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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > First Track Day with 335is



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      05-13-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
richard in NC
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With only 5 weeks and 2000 miles on the car, I took it to Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC for a one day event. It was through a local performance shop and run by the tracks' club.

Some background: I have done a good many HPDEs in the past (E39 M5, E60 550i) but hadn't been to CMP since 2006 so I was in a group with an instructor and clasroom time, but not with the newbies. In the last few years I've only done BMW Performance center auto cross exercises and a recent 2 day M School.

The 335is is bone stock but knowing how hard CMP is on brakes I had a brake fluid replacement with high temp Motul 600.

Bottom line: I give the 335is a B+.
The good: Plenty of performance, both exiting a corner and on long straights. The DCT worked well. I did sport mode manual shifting all day. The DCT never missed a shift but a couple of times I mistakenly was shifting into the wrong gear for the situation. The advantage of a 6MT is knowing what gear you are in by feel.

The not so good: I expected a bit more grip out of the stock RFTs. They don't seem as sticky as the exact tires that were on the Z4. I didn't play much with tire pressures but feel the door sticker pressures are too high a starting point for the track. Especially the rears that I still haven't worn the mold nubs off the outside edges.

Also the brakes did fade a bit by the 4th session. CMP has 4 high speed brake zones in a 2 mile 2 minute lap. Being more conservative and smarter with braking did allow me to run a full 5th session with no worries.

The bad: The 335is is a bit soft (to allow a decent street ride with the RFTs?). On bumpy corners, I'd get a bit of a hop and unsettled suspension out of the car. This happens on a steady state off ramp too. This limited my confidence to go much faster in the car. Unlike even the 550i that I could push to the edge and play with it there all day long.

My first task is to find a good aftermarket suspension to firm it up with out being too harsh for the street daily driving. And to replace the RFTs, possibly with Michelin Pilot Super Sports.

I'll also at least upgrade the brake pads to reduce fade. Even street driving the brakes don't seem to have the bite I get with other BMWs.

I did try out a GoPro video camera and Harrys Lap Timer iPhone SW. The SW missed a lot of laps and by the time I seemed to get it working, the battery died on the GoPro. But I did capture a few laps with good synch and will post a video soon. I got some wind noise and will need to play with the GoPro backs.
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      05-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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Front camber kit and square tires will help lower the cost of the tires!
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      05-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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2nd Track day

I have an E93 is, I'm sure the convert will be slower w/ the extra weight and flexibility of the chassis. Just ran Willow Springs in CA last Wednesday.

I ran in sport/manual the whole time, occasionally I'd end up in the wrong gear coming out of a corner but a quick tap on the paddle fixed that. Carrying a lot more speed out of the corners and overboost helped me pass more powerful cars on the front and back straights (Camaros, Mustangs, 370Zs, etc.)

Did you run with TC on or off? I turned it off completely both track days, but wondering as I start pushing harder would it help my confidence (and safety) to keep it on?
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      05-13-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
richard in NC
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I ran in DTC mode. Traction Control off but DSC still on. Too much intervention on corner exit with TC on. I didn't try full off yet. The car felt good and I could be better but running with Audis and Quattro, they seemed to have better corner exit speed but I could always catch them on the straights & out brake them as well.
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Gone '11 X5 50i, '09 Z4 35i, '08 550i, 06 X3, 06 650i, '02 M5, '99 540i
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      05-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #5
richard in NC
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Here is video of a lap:
http://vimeo.com/42093352
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2012 335is, Space Gray/Oyster-Black: DCT, 19s, Premium, Convenience, Nav, Heated Seats, More...
Gone '11 X5 50i, '09 Z4 35i, '08 550i, 06 X3, 06 650i, '02 M5, '99 540i
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      05-13-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Couple of quick suggestions if you allow me. First, keep hands at 9/3 position at all times, this should get you through most turns and you will be better positioned to make corrections, should the occasion arise, never shuffle. Second, keep head vertical in turns.

Enjoy!
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      05-13-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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Couple of quick suggestions if you allow me. First, keep hands at 9/3 position at all times, this should get you through most turns and you will be better positioned to make corrections, should the occasion arise, never shuffle. Second, keep head vertical in turns.

Enjoy!
Ya, that is some ghetto ass hand positions!!! hehe.
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      05-14-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turb0mike View Post
Ya, that is some ghetto ass hand positions!!! hehe.
My first time out, I was worse than this, so let's give him a break. But I am surprised the instructor did not correct him.
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      05-14-2012, 08:02 AM   #9
richard in NC
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OK, not that bad.... Only on turn 1 was I really bad.
I was taught to shuffle steer, now a hard habbit to break.
Note at CMP, turn 1, 11, & 14 are 90 degrees or more. Takes a lot of wheel to turn in.

Note I later had a class room session that discussed pre-loading and practiced that. IE move one had to 6 o'clock and use it to crank the wheel if needing more than 180 degrees of wheel turn.
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2012 335is, Space Gray/Oyster-Black: DCT, 19s, Premium, Convenience, Nav, Heated Seats, More...
Gone '11 X5 50i, '09 Z4 35i, '08 550i, 06 X3, 06 650i, '02 M5, '99 540i
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      05-14-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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A small piece of cotton ball placed on top of the mic of the GoPro gave me a significant improvement to the sound quality, yet it still does not sound Great. Worth a try though.
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      05-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by richard in NC View Post
OK, not that bad.... Only on turn 1 was I really bad.
I was taught to shuffle steer, now a hard habbit to break.
Note at CMP, turn 1, 11, & 14 are 90 degrees or more. Takes a lot of wheel to turn in.

Note I later had a class room session that discussed pre-loading and practiced that. IE move one had to 6 o'clock and use it to crank the wheel if needing more than 180 degrees of wheel turn.
I wasn't trying to be a dick, I just thought it was funny. Usually when I go more than 180 degrees i don't have to move my hands from 6 and 3. I have my wheel pretty high up which allows me to do this. I don't know what shuffle steering means but I usually have a VERY light grip on the wheel because you really want to "guide" the car to your designated target. of course if you trail brake you might need a harder grip, rofl, but I'm not even there yet.

You are on your way. Looked like a really fun course.

EDIT: 9 and 3 lol
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      05-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #12
richard in NC
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No problems. I am always open to suggestions, even if I ignore them.
Shuffle steering is alternately loosening and tightening your grip as you shuffle the wheel from one hand to the other. It works but you lose the wheels position.
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2012 335is, Space Gray/Oyster-Black: DCT, 19s, Premium, Convenience, Nav, Heated Seats, More...
Gone '11 X5 50i, '09 Z4 35i, '08 550i, 06 X3, 06 650i, '02 M5, '99 540i
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      05-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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If 9/3 is not enough for those tight turns, slide your hands to 11/5 if turning left or 7/1 if turning right. So your hands never leave the steering wheel.

All tracks I have been to, includung 180 hairpin, could be done using 9/3. But there might be tracks where 1 or 2 curves might be problematic.
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      05-23-2012, 12:47 PM   #14
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M3 front control arms and Have the alignment pins on the strut tip hats ground off and max out the neg camber and a set of Pilot Super Sports would make a world of difference for not a lot of money.
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