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southern6er22 01-16-2013 08:44 AM

I'm on my way up to Spartanburg right now! Just a wee bit excited. :D

I'll update this thread with reviews, pictures, and videos over the weekend as time allows. The course is Friday and Saturday, so don't expect too much until then.

EmM HoLLa 01-16-2013 10:08 AM

Awesome Southern.. I would like to take that class sometime in the future... Can't wait to see your feedback...

XZLR8 01-16-2013 11:26 AM

Man, I wish they still offered the "6-Series Driving Experience" package with the purchase of new 6ers. Good times.


southern6er22 01-16-2013 11:38 AM

Sure would've been nice. I'm guessing that exclusivity has gone by the wayside to fund PCD for everyone. Again, BMW's stealing our thunder and distributing it further down the food chain.

southern6er22 01-17-2013 12:56 PM

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I'm taking notes for a proper review and write-up later on, but I thought I'd offer a brief update...

So far it's been very nice - first class treatment all the way. Checked in last night, and the bellman immediately greeted us and remembered us from our last trip. The current cars residing at the Marriott for BMW guest shuttling are an X5 and a 750Li. The bellman stated that they recently had a 6er GC. We ate at Blue Ridge Brewing Company - excellent as usual - late last night when we arrived.

We did the factory tour (the X3 factory instead of the X5 and X6 like last time) and walked around the Zentrum this morning, ate lunch at Nose Dive in Downtown Greenville, and then returned to the rooms where they had left our jackets, polos, badges, and welcome packets. We'll be eating at Giatu in the Marriott tonight (complements of BMW), and then we head out to the Performance Center and the track first thing tomorrow morning.

Here are a few pictures thus far:

ShakeDaddy 01-17-2013 07:41 PM

Damn that Z8 is extremely sexy.

Really can't wait to hear your thoughts. Give us just a taste of your early experiences.

southern6er22 01-18-2013 06:16 PM

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Originally Posted by ShakeDaddy (Post 7321380)
Damn that Z8 is extremely sexy.

Cover your eyes, children...

Sandlapper 01-18-2013 06:23 PM

Welcome to SC
Hey Man,
Welcome to the Palmetto state. Sorry the weather turned chilly for you today but at least the track will be dry for you tomorrow.
It is a great course and you'll remember it for a long time. As they will tell you, "NYC", Not Your Car, so enjoy all the horsepower you can handle.:rofl:

southern6er22 01-18-2013 06:29 PM

Thank you for the kind welcome. It worked out very well today, actually. Yesterday was horrible with the cold rain, but the track was dry by the time we got started today. For the first time in my life I was praying that I wouldn't be seeing snow. ///M >> snow, in case that needed clarification.

Given the number of cones killed and grass/mud that made it onto/into parts of the cars that shouldn't be in contact with such crude substances, I'm very glad that my 6er is sitting at home safe and sound (with its tires remaining intact rather than being turned to smoke :) ).

southern6er22 01-18-2013 07:09 PM

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Here are some preview pics until I get around to the good stuff. Sorry for the poor quality - these are video freeze frames made into pictures by hitting the home button and lock simultaneously. Better stuff is coming. The pic of the track is the smaller portion we used for our timed laps at the end of day 1. The second track picture is of the entire circuit.

TopDownInFL 01-19-2013 04:36 AM


Originally Posted by southern6er22 (Post 7323242)
Cover your eyes, children...

Such a classic car.

southern6er22 01-19-2013 07:40 PM

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The good stuff is coming - I'm just too exhausted to write right now. Until I recover, the pictures will have to suffice. I'm traveling home tomorrow (7.5 to 8 hours), so hopefully I can get to writing tomorrow.

My quick summary of impressions after the last 2 days is as follows:
1. M5 and M6 are blisteringly fast and really, really good.
2. The M3 was my favorite around the track. I've said for a long time around here that I adore the M3, and that held true today. It's ridiculous what can be done in that car and how even an idiot like me can do amazing things - even if I did find myself a few feet off an apex on several occasions. :D I could be going sideways at really high speeds and think, "this is fun, and I should do that again." In the M6, it was more like, "holy crap, I have no idea how fast I was going, I very nearly lost it, and I don't think I'll be doing that again..."
3. While the M3 was my favorite around the track, the interior is just as I remembered it. As a daily driver, I just couldn't live with that dated, plasticky interior. The car is astonishing to drive - I'd say the best driver's car for under $100k - but I know on a daily basis the HUD, Nappa, etc. are more important to me than how long and how fast I can go sideways. As for correcting oversteer and understeer (situations more likely seen in the real world), I think the M5 and M6 were just as easy to save from a nasty wipeout.
4. The NA V8 in the M3 is a gift from the Bavarian God of Thunder. I didn't see it on day 1 when we used it for some minor exercises, but after today - getting up to nearly triple digit speeds at times and revving the hell outta that engine - I am a believer. The noise coming out of corners and hitting the long straights was brilliant and puts the 650i's M Sport exhaust to shame. Down low it's underwhelming, but give it the ol' lead foot, and it sings.
5. The M5 is an unfathomable beast. The instructors used them for their hot laps laden with probably 800 pounds of people, and they did things a car that big and heavy shouldn't do. Drifting around sweeping corners at > 100 mph is an insane sensation. These drivers deserve a great deal of the credit - great guys with crazy skills - but the cars are praiseworthy.

That's all for now - so much for being short lol. I can only say so much typing this on my phone half asleep in bed :)

pan 01-20-2013 04:19 PM

Even after going to Spartanburg three times I'm just envious of your trip. I was there for a two day driving course and two DEs I would love an excuse to go again. What has always amazed me was skills of the pro drivers. Driving on the street just does nothing to improve your skill on a course. There is an amazing amount of performance left untapped in all of our cars during our daily drives. Then again the cars used at the performance center get less than 1,000 miles per set of tires.

southern6er22 01-21-2013 06:20 PM

I know it looks like I'm slacking here, but I kinda went overboard with this review. It is a bit lengthy, and I feel like I need to read it over before posting to hopefully save you all from excessive babbling that might have made it into the first draft. I also need to finish editing the videos. The video of my M6 laps goes on for about 27.5 minutes, and it is a tad redundant and just not that interesting from the cockpit. I need to edit it down to two movies - the good one that shows me hitting every apex and braking perfectly... and another that shows my *ahem* less dignified moments...

petriej 01-22-2013 10:24 AM

Nice writeup. I've heard that even though the M5&6 are loaded with awesome power and tech to keep it real, they still suffer from being too heavy on the track. This is where the M3 is still king. Glad you had a good time. I love the "NYC" mentality. Experienced it myself at autocross last Sat.

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