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Old 06-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
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Track wear?

I'd love to join some of my friends who run their Mini's on the track through the local BMW club. But one concern I have is the price of entry into getting my car track-ready. I understand that I could easily take my bone stock '99 2.5 on the track, but by the end of the weekend, what kind of shape would it be in? Would I need a new set of brake pads? Tires? I know it would at the very least need an oil change for sure. What sort of life do you guys get out of these parts?

Thanks in advance,
Jason

Last edited by pharaohjb; 07-20-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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I would change the oil 1st to minimize engine wear, check brakes to insure proper operation & adequate pad thickness, inspect tires for unusual wear or cracks in the sidewalls from age especially near the rim edge & inflate tires 10psi over normal psi spec to minimize outer tire treadwear After a few laps adjust psi to even treadwear across the full surface & monitor brake pad wear, oil & coolant level. At this point the driver controls wear on the car.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:33 AM   #3
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It will be fine stock. Just go and have fun. These cars were made to handle the track.

I went recently. After the track day was over, my tires and brakes were still more than good. Barely made a difference. My oil was still relatively clean and golden brown so I did not change the oil.

All I did to prep it for the track is check my oil level, tire pressure, and clean the leaves, sticks, and rocks out of the front bumper to get more air to the radiators.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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I agree with ProjectM96. Even though it will feel like you're driving the car hard, you aren't likely to push it too far on your very first track day. The stock car, brakes, and tires will be fine.

But be careful, all it takes is once and you can be hooked (like I am). Then you'll be ready to sell your blood plasma to get the money for just "one more track day". They don't call it the "track pipe" for nothing.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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The big expense will probably be in getting the car up to track-ready condition if there has been any deferred maintanence. You should have the car in excellent condition before tracking it. Once you've replaced the worn out suspension parts, fixed the little engine leaks, and replace the worn out seat belts, replaced the brake lines (they are 15 years old, you know) and pads and maybe rotors ect., you will have put alot of money into the car. Don't let it keep you from going, just be ready for the big bill to get the car into top shape.

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharaohjb View Post
I'd love to join some of my friends how run their Mini's on the track through the local BMW club. But one concern I have is the price of entry into getting my car track-ready. I understand that I could easily take my bone stock '99 2.5 on the track, but by the end of the weekend, what kind of shape would it be in? Would I need a new set of brake pads? Tires? I know it would at the very least need an oil change for sure. What sort of life do you guys get out of these parts?

Thanks in advance,
Jason
Jason - you better check your local BMWCCA rules. Ours does not allow convertibles of any type witout a roll cage, and I believe that is a national BMWCCA policy due to their insurance carrier.

BTW, I ran Brainerd in an Infiniti G35 rental car a couple of years ago, and completely toasted the brakes after only two sessions. A garage in White Bear Lake fixed me up before I had to turn it back in.That track can be hard on brakes.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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The National BMW club will not allow any convertible on a track without a full roll cage-period. This one of reasons I dropped out of the BMW club.

If you do go to a PCA event, you need to gave your pads at a minimum of 50% thickness. If you haven't had your brake fluid changed in a year or longer, I would strongly recommend it. New stock pads with fresh dot 4 fluid will work fine but I doubt they would last much more than a couple of days on a track that requires a lot of braking.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. Yeah, I knew about BMWCCA's exclusion on convertibles. I was either hoping to convert one or more of my friends to run a day with PCA, or to have a day with Slowpokes at BIR after I've had some experience on the track. Either way, it sounds like the threshold of entry isn't quite as high as I thought it was going to be.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Hey Jason,

I just did my first ever track day at BIR on June 29, 2012. For your first time, just make sure your car is in good condition with fresh oil, good tires, good brake pads, and fresh brake fluids. If you're like me, you wont be pushing too hard for half of the day:^) I have a video that I'll link to in another post as not to thread crap yours.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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Thanks for posting! Was this through PCA/Nord Stern, or some other event? Did you get a chance to run on the Donnybrooke course as well?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:48 AM   #12
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No. It was just a one day Performance Driving School at Brainerd International Raceway. It was on the 2.5 mile track as they were using the quarter mile track portion for a drag race event. It was my first time on any track.

I live in the Midwest so Brainerd is the closest. I'm thinking Road America next year
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