Go Back   Trackpedia Discussion Forums > Main Category > Introduce yourself and your car/bike

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 12-10-2009, 05:18 PM
f1rocks's Avatar
f1rocks f1rocks is offline
Black Group
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Trying to keep up with Repka
Posts: 1,157
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwe36m3 View Post
Hey Guys,

My goal is to get my racing license in 2010. I'd like to get at least a B2 license. Can you recommend any good websites that I can research what's involved, prices, locations, etc. I'm located in NJ area so any suggestions on a place to get it would be appreciated too.

Thanks!

Eric
First question would be what sanctioning body do you want to run with?

If you run with the BMW guys, the BMW race school is one of the best to get you into their club racing.

PCA and BMW both explain their race license procedure pretty well on their website. NASA is also fairly affordable and simple to get the license.

Have you driven on the track much? If not, you really have to ask: "How much am I going to budget for this?" Your timeline may need to be extended a year or two depending on the first question. Most sanctioning bodies are going to expect xxx amount of days of HPDE before moving to wheel to wheel. (PCA is 12 but more is better) If you're a natural, fewer track days may be fine.

You've got plenty of good tracks in that area so your options can be many. Get involved in the local BMW club, they will be the greatest local resource you can have.

Plan on $1000 a weekend for a budget on the low end depending on tire selection if you are racing. Faster the car, the more you will spend.
__________________
Brent
1987 944 Turbo S "Sophie" - Sold to a Nordsterner to giver her more Brainerd time
1983 944 SP1 "Isabella"
1999 986 Boxster "Gracie" Soon to be SpecBoxster...well in a few years
2007 Chebby 3500 "Clifford"

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:24 PM
bmwe36m3 bmwe36m3 is offline
Green Group
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1rocks View Post
First question would be what sanctioning body do you want to run with?

If you run with the BMW guys, the BMW race school is one of the best to get you into their club racing.

PCA and BMW both explain their race license procedure pretty well on their website. NASA is also fairly affordable and simple to get the license.

Have you driven on the track much? If not, you really have to ask: "How much am I going to budget for this?" Your timeline may need to be extended a year or two depending on the first question. Most sanctioning bodies are going to expect xxx amount of days of HPDE before moving to wheel to wheel. (PCA is 12 but more is better) If you're a natural, fewer track days may be fine.

You've got plenty of good tracks in that area so your options can be many. Get involved in the local BMW club, they will be the greatest local resource you can have.

Plan on $1000 a weekend for a budget on the low end depending on tire selection if you are racing. Faster the car, the more you will spend.
Thanks for all the info Brent! I ran a handful of HPDEs in 2009 and felt very comfortable and quickly moved up the grouping ladder. I drive a 95 M3 and will definitely try to keep the costs down. I'd like to run in a near stock class.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:26 AM
kishg's Avatar
kishg kishg is offline
Yellow Group
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 314
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwe36m3 View Post
Thanks for all the info Brent! I ran a handful of HPDEs in 2009 and felt very comfortable and quickly moved up the grouping ladder. I drive a 95 M3 and will definitely try to keep the costs down. I'd like to run in a near stock class.
How many track days have you done and what group did you last run in? bmw club race school is a pretty good way to get a taste of what wheel to wheel racing would be like and you can run your track car (does not need to be race prepped). the next one is at Mid Ohio in early April. PM me if you need more details.
__________________
'90 E30 M3
'91 SpecE30 #523
'03 540i/6 M-Sport
'00 Ford F-350 Dually Tow Vehicle
BMWCCA #360858 NASA # 128290
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-23-2010, 11:04 AM
TailWagger's Avatar
TailWagger TailWagger is offline
Inches from disaster, millimeters from ecstasy.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwe36m3 View Post
Thanks for all the info Brent! I ran a handful of HPDEs in 2009 and felt very comfortable and quickly moved up the grouping ladder. I drive a 95 M3 and will definitely try to keep the costs down. I'd like to run in a near stock class.
Your vid seems to be marked private so unfortunately cant really get an idea of your skill level. Thus begins, as the regulars around here will warn you, a typically long somewhat contrarian TW tome. Been a while... been saving one up

I guess I'd ask, what are you trying to get out of all of this? Presumably you want to race because you want to compete, which means you think you have enough on the ball to at least be competitive, if not win. If you are back of the pack getting passed all the time, its not all that much fun. But winning and being competitive takes a lot of skill, intelligence and commitment not to mention a lot of money.

Racing is seriously more expensive both initially and over time. You need the safety gear, cage, kill switches, fire suppression, suit, seats, belts, nets, etc. all of which adds up quickly. Even in stock classes, the prep to make your M3 competitive can also be significant. Race weekends are more expensive than DEs both for the consumables, as well as the fees. To compete effectively you need tools, at least three sets of wheels and tires, qually, race and rain which in the end means a truck and a trailer.

