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Thread: 05/22/2010 - Driving School @ Shenandoah

                  
   
  1. #46
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokyudoza View Post
    I have a 2007 low-mileage 335i w/sport package. Should I get an oil cooler installed for this event?
    very few 335s with sport package didn't come with the oil cooler, are you sure you don't already have one?
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  2. #47

    Convertibles

    I'll use this thread as an excuse to get on my soapbox (again).

    While I understand if instructors want to decline to get into a convertible on track, I can't understand the NCC's position that any convertible, including (for example) a car that participates in a track race (such as a spec miata) is not allowed to participate in an NCC HPDE event. How can that be???

    The HPDE events are learning schools, not competition events. The refusal of the NCC to allow convertibles to participate is frustrating to people like me, who would like to participate in the club's track events, but instead have to drive with other clubs.

    I will be at Shenandoah this weekend, with Track Daze. I really enjoy the Summit Point tracks, and it's a shame that instead of supporting the club's programs, the club sends me to other clubs.

    I haven't seen anyone in the NCC or CCA group adequately address their reasons for this; in last month's Roundel, a letter was published on this topic, and the response was, "there are many other activities you CAN participate in". No explanation as to why convertibles, with an approved roll bar, can't participate in HPDE. Unsafe drivers, no matter what car they are in, are not welcomed at HPDE, and for very good reason. Banning convertibles doesn't make the track any safer for other drivers.

    As one of my instructors (a racer) at VIR said, he prefers the convertible since if (god fobid)there was a wreck, he could be pulled out from the top, rather than through a narrow window (and he was a slender man!).

    Under the tight controls that exist at an HPDE for safety, and assuming an approved roll bar and the broomstick test are all passed, why can't convertibles benefit from the learning experiences of an HPDE? If the "true" purpose of the HPDE is to educate, then the club is doing convertible drivers a great disservice, preventing them from participating in what has been a very educational (and enjoyable) experience for me.

    As I understand it, CCA policy leaves the decision on convertibles to the individual chapters; there is no mandate to allow or not allow convertibles on track. This has led to a variation in how chapters treat it; the NJ chapter allows spec miata (someone said one of the organizers of their HPDEs is a spec miata driver, hence the permission for that type of car); NC chapter I believe allows convertibles with the roll bar.

    I just want to have some logic behind these decisions; I understand (and agree with) the NC approach. I don't understand and don't agree with the NJ approach. There should be some rational basis to the decision; I don['t understand the NCC's total ban on convertibles (whether with a roll bar, roll cage, hard top, etc.)

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokyudoza View Post
    Trying to find the hours for this event. Already signed-up and everything, but I've got something Sunday eve. in DC to attend. Can someone tell me where to find the daily schedule? Thanks!-Nick
    The on-track sessions go from 9am to 5pm each day. Your particular run group might be done with their last session as early as 3:30 and as late as 5. You are under no obligation to run your last session on Sunday - if fact many participants bail out early on Sunday.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseto View Post
    very few 335s with sport package didn't come with the oil cooler, are you sure you don't already have one?
    How do I tell if my car has an oil cooler?

  5. #50
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    Thanks, Woody?

  6. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by kokyudoza View Post
    How do I tell if my car has an oil cooler?
    Look in the wheel well on the front passenger side; if there's a rectangular grate that looks like a vent cover in the side of the wheel well, that's for the oil cooler. You might want to have the tires at an angle to see clearly into the well. The grate is on the forward (towards the front bumper) side of the well.

    I am fairly sure that the '07 335 sport package had an oil cooler. I had to add the Dinan oil cooler (which has a higher capacity than the stock one) to my '07 335, but that's because I don't have the sport package on mine. It became standard on all 335s, I believe, starting with the '08 models.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Blank View Post
    I haven't seen anyone in the NCC or CCA group adequately address their reasons for this; in last month's Roundel, a letter was published on this topic, and the response was, "there are many other activities you CAN participate in". No explanation as to why convertibles, with an approved roll bar, can't participate in HPDE. Unsafe drivers, no matter what car they are in, are not welcomed at HPDE, and for very good reason. Banning convertibles doesn't make the track any safer for other drivers.
    Ethan,
    This subject has been discussed ad nauseam on this and other forums and no amount of complaints from convertible owners is going to change the policies of BMWCCA or the National Capital Chapter. I've made no attempt to keep up with the various polices of the national club, the many chapters, tracks, and other organizations. Arguments against allowing rollover-protected convertibles range from the ineffectiveness in gravel traps, the lack of our tech inspectors' expertise in analyzing the rollover bar/cage construction, the reluctance of instructors to get in such cars, etc. While I would feel as safe riding in a Spec Miata as any other car, the NCC policy also has prohibitions against race cars that are not licensed and insured for the street. I should also note that I don't think the NCC Driver School leaders that make decisions on this ever read this forum.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  8. #53
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    It's my understanding that the rule is BMW CCA wide, and not something that is up to NCC to interpret or enact at all. It is simply banned under the current guidelines.

