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Anybody still do track days?

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  • Anybody still do track days?

    I just did a HOD track day at Thunderhill on Friday. First I have done in a couple of years....for a variety of reasons....mostly catering to other interests.

    All classes in the event were sold out, but yet this was the first track day I have done wherein not only was I the only E30M3....there were no E30s of any kind, no E36s, only one E46, and very few pre-2010 cars at all. LOTS of new Vettes, Porsches, Focus RSs, E92+ M3s, Audis....basically all newer cars. There was a guy in a '70s MG and a '70s Vette....but they were definitely the exception. I didn't even see many STIs and Mitsu EVOs....which certainly used to be track day staples.

    I realize time marches on and all that, but has it really changed that much in the last couple of years....or did I just catch a weird event?


  • #2
    It's been a couple years, but I did a string of 5-6 events at Laguna Seca with a few different groups (Trackmasters, NCRC) in my Miata in 2015. I feel like there were E30s, including an E30M at one event, many Miatas, but then also a ton of brand spankin' new stuff. People up here have the money to fund some pretty awesome machines - GT3s, ACRs, new Vettes, M4s, sounds like a lot of what you saw.

    It could simply be the case that today's performance cars are so far beyond street-accessible performance that owners have to get to the track to see what they paid for.

    Since my memory is hazy you can have a look at my photos from two track days and see if these align with what you experienced...
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8U2K3j
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7vyYKu
    1989 Lachs
    1988 Lachs - sold
    1988 DS - sold
    Bay Area M3 FB group

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    • #3
      I do 5 or 6 track days a year at Lime Rock and a couple of other eastern tracks. There are still a few E30 M3's out there but we are definitely the exception. I always get comments on my car and more than a little surprise at how fast it is, especially at Lime Rock which is a momentum track.

      1989 E30 M3 Zinno
      2004 330i ZHP (sold)
      2018 JCW Mini

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Konig View Post
        It's been a couple years, but I did a string of 5-6 events at Laguna Seca with a few different groups (Trackmasters, NCRC) in my Miata in 2015. I feel like there were E30s, including an E30M at one event, many Miatas, but then also a ton of brand spankin' new stuff. People up here have the money to fund some pretty awesome machines - GT3s, ACRs, new Vettes, M4s, sounds like a lot of what you saw.

        It could simply be the case that today's performance cars are so far beyond street-accessible performance that owners have to get to the track to see what they paid for.

        Since my memory is hazy you can have a look at my photos from two track days and see if these align with what you experienced...
        https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8U2K3j
        https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7vyYKu
        Your pictures reflect the turnout I remember from a couple years ago....roughly the same mix of age/cost/sophistication of cars.

        But last Friday was different. Not only newer cars, but lots of really high end cars. There had to be at least 5 GT3/RSs there....for example. By far the most common car was C7 Vettes. Also lots of Vipers, and new Chargers and Camaros and Mustangs.

        Not one BRZ/FRS there....which used to be a popular track car.

        Hopefully it was just an anomaly...I actually felt a bit out of place. Of course, most of the high power cars were not going particularly fast. I don't think they are as easy to drive as the E30M3.

        If I bought one of the hot Mustangs or a new Vette or something, I would probably be so scared my lap times would increase.


        Last edited by Ironhead; 05-16-2017, 02:26 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
          Car looks stunning in its natural habitat!

          Are you running headlight covers or what headlights are you using??

          90 Sterling 2.5L E30///M3 lifer
          97 Porsche Carrera S
          13 Audi S6
          SOLD 03 Audi RS6 daily
          GONE 88 E28///M5 project

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          • #6
            I think alot of it depends on which clubs you drive with.
            HOD is definitely a club that attracts the newer expensive fast car crowd. Same with Chin.
            I do agree that across the board the average track day event cars are on an upward trajectory of being a lot newer, faster and more expensive than they ever have been in the time i have been doing this hobby (23 years I think).
            Last edited by jimmy p.; 05-16-2017, 05:31 PM.
            jimmy p.
            87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
            88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
            88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
            92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
            98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
            04 Ford F350 - V10

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SeattleE30///M3 View Post

              Car looks stunning in its natural habitat!

              Are you running headlight covers or what headlights are you using??
              No covers....they are JW Speaker LED headlights....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
                I think alot of it depends on which clubs you drive with.
                HOD is definitely a club that attracts the newer expensive fast car crowd. Same with Chin.
                I do agree that across the board the average track day event cars are on an upward trajectory of being a lot newer, faster and more expensive than they ever have been in the time i have been doing this hobby (23 years I think).
                There were several highly modified C7 Vettes there. Those things would scare the crap outta me stock....I can't imagine what they are like as focused track weapons.

