, I did not know about the black flag. We enter the first bend, and are soon pulling serious g. “I have no brakes, you know,” he says, adding further round the same complex: “This is where I spun it the last time I had somebody in the car.” Even so, he puts together four nice laps, including two that are undoubtedly quick.
Driver of the day for me for Carolyn Barker, a paragon of precision and politeness, who could shift an E36 M3 3.0 at M3 CSL speeds and still find time for a quick thumbs-up in thanks as, passing just about everyone, she dived into a corner. Lap after lap, her turning points did not vary by more than a centimetre, and believe me, if you want a road and track car in one, an M3 3.0, now down to £8,000 in the classifieds, is enough. If you are Carolyn Barker, that is. She started track days in the late eighties in a borrowed 325i, became a driving instructor, and ended up keeping her Schnitzered M3 (modified cam, ECU, suspension, 17” wheels, short shift) at the Nurburgring. These days she races an E30 in the Kumho BMW championship. Her experience shows.
As she gave rides to passenger after passenger, she, for me, summed up what Croft is about: friendliness, driving skill, and an event so safe and well organised you could not fail to be glad you were there. If you have never taken your BMW on a circuit, start with Croft next year.
The official Driver of the Day was Jim Palmer in an E36 M3. He received a handsome trophy presented by Preston Hall BMW. Munil Luhar and Grant Walker, in E30 M3s, were equal second. Those who were there, and anybody who is curious about Croft, should see the pictures by Simon Taylor, a sports and action photographer who travelled up from Hampshire for the event. They are on the Internet at www.phooto.co.uk and copies are available from Simon.
On the way home from Croft, I came to a series of bends that pass under a railway line in West Yorkshire, on a road I thought I knew well. And do you know, it was possible to take the whole complex without moving the steering wheel, just as Gabby Bliss had demonstrated with a similar series at Croft. Even at the 30mph speed limit, it turned out that there is elegance in driving. Thanks, Nick. I never knew.
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      05-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #10
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Hmmm, I want..

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      05-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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Im all booked on this track day now, cant wait!!! Thanks for all your help Nick - see you on July 6th!! Steve
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      05-20-2009, 11:50 AM   #12
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Me too, posted chq & application this evening
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      05-21-2009, 02:46 AM   #13
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Great - see you there Spin!!!
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      05-21-2009, 03:25 AM   #14
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The missus has basically OK'd this...

I am thinking we might be able to tie it in to Northern Meet 3 which is proposed for Sunday 5th - anyone up for that?

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      05-28-2009, 01:40 PM   #15
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Any more from on here want to come?
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      05-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
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Matt, Spin, Hoops, see you all there.

Did this in October last year, great day.
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      05-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #17
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Look forward to seeing you Mike!!!!
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      05-28-2009, 03:58 PM   #18
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Could one of you have a word with the forum boss and get this topic stickied up for me please
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      05-28-2009, 04:36 PM   #19
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I am interested in this as well Nick, and have just sent you an email. Thanks. Jerome
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      05-29-2009, 02:42 AM   #20
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Get your names down Guys this is excellent value and promises to be a superb day out, really looking forward to it
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      05-29-2009, 05:25 AM   #21
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Be really good to see you there Jerome if you decide to come along - we should have our zorts on by then and theres NO sound limit!!!!!!!
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      05-29-2009, 05:28 AM   #22
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Oh and one VERY important thing...... its my birthday on July 5th so i expect lots of presents from everyone attending!!!!!
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