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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to finally put my E46 on a track this coming january. I do not have any special events in mind, although a friend tells me there is an event on January 2nd in Laguna Seca open to all registrations (spaces limited).

For those of you have tracked your cars, I have some newb questions!

1. Should I for my first even get another set of tires? I am currently running on 19's with 30 and 35 profiles.

2. Are there any special preps I should take care of before the track day? Oil change, special fuel etc?

3. Are there instructions to follow to warm-up cool\cool-down the engine before and after lapping, aside from normal instructions?

4. Are there any tests I should run on the car prior to track day?

5. Lastly, can you recommend any good driving schools\track events for a beginner? The only experience I have, is a few years of karting.

Thanks for any help!
 

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1.) I would if it is available to you.

2.) Make sure the fluid levels are OK. Factory fluids are fine for track days.

3.) Don't run really hard until after a few minutes of warm-up (driving to the event is fine), and a cool down lap couldn't hurt. Leave the hood up after a run, and never put on the e-brake when you park after a run.

4.) I guess make sure that your car meets the requirements of the track event. (no leaks, tread depth, etc..)

5.) Try any BMW CCA driving school, but I think your years of karting should have taught you most of the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
325seeeye said:


3.) Don't run really hard until after a few minutes of warm-up (driving to the event is fine), and a cool down lap couldn't hurt. Leave the hood up after a run, and never put on the e-brake when you park after a run.
Whats the e-brake have to do with anything? heat generated can damage it?
 

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After a run, your brakes rotors are smoking hot. Putting on the e brake will make that surface (where the e-brake pad meets the rotor) cool down at a different rate than the rest of the rotor and will probably warp it.
 

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Congrats on your upcoming track day!

330Pilot said:
...
For those of you have tracked your cars, I have some newb questions!

1. Should I for my first even get another set of tires? I am currently running on 19's with 30 and 35 profiles


Do you have your original stock wheels and tires? Hard cornering on low profile tires will cause more rapid wear due to the short and stiff sidewalls.

2. Are there any special preps I should take care of before the track day? Oil change, special fuel etc?


You should receive a tech inspection worksheet with your registration package. You will be required to have your car inspected for safety items by a qualified individual. You will also probably have to get your brakes bled with fresh fluid because old fluid (older than 6 months) is more likely to boil due to water absorbtion over time. An oil, tranny fluid, and gear oil change befroe the event would be nice too.


3. Are there instructions to follow to warm-up cool\cool-down the engine before and after lapping, aside from normal instructions??


Your instructor will walk you through warm up and cool down procedures. In general, you want to start very slow and progressively pick up your speed for the first 3 laps or so as tire and mechanical temps pick up. At the end of your run group, you will get one cool down lap before you have to pit in. Drive slowly enough to minimize or eliminate heavy braking to give the brakes time to cool. Once you are back in the paddock, do not apply the parking brake. You might want to let the car idle for a coupel minutes with the hood up to let things cool off.

4. Are there any tests I should run on the car prior to track day?


The tech inspection procedure should be sufficient.

5. Lastly, can you recommend any good driving schools\track events for a beginner? The only experience I have, is a few years of karting.


A few YEARS of karting? You will be light years ahead of most people in your novice run group. Run some events with your local BMWCCA chapter or other reputable organization and try to avoid "lapping day" events which tend to be under instructed.

For more info:

http://www.trackschedule.com/wisdom3.html
http://www.trackschedule.com/wisdom10.html


Ed
 

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there is LOTS of advice out there. usually your local bmwcca chapter website will have a newbies track guidelines page, like this one: www.peachtreebmwcca.org/dschool/ds02_prep.asp

most people will tell you to not get super grippy tires your first few times out: they let you do things you shouldn't.

most of the time, a driving school will require a mechanical inspection prior to the school, even if your car is new.

i wouldn't change your oil before hand, unless it was time. i would, however, take an extra quart or two along when you go. bleeding the brakes is a good idea, and i would consider a brake pad upgrade from stock.

aside from that, i would do a few track days before deciding how else to modify your car.

in terms of cooling down, the best advice i have heard is to not set the parking brake after a run-- just get to a flat part of the paddock and put it in 1st or reverse. a lot of guys raise their hoods a little after a run-- not sure if this does anything in particular.

have fun!
 

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330Pilot said:
I've decided to finally put my E46 on a track this coming january. I do not have any special events in mind, although a friend tells me there is an event on January 2nd in Laguna Seca open to all registrations (spaces limited).

For those of you have tracked your cars, I have some newb questions!

1. Should I for my first even get another set of tires? I am currently running on 19's with 30 and 35 profiles.

2. Are there any special preps I should take care of before the track day? Oil change, special fuel etc?

3. Are there instructions to follow to warm-up cool\cool-down the engine before and after lapping, aside from normal instructions?

4. Are there any tests I should run on the car prior to track day?

5. Lastly, can you recommend any good driving schools\track events for a beginner? The only experience I have, is a few years of karting.

Thanks for any help!
How much is the registration for the Laguna event? I live about 5 minutes from there and might be interested in attending. Good chance to destroy my stock Conti's!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the great advice guys!

It all seems consistent too which makes me happy ;)

I've read up on some of the links posted which were also very helpful.

The Laguna Seca event according to my friend is 200 some dollars. Send me an email and i'll keep you posted when I know more, we could even go together.
 

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330pilot

I sent you a PM with my email.
 

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Make sure you have your brake fluid flushed. Refilling with better brake fluid is also a good idea...I always use ATE TYP 200 high temp fluid.

I know this was said already, but there was a lot of advice in this thread and I thought it should be repeated. You can easily boil old brake fluid at a track, which would give you real problems.
 
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