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BMWCCA/PCA Sept 9/10 driving school at Pacific Raceways

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BMWCCA/PCA Sept 9/10 driving school at Pacific Raceways

Old 09-11-06, 11:13 PM
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BMWCCA/PCA Sept 9/10 driving school at Pacific Raceways

Synopsis of the BMWCCA / PCA Sept 9/10 driving school at Pacific Raceways

Man did I ever have fun! Pacific Raceways is an amazing track! The event was very well run with good instruction, and itís about the best value for money you can possibly get for track time with instruction. Iíd recommend driving schools by either group.

I did very well there with my lowly NA FC with few mods (see vb garage in my profile for info). I was in C group as Iíd only done 2 schools before (A = advanced / instructors, B = advanced-intermediate, C = intermediate, D = novice).

On the first day I started out quite quickly and made some improvements. I was one of the faster cars out there, there were 911ís, M3ís and such on track with me, and about half the cars there had race tires. We only got 3 sessions (of 4) that day due to situations beyond the control of the school, so my time was limited that day, but I was happy with the speed I was making, I was being quite consistent in getting the corners right, and getting to within at least 90% of the available traction.

On the second day I got a different instructor, Phil Edwards (I think thatís his name), who races an FB and had it with him (itís in a very stock class). He was a much better instructor for me than the previous one, who was good, but this was a better fit. He seemed very confident in my abilities and he seemed to really enjoy himself in my car, especially when chasing down cars worth at least 10 times what mine does. The first session I was fast, but was using too much input and wasnít smooth enough. About 5-10 minutes into the session, he casually mentioned that that was to be my last day in C group; I was getting bumped up to B! If the run groups hadnít been so full, Iíd have been moved up right away. He took me for a ride in his car before the next time out and showed me some different lines in a few places. I went back out in my car and was much smoother and more consistent. I kept getting faster, and I got much smoother. I started using his lines and was able to get 2-3 car lengths on other cars each corner in a couple corners (Phil really enjoyed that). By the end of the day I was keeping up to an instructor in an M Coupe. I was among the fastest out on track that day and had 2 of 4 sessions where nobody passed me, and I passed many people. Pretty impressive for what should be one of the slowest cars out there. I had several people come over to ask what Iíd done to it and when they found out they were shocked that so little had been done and how fast it was.

The carís performance was absolutely flawless. It was stable, predictable, and fast. It really handles very well despite being so soft and the balance was about right, with just a little understeer. I must say NA FCís make fabulous track cars. It now has the equivalent of 10 track days on it with no ill effects.

Hereís a quick summary of some of the cars I passed:
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (996 version)
BMW M3 (E36)
BMW 330Ci (E46)
Porsche Boxter (older one)
Porsche 944 Turbo
Late 80ís race prepped 911 (arrived on a trailer)
BMW M Coupe (Z3 based one)

Anyway, it was fabulous! I canít wait for the next one!
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Old 09-12-06, 06:30 AM
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What was the cost, and where are the pictures?
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Old 09-12-06, 12:09 PM
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It was $330 for the weekend, and I have no pics of ther event, forgot the camera. If I find any posted elsewhere I'll link to them.
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Old 09-12-06, 12:56 PM
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Sounds like you had a good time. However, I wouldn't get caught up in the whole "I passed this many cars" thing. Its an event where people are out there with varying levels of skills, cars and components on their cars (as well as the willingness to throw their car around): i.e. its not a race....
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Old 09-12-06, 02:37 PM
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I know, but it's still fun to beat guys in fast cars due to my skills being better than theirs. I have no illusions of being an ace, or that my car is so damned fast, I try to keep within my limits at all times and drive safely and controllably.

You can really see the disparity in the skill levels when following some people. Some of their lines are really erratic and they're not being that consistant, others are very pessimistic under braking, others aren't flooring it all the way down the straights. I'd probably also be a lot less aggressive in a much more expensive car, as it'd be a much bigger hit on the wallet if I crashed.
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Old 09-12-06, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a
others aren't flooring it all the way down the straights.
For some folks, the straights are the boring parts between the fun bits. A lot of times I'll use a long straight to talk to the instructor, driving about 3/4 throttle and just waving other cars by. This tends to give me a lot of open track in front of me once I get to the twisties and I can work on different lines (race lines, wet lines) and maximizing exit speeds without worrying about driving up someone's butt (or having someone drive into mine )

Different strokes for different folks.

-b
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Old 09-12-06, 07:17 PM
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That's a valid point, but with my power levels, having enough time to talk isn't a problem, and traffic rarely held me up for long.

At Pacific Raceways in particular though there's one corner (corner 1, the fastest) where if you feather it on the straights it's boring, as it's a flat out, high speed corner.
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Old 09-13-06, 02:23 AM
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That's rad, i'm going to try out one of these lapping days at pacific next year..right now i've only done auto-x at boundary bay and it isn't enough seat time for me.
Where in BC are you? It's funny because i'm in BC and I own a 91 NA as well (and there are only a few here)
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Old 09-13-06, 02:29 AM
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Im gonna do the driving school soon. Also do you need to do the driving school in order to drive on a open track day?
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Old 09-13-06, 02:34 PM
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I'm at UBC right now (Vancouver), but the car's not with me.

You need some prior experiance to do that school. I've done 2 at Spokane already.

They do a car control clinic at Bremmerton that qualifies you for that school. There's one on November 5th. Autocross experiance may be ok, but you'd have to talk to them about it.

There are open lapping days there run by the ProFormance Racing School, but you might need to get signed off by them first, I don't know.

http://www.proformanceracingschool.com/
http://www.bmwpugetsound.com/
http://www.pnwr.org/
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Old 09-14-06, 09:31 PM
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thanks, i'm going to do this next yr when I finish school as well (BCIT)
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