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      01-28-2013, 03:35 PM   #23
FogCityM3
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awesome review..makes me want to go back!
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      01-28-2013, 04:12 PM   #24
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this is great! you're lucky to attend!
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      01-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #25
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Awesome review! Thanks so much for all the work in writing it up! I am scheduled for the two day M course in March (3/25-3/26) and am literally counting down the days. A couple of questions, I am a bit of a photography nut and would like to bring my big lens SLR camera to take pictures. Is this something they frown upon? Will I even have time to cheese out? I would love to capture some high quality pics of ///Ms in action!

Do they allow you to use your own GoPro camera in or outside the car?

A shame they had no 6MTs, I really want to pickup a used M3 in the near future and would love to compare 6MT vs. DCT.
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      01-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #26
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wow.
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      01-28-2013, 04:41 PM   #27
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i really like those videos !
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      01-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #28
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I can answer the photography question, having tried to take pictures during my M School last year. In short, yes and no.
In some sessions you do have a chance to get out of the cars and snap a few pics, such as the skid pad exercises but mostly not. Too much driving time, a good thing. You also have little time to get settled in the cars to start a session. You must secure the camera in the car when not in use too. I found I could put the camera on the passenger floor with the strap just reaching around the passengers buckle between the seat and console.
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      01-28-2013, 05:04 PM   #29
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Attending the 2 day ///M school in 2009 is the reason I have an E92 M3 in my garage today.

It's nice to hear that the M6 is a better driving car as I wan't impressed with the last generation when we did M school back in 2009.

Can't wait to try the new M5 on track at some point in the future.
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      01-28-2013, 05:10 PM   #30
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Man... Can't wait to go back to SC for the proper M School! Thanks for sharing!
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      01-28-2013, 05:22 PM   #31
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How are you 6'3" and 175? That's absurd.
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      01-28-2013, 06:29 PM   #32
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Thank you for the time/effort involved in putting that together! Great work!

I have to say the helmet is SWEEET! If our local track was still open and I hadn't sold my M3... I'd be in the market for one of those. Sadly, no more need.
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      01-28-2013, 06:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskamatt View Post
How are you 6'3" and 175? That's absurd.
I hope this is a joke. I'm 6'4" and have been at that weight a number of times in my adult life, depending on diet and what sports I am participating in at the time.

Fantastic review, OP.
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      01-28-2013, 06:47 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southern6er22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertEagle50
Are the PD cars DCT or Manuals?
They were all DCT. They didn't offer manual transmissions as an option.

Maybe they can set you up with one, but no one ever brought it up in our group.
When I was there we used 1m's which obviously are manual. I'm guessing during the 2 day school that car is not used
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      01-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enter Faster View Post
When I was there we used 1m's which obviously are manual. I'm guessing during the 2 day school that car is not used
My understanding was that the 1M replaced the M6 in the wet skid pad activities on the upper track, so it was used during the 2 day school, you just didn't get to us it during the lapping sessions on the big track with your helmets.
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      01-28-2013, 09:40 PM   #36
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Thanks for all of the kind responses. Glad y'all enjoyed it

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteNJ View Post
Awesome review! Thanks so much for all the work in writing it up! I am scheduled for the two day M course in March (3/25-3/26) and am literally counting down the days. A couple of questions, I am a bit of a photography nut and would like to bring my big lens SLR camera to take pictures. Is this something they frown upon? Will I even have time to cheese out? I would love to capture some high quality pics of ///Ms in action!

Do they allow you to use your own GoPro camera in or outside the car?

