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Anybody still do track days?

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  • #31
    Yeah I think Road America is sort of like a longer version of Thunderhill.

    At THill (without the turn 5 bypass) my best is 2:16....if I grew bigger balls and truly drove the entire course at 10/10ths....I think I could knock that down to perhaps 2:12.

    Late model Vettes that are competently driven can lap well under 2:00 all day long....same with Porsche GT3s. A credible time in an E92 M3 is right around 2:00. These are obviously vast differences....

    Sears Point/Sonoma is almost entirely a handling track. I wish I was more up on lap times there....I think the gap between the power and momentum cars would be much smaller. The fact is though having a car with a lot more power/torque makes them much more forgiving. In a momentum car like the E30M3....I swear one small mistake makes a much larger difference to your ultimate lap time. Like letting RPM fall below about 5000....

    I'm not arguing "more speed is better"....quite the contrary. I'm just trying to be realistic about what I can expect to accomplish compared to some of these newer cars.

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    • #32
      I'd be concerned if sports cars hadn't progressed in 25 years...
      1988 Lachs
      1988 DS - sold
      Bay Area M3 FB group

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      • #33
        Keep in mind you guys are comparing a ~200HP S14 to cars with 4-5 Litres and ~ 400+ HP. It was never meant to run against that.

        Comparing it to cars in its displacement class (under 2.5 litres) and it still punches way above its weight, even the modern stuff can't kick an E30 M3s ass.
        Yeah its fun to run down big HP cars, but to be realistic you have to compare apples to apples. In most cases you would never be racing against a 5 litre car.
        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


        • #34
          Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
          Keep in mind you guys are comparing a ~200HP S14 to cars with 4-5 Litres and ~ 400+ HP. It was never meant to run against that.

          Comparing it to cars in its displacement class (under 2.5 litres) and it still punches way above its weight, even the modern stuff can't kick an E30 M3s ass.
          Yeah its fun to run down big HP cars, but to be realistic you have to compare apples to apples. In most cases you would never be racing against a 5 litre car.
          Fair point, but does anybody care about that at DE events? Once you get into advanced and instructor run groups you just want to keep up with the fast cars, it's our competitive nature as humans. Our poison is the m3, it has its deficiencies against modern stuff for sure, but it's fun carrying the momentum and ticking off the guys get have $100k into their track package and most of us have about 20% of that invested. I have a strong 2.5 s14 in a gutted dedicated track car. None of that matters, I want to stay in front of the pack
          those faster cars always catch me up the front straights, it they better not follow me into the brake zones or try my line thorough the corners, usually when that happens I see them fly off the track in my rear view

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          • #35
            Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
            Keep in mind you guys are comparing a ~200HP S14 to cars with 4-5 Litres and ~ 400+ HP. It was never meant to run against that.

            Comparing it to cars in its displacement class (under 2.5 litres) and it still punches way above its weight, even the modern stuff can't kick an E30 M3s ass.
            Yeah its fun to run down big HP cars, but to be realistic you have to compare apples to apples. In most cases you would never be racing against a 5 litre car.

            Very true Jimmy...but as I mentioned early in the thread...I'm not seeing too many 2.5 liter cars at track days anymore...that was kind of my point. And I was sort of countering the claims I read about the E30M3 holding its own against the modern big-power cars. Not on the tracks I run it doesn't....at least not with me at the wheel. But yes, against modern cars of the same spirit....S2000s (which aren't really modern anymore), BRZs, etc....the E30M3 more than holds its own.


            Originally posted by 1990m3 View Post

            Fair point, but does anybody care about that at DE events? Once you get into advanced and instructor run groups you just want to keep up with the fast cars, it's our competitive nature as humans. Our poison is the m3, it has its deficiencies against modern stuff for sure, but it's fun carrying the momentum and ticking off the guys get have $100k into their track package and most of us have about 20% of that invested. I have a strong 2.5 s14 in a gutted dedicated track car. None of that matters, I want to stay in front of the pack
            those faster cars always catch me up the front straights, it they better not follow me into the brake zones or try my line thorough the corners, usually when that happens I see them fly off the track in my rear view
            This is true. As the years roll by...I find myself getting passed more and more by the newer hardware. I can hold with them in the twisties, but as soon as a straight looms they are gone and I never see them again.

