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      03-22-2018, 05:16 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post
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Originally Posted by bimmer456 View Post
BMW invented the performance driving school, now everyone else is copying the formula. Cadillac and Lexus have their own driving schools.
was BMW or Porsche first?
BMW made it popular for cars with more than 2 doors
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      03-22-2018, 05:20 PM   #46
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interesting that National Capital Chapter ( DC area....) selected the performance center WEST for this rather than at the original EAST location in Spartanburg a few hours away. what was the reasoning ?
Not 100% sure, but I think its because the National Capital folks run several M-Club days in SC every year already. So, I think, this was provided as an alternate venue for those interested.
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      03-22-2018, 05:53 PM   #47
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Driving schools are a blast. I'm actually doing the 1 day M school next week so I appreciate your thoughts and great pictures.

I noticed you're driving an M235i..so if you had the chance to pick an M model what would you take based on your recent experience on the track?
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      03-22-2018, 05:55 PM   #48
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Nice write up, sounds like it's worth the price to me. Now I just need to convince my wife to go with me
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      03-22-2018, 05:58 PM   #49
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New F90 should be added to the M PC fleet around mid-year. This is directly from the Chief Diving Instructor.

The helmets are no longer required because it's a safety risk in the production cars with the air bag deployment. Only safe to wear helmets in the prototypes. It also cuts down costs with no helmet gift, as the PC was losing lots money on the off site Advanced M programs.
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      03-22-2018, 06:03 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Shoof View Post
Awesome write up for day 1!

I have made every effort to try to register for the 2 day M School in Thermal. What sucks about it is the events overlap Saturday, and I can't drive on Saturday for religious reasons. The only other 2 day that isn't on a Saturday ends on the eve of a holiday, which I would need to be home for, so that's not happening, either. I was really looking forward to the two day school, but limited dates make it all but impossible for me to do. I have no choice but to use my voucher (for getting a BMW) with a 1 day school instead. Question is, do I go all the way to Thermal for a 1 day event (I've never been to CA before), or do I go to SC (I've been there once before, years ago, for a 6 series driving experience - it pretty much mirrored your first day's experience)? If I go to SC, I'll probably make it a 2-3 day trip. If SC, most likely 2 days max.
The advantage of doing it in SC is driving out to hit the Tail of the Dragon right after
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      03-22-2018, 06:42 PM   #51
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I noticed you're driving an M235i..so if you had the chance to pick an M model what would you take based on your recent experience on the track?
Great question! The M2, without doubt. That car, although they don't use it on any of the larger sections (the M3/M4s get used for that), feels so much more nimble. It seems to just rotate right around the driver. It's a great feeling. That said, on the second day I thought the M4 was a better performer overall on the larger section, when compared to the M3.
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      03-22-2018, 07:02 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
Not 100% sure, but I think its because the National Capital folks run several M-Club days in SC every year already. So, I think, this was provided as an alternate venue for those interested.
Doug Verner, who puts it together, did a pilot trip out to Thermal a few years ago to gauge demand for a program. Plan is to do it every year in February as a break for the NCC folks who experience winter. The M Club days in SC are one-day M schools (although tweaked for the car club) and still occur 3 times a year (but a break this summer due to O-Fest)
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      03-22-2018, 07:29 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
Great question! The M2, without doubt. That car, although they don't use it on any of the larger sections (the M3/M4s get used for that), feels so much more nimble. It seems to just rotate right around the driver. It's a great feeling. That said, on the second day I thought the M4 was a better performer overall on the larger section, when compared to the M3.
The M2 seemed to rotate much easier and they were a lot of fun, but the M3/4 just powered out of those turns with so much more ease on the small track. I would have liked to take the M2 on the big track, but I did appreciate the extra power of the 3/4 on such a fast track.

I'm surprised to hear you say that the M4 and the M3 performed differently. They are nearly identical performance wise and I didn't notice anything that the M4 did that couldn't be done on the M3. In fact, in the M3, another driver and I were directed to peel off from the group and take the "shortcut" to get ahead of the other groups because we were going much faster than everyone else. It was a nice little ego boost I must say, even though I wasn't as fast as the other driver. We ended up passing a couple other groups during that session.
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      03-22-2018, 07:36 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
No helmets required to run. And no, they didn't give us one. We did get some swag on the second day, a polo shirt, hat, nice jacket, and a few other bits and bobs. I've been slacking and haven't written day two up yet, I should get that done.

It's expensive, yes, but the skills learned, I thought, were really valuable, both on the track and the street. I'm very happy to have had the chance to do this event.
To me it was well worth it as well. I drove my M3 up to Thermal, and on the drive home it literally felt like the car was more nimble and lighter... only because I was able to throw another M3 around and really see what incredible pieces of engineering they are.
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      03-22-2018, 07:37 PM   #55
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share it. This is something I have wanted to do for a while and I keep hoping that I will get lucky at a BMWCCA club event but it hasn't happened yet. I'll have to break down and spring for it at some point.