Not saying this is your situation, but jumping into racing before you really have the skills to do so, IMO, can be counterproductive. Race craft is an added dimension which if you're driving skills are as yet not fully refined, can make progress more difficult. OTOH, there are many who do get significantly faster shortly after going racing, as they see what experienced drivers in similar cars can actually do. Then again, some wreck for the same reasons. Dont know all the tracks you run, but go to BMWCCA and see what competitors are running for lap times. Unless you're running close to the back of the pack for your class, (IS I think) I'd suggest that your money and time is for the moment better spent on more seat time at HPDE. Given you mentioned Thunderbolt, I checked out the times from this years club race, no cars in your class, so you'd win!, but to have fun looks like you'd have to at least do mid to high 40s not to get run over.

I've personally avoided racing outside of TTs and AX to this point for many of the reasons above. I've been on track with many SCCA, PCA and BMWCCA club racers both at DEs and open days and frankly, to date I have had more than enough fun testing my skill against them under those conditions. Even more enjoyable has been throwing a monkey wrench into their world view that you cant possibly be quick unless you race. For the past several years they've kept badgering me as to when I was going to start racing, to which I've always responded, "My goal is simply to drive the wheels off this car...which we both know I do, so why do I want to spend the money and assume the added risk." This year, after being promised by a seasoned SCCA veteran that if I showed up, even down 1/2 liter to most everyone in the class, I'd almost certainly podium, I've decided to finally do a few events. My driving skills sufficiently honed, it now seems time to work on race craft as a new challenge.

In myu case, I've waited longer than many to make the move. I'm approaching 150 days with another couple of hundred AXs under my belt, not to mention the odd karting race etc. I hold 9 local and two regional PCA AX championships and at my very first TT last year was fourth overall out of 100+ cars and the fastest car with doors, despite being down well over 300HP in some instances. I've achieved my life's goal and broke a minute at LRP, I've run down and passed a Grand AM pro, I've had the head of a famous driving school come up unsolicited and tell me he watching me in a couple of corners and I was totally driving kick ass. I mention all this not as these are grand accomplishments worthy of deep respect, they aren't, but rather to suggest that there is plenty to learn and achieve prior to W2W and if you learn it beforehand, when you do go (at least this is what I'm hoping), there is less risk, less frustration and more likelyhood you walk away with a trophy.

Best of luck!
__________________
'00 996 'Lil Ms. B59'
'98 E36 M3 'Taxi'
'70 911RSR 3.2 'Whitey the Wicked Weasel'
'10 GTI 'Seb'
'09' WRX 'Taku'
03 F250 'Big Blue'
'05 Trailex Enclosed

My out of date web site
Motto: "If you pass me, its the car. If I pass you, its the driver."
NER-PCA AX Chair
SCCA Member
BMWCCA Member
NASA Member
COM Member

Last edited by TailWagger; 01-23-2010 at 11:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-23-2010, 12:30 PM
billy's Avatar
billy billy is offline
FIA rated bubble wrap!
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rochester MN
Posts: 5,607
Send a message via AIM to billy Send a message via MSN to billy Send a message via Skype™ to billy
Default

Well said.
__________________
1986 Porsche 944 sp1 track whore.
Daily driver: 2010 VW GTi
Wifes car: 2009 Ford flex sel awd
iRacing: AMD Phenom BE 970 + HD6870 (5740x1080)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-23-2010, 01:31 PM
kishg's Avatar
kishg kishg is offline
Yellow Group
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 314
Default

to add. there's hardly running in stock classes in bmwcr anymore. most e36 m3s are running in IP (I Prepared) and be prepared to spend $$$$ to run at the pointy end of that class. Spec E36 is the best bet for lower cost running in bmw cr.
__________________
'90 E30 M3
'91 SpecE30 #523
'03 540i/6 M-Sport
'00 Ford F-350 Dually Tow Vehicle
BMWCCA #360858 NASA # 128290
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-23-2010, 05:16 PM
bmwe36m3 bmwe36m3 is offline
Green Group
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 7
Default

Hi Guys,

Thanks for sharing all of your insight and experiences. To sum up my driving experience, I started racing 3 wheelers when I was young, then dabbled in go-karts. Over the last 5 years I participated in about a dozen AX's and a handful of HPDE's. I always enjoyed the thrill of racing and consistency placed in the top three whenever events were timed. I tried placing a video of my last HPDE at Lightening in a prior post, but it didn't work. So if you'd still like to see it, you can type the following search terms into youtube: E36 M3, NJMP

After reading your posts and doing some research on my own, I came to realization that it would be a while before I jump into racing. This is mainly because of 2 reasons: cost & time. The availability of those 2 resources recently changed with the birth of my first son last week!