A shame they had no 6MTs, I really want to pickup a used M3 in the near future and would love to compare 6MT vs. DCT.
They neither addressed cameras nor told anyone off for using them. I saw several people taking pictures, most with iPhones, and a few capturing some video. All of my videos are from my iPhone 5, and I rarely pulled it out. I captured 27 minutes of video during the M6 laps and promised myself I'd never get distracted by it while doing the laps. The distraction is the biggest reason I'd recommend not going crazy with the pics and videos. The course is mentally and physically draining, and I probably wouldn't have bothered with videos and pics if it weren't for these forums and my blog. Words only go so far, so I wanted to be able to add some visual and auditory aids to document the experience. You drive a lot during this course, and I found very few moments where I could stop to video exercises or snap some pics aside from the time in the pit switching cars or first thing in the morning. The videos I videos were mostly filmed while waiting my turn a couple times during the timed exercises, and then I mounted my iPhone on the side window (to get some views of the gauges) during the big M6 exercise and just let it run.

In short, you can film if you want, but you're probably not going to get as much out of the course if you allow it to break your concentration.

Just my $0.02.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Power_Fan View Post
i really like those videos !
Thanks! Amazing what a lowly iPhone camera can do

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskamatt View Post
How are you 6'3" and 175? That's absurd.
Haha. Youthful metabolism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3s-a-charm View Post
I have to say the helmet is SWEEET! If our local track was still open and I hadn't sold my M3... I'd be in the market for one of those. Sadly, no more need.
Mine will be likely be resting on my dresser until I am forced to grow up - at which time it will sit in the bottom of my closet. It is very cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03BeastCharmer View Post
My understanding was that the 1M replaced the M6 in the wet skid pad activities on the upper track, so it was used during the 2 day school, you just didn't get to us it during the lapping sessions on the big track with your helmets.
Yep. They, for the most part, only use cars currently in production. That rule was pretty hard to follow a year or so ago when there wasn't a new M5 or M6, but now they have to show off their babies so we get hooked on the ///M KoolAid.

It works. It's really kinda disgusting. It's just like the fact that I can forgive BMW for adding an extra 40 hp to the 2013 version of my car (a year after it's launched) and leaving a simple, automatic trunk closer off of a $100k luxury coupe. Ridiculous how these cars affect us...
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      01-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #37
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You make me want to go. I think this type of experience and all it comes with holds a lot more value than you paid. In terms of money, this will pay dividends your entire life.

Well done review. This is now on my list
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      01-29-2013, 12:27 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostomni
You make me want to go. I think this type of experience and all it comes with holds a lot more value than you paid. In terms of money, this will pay dividends your entire life.

Well done review. This is now on my list
I agree completely.

I know what you mean philosophically. Financially, it is still a bit of a wonder they can pull it off for $3600 ($3000 with CCA discount). I know they have all kinds of contracts to make the components less than retail (Grenville Marriott, Continental tires, etc.), but I still would like to know what their profit margin is. They used at least 15 cars (probably closer to 20 cars counting the instructors and swap outs) with tires valued at about $2000 per car. Change all if those once and you're at $60k. The helmets are worth $600 (x15). Add meals, hotel, and gas, and that's a pretty penny. After that, tack on the pay for these highly trained driving instructors, and God knows what kind of money we're looking at.

The course is great PR for the brand and their cars. I think that's the justification to the accountants.
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      01-29-2013, 12:41 AM   #39
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nice review !
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      01-29-2013, 12:48 AM   #40
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FYI, here is a link to my photos from last year: http://sirsnapsalot.smugmug.com/2012...1403223_5LDJnF

The first few photos are a chance encounter with the new M5 in January last year, well before the intro into the US.
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      01-29-2013, 01:11 AM   #41
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I really want to attend this school. Seems like so much to learn and a whole lot of fun
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      01-29-2013, 03:45 AM   #42
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Great review.. I want that helmet
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      01-29-2013, 07:33 AM   #43
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Thank you so much for the fantastic review. I just signed up for the 2-day M school in Aug and they credited the one day offer to the total. Can't wait!
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      01-29-2013, 09:16 AM   #44
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Can't thank you enough for this review. Strangely, the BMW website is short on details about what the schools actually involve. Great review with just the right amount of detail!

Just a note for anyone eating at the Greenville Marriott restaurant; the shrimp and grits were fantastic. I've had worse at four star restaurants. Good stuff.
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