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      03-25-2024, 01:10 PM   #1
BackOnBlack
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Took the G80 M3CS to the Track @ Summit Point Main Circuit

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I took BoB to Summit Point Main circuit for the PCA event this past weekend. I am so glad I did

For reference, here is the track map:

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The event started grim with heavy rains that lasted until about noon, leaving a wet track with few rivers across the track. Thankfully, most of the track dried out by early afternoon with few spots left damp. Unfortunately, those few spots were at the critical points on the track that caught me by surprise, such as at the turn-in of T3.

I was nervous and anxious even before the event, and I did not want to run in the rain, so I skipped the first two sessions of the first day. I got onto the track in the afternoon and ran conservatively trying to figure out my bearings and settling down my nerves. It was overwhelming, everything coming at me at the same time, I felt a bit of overloading of the brain. The last session of the day, I focused on slowing down my perception, observing the track, the drivers, flag stations, etc. This helped tremendously. I was able to concentrate on getting into a rhythm, running the driving line, ensuring I gave timely point-bys. The best I could do was to test the car, trying to understand how it communicates, figuring out the tires, the gearing and see how well the brakes would hold up. All looked promising, except the tires.

The paddock:

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There were about a dozen BMWs in the event, from E36/E46 M3s, F90 M5 to F87 M2s and a Z4:

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The next day was much better, although we started at below freezing temperatures. First session, again, I focused on my surroundings, and maintaining a rhythm and not being in the way of other drivers. The tires, the Michelin PS4S, were clearly the weakest point of the car for this type of driving. Regardless, this first session increased my confidence and I started to enjoy being on the track.

In subsequent sessions, my confidence and my speed increased steadily. I was certainly catching other cars on the straights with so much power on tap, but also under braking, which was surprising to me. However, I was losing a lot of ground to others in the infield. Regardless of my confidence, I asked an instructor to ride with me to point out any bad habits I might have developed, areas for improvement and hopefully a validation that I am doing okay in the run group, not overdoing anything.

The instructor was superb. He corrected my braking technique, entry into turns 3 and 6, which all combined, made for a much smoother ride and faster laps. The feedback was invaluable, and he confirmed that I was running in the right group, intermediate. Following this feedback, in my last session of the event, I felt I was much faster, safer and smoother at the same time.

About the car's performance:

I bought this car for multiple duties. To use it as a daily driver, run a few autoxes and hopefully be able to go to a few track events as well. I always had the impression that BMWs need, at least, a moderate amount of modifications to be able to hold their own on track, and possibly compromise streetability a little in the process. So, buying this car was a bit of a gamble. The gamble paid off beyond my expectations. The only modifications I did to the car was install track brake pads, change brake fluid, and add cooling ducts to the front brakes.

Power - This is the first car I had in which I have to be careful how I apply the throttle. It has more power than grip. This is such a good feeling as I could squeeze the throttle and get significant acceleration out of the corners, and know that I still have more I can apply as the track straightens. Other cars were doing all they can to get out of my way on the straights, giving very early point-bys. The rate of closure to other cars on the straights was something I was not expecting. At the end of the front straight of the track, the car would reach 150+ mph, but frankly I had a mental block getting to that number, I would back off just before reaching that speed and hit the brakes into T1. The perception of that speed was not something I was quite prepared for.

The only aspect that might be considered negative was fuel consumption. A full tank lasted only 3 sessions, and I was averaging about 5.5 mpg per session. I can live with this given the performance. The problem was that the fuel cost $6/gallon at the track

Cooling the engine after a session:

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Handling - The suspension setup on the M3CS is nearly perfect for my taste and level of driving. I set it to Sport+ and it never felt jarring or unsettling, even going over the curbs. The only time I wished it had a bit more shock support was when going through high-speed directional changes, such as between turns 8 and 9. I was just breathing the throttle momentarily to help with that transition. I think I now understand why some companies are suggesting an increase in the front swaybar, which I think might help.
The car never felt heavy, floaty or slow in any parts of the track. The camber and caster settings are certainly more than adequate for my level of driving and the tires I have. The level of compromise setup by BMW just feels right in my opinion.

Brakes - Phenomenal, just phenomenal! On the straights and particularly under braking I would close the gap I lost in the in-field to other cars. The consistency of the brakes were superb. There was never a hint of fade, degradation or worry about the brakes.

The first time I hit the brakes approaching T1, the instructor who was riding with me during that session just could not help but laugh. He got slammed to the seat belt, he just wasn’t expecting it. He would continue to giggle through all of the other turns when I had to use significant braking. They are just flawless.