Thanks again!
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      03-22-2018, 07:42 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uniqueMR View Post
Good write-up, a lot of fun Recommended for sure I guess
Any day at thermal is a good day for all mankind
That #ferrarirot tho is obscene
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      03-22-2018, 07:44 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calbears View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
Not 100% sure, but I think its because the National Capital folks run several M-Club days in SC every year already. So, I think, this was provided as an alternate venue for those interested.
Doug Verner, who puts it together, did a pilot trip out to Thermal a few years ago to gauge demand for a program. Plan is to do it every year in February as a break for the NCC folks who experience winter. The M Club days in SC are one-day M schools (although tweaked for the car club) and still occur 3 times a year (but a break this summer due to O-Fest)
The auto X comps are fun for short track exp fun
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      03-22-2018, 08:15 PM   #58
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Thanks for the time for the write-up. I'm signed up for a slot in the one day Performance Drive School in SC in July which was a perk for buying my wife an X1. Among my many involvements (many Nat'l autocross events, HSAX, track days, and instruct for exotic car schools), I've done two events there previously during Z Homecomings where I was 2nd out of 250 on the autocross course one day. It was cool but I really wanted my wife to get the slot but they insisted it was for the first person on title, and she wasn't around the day the car was bought the car. I guess I let her have the keys to my M3 and give her a day route to roll on her own in Mountains as she can more than handle herself behind the wheel.
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      03-22-2018, 08:23 PM   #59
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Pretty penny without a doubt, but looks to be worth it. Thank you for sharing your experience
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      03-22-2018, 09:07 PM   #60
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Congrats you made it to the front page! Prepare to see your rep score go up as well as post views in the next couple days.
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      03-22-2018, 09:26 PM   #61
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Nicely written report, thanks! I'll be in Thermal in May at a 1 day M School with some good info. Thanks.
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      03-22-2018, 09:50 PM   #62
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I recently did the 2 day m school in sc and it was a blast can't say enough good things about the facility and the instructors definitely recommend it!
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      03-23-2018, 02:35 AM   #63
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I did the 1-day in SC. It was so great that my only regret is not doing the 2-day instead.
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      03-23-2018, 04:49 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcaron9999 View Post
I did a more modest track based BMW Canada hosted event about 10 years ago. I then looked into more affordable track driving options.

No mean to troll but although the BMW M HPDE events seem like a blast for those with the means, here is another option:

I highly recommend doing a bit of research into finding reputable HPDE clubs (we call these Lapping Clubs in Quebec, Canada), where volunteer instructors will assist you. These schools or clubs are based on enthusiasts that sit with you as passengers, and coach you. This includes tips on your driving and meaningful modifications to your car. You get to use your own personal car. You need to be prepared for faster than normal wear on tires, brake pads, and fuel consumption. There will be a very small member subscription fee, and track time fee to add to the expenses. On average, these come out to a few hundred dollars for a full day of silly fun. Sometimes fees are less where these event occur on evenings during the week.


Full disclosure: was a participant in these club events for two years, then became an instructor, and now an organizer and instructor for a couple of these clubs in my area.

If you use your common sense, you dont overdrive, and you dont go crazy with modifications especially during your first season, these can be a blast, and is a more affordable option than BMW hosted events with their own fleet of cars. Furthermore, HPDE or Lapping days are a great learning experience to add to your skill set, applicable to your daily driving, in your own car.

As an instructor, I have seen all kinds of participants. Some become hooked, some show up to try out their car once or twice, never to return. Reason being either or: the added wear and tear on their vehicles, limited budget and other priorities, mis-behaved drivers sharing the track, etc. This is why it's so critical that you do your research, and find a reputable and safe track driving club.

Hope this offers another perspective to some ... Did not intend on ticking anyone off ... Just socializing another cheaper alternative to high performance driving events.
I love HPDE events, and have been to many. But each time you go, you'll need track insurance. You'll also burn through a set of tires and brakes, brake fluid, and the fuel you go through is obscene. The prices equal out in the end if you compare both 1 day events.
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      03-23-2018, 05:33 AM   #65
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What a blast!

Good for you.

I did the same format on a 1 day in the east coast center and remember the exhausted feeling at the end of the day. Funny thing is hearing about your “German food” experience... I miss it. It is very much a part of the BMW events experience.

At 4,100 it is fairly good value considering all that you get.
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      03-23-2018, 06:56 AM   #66
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I went to thermal for 3 days when the m2 was released. excellent experience, highly recommend and would definitely do it again. you gain a higher appreciation for the cars when you find out what they can really do. they had a cla45 that I got to drive, nice seeing the differences between that and the m2
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