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View Full Version : Is BMW's M Driving School Worth $3600??


Imola Ed
09-01-2002, 07:39 PM
Anybody here been? You'll have to excuse me if I missed this being asked/answered in some previous thread. I did do a search, but I didn't see anything directly related to the BMW M school. Seems rather pricey, but I know there are others that are equally expensive.

Chris330Ci
09-01-2002, 07:46 PM
I think Nate has been. But to answer your question, sounds very pricey! :yikes: I know you get a helmet, bag, and some kind of jacket or shirt. Meals & hotel are of course included. I guess the big difference is that you're using their cars. :dunno: You thinking about going?

eugeneDC/TX
09-01-2002, 07:53 PM
road and track or some other car mag did a review of all the manu schools. i'll see if i can dig it up and summarize the reviews...

hts
09-01-2002, 07:56 PM
is your m3 worth $45k?

if you answered 'yes,' i believe you've answered your own question, grasshopper.

:D

nate
09-01-2002, 08:05 PM
I have only been to the M5 Driving Exerience

From what I know, the M School is NOT woth that kind of money. Go to a professional racing school instead...

SteveT
09-01-2002, 08:06 PM
It's expensive, but you do get a lot as Chris has described. I talked with them while I was there last month and I am giving it some serious thought. They do much more with the course there at the PC than either of the car control clinics. Ben Burrell (one of the instructors) seemed to be very much into the planning of the M-School particularly. Ben said that they build up to using the outer ring of the PC course for a 90 mph autocross. They also take the class to the Michelin track nearby in SC. It sounds quite intense, they said that had people sitting out by the end. The criticism from others has been that M-School isn't fast enough. It sounded like there intention was to keep people to about 90 mph to protect them and the cars. Ben was discussing a new school they are contemplating that would use one of the local tracks. The problem as he stated it was, "...how do you decide who can drive at 150 mph?" I'm sure that's where the expense comes from. They want to be safe, but also don't want to trash any cars. I may have a brochure. If I do I'll scan it and post it.

BTW, just got OS X 10.2. It's great!

Chris330Ci
09-01-2002, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by SteveT
Ben Burrell (one of the instructors) seemed to be very much into the planning of the M-School particularly.

Ben is the man! He was the instructor who was in charge of my group during PCD! :thumbup:

SteveT
09-01-2002, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by nate328Ci
I have only been to the M5 Driving Exerience

From what I know, the M School is NOT woth that kind of money. Go to a professional racing school instead...

What you get from M-School, that no other professional school can give you, is BMW culture. Sure it's expensive, but you are driving their M cars. It is not intended to give you a start on a competition license. It you are looking for that the new school (if it happens) is to give those who pass an SCCA novice license. Oh, BTW Ben indicated that he only had a few spots left in the remaining sessions. Seems to me that had someting like 5 or more and they were sold out.

They mentioned that periodically the class is attended by various of the BMW race drivers. The names mentioned were Boris Said and Hans Stuck. They also stay around to participate and lectured the students. If you've ever seen Hans drive...he's special. That's BMW culture!

nate
09-01-2002, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by SteveT


What you get from M-School, that no other professional school can give you, is BMW culture. Sure it's expensive, but you are driving their M cars. It is not intended to give you a start on a competition license. It you are looking for that the new school (if it happens) is to give those who pass an SCCA novice license. Oh, BTW Ben indicated that he only had a few spots left in the remaining sessions. Seems to me that had someting like 5 or more and they were sold out.

They mentioned that periodically the class is attended by various of the BMW race drivers. The names mentioned were Boris Said and Hans Stuck. They also stay around to participate and lectured the students. If you've ever seen Hans drive...he's special. That's BMW culture!

You're right! It would be a lot of fun. And probably would be worth the money if Hans was teaching the class. But, that is a ton of money. I think it would be better spent on a Barber school which is more of a track/racing/DE school rather than a car control clinic. That's a lot of money for car control.