On the front straight we would reach 145-150 mph and that leads to one of the slowest corners, T1, which is taken at 40-45 mph. Shedding 100+ mph lap after lap is very demanding on the brakes. The M3 never exhibited any signs of weakness, and consistently they performed.

I ran with MDM on, and the rear brakes are not showing any signs of overuse at this time; granted this is at my level of intermediate driving, it may vary for others.

Tires - There is so much to say about the tires. In short, the PS4S is certainly not the right tire for track events, particularly for intermediate and lower level drivers. Better and more experienced drivers can probably manage them more effectively, but then again, their speed would be much higher, demanding more from the tires. I don’t think these tires are suitable for anyone on track. They are superb on the street and even autox, but track driving needs a lot more. They gained heat way too much and too quickly. They behave noticeably inconsistently as they go through different pressures and eventually become rather greasy, but not dangerously so. My tires would gain between 10-12 psi within the first 6 or 7 laps, and track temperatures were not any higher than 45-50 deg.

The best part of this adventure was on the way back home. After the track “abuse,” I just got in and drove home as if I was at work or shopping. There weren’t any unwanted or strange noises, the drive was as comfortable as always. Everything was as designed, no objections of any kind. This is what I had hoped I was buying, there are no disappointments of any king. We’ll see how it holds up to multiple track days, but this has been a very encouraging start.

This is a 5 min. video of a session. My phone mount failed and could not record any, but one session. Also to note, contrary to what this video may imply, I got passed many times by much faster drivers. I hope you enjoy it.

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Last edited by BackOnBlack; 03-25-2024 at 06:53 PM..
      03-25-2024, 04:54 PM   #2
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Nice read !
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      03-25-2024, 04:55 PM   #3
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Thanls for sharing your experience and enthusiasm. Love it!
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      03-25-2024, 05:02 PM   #4
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Nice read. The thing looks like it gets up to 150 with ease, Insane.

Did you manage the tyre pressures, letting out air etc?
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      03-25-2024, 05:08 PM   #5
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How did you like the ZF transmission on track ?
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      03-25-2024, 05:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Nice job on the apexes! Know the track, hit the apexes, and the speed will come. It’s always a great day at the track when you can drive home at the end. I always remember what my instructor told me years ago: “No matter how much you love your car, your car doesn’t care if you live or die”. “And always leave your ego at home because no matter how fast your car is, someone will always be faster”.

I always run track days with the Pilot Sport Cup tires. Run them at about 24 psi cold and they are amazing. Just be careful when they are cold…lots of understeer. 24 psi were perfect for me on my E92 M3.

Thanks again for the post. You did great!
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      03-25-2024, 05:21 PM   #7
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How dare you drive that car at 40 degrees and those tires!!! According to many Karens on this forum, you have to be an idiot to not put winter tires on in those conditions You could have hit black ice and killed a whole family. Hope you can sleep at knowing you played Russian roulette this past weekend. This is 1000% sarcasm by the way. Cool write up bud. Keep driving the shit out of her.
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      03-25-2024, 05:26 PM   #8
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So cool
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      03-25-2024, 05:42 PM   #9
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Wow awesome. Thanks for the video!!
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      03-25-2024, 06:05 PM   #10
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Great report. I'm familiar with the track. Keep us updated on the AutoX experience, too and how a setup for that compares to a track setup.
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      03-25-2024, 06:12 PM   #11
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Thank you ALL for your very kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed it

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryc365 View Post
Nice read. The thing looks like it gets up to 150 with ease, Insane.

Did you manage the tyre pressures, letting out air etc?
How this car accelerates and the speeds it reaches are really insane. The in-person perception of this is wild; the tiny vibrations, how distant objects become very big ones in an instant... Just wild!

I did try manage the tire pressures, but wasn't successful. If my starting pressures were below 30 psi, the tires would warm up even faster and create a very pronounced and discouraging vibration during the turns. One session, the vibrations were so bad that I had to pit in after 3 laps, get out and check the tires, lug nuts to make sure there was no danger. So, subsequent sessions, I would take two laps to warm up the tires before hard braking and turns, which helped a lot, but than with such low pressures the car became unstable with understeer and snap oversteer. So, finally, I set my cold pressures to 32 in the fronts and 34 in the rears and let it be and do the best I could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyuhh View Post
How did you like the ZF transmission on track ?
Oh yes, I should have written about this also. First day, first session, being apprehensive, I set the transmission to S2. After few laps I set it to S3, and it felt a lot better with crisper and more immediate shifts. Gear changes were perfect, there was never any hesitation, immediate shifts, up or down. The jolts during shifts, particularly 3rd to 4th, gave me this oddly satisfying tingle in my spine, I could not get enough of it

