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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > got the track bug



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      05-09-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
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got the track bug

so i just came back from Monticello Motor club. the local group i hang out with went up there for 2 days with the Pocono Ferrari club. all i can say is holy shit was that fun. granted i had the slowest and worst handing car out there. my friends went up with a gallardo SL, gt3rs, c4s, 3 supercharged Z06, and i had the wet noodle of the bunch. the challenge and cup Ferrari's were absolutely amazing. i cant remeber the last time i had this much fun in the car in a while.

so here's my question. i plan to keep the car for 2 years max. its an 07' 335i with the zsp suspension ( way too much body roll for the track ) I was pushing the car to its limit. apparently its a pretty tough technical track and a few of the guys said i was doing really well, and they couldn't really tell i was a total noob, but they did notice how much the car was rolling.

where do i start and what should i do seeing as i only plan to keep the car for 2 more seasons? i know i need some better brakes. i has some fade that was noticeable in the afternoon sessions.

should i bother with the M3 stuff? will it be enough? is it worth it to get full coil-overs if im still learning and only gonna keep it for 2 years? will having a lesser handing car teach me to drive better while im learning? im sure i have more questions and will get to them.

any advice is greatly appreciated.
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      05-09-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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I recommend you do 1 BMWCCA driving event and ask the right questions of the veteran members while there. Specifically the instructors and racers. If want to learn to drive, ask those questions. If you want to know where to spend your money to build a fast car, ask those questions.

My experience is that different groups operate with different philosophies on what it takes to get good lap times. Buying speed is awesome and not for everyone. But, it sure does make up for lack of skill.
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      05-09-2010, 10:58 PM   #3
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im already speed modded. procede v4, fully catless, dci, with fmic to be put in this may. mainly i think what im after is what will get me the best bang for the bug in suspension that will help the most while im learning to track a car properly. i dont think upgrading the sub frame bushings to the M3 will make a huge difference, but i could be wrong.

i guess thats why i came here to the tracking forum for your suggestions as to what will make a bigger difference and where to start. M3 parts? coilovers, and will fully adjustable kw V3 or pss9 make that much of a difference over KW v2 in the beginning?
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      05-10-2010, 12:11 AM   #4
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From my experience, guys that track Ferraris and Lambos don't drive their cars fast. Most of them can afford to write the car off, but losing a 6 figure car, unless you're made of money, is still entirely unpractical.

The end result? The few times I've shared a track with Ferrari's and Lambos and Carrera GTs? I had no problem keeping up with my relatively stock Z4 3.0i and E46 323Ci.

I know. It sounds BOLD. And I'm not saying that I'm the god of drivers. I'm not. There was this time where a buddy in a F360 Modena passed me like I'm standing still in a corner. There are blazingly fast Ferrari drivers too. However, just because the guys you share a track with says you're fast, doesn't always make it so. I've found that no matter who I'm sharing a track with, it's always better to compliment than to critic (because, unlike the internet, when you critic someone in person it NEVER end good).

So before you go and spend a butt-load of money on more mods, I will offer you this advice (because, well, this IS the internet, in which posting on a forum automatically makes one an expert). Make absolutely no more mods until you have done at least 5 more events. In fact I'd take all that software off. Why? More mods make you learn SLOWER. All your mistakes and bad habits are masked by the capabilities of a car. Either the power is masking your mistake in entry speed, or the suspension is allowing you to take a really horrible line and without proper perspective as to how fast you CAN actually go through a corner you will have no idea that you're taking a terrible line because you still seem fast relative to the cars on track...But it's not your skills that are making you fast, it's your car that's making you fast.

So what does that leave us in this discussion? I will leave you with another advice/anecdote. The slower your car, the faster you learn. By making your car faster, you're not making yourself faster.
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      05-10-2010, 12:37 AM   #5
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agreed about the ferrari guys out there. some were just mulling along, though some were beating on it really well. the guy who had the 365 gt4/BB was not pushing it at all. hell i wouldnt beat on a 1.5-2 mil dollar car that i got the bill for either.

i know i sucked out there. and even if they were just saying it to make nice, it was still fine by me. I know i was going into a bunch of corners to hot. even the ones i didnt, the car was still really rolling. ive done a bunch of autocross events over the years, but track racing is entirely different that autox. there is no stay in the cones and punch it in second gear for almost the entire course on a track.

taking the tune out to go slower is a good start, but i cant with the catless down pipes. in not going to put meth in.
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      05-10-2010, 09:25 AM   #6
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Welcome to the track bug!

Read what Hack is writing. Get more seat time and don't focus on mods at this point. As much as we all would like to believe we know what we are doing and have a thorough understanding of vehicle dynamics after our first track event the fact is we don't. Not even remotely. Additional mods at this point will not improve your skill level.

