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Old 05-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
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BMW M-school

Just got back from the 1 day BMW M-school at the plant in Spartanburg.

Great experience. Lot's of seat time in the Z4-based M Coupe and the M5 (500 hp!). We had 8 total events including heel/toe shifting (I was terrible), wet skidpad for understeer/oversteer correction, braking into corners, cornering, a 2 car race on a wet skidpad, a timed technical course, auto-x practice (about 15 laps or so on the full course) and a timed 2-lap run on the Auto-x course.

Learned alot - especially about breaking. I did pretty good overall. There were 14 participants. I'd guess I finished in the top 3rd. I was undefeated in the 2 car race on a wet skidpad (beat 3 others a couple times). I was mid-pack in a 2-lap technical course with a slalom and box you had to stop in after the 2nd lap. I finished 4th in the auto-x on the full course (M5s). I was 1 second behind first and less than a tenth behind 3rd. My time of 49.49 on my second lap was one of only 4 laps under 50 seconds. I now a couple places I could have made a small correction and I would have won the damn thing! (I'm sure everyone else feels the same ).

I've never done anything like this - I was pretty pumped afterwards. Planning to begin Auto-x this summer.



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Old 05-16-2007, 04:40 AM   #2
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Hey Larry-

What is the cost/sign up wait for this? Do you have to be BMW owner? I go to Spartanburg regularly for work, so I'd like to check it out if it is fair price, etc.

Later,

Jeff
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:14 AM   #3
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The price is $1295. Seemed pretty fair for me. We started at 8:30 - on the track by 9:00 and finished at 4:30 with about an hour to hour and a half for lunch and more classroom instruction (instruction was limited to 2 30 minute sessions). We tore the tires off the cars, abused the brakes and ground the gears - they emphasized over and over - NYC (not your car) - drive it hard and don't worry about hurting it.

Anyone can participate. You may want to wait until this Fall. My guess is that they'll add the new M3 to the fleet (probably in place of the M-coupe). We were supposed to have M6's as well but their fleet was water damaged (the cleaning crew left the windows down and sunroof open during a huge thunderstorm!).

They also have a 2 day version. Either the 1 day or the 2 day qualifies you for advanced M-school at Virginia International Raceway. I'm saving my money right now!
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:20 AM   #4
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A little more info. They break you into small groups (4 or 5) for each of the events. There's a 2-way radio in the car and the instructors give you a lot of feedback by name. You can also hear the radio comments for the others in your group.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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I did the M school in 2001, great experience. It was nice using other peoples cars rather than worrying about having mine to drive home. Great instructors. Liked the skid pad. The road course was cool. I learned that BMWs can be pushed much further than I ever imagined!

Great course for the money.

The town of Greenville was quite nice as well.

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