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Old 01-27-2013, 06:43 AM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Location: Mobile, AL
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,628
Mein Auto: BMW 2012 650i xDrive
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
Awesome writeup 22! I really enjoyed it.

One question did the track allow itself to really mess up a car? I mean if you really botched an oversteer or messed up going around the track was the potential for destruction to the car [and you and your instructor] high?

And did anyone really botch a run

The track, cars, barriers, and Y chromosome-stupidity were all very real. Was there any serious damage to a car during our course? No. I'm sure these cars are not cars that you'd want to buy second hand given their entire life has been spent on the track. The track is a thirsty place and every mile is about x10 rougher than most road miles. The M3s were showing 6 mpg and the M5s were showing 7 mpg. The M3s had about 4400 miles and the M5s and M6s had (approx,) 1600 and 1450 miles, respectively. As shown in some of the pics and videos, the M3s spent some time mudding around the skid pad, and my brother manage to splatter a fair bit of mud across his M5. I'm sure the PC takes good care of these cars* and fixes them up after they're damaged, but I'd be lying if I said it's only the tires that take a beating. Speaking of which, I don't think the Continental tires even got 50 miles of life.

All that being said, I wouldn't call the course dangerous. Yes, we had to sign our lives away before hand, but I never felt that I was in any kind of danger. They kept us well-spaced, used pit lane to let faster drivers pass through, and laid out the track where the fastest portions were as safe as possible (when flying into corners at speeds > 110 mph). For instance, big straights leading into corners were blocked by cones, and there was more track beyond the cones, so you'd hit cones and not a big barrier or wall. On "the Man Corner," it was at the end of the track, but the barrier was a big grassy hill. Not something you'd want to hit, but it's better than concrete.

The few times I went off the laid out track, I either took out some cones but stayed on the pavement, or I went into the grass but was easily able to get myself out without needing to be towed by the Logistics X5 standing by. The instructors told us which mode to put the cars in based on the weather. A couple of times in the mornings they had us keep DSC fully active when it was pretty cold, but for the big afternoon laps, they let us put it in MDM mode that allows the back to come out more readily.

I've started babbling a little, but, to answer your question, no, the potential for destruction is not high. They'd pull you from the track if you were being an idiot and threat to yourself and others (this didn't happen during our course though). I was glad it was their cars and not my own, but only because the track is an abusive (not destructive) place.

I read somewhere that someone hit a barrier in an M5 during this course a couple months ago. They basically asked him if he was okay and then gave him a new car - end of story. Too bad that isn't the case in the real world

*on a side note, interesting fact, one of the instructors mentioned that the PC is home to one of only two body shops in the US that is qualified to do repairs on Rolls Royce vehicles and the Z8.

Edit - as for botching a run, I think the instructors would say we botched a lot of runs Primarily because we sometimes were three feet away from the apex cones, didn't break at the right time, and didn't keep our eyes looking to the right spot. In that respect, there was a lot of botching. But no one caused the instructors to tell us all to stop ASAP because someone had a really bad off.

650i xDrive Coupe (2012), Carbon Black/Black/Gray Poplar, M Sport, Full LEDs, 20" 373M Wheels, ARS,
HUD, CWP, Premium Sound, Nappa Dash w/ Contrast Stitching, Ceramic Controls, BMW Apps, PCD

Last edited by southern6er22; 01-27-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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