It is fun to see all the BMWs and drive the cars. The M5s used in the school were BEAT UP. The exercises were OK, but not as much fun as a DE, IMO. I realize the M School is differet, but the it isn't a high speed event and more of a car control school...

aardvark
09-01-2002, 09:01 PM
$3600 is a good chunk of change, but if it's what you want to do, why not go for it? People drop that kind of money on cruises and other types of vacations, and no one seems to think twice about it. When you come down to it, what's the difference? It's all recreation.

SteveT
09-01-2002, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by nate328Ci


The M5s used in the school were BEAT UP. The exercises were OK, but not as much fun as a DE, IMO.

I've been there twice, for the car control clinic and for PCD. I drove a 330i for the clinic and an M3 for the delivery. I've never heard anyone say the cars were "BEAT UP". I've never driven an M5 there, but I don't think they'd be pleased at all to hear your assessment.

nate
09-01-2002, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by SteveT


I've been there twice, for the car control clinic and for PCD. I drove a 330i for the clinic and an M3 for the delivery. I've never heard anyone say the cars were "BEAT UP". I've never driven an M5 there, but I don't think they'd be pleased at all to hear your assessment.

Well, the M5 that I drove was BEAT to hell. Rough engine, felt tired.

Still performed ok though

Imola Ed
09-01-2002, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by SteveT
I may have a brochure. If I do I'll scan it and post it.

BTW, just got OS X 10.2. It's great!

I'd love to see that brochure. And I'm glad you like 10.2! :D

I am just looking to find out exactly what is and is not included. I imagine I should start by asking them (duh) too, but I wanted to see if people here thought they got their moneys worth by going (from those who had). I know the Skip Barber class is also about the same price, but I do like the idea of a BMW hosted school and all.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far. Keep it coming!

Emission
09-02-2002, 12:30 AM
That is a lot of cash, but I think Dave said it correctly - "If you think your M3 is worth $45K, then the school is worth $3.5K"

My wife just bought me an Omega watch for my birthday. Some (like me) think they are worth the money, others think I am nuts.

Do the school and enjoy it.

Imola Ed
09-02-2002, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Emission
That is a lot of cash, but I think Dave said it correctly - "If you think your M3 is worth $45K, then the school is worth $3.5K"

My wife just bought me an Omega watch for my birthday. Some (like me) think they are worth the money, others think I am nuts.

Do the school and enjoy it.

I have a Tag, and for me it was like it's the only piece of "jewelry" I'd ever buy, so might as well make it a functional piece and very nice to look at.

Raffi
09-02-2002, 01:40 AM
I'll go against what everyone else said - it's NOT worth it to me. You don't drive an M5 - so why learn to drive an M5? Granted, the skills you learn transfer over somewhat, but why not learn on your own car? $3,600 translates to about 10 full week-end schools through the CCA - that's a lot of seat time. PLus, you get to experience different tracks, different instructors, get a lot more BMW culture, and by spreading the experience over about 10 schools, the information has time to sink in better.

Just my $0.02.

Dr. Phil
09-02-2002, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by Imola Ed


I have a Tag, and for me it was like it's the only piece of "jewelry" I'd ever buy, so might as well make it a functional piece and very nice to look at.
Ah Ed you are really a touring owner at heart then.............You might recall this thread about watches and wagons.:D
Tag/Touring (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7230&highlight=tag+heuer)

Nothing wrong with an ACS touring though:angel:

Pinecone
09-02-2002, 06:52 AM
My thoughts:

The M School is a lot of money. It seems like a good school, but more money than what you get.

For the money, the best school IMO is the Bertil Roos (www.racenow.com) Highway Precision Course. VERY good skills building that translates to safer driving and actually speed as you integrate the information. Only $895 for two days in their cars.

If you want to learn racing driving any of hte name schools will be fine. In fact, the best course, would be to take 2 or more courses at different schools. Each school has a way of doign things. So by taking courses at different schools you get exposed to other methods.

