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      05-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
johntomferg
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My experience at the BMW CCA HPDE at Barber Motorsport Park

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As the title says, I attended the BMW CCA HPDE event this past weekend and took the M5. I just want to share my experience with the rest of the forum members in the chance that you think it might be something that you would like to attend. I would highly recommend it, and I personally extend a thanks to Gene Mulligan (another '13 M5 owner on this board) for encouraging me to do so!


SAM_5495 by johntomferg, on Flickr


SAM_5499 by johntomferg, on Flickr


SAM_5893 by johntomferg, on Flickr


SAM_5455 by johntomferg, on Flickr


First, let me say:

My wife and I had a great time this past weekend at this event and we enjoyed meeting all of other car enthusiasts. This was the first 'anything' for me involving formal high speed driving instruction, but certainly a great event and great people!!! It was ran very professionally (kudo's to Jack Joyner and his band of instructors), everything I was exposed to was on schedule, 'poor decisions' on/off the track by a very few participants were addressed, and the instructors were very involved to make sure you got as much out of the track time as possible.

Let's talk about track time - there was a lot of it. I was really surprised coming out of this event regarding the track time. The field was broken out into A/B/C/D and Instructor groups. In general, only classes said group on the course during that group's track time. For D group there were more classroom sessions, but still lots of track time. I've included pictures of the schedule for the insight:

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There were so many enthusiasts and beautiful cars! I was very happy to be given the opportunity to share the track with the ones in the D group. I learned a lot about driver etiquette on the track, point-by, wave offs, etc...

I had an excellent instructor, but I know most here really want to see 'the cars!' So I'll give a little with some pictures of my instructor's (Scott Meyer's) car:
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If you have never been to Barber (https://www.barbermotorsports.com/pa...nformation.php), the park is wonderful. Lots of access areas to get really good shots of the corners and the field as the cars come around.


SAM_5477 by johntomferg, on Flickr


SAM_5695 by johntomferg, on Flickr


All of our pictures and short videos are posted on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/johntomferg



My abilities on the track with the M5 were significantly better by the last run on the second day than when I started out. As speed increased though, my experience and judgement was tested for keeping up with the changes that made to where the car would be entering and leaving turns. Always an adjustment battle.

I've posted a long-ish video series on youtube as "unlisted." It is the 2:30PM Sunday D Group. It's raw and you'll probably want to skip to around 8:08 so as not hear the 'Ferguson commentary.'


In the notes for Part 1 you will find the link to Part 2 (and Part 3 is just more 'Ferguson commentary').

To Justin Ward in the Porsche....yes I really did want to catch you / keep up with you in that Porsche (beautiful car!) this last time around, and except for that hiccup in the pit turn I felt I was 'almost there.' You were always so fast through the day.

Notes on the video:

This was my last run for the day and the car was set for Throttle: Sport, Suspension: Sport +; Steering: Comfort; D2 for shifting; and Full traction control. If any of you want to see a spastic traction control light at 90-100, watch the lower dash between the center gauges when it is accelerating out of the turns (like double apex turn and the museum turn). As Scott Meyer (my excellent instructor) put it: that light is "All those engineers in Munich keeping (me) out of trouble". I like to think I eventually won't need them when on a track where I am approaching the limits of the driver (and not the car), but with this car I am certain I will for a long time!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!


As per request, Saturday session video has been uploaded. Should give you a better picture of the track as it is a window mount shot.



Last edited by johntomferg; 05-31-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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      05-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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Wow this looks like a lot of fun. If you're going to do this frequently I'd encourage you to take the M School. 2 days of being trained to drive the car at the limit with MDM on and Everything off too.

BTW I was surprised your camera wasn't picking up the sound of the car. My one picks it up well. Was your window open? Next time, you may want to mount the camera on the windshield or on the sunroof. Provides a more panoramic view.
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      05-27-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth.pilot View Post
Wow this looks like a lot of fun. If you're going to do this frequently I'd encourage you to take the M School. 2 days of being trained to drive the car at the limit with MDM on and Everything off too.

BTW I was surprised your camera wasn't picking up the sound of the car. My one picks it up well. Was your window open? Next time, you may want to mount the camera on the windshield or on the sunroof. Provides a more panoramic view.

Thanks for the comments Stealth. Windows were required to be open to do point-by - so yes, windows were down with the exception of the one the Camera is mounted to in this view. I moved to this view to better show the elevation changes on Sunday AND to see dash.

I had it mounted on the windshield on Saturday, reviewed the videos that evening and the exhaust sound was better and the you could generally hear us talking (though we used headsets due to windows/air-noise and the helmets). elevation changes were nearly imperceptible in the Saturday video with it on the window.

I've not posted them (about 13GB worth of video on Saturday) and it is probably more tame than most want to watch.
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      05-27-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntomferg
I've not posted them (about 13GB worth of video on Saturday) and it is probably more tame than most want to watch.
Your placement captures the elevation changes really well. looks like a really nice track. Would love to see a hot lap video from the windshield if you have one!