            I would like to say I don't care, but I kinda do. It's no fun feeling like a roadblock.



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            • #36
              I think its a little unrealistic to think you can stay at the front of the pack with a 27 year old package, considering a current model new showroom M3 / 4 is as fast as a factory E30M3 DTM car was in its prime.

              All we can do is continue to show that the car punches way above its weight even some 25+ years later. Not very many cars can do that.
              Try it with a 27 year old Vette or Camaro.

              I know when I go out for an open test day I am going to get passed by modern powered race cars like I was in reverse on the straights.
              Its impossible to combat. They gobble up straight aways so fast that no matter how good your corner speed is its impossible to recover the distance they can put down once they exit the corner and drop the hammer. As the drag racers always say there is no replacement for displacement (in a straight line).
              I'm OK with it.
              I drive what I want because I enjoy the ride.
              If I were to build or buy another race car, it would most likely be very similar in philosophy. I like momentum cars. They are (to me) way more rewarding to drive than HP cars. HP & Torque can easily mask poor driving. Its hard to mask poor driving with a momentum car.

              As long as I can stay at the pointy end of the field in ~similar~ish displacement cars (under 3.0 litres) I'm good with it.
              Last edited by jimmy p.; 06-10-2017, 07:56 AM.
              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


              • #37
                It is amazing how cars have progressed...

                When I first became interested in auto racing around 1977-thru 1981, the Porsche 935 was completely dominant in the production based GT racing world. Something like 700 HP, two foot wide tires, factory engineered by Porsche....etc.

                I was watching some video from the Monterey historics from the past few years. Bruce Canepa drives a basically original/stock 935 there every year, and usually wins the GT class. I was watching some of his laps, and on a good lap he was going around Laguna Seca in that car in the mid 1:30s. What I find amazing, is I know there are quite a few people who are lapping Laguna almost that fast in street legal cars. I saw a video where a guy was pulling 1:38 laps in a stock appearing C7 Corvette....for example. The laps turned in the historic races might not be quite as fast as a winning 935 could do back in the day (the circuit has changed anyway...no means of comparison)...but I bet they are damn close. Canepa was a pro driver at one time, and if you watch the videos of his laps at the historics you can tell he is really not pulling any punches.

                If someone had told me back then that in 2017 you could buy a street legal car from a dealer what would pretty much run with a Porsche 935, I don't think I would have believed it. I assumed cars would in the future be smaller, slower, more efficient, and more politically correct. I think everyone did.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
                  I think its a little unrealistic to think you can stay at the front of the pack with a 27 year old package, considering a current model new showroom M3 / 4 is as fast as a factory E30M3 DTM car was in its prime.

                  All we can do is continue to show that the car punches way above its weight even some 25+ years later. Not very many cars can do that.
                  Try it with a 27 year old Vette or Camaro..
                  Jimmy -- I agree with this completely, but there is a feeling of disappointment that occurs when you get walked by a couple hundred meters up the long straights on the hp courses. Even though I fight like hell to catch back up on the technical side of the track it's amazing to see how fast the newer cars are -- I know it's not a fair comparison. What i do love though is once in a while i trade cars for a session with a bud in a fast more modern car, the difference in speed when you give a hp guy a momentum car and give a momentum guy a hp car is pretty incredible -- everyone should learn in slow cars, it forces you to learn how to keep you speed up.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ironhead View Post

                    If someone had told me back then that in 2017 you could buy a street legal car from a dealer what would pretty much run with a Porsche 935, I don't think I would have believed it. I assumed cars would in the future be smaller, slower, more efficient, and more politically correct. I think everyone did.
                    This is also so true it's scary. The newest cars on track are super fast, too fast for a majority of their drivers. I have trouble imagining what it would be like to buy a new Porsche and drive it as hard as i drive my e30. Maybe one day we'll trade up....