Given how overwhelmed I was during the first session, I am glad I did not have to do my own shifting frankly. I have no complaints about the transmission at all.
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      03-25-2024, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackOnBlack View Post
I took BoB to Summit Point Main circuit for the PCA event this past weekend. I am so glad I did
how does one obtain/use the M performance analyzer?
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      03-25-2024, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIO View Post
Thanks for sharing. Nice job on the apexes! Know the track, hit the apexes, and the speed will come. It’s always a great day at the track when you can drive home at the end. I always remember what my instructor told me years ago: “No matter how much you love your car, your car doesn’t care if you live or die”. “And always leave your ego at home because no matter how fast your car is, someone will always be faster”.
I could not said it better myself. Going back home after such an event felt absolutely great.

Quote:
I always run track days with the Pilot Sport Cup tires. Run them at about 24 psi cold and they are amazing. Just be careful when they are cold…lots of understeer. 24 psi were perfect for me on my E92 M3.
Yes, I need to think of different tires for sure. The PS4S do not show any wear frankly at this time, with such high pressures, they were not rolling over to their shoulders. I might just go through this season with them, and get new tires for 2025. I asked around the paddock about the tires people tend to use and like, and almost everyone gave me different answers. Many of them were running RE71RS, Hoosier R7s, AD0052s, etc. I'll be heading over to Tyre Reviews

Quote:
Thanks again for the post. You did great!
Thank you very much, I appreciate it greatly.
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      03-25-2024, 06:36 PM   #14
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It’s all about finding that perfect line and the speed will naturally follow and running track days with pilot sport cup tires sound like a great choice 24 psi cold seems to work well for you on your E92 M3. I’m also familiar with the track too, it’s always exciting to see how different setups perform in different driving scenarios. It’s will be interesting to see how the car handles in those tight technical courses. You did an awesome job and keep enjoying those track days.
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      03-25-2024, 06:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g21 View Post
how does one obtain/use the M performance analyzer?
buy it. It's a bluetooth dongle that goes into the OBD port. App is free, connect to the app. Select your car, start recording video on track.
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      03-25-2024, 06:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g21 View Post
how does one obtain/use the M performance analyzer?
The app is a free download from AppStore. You just then get the ODBII wireless reader, and the app connects to it It is that simple.

See more on post #22: https://g80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=2075079
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      03-25-2024, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stone_1 View Post
It’s all about finding that perfect line and the speed will naturally follow and running track days with pilot sport cup tires sound like a great choice 24 psi cold seems to work well for you on your E92 M3. I’m also familiar with the track too, it’s always exciting to see how different setups perform in different driving scenarios. It’s will be interesting to see how the car handles in those tight technical courses. You did an awesome job and keep enjoying those track days.
Thank you very much!
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      03-25-2024, 06:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G MONEY View Post
How dare you drive that car at 40 degrees and those tires!!! According to many Karens on this forum, you have to be an idiot to not put winter tires on in those conditions You could have hit black ice and killed a whole family. Hope you can sleep at knowing you played Russian roulette this past weekend. This is 1000% sarcasm by the way. Cool write up bud. Keep driving the shit out of her.


Thank you!
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      03-25-2024, 07:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G MONEY View Post
How dare you drive that car at 40 degrees and those tires!!! According to many Karens on this forum, you have to be an idiot to not put winter tires on in those conditions You could have hit black ice and killed a whole family. Hope you can sleep at knowing you played Russian roulette this past weekend. This is 1000% sarcasm by the way. Cool write up bud. Keep driving the shit out of her.
Just like the guy who’s kid hit his car with a bicycle and wanted BMW warranty to cover.

Classic passing up all those P driver wanna bees.
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      03-25-2024, 07:54 PM   #20
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Loved reading this. And then found out there was a video. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing a BMW destroy p cars on track. And I always felt my comp x was too fast for the street and belonged on a racetrack. This is next level.
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      03-25-2024, 08:06 PM   #21
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Good write up
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      03-25-2024, 08:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerfun82 View Post
Loved reading this. And then found out there was a video. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing a BMW destroy p cars on track. And I always felt my comp x was too fast for the street and belonged on a racetrack. This is next level.
Thank you! Although in this video clip I am seen passing bunch of P-cars, there were several who passed me in other sessions and with lesser cars. I held my own overall, I think, and it is really not the car but the driver for sure. I have a lot to learn and improve on, and the fun part is that process and journey of improvement.

I hope you get to enjoy your's on track as well.
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