                I'm not sure driving cars like that to the limit....without full cages...fuel cells...fireproof clothing...full course crews...etc...is even wise.

                NHRA has stricter and stricter safety regs as car performance goes up. Kinda makes sense to me.

                I started doing track events about 12 years ago....and we always used to have an E30 "section"....with 2 or 3 M3s and several other E30 models and swapped cars present. I imagine many of the E30 chassis wound up in spec racing.
                Last edited by Ironhead; 05-16-2017, 05:43 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ironhead View Post

                  No covers....they are JW Speaker LED headlights....
                  Hey, these are the ones I asked to see in the other thread! They look cool in this photo. Anyway, back on track...
                  1989 Lachs
                  1988 Lachs - sold
                  1988 DS - sold
                  Bay Area M3 FB group

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BMW or Porsche Club DE events only for me. When in Rome.....

                    E30M3 is a Legend

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ironhead View Post

                      There were several highly modified C7 Vettes there. Those things would scare the crap outta me stock....I can't imagine what they are like as focused track weapons.

                      I'm not sure driving cars like that to the limit....without full cages...fuel cells...fireproof clothing...full course crews...etc...is even wise.

                      NHRA has stricter and stricter safety regs as car performance goes up. Kinda makes sense to me.

                      I started doing track events about 12 years ago....and we always used to have an E30 "section"....with 2 or 3 M3s and several other E30 models and swapped cars present. I imagine many of the E30 chassis wound up in spec racing.


                      The Vettes are crazy prevalent. I really noticed it starting with the C5 ,the Vettes at track day has just been heavy. i have instructed in all but the C7.
                      The C6 ZO6 was fast enough to make me giggle (and question the sanity of sitting in the passenger seat of such cars in exchange for some free track time).

                      I think the NHRA policy of escalating safety needs with speed potential is mentally sound,,, but,,, I can't see organizers instituting anything like it for DEs / Track Days without some catastrophic event that initiates a sea change within the DE / Trackday world . There is so much competition out there for the student / participant dollars that no one wants to discuss anything that puts a barrier on someone plunking down their money to go track their car. Any one organizer that did it would be committing suicide.
                      There would have to be some governmental authority that clamped it across the whole hobby and for the moment,,, no one is even watching the playground.
                      jimmy p.
                      87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                      88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                      88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                      92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                      98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                      04 Ford F350 - V10

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with Jimmy, it depends on the club. BMWcca for sure always has at least 2 e30M3 with a slew of e36/e46s at their track events. HOD NE has a good mix, there are alot of e46m3s (including myself). Here are some i took within the last year. Two of them are from a couple years ago.

                        FullSizeRender by Andyman746, on Flickr
                        FullSizeRender_7 by Andyman746, on Flickr

                        That time i took my newly bought e30m to the track and blew the motor..
                        FullSizeRender_6 by Andyman746, on Flickr

                        FullSizeRender_5 by Andyman746, on Flickr
                        FullSizeRender_4 by Andyman746, on Flickr
                        FullSizeRender_3 by Andyman746, on Flickr
                        FullSizeRender_2 by Andyman746, on Flickr
                        FullSizeRender_1 by Andyman746, on Flickr


                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          B,
                          First off, I hardly noticed the car because the driver is so handsome. Ahem....scratch that, the car is far better looking! It certainly wouldn't surprise me if what you experienced is the norm, has been the norm over the last few years and will continue to be the norm moving forward. I think that, in general, you are likely to see less vintage cars on the track unless it is a "slated event." This is sort of interesting because I have been randomly surfing the web lately looking at different things BMW and alike. I am surprised to see how many people are hopping on the M2 to be honest. I am simply not interested on the looks alone. Throw in a turbocharger and all interest is out of the window. I would much rather opt for an e46.

                          Neither here nor there though. In this last picture....the e30M and e46M do look so natural in the place they drive best.

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                          • #14
                            I have always had the perception that there were more E30M3s on the east coast than out here in California...just because so many S14.net members have been from out there.

                            I'm not surprised E30M3s are disappearing from track days....it's just that I took a couple years off and "poof"....it seemed like things changed so much. Not just the absence of E30M3s, but the absence of older/lower budget cars is more what surprised me.

                            I bet the average RWHP output of the cars at the event last Fri was >400....and the average age of car there was ....I dunno.....2013? That's a big change from what I have seen in the past. It is certainly a good thing though that people are still doing track events...whatever they are driving.
                            Last edited by Ironhead; 05-17-2017, 06:57 AM.

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                            • #15
                              We usually have 10+ at the spring and fall Tarheel event at VIR. I think there were 13 last year. Kinda like a small SIG event.

                              T

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