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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
Tkordy
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tips on tracking the m3.

hey, just tracked my m3 not to long ago.. i know it wasent a great run. looking to get some tips and feedback please and thankyou

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Would have been better if the camera was closer, like on the headrest to see how you handled the turns, etc.

btw, shouldn't the front windows be down regardless because the helmet might break the window?
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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Mount the camera on the sunroof instead of the back window. It's kind of hard to see the track from this angle.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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Mount the camera on the sunroof instead of the back window. It's kind of hard to see the track from this angle.
ill post a side view let me upload it
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:59 PM   #5
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Mount the camera on the sunroof instead of the back window. It's kind of hard to see the track from this angle.
not sure if this helps at all

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Old 12-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Better, but still kind of hard to figure out. For example, around 0:33 (turn 2?) as you exit the turn, you start to drift out, like you're going to go to the left of that shiny patch of asphalt, then suddenly your line changes. I can't tell if it is just from the camera bouncing around, or what. The jostling of the camera also makes it tough for me to get a good sense of the lines through the turns. I don't have a ton of experience, so maybe others will be able to tell more from this video. Some of the turns look smooth. Some don't, but I can't tell how much of that is the camera.

More laps, with a steady camera, and that view, would be great. I generally watch to see if people are consistent with their laps, and watch for any mid-turn corrections. I'm definitely no instructor.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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try heel and toe next time
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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Okie dokie.....

As already mentioned, kind of hard to tell from the angles, but....

1. You don't seem to let the car unwind to the edge of the track.

2. You appear to be making another rookie mistake of early turn-in. VERY early it appears from the video.

3. Related to 1 and 2, use all of the road mate. I see a lot of time spent in the middle of the track. It's RARE that the line takes you down the center of the track. Usually you're at the edge of the track or driving from edge to edge, not down the middle. On occasion, with very short straights between corners in an S turn, sometimes you do drive down the middle of the track as the best compromise of tracking out and getting a good turn-in, but it's rare.

You need to be smoother. More relaxed. Forget the camera. Maybe leave it home next time. Listen to your instructor. Start slowly. I ALWAYS advise my students to take AT LEAST one full lap about 60% or slower, concentrating on driving the line, regardless of speed. Always drive the same line. The ONLY reason to deviate is wheel to wheel racing when you're passing or protecting and you're not racing wheel to wheel. I usually prefer to have my students take two full laps to warm up. You have to warm both the car AND the driver. Last year I had the last stint of the day in our LeMons car. In this situation the car is warmed up, but the driver isn't. Drove right off the track under braking. DOH! At DE you are not competing, so take your time to get up to speed. It is very important and warm-up laps should feel excruciatingly slow. When I'm racing in a sprint race like SCCA, I take one very slow warm up lap and then one a little faster before forming up for the start.

Try to do exactly what your instructor is telling you to do. If you cannot do it because things are happening too quickly, you need to slow down enough so that you can follow his/her instructions completely. You will end up faster at the end of the day. Shoot, the best student I ever had was so smooth that in the final session I was falling asleep in the car. NO worries, super smooth, almost nothing to critique. He was actually ready to push a little faster but that was better saved for next time.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:15 PM   #9
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Did you even get an instructor, or did they just throw you out there? I really hate to think the person with the camera was an instructor. If they are, they should be fired on the spot.

All the lines are really bad. The double left hander around 0:45 is so bad it hurts to watch. Entry is early and not from the edge of the track. You keep the car pinched in tight and drive straight between the corners. It appears from the video that it should be taken as one large single turn. By staying tight to the left you totally compromise your entry into the second left hander. You can see and hear you pinch the car in the corner and by your vocal expressions, you seem to have felt it too.

I am not trying to criticize or beat you down. It's hard to give good critique from that video, but....

1. If that was an instructor, don't use him again.
2. Get a good instructor and even if they clear you to run solo, keep the instructor all day. Any decent one will gladly accommodate you.
3. You have a lot of work to do, and I don't mean to race or be top notch. You're very sloppy, but quite a lot of people are at the beginning (I know it's your first time - that's why you need to keep a decent instructor in the car).