So now I'm on to plan B: Time Trials. This seems like the right approach for me to satisfy my competitive thirst for Motorsports. AX events can be fun, but they seem to take up a lot of time for little track time. Plus I used to attend the AX events at the Meadowlands parking lot (conveniently located 15 miles from me), but they stopped hosting events there a few years back. So now with my sights readjusted, I'm looking forward to attending as many HPDE's as I can and then hopefully run some TT's by the end of the 2010 season. i'll probably stick with NASA as they seem to have a pretty structured class set-up and they often hold events at local tracks (Monticello, LRP, NJMP).

Considering that I have a dependent now, I'm looking to build in some more safety into my car (roll cage, racing seat and maybe a fire extinguisher system). I see that the 6 point bolt-in roll cages are somewhat affordable, but are they as good as a welded-in cage? How do installers weld the top portion of the cage? Do they have cut off the roof first? I might just stick to the bolt-in type if the difference in safety is negligible. Also, do you have any recommendations for seats? I'm not opposed to buying any of this stuff used either, if it's not damaged of course.

Thanks!

Eric
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-31-2010, 11:39 AM
billy's Avatar
billy billy is offline
FIA rated bubble wrap!
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rochester MN
Posts: 5,607
Send a message via AIM to billy Send a message via MSN to billy Send a message via Skype™ to billy
Default

Sell the BMW and buy a used race car and a good run around car Trust me (ex Porsche 911 owner...). Buy a spec e30 or a spec miata. Lots of those around and you'll have a blast in a cheap, fast, safe car. You can buy one for well under 20k.

Put another way "Give me 10k bucks, I'll kick you in the nuts and we'll call it even " Thats the racers motto. Be prepared for that every weekend and welcome aboard!
__________________
1986 Porsche 944 sp1 track whore.
Daily driver: 2010 VW GTi
Wifes car: 2009 Ford flex sel awd
iRacing: AMD Phenom BE 970 + HD6870 (5740x1080)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-31-2010, 12:25 PM
TailWagger's Avatar
TailWagger TailWagger is offline
Inches from disaster, millimeters from ecstasy.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by billy View Post

Put another way "Give me 10k bucks, I'll kick you in the nuts and we'll call it even "
Thats an old saw, adjusted for inflation its more like $23K now.
__________________
'00 996 'Lil Ms. B59'
'98 E36 M3 'Taxi'
'70 911RSR 3.2 'Whitey the Wicked Weasel'
'10 GTI 'Seb'
'09' WRX 'Taku'
03 F250 'Big Blue'
'05 Trailex Enclosed

My out of date web site
Motto: "If you pass me, its the car. If I pass you, its the driver."
NER-PCA AX Chair
SCCA Member
BMWCCA Member
NASA Member
COM Member
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:34 PM
TailWagger's Avatar
TailWagger TailWagger is offline
Inches from disaster, millimeters from ecstasy.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwe36m3 View Post
Considering that I have a dependent now, I'm looking to build in some more safety into my car (roll cage, racing seat and maybe a fire extinguisher system). I see that the 6 point bolt-in roll cages are somewhat affordable, but are they as good as a welded-in cage? How do installers weld the top portion of the cage? Do they have cut off the roof first? I might just stick to the bolt-in type if the difference in safety is negligible. Also, do you have any recommendations for seats? I'm not opposed to buying any of this stuff used either, if it's not damaged of course.

Thanks!

Eric
In a word no. If you roll, a bolt-in might be better than nothing, in a side impact I have my doubts. If a bolt shears, or wheres its attached to the floor is not particularly strong or re-enforced... There is no substitute for a quality welded cage. Yes its more money, but beyond the safety its can also be an excellent performance improvement as it results in a far stiffer structure.

The roof stays on. Roughly speaking, the way my cage was done was by cutting holes in the floor lowering the main tube through the holes, welding the upper tubes, then raising the structure up and welding the tubing at the floor. Heres some pictures of the cages my guy is working on for some spec boxsters. This is what good work looks like!
__________________
'00 996 'Lil Ms. B59'
'98 E36 M3 'Taxi'
'70 911RSR 3.2 'Whitey the Wicked Weasel'
'10 GTI 'Seb'
'09' WRX 'Taku'
03 F250 'Big Blue'
'05 Trailex Enclosed

My out of date web site
Motto: "If you pass me, its the car. If I pass you, its the driver."
NER-PCA AX Chair
SCCA Member
BMWCCA Member
NASA Member
COM Member
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(C) 2006-2009 Trackpedia