You will have more fun and lower your lap times by spending money on additional track days.
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      05-10-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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If you are brave enough, get an experienced driver to hot lap with you as passenger.

Can you guys book training sessions with a pro there, in the UK it is expensive to rent track time but the help is relatively cheap, like $100/hr for a pro tuition?

You will take more from that than $2k of mods.
First on the list and cheap would then be torsion bars front and back and definately an ATB LSD - fit it and forget it, maintenance free.
An LSD will produce a lot better lap times than the procede etc, anywhere but on the big open power circuits (Like Spa here in EU)
A limiting factor of all the non M cars I have seen on a track is the horrible wheelspin on corner exit.
And get the electronics off pretty early on, the cars FREDS will be hiding ALL your errors from day one and its not a real car.
Just go easy as you may not realise what the German boffins have been doing for you lol
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      05-12-2010, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330MX View Post
Welcome to the track bug!

Read what Hack is writing. Get more seat time and don't focus on mods at this point. As much as we all would like to believe we know what we are doing and have a thorough understanding of vehicle dynamics after our first track event the fact is we don't. Not even remotely. Additional mods at this point will not improve your skill level.

You will have more fun and lower your lap times by spending money on additional track days.
i will be moving in june to maryland. ill be right between VIR and Pocono's. i had been looking into suspension before i was on the track last week. i have been waiting until i leave the crapy pothole ridden NY roads before it did it though.
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      05-12-2010, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1bjr View Post
If you are brave enough, get an experienced driver to hot lap with you as passenger.
To the OP:

That would be an instructor. Sign up for any BMW CCA event and ask to ride along your instructor when the instructor group is on the grid, you'll get a new appreciation on what can be done on the track.

Dial down your power to learn how to get faster around the track, speed will come on its own as you get better in driving the line at a particular track. Keep going out with the instructor group to adjust your priorities and evaluate your driving style and then gradually increase power if you're comfortable. Sooner or later you'll notice E30s and E36s spanking brand-new high-powered BMWs, especially in the technical courses, it's all a delicate balance of many variables, power is certainly not the most important one.

Good luck
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      05-13-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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+1 to getting some quality instruction.

The best part of performance driving courses is that the ratio of performance increase to cost is higher than any other mod AND it's just plain fun!

If you're a guy who can learn from reading, I highly recommend Ross Bentley's 'Speed Secrets'. The first book is the one to start with, and the entire series is great.

http://www.amazon.com/Speed-Secrets-...3766788&sr=8-1

Best $12 you'll spend.

Have fun!!!

Dan
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      05-13-2010, 05:15 PM   #11
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Also read Keith Code's motorcycle racing book "Twist of the Wrist" and "Twist of the Wrist 2". Lots of good info on VISION and looking ahead scanning the environment ahead. People who ride motorcycles well do real good, usually, when they come on the track with a car.
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      05-14-2010, 06:12 PM   #12
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Going Faster, The Official Book of the Skip Barber Racing School is a great purchase.
Pick one up at Amazon and it will be a valuable resource from day one.

Its not all tech either, a good degree of common sense for the total novice and takes it right through to your first race (maybe?!)

Everything you read on here is explained in layman terms so it makes SENSE.
You can go right out and practice what chapter you just digested, and with an instructor you will nail it fast.
This really is an addictive hobby, just stay on the black stuff and keep the shiny side up
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      12-18-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4to335 View Post
Also read Keith Code's motorcycle racing book "Twist of the Wrist" and "Twist of the Wrist 2". Lots of good info on VISION and looking ahead scanning the environment ahead. People who ride motorcycles well do real good, usually, when they come on the track with a car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by m1bjr View Post
Going Faster, The Official Book of the Skip Barber Racing School is a great purchase.
Pick one up at Amazon and it will be a valuable resource from day one.

Its not all tech either, a good degree of common sense for the total novice and takes it right through to your first race (maybe?!)

Everything you read on here is explained in layman terms so it makes SENSE.
You can go right out and practice what chapter you just digested, and with an instructor you will nail it fast.
This really is an addictive hobby, just stay on the black stuff and keep the shiny side up
+1

Here's a thread I started on books.
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440609

+100 on The Hack's post. Skip all the mods, just do the driver mod with BMWCCA and/or SCCA HPDEs, and ~then~ go from there. Your next car mod should be tires, 'cause you need to wear your current set out before you make any decisions. IMO our car is too heavy. If you are truly serious, you will start saving for a used e36 M3, or the like.
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Last edited by aleckzandr; 12-21-2010 at 10:48 PM.
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