    Ethan, I'd say your soapbox is valid, but you're just not going to get any mileage here. Either take your 335 out to play with NCC, or take the miata out to any other organization. I used trackdaze and mvp track time when I had my Z4 convertible. Been there, had this argument, didn't like the results, not a damn thing I could do about it... bought a coupe.
    Mike R.
    2002 M3 - ultimate driving excuse
    formerly: 2005 Z4 3.0i

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Reach View Post
    It's my understanding that the rule is BMW CCA wide, and not something that is up to NCC to interpret or enact at all. It is simply banned under the current guidelines.

    Ethan, I'd say your soapbox is valid, but you're just not going to get any mileage here. Either take your 335 out to play with NCC, or take the miata out to any other organization. I used trackdaze and mvp track time when I had my Z4 convertible. Been there, had this argument, didn't like the results, not a damn thing I could do about it... bought a coupe.
    Mike and Woody,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Mike, the CCA rules (as I lawyer I actually read them online!) allow the individual chapters to make their own rules with respect to convertibles at Driver's Schools. This is why the area chapters all have different rules and policies. Under the CCA rules, the NCC chapter is free to allow convertibles, and also equally free to ban them.

    I guess the answer is to become a member of the NCC Driver's School leadership, and make the change from within. How does one go about that?

    In terms of bringing my 335 to the track (which I did once at VIR), it would be a blast but (1) too much power, it's better to learn with an underpowered car, and (2) one of my TrackDaze instructors said, and I agree, that you should take a car to the track that you wouldn't mind taking to the edge of a cliff and pushing off. I would miss my 335 too much, that's why I bought the Miata. If I had to leave the Miata at the track, I wouldn't be heartbroken (and wallet broken). In fact, the $2,400 purchase price made my decision to get the Miata. I looked at BMWs, there was nothing I could find at that time in that price range (and the availability of cheap parts for Miata was a big plus).

    I haven't given up yet!

  10. #55
    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    CCA rules allow convertibles with the a proper rollbar.
    It's difficult to know whether a rollbar has been installed without proper documentation.
    ...steven
    BMW CCA #146825

    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by 1996 328ti View Post
    CCA rules allow convertibles with the a proper rollbar.
    It's difficult to know whether a rollbar has been installed without proper documentation.
    True, but many of us make many modifications to our cars on our own, and I venture in most cases without proper documentation. Requiring a licensed mechanic to evaluate the car prior to going on track addresses those types of issues (and would adequately address the roll bar issue). IMHO the inspection provided by any organization is a failsafe, the ultimate responsibility (and risk) is on the driver. Even when I do my own work (changing brakes, etc.), I have Ed York check the car before going out on track, because I want to get home to my family after my time on the track....

  12. #57
    Junior Member flanast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Blank View Post
    Mike and Woody,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Mike, the CCA rules (as I lawyer I actually read them online!) allow the individual chapters to make their own rules with respect to convertibles at Driver's Schools. This is why the area chapters all have different rules and policies. Under the CCA rules, the NCC chapter is free to allow convertibles, and also equally free to ban them.

    I guess the answer is to become a member of the NCC Driver's School leadership, and make the change from within. How does one go about that?

    In terms of bringing my 335 to the track (which I did once at VIR), it would be a blast but (1) too much power, it's better to learn with an underpowered car, and (2) one of my TrackDaze instructors said, and I agree, that you should take a car to the track that you wouldn't mind taking to the edge of a cliff and pushing off. I would miss my 335 too much, that's why I bought the Miata. If I had to leave the Miata at the track, I wouldn't be heartbroken (and wallet broken). In fact, the $2,400 purchase price made my decision to get the Miata. I looked at BMWs, there was nothing I could find at that time in that price range (and the availability of cheap parts for Miata was a big plus).

    I haven't given up yet!
    I will be attending driving school this weekend for the first time. This will be the first time I have been on a track and am curious about Ethan's observation about not taking your car on the track unless you are willing to push it off the edge of a cliff. Can I expect abuse to my car (a 2009) no matter how conservative I drive?

  13. #58
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    You, and your car, will be safer than driving on the DC Beltway. As a first timer you will be expected to drive conservatively.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by flanast View Post
    I will be attending driving school this weekend for the first time. This will be the first time I have been on a track and am curious about Ethan's observation about not taking your car on the track unless you are willing to push it off the edge of a cliff. Can I expect abuse to my car (a 2009) no matter how conservative I drive?
    Flanast,

    I'd take Woody's word on this.

    My first experience on track was at VIR, in my '07 335. There was no appreciable risk to the car or me, and no damage to either one.

    That said, particularly when you get addicted (which you probably will), and attend more events, and get better (faster) and take more risks, that's when the concern about the car comes into play. In my short time doing this, I've seen some very nice cars get smacked up; I've never seen or heard of car to car collisions, it's generally car vs. tire (or concrete!) wall that inflicts damage.

    I also found, and got great advice from people on this board, that learning on a high powered car, like my 335, is actually more difficult, since the power masks bad habits and poor skills. An underpowered car forces you to learn how to do things right. BMWs are very capable cars, and very much fun to drive on the track.

    One day I'll have the skills to handle my 335 on track, and I look forward to that.

  15. #60
    Junior Member flanast's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses Woody and Ethan. I look forward to this weekend.

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