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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 06-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
Capt Crunch
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 15
My Ride: '01 M3, '12 GTI
Minimum requirements for a track day?

I used to go to Summit point a fair bit in my WRX turned STI, but now I'm at in Cleveland and will be going to mid ohio. I've got an 02 M3 with 96k miles. What do I need to have for my first day out?

Brakes:
ATE super blue
stainless lines
what pad? stoptech?
Are these enough to not have brake fade at mid ohio?

Suspension:
I know the first mod should always be driver, but I plan on getting some kind of suspension for fun, and I want it to be track capable. I don't need a billion points of adjustment, but I don't want it to be worse than stock. Is the koni yellows with H&R springs a good combination? Anything else?

Wheels and tires:
I plan on using stock wheels because my daily wheels are big and staggered (which I imagine doesn't do wonders for balance). What's a decent tire to put on? I'm not looking for pure adhesion since I don't care about pure lap times (just the delta lap times!) and I'd like something progressive since this is my first RWD car.

Anything else I'm missing? HPF turbo kit?
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
Hornswoggler
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, IL
Posts: 112
My Ride: 01 330i, 97 M3
Brake fluid flush and good brake pads should be plenty for starters!

I always liked Motul RBF600 for brake fluid. My old stoptech's came with Axxis ultimate pads, which SUCK for track days... you'll want to get something better for the track, or find out exactly which pad compound you have. When you step up to track pads, you'll compromise on noise and dust. All depends on how fast you want to go, and if you don't mind swapping pads back and forth between track and street.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
GrayGhost
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Marietta, GA
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My Ride: 2004 330Ci
ATE Super-blue is fine. Stainless lines are good, but not "required" for your first few times in the M3. I like Hawk HP+ for the track (I swap the pads before/after track weekends). I'm not familiar with Mid-Ohio, but I suspect this set-up will be fine for your first couple of weekends. You can decide from there what else you may need.
For suspension, I would leave it stock M3 initially. The M3 has a good package to start with and I wouldn't upgrade until I knew more about just what I already have. If you do decide to take it a little further H&R + Blistens is a good combo. For wheels/tires, again I'd suggest staying close to stock for your first weekend. Coming from an AWD the feel will be different and you don't want some R-compounds (that typically lack good feedback) hiding the behavior of the M3. Many people make the mistake of thinking "bigger is better" for the track. While wider tires do have some advantages, larger diameter wheels/tires generally offer little or no advantage. The "ideal" diameter for E46/M3 is probably around 17", mabye 18". Anything larger is so heavy that it will slow you down more than it will help. My track wheels are non-staggered and I think it gives my 330 a more balanced feel than my staggered street setup.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
Pierce1
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LaConner WA.
Posts: 283
My Ride: 03 330xi
A staggered set up will probably end up giving you more push in the turns. Manufactures try to set up the cars for some push and less oversteer. That may be one reason the cars come with staggered wheel sizes.
I had H&R's with Koni Yellows on my old E30ix and I loved the combo. They were pretty darn stiff on the full stiff setting. Not too bad on the full soft setting.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
invictus
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,427
My Ride: M3, 749R, SV650
For the first day, I would go as a freshly maintained street car.

Any UHP tire should be fine. I ended up buying a stack of Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs from various sources and use those to be down decent times.
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Find me on track: 10/19-21 Sonoma Speedway // 11/10-11 Thunderhill
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
dji203
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York City
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My Ride: Z4 3.0si, 135is
Car in good running condition, no leaky fluids. Minimum prep would be fresh brake flush, ATE at the very minimum and proper track pads (if this is not your first time on track and anticipate pushing the brakes). I wouldn't try a dual purpose pad as they never work out. Both tires and pads should have plenty of meat, aside from that make sure you check helmet rules as to whether or not they're accepting SNELL 2005 or not. If not you may need to purchase a new helmet.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #7
teamdfl
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Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Awesome, NJ
Posts: 4,544
My Ride: 325it
Quote:
Originally Posted by invictus View Post
For the first day, I would go as a freshly maintained street car.

This. Go-fast parts are a waste of money until you have many days of seat time.

Brake pads might be a concern since you have some track experience. Contact the club and ask the chief instructor what pads they recommend for your car at your experience level.

Also, make sure a qualified person inspects everything on the hosting organization's tech sheet BEFORE the event so you have time to fix any problems. Even if the tech form does not specifically require it, change your brake fluid if it is more than 6 months old. I have actually seen a couple club forms that do not mention the age of brake fluid.

Tech form for my local BMWCCA chapter:
http://njbmwcca.org/util/get_file.php?file_id=293
Note that this form clearly states, helmet, seat belt/harness, and brake fluid requirements.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
evanescent03
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: too far from the nearest track
Posts: 18
My Ride: e46 M3, carbon black
so, did you go to mid-Ohio yet? you sound a lot like me. I had an '09 STi lightly modded (power, springs/sways, heavy duty track pads & fluid) .. I went to summit, poconos, and mid-Ohio with it. now I have an '02 M3 & trying to see what pads I should get for Memphis.

which pads did you go with? I'm gonna do super blue fluid & maybe some front pads. my car has 42k miles and recently had the BMW service done.

interested to see what you came up with & how you liked it. mid-Ohio is a really fun track!

Matt
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