I have done Bertil Roos, Skip Barber and European Rallye School. I will be doing Derek Daly this November. I have done a karting class. Also the PCD course (M3) and the same course this past week in our M Roadster as part Homecoming. I learned in EVERY course. And EVERY one was fun. Look at it this way, if the school was that bad, you would hear about it.

Bottom line, I would love to do the M School, but I will spend my money elsewhere. Unless I win th elottery for some serious money. :)

cenotaph
09-02-2002, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Imola Ed


I know the Skip Barber class is also about the same price, but I do like the idea of a BMW hosted school and all.


:confused:

According to the Skip Barber site, the 2 day driving school ranges from $1295 to $1350. The 3 day race school, where you drive a Formula Dodge, runs $3095 to $3295. These don't include lodging and meals.

You don't drive an M5 - so why learn to drive an M5?

:confused: :confused:
But there's a school that uses the M3.

nate
09-02-2002, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Raffi
I'll go against what everyone else said - it's NOT worth it to me.

??

I said it wasn't worth it :confused:

Imola Ed
09-02-2002, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by cenotaph


:confused:

According to the Skip Barber site, the 2 day driving school ranges from $1295 to $1350. The 3 day race school, where you drive a Formula Dodge, runs $3095 to $3295. These don't include lodging and meals.


Hmm. It was a while ago when I looked. I could have remembered it wrong.

SteveT
09-02-2002, 11:52 AM
Ok, here's the link to the brochure. I've quickly put it together so I hope it works.

MSchool Brochure (http://www.mindspring.com/~steve.tenney/mschool/mschool.html)

I hope BMW doesn't mind my putting it on the web.

Obviously the school isn't for everyone. Also, since it isn't easy to get a spot, it is reaching some people. I think it's clearly beyond the car control clinics (one and two day). It does include all room and board and you are given a helmet to keep.

I agree it's expensive. Our cars aren't cheap either. Only each individual can judge if it's worth it.

Raffi
09-02-2002, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by nate328Ci


??

I said it wasn't worth it :confused:

OK, OK, what MOST everyone else said! ;)

scottn2retro
09-02-2002, 01:00 PM
I thought about going, until I found out the price :yikes:

I think the best choice out West for any Z3 owners is the Derek Daly Academy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They use Dinan modified Z3s and a 3 series skid car. The 2 day GT performance driving school is $1695, but if you go through racingschools.com (and this could apply to any racing school in the country, so check with them), you can get seasonal and other discounts. :)

hts
09-02-2002, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Emission
That is a lot of cash, but I think Dave said it correctly - "If you think your M3 is worth $45K, then the school is worth $3.5K"

My wife just bought me an Omega watch for my birthday. Some (like me) think they are worth the money, others think I am nuts.

Do the school and enjoy it.


Dave? Dave? Who the heck is *Dave*?

How's about directing some props in this direction?

:flipoff:


BTW, I got an Omega Seamaster (2531.80) as a wedding present from my wife. Man, I *love* that watch.

Imola Ed
09-02-2002, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by SteveT
Ok, here's the link to the brochure. I've quickly put it together so I hope it works.

MSchool Brochure (http://www.mindspring.com/~steve.tenney/mschool/mschool.html)

I hope BMW doesn't mind my putting it on the web.

Obviously the school isn't for everyone. Also, since it isn't easy to get a spot, it is reaching some people. I think it's clearly beyond the car control clinics (one and two day). It does include all room and board and you are given a helmet to keep.

I agree it's expensive. Our cars aren't cheap either. Only each individual can judge if it's worth it.

Thanks! I had to turn my PowerBook on its side to read it! (lol). I will think about it more. It'll be a while before I get the cash to go to ANY school right now. Just trying to plan my short-term future!

EdCT
09-02-2002, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Imola Ed


I know the Skip Barber class is also about the same price, but I do like the idea of a BMW hosted school and all.



Ed,

I've done the Skip Barber two-day and it was 1295, plus lodging ( lunch is provided by the school).

From what I could gleen from the M school literature, the course is VERY similar, so aside from the "m experience", I think there's MUCH better value elsewhere.

Ed (still on 9.02)