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by BimmerBill View Post
                      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.
                      What lap times do you run at LRP?
                      sigpic
                      2010 BMW Club Racing E30 M3 Touring Car Champion
                      2011, 2013 SCCA Runoffs Super Touring Under 3.0L Bronze Medalist
                      2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year
                      2012 SCCA Northeast Divisional STU Champion
                      2015 SCCA Runoffs STU Polesitter

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
                        I think its a little unrealistic to think you can stay at the front of the pack with a 27 year old package, considering a current model new showroom M3 / 4 is as fast as a factory E30M3 DTM car was in its prime.

                        .
                        Disagree, respectfully. I know for a fact a gruppe A level 2.3L E30M3 will crush a stock M3/4 on track. The comparo at mid-Ohio from a couple years ago ...that GruppeA M3 was 3-4 seconds slower than the STU track record.
                        sigpic
                        2010 BMW Club Racing E30 M3 Touring Car Champion
                        2011, 2013 SCCA Runoffs Super Touring Under 3.0L Bronze Medalist
                        2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year
                        2012 SCCA Northeast Divisional STU Champion
                        2015 SCCA Runoffs STU Polesitter

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hey Eric,
                          I was certainly basing my comment on that article that Same Smith did.
                          I didn't really research it to death to compare exact times.

                          I think the crux of the situation is that the new M3/4 cars are really fast and can run with what was a DTM race car of 25 years ago while on street tires, and with a baby seat in the rear, and probably a couple of golf bangs in the trunk.
                          Maybe not exactly as fast but "way" closer than we would like to admit.
                          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


                          • #43
                            It also doesn't really make a ton of sense to compare a fully race prepped car to a stock model off the showroom floor.

                            Imagine what a modern DTM M3/M4 would do to a DTM E30M3, for example.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by ttw18 View Post
                              Let's say you had to start from scratch, what would you buy and bring to a track day?
                              I'm liking the looks of the Spec E46 class right now. If I started over, I'd just pick some racing class and prep a HPDE car for those rules. Otherwise, you're severely devaluing a car.

                              To answer the thread question: I did 6 events last year & just signed up to instruct with Chin at Barber MSP the weekend after the 4th. I normally would have done more this year, but I worked over 2200 man-hours from Oct to May.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post

                                Where will you be racing? What class? Good to see someone building / starting to race an E30 M3. All of them seem to be going the other direction.

                                I race with SCCA here in the Northeast, I'm usually the only one especially at regionals. Eric Heinrich was killing it in STU at the National / Majors level with his E30 M3 but I think he's taking a hiatus this year. Have not heard from him in a while.

                                I don't know how many are left club racing in the Northeast, there were so many at one time now I think even M3T has dwindled down to 4 or 5 guys (at least here in the Northeast).
                                I dont race with BMWCCA so I'm not 100% up on their fields, but I do watch over their results because many of the guys are my good friends, and that seems to be about the extent of the E30M3s left in Northeast BMW Club Racing.

                                I don't count the few guys that are racing swapped E30M3s in CM, just me, but to me, without the S14 it ceases to be an E30M3, its just a vessel at that point. May as well be an E30 or a tube frame car,,, but I digress...
                                Count me still in, it;s just a budget thing for me. If I'm not chasing a Runoffs Championship in a given year, I cant justify burning up life on either of my GruppeA engines, and for track days the car is just too loud.

                                But yeah, for a 30 year old car, it's still a formidable track weapon.

                                sigpic
                                2010 BMW Club Racing E30 M3 Touring Car Champion
                                2011, 2013 SCCA Runoffs Super Touring Under 3.0L Bronze Medalist
                                2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year
                                2012 SCCA Northeast Divisional STU Champion
                                2015 SCCA Runoffs STU Polesitter

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