I know what you mean about the videos looking tame. The video for some reasons never captures the real drama of the speed you are driving. You'd probably need to mount the camera outside and low down to really get a sense of the speed but that's not worth it in case you get lense damage or if it falls off!
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      05-28-2013, 05:53 AM   #5
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Awesome track and it looks like you had a great time. I used to race bikes there when it opened. If anyone ever has a chance to do a trackday, and if Barber is one of the location options, definitely make sure you go!!
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      05-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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nice video.. was this the 1st time on track for you? Noticed that you are not fully unwinding the wheel and also going back past center. You are also pinching a lot of turns. It's always good to put a piece of tape in the middle of the steering wheel to know that you are going back to center as you are more traction limited when really not pointing straight. Learn to use the whole track too!

good to see more M5's on the track rather than talking about how fast they can go in the straight.
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      05-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Cool! Nice to see others out there with the M5 on the track and driving hard. Kudos!
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      05-28-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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awesome, thanks for posting.

As i did my first real track event recently in the M5, comparing the 2 Day M school to a HPDE is like apples and oranges and if you enjoyed the HPDE stick with more events like these.

Driving your M5 and getting comfortable in your car is much more worthwhile IMO as compared to the M school. Yes M school is good for car control and learning how to drive in MDM mode, but it encompasses lots of different things that are not M5 related and you are driving M3s and M6s. Skid pad and figure 8s are fun but having done both, I learned a lot more driving at high speeds in my own M5 at an HPDE.

You did appear to be less aggressive on throttle/braking and turning in a little late, but this is coming from someone who went through his front and rear rotors/pads in a 2 day track session (per the dealer invoice, each front rotor cost is $501, front pads were $438 which is ridiculous)
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      05-29-2013, 03:47 AM   #9
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stealth.pilot
Quote:
Would love to see a hot lap video from the windshield if you have one!
I'm uploading a Saturday session and will post link when it is done. It will give you a better view of the track as it is dash mount. Audio will be poor due to wind turbulence.

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was this the 1st time on track for you?
Yes this was my first track experience. Even by day two I was still struggling at times from a confidence standpoint to go far enough into a corner and shoot for a late apex. It was expressed in the classroom sessions with a different instructor that this course 'loves late apexes'.


Thanks for all the positive comments guys. I am certainly no Schumacher, but I want to get better!
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      07-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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That is some good review.
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      07-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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I have driven that track several times in the Porsche Sport Driving School - a terrific track that only gets better and better with experience. Beautiful car, and enjoy!
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      07-08-2013, 12:45 AM   #12
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CCA events are awesome. Safe place to learn. Next time try to drive without engaging the traction control light if in mdm. May want to keep your throttle response on comfort everything else sport. Time to check out your vids!

Edit: saw your vid. Hand position and vision is the most important not your guages lol. Didnt see any rowing of the flappy paddles and kickdown shifting isnt the smoothest on acceleration. More acceleration, more practice, more beast coming out of the f10!
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      07-08-2013, 07:14 AM   #13
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Nice!! Congrats man, loads of fun.

It was the OP's first track day.

I used to club race motorcycles and have done numerous track days on bikes, but never in a car. There's a universal saying when it comes to track days, and I think it applies with cars too:
A good track day is when
...you come home in one piece
A GREAT track day is when
...you AND your (car/bike) come home in one piece
Sounds like the OP had a GREAT track day(s)!



All the technical stuff and lap times and what not, it's just gravy, and comes with time and experience. Hats off to tracking your M5! At Barber, no less - what a beautiful facility.

I look forward to posting a similar experience sometime in the future with my X6M
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      07-08-2013, 09:30 AM   #14
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Great write up and Pics/video. Your car looks great out there, and it looks like you had a ton of fun!
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      07-08-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Glad you had a great time. I live in Birmingham and we're proud to have it here. Been to several Le Mans, IRL and Superbike events there. Did you get a chance to visit the museum? It's amazing!
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      07-09-2013, 06:46 AM   #16
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Thanks for reviving the thread guys. Yes it was a fun time and if my wallet and schedule could handle it I think I would be out there quite a bit more.

pkim1079
Quote:
Next time try to drive without engaging the traction control light if in mdm
I think I noted this in the original post, but I'll restate: This was my first track event (of any sort with any car), so left it in 'full traction' control (not MDM). I agree I need more track time.

ddk632
Quote:
I look forward to posting a similar experience sometime in the future with my X6M
Yes, please do. I hope to catch the post but I'm not over on the X6M forum but every blue moon.

Ross328i
Quote:
Did you get a chance to visit the museum? It's amazing!
I've had quite a few guys from work show me pictures from going down to the museum and they all have recommended it. I wasn't able to make time to get over there because of the track time / classroom schedule during the event. I'm sure I'll get to see it soon though.
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