You'll get there. Open your mind. Listen to your instructor. And again, if you cannot follow your instructor's instructions completely, slow down a bit. If you cannot hit your turn-in, apex, and track-out accurately, every time, slow down a bit. If you feel you mess up two corners in a row, it's getting away from you and slow down a bit. I know I keep saying slow down, but it's more important to get it right at this point that it is to do it fast if you want to improve and really be fast later.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:36 PM   #10
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Geo31,

I'm not tracking anything, but I still got a lot out of your posts. I'm an ex-Police driver, no pro by any stretch, and what you said sounded like good advice. Slow down should be a catch phrase for any learner. Save the speed till you can deal with it. Personally, I drive like a little old lady. Sad
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:37 PM   #11
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Listen to Geo31. From what I saw and his comments, he knows what he's talking about.
I'm guessing (hoping?) that was not an instructor in the passenger seat taking the video. A good instructor would have been making quite a few comments/suggestions. If it was just a passenger and not an instructor, this was obviously not a "serious" DE type event, but probably some kind of open track day. (Serious DE events do not allow students, especially beginning students, to take a passenger. Usually, only instructors can take passengers in their car.) My suggestion would be to find a serious DE (such as run by BMWCCA) and get some good instruction. Believe me, you cannot realize how much you have to learn until you start really learning.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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Believe me, you cannot realize how much you have to learn until you start really learning.
Absolutely dead right. It's the same for all of us. It was for me when I started and actually, I still feel like it today. The learning just comes a little slower because it comes harder.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:40 AM   #13
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I want to track my car! I need to find a place and go do it here in Northern CA, I just wish I had a manual as I feel tracking my auto 330i wouldnt be much fun or even much of a learning experience ha
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:38 AM   #14
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Here's what I always tell all of my students:

1. Look where you want to go. If you're in control, and especially if you're out of control. You should be looking at the track out point before you even hit the apex.

2. Hands. Hands. Hands. Always at 9/3. Always. Your hand should only be on the shifter if you're shifting. Only then. Shuffle steer if you really have to.

3. Slow in fast out. Always. Always. Always.

4. There's a string from the bottom of the steering wheel to the top of your right toe: You can't accelerate if the wheel is turned, but you can go WOT if it's straight. Self explanatory.

5. And above all else: LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. Nobody drives like Senna at their first track day.


Oh, but above all else else, listen, respect, and talk with your instructor. We like communication. We love to hear if you know you made a mistake.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:39 AM   #15
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I want to track my car! I need to find a place and go do it here in Northern CA, I just wish I had a manual as I feel tracking my auto 330i wouldnt be much fun or even much of a learning experience ha
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The Golden Gate chapter has incredible events.

I had an auto 325i and it was fun. I got to the point where I was passing S/C E46 M3s, E90 M3s, Lotus Elises, 996 Turbos, and more.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:55 AM   #16
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early turn in and apex kill babies...and flips cars
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #17
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early turn in and apex kill babies...and flips cars
Yep. Almost had a student kill me this way. Actually, he turned in early from the middle of the track and when he ran out of track at exit, while I'm YELLING "STRAIGHT OFF, STRAIGHT OFF!" he tries to defeat the laws of physics and tries to pinch it back on the track. I'm yelling "BOTH FEET IN! BOTH FEET IN!" By the time he does this and we stop spinning, we're sliding sideways in the dirt at about 50-60mph and I'm waiting to catch a rut and flip. In a Miata with no rollbar and only the fiberglass roof. The only time in my life I've ever been afraid on a race track.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:14 PM   #18
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5. And above all else: Leave your ego at the door.
^^^^^ this!!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #19
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All good comments and helpful comments, which reinforce my belief that the best mod (for me) is more track time, and will be for awhile yet. We've already booked our first event for 2012, and I'm looking at two more for Q1. In late 2012 or early 2013 we'll look at mods and/or dedicated track cars.

I kind of assumed from the beginning that the passenger was no instructor. Instructors have much more important things to do, than hold a camera.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #20
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^^^^^ this!!!
Yep. A buddy of mine thought he was moving up from blue to blue solo/yellow, but his report card said that he was "too aggressive after being passed," or something like that, and he didn't go up. I asked him about it and he basically said that he needs to check his ego.
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