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Competed in a two day hillclimb event in Northern Ireland at the weekend in my 3.6. It was held on the access roads to the Folk Museum at Cultra and on Saturday the weather was dreadful with constant showers keeping the track wet and greasy. Things did not improve when the four wheel drive rally cars competing started cutting corners and throwing mud out so the result was a disappointing 33rd out of 67 competitors although my son, out in our MG Maestro Turbo, used its lighter weight to get up to 22nd.
Sunday dawned with sunshine, maybe we'll get some grip today? I should say the car has new Goodyear Eagles fitted and even with spirited road driving I thought they held on well and gave excellent traction. The main problem I found to getting quick times was having the commitment to throw the car in very early at the corners and balance it through the apex on slight opposite lock. They have a natural tendancy to understeer and getting a wheel on the wet grass verge was only going to result in expensive contact with the surrounding trees or Armco! Thankfully the last run went well and I managed to take 4 seconds of my Saturday time and this was enough to come 12th overall.
I was very impressed with the cars ability to handle like an overgrown Mk1 Escort and they really can hang the tail out at outlandish angles and yet remain totally controlable. I may try the car at some of our longer hills where its acceleration in 3rd and 4th would be more of an advantage. Does anyone else actually compete with their cars as opposed to just trackday them? I would imagine the easiest way to make the car more competitive would be to fit "R" rated tyres as they are still allowed over here in the road-going class.
 

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Nice one sounds like great fun!!

I am too amazed at how easy to control these big cars are. But I bet as soon as you don't respect her she will bite back big time.
 

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Bryan, I use my M5 here in the states to autocross and "R" compound tires are a relatively inexpensive way to up the grip. I don't know the availability of tires in your area but I have had good luck with Kumho Victor racers size 245/45/17 on a set of stock 17 x 8 wheels on all four corners. Give them a try if you can it will be even more fun :wroom:
 

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E34M5 Scott said:
Bryan, I use my M5 here in the states to autocross and "R" compound tires are a relatively inexpensive way to up the grip. I don't know the availability of tires in your area but I have had good luck with Kumho Victor racers size 245/45/17 on a set of stock 17 x 8 wheels on all four corners. Give them a try if you can it will be even more fun :wroom:
 

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kupkake said:
How timely;I'm planning to autocross my 3.8 this w/e with the local BMWCCA.What class do you run in?How competitive are you?Any "pearls" to pass along.Thanks,Vic
Vic, There is not an active chapter of the CCA here in Boise. I autocross with the SCCA in the F-Stock class. This consists of v-8 Camaros and Mustangs. There is only one other regular competitor in this class but he has been autocrossing for many more years than me. (Read: He is much faster) :sad2:

As far as pearls I can quote you some of the cliches
Look Ahead
In Slow and Out Fast
Late Apex
Don' Forget to Breathe
Walk the course as much as possible etc..

There are some VERY GOOD autocrossers in Colorado. Bob Tunnell and his wife Patty have won 16 -18 National SCCA titles between them. He has a shop called Bimmerhaus. Hook up with them if they are there. Or talk to whoever is in charge and ask them who the veterans are. My experience has been autocrossers are friendly and willing to help. Try to ride with someone too. Don't get discouraged if you don't do well. Most of the really fast people started out just like you.

As far as the car is concerned I have a US Spec 3.6. It will want to understeer and have quite a bit of body roll. You will also want to put quite a bit of air pressure in the tires to keep them from rolling over onto the sidewalls. More in the front than the rear. Autocross tends to work the front tires pretty hard. I use between 46-50 PSI in the front depending on conditions. 42-46 in the rears. These are just suggestions, pressures will depend on conditions, your tires etc.

I enjoy it. I am still adjusting to the car. I autocrossed and E-30 318iS for 5 years and they are very different. I have also become very good at swapping tires :haha2:
The best part is the people that you meet. Let me know how it turns out

I also enjoy taking people for rides and hearing them say
"This big A&& car really moves" :wroom: :M5rev:
 

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Although this will be 1st time autocrossing my m5,I competed in a very well-prepared 2002 in the Bay area,.Ca. in the 80's.We do have an active club here in Co. and yes,I use Bimmerhaus for all service.Looking fwd. to event this w/e.I've had some recent suspension upgrades and there's no longer a trace of understeer:new EDC on 4 corners(ouch),H&R springs,25mm frt bar,camber plates,strut bar,19mm rear adj.bar.It turns in sharply now.I'll let you know how it goes.Thanks,Vic
 

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BryanM said:
The main problem I found to getting quick times was having the commitment to throw the car in very early at the corners and balance it through the apex on slight opposite lock.

That's exactly how these cars need to be driven. Set up early and power through. Guys in M3's have thoroughly enjoyed following me up the canyons in Malibu. Must be a fun show to watch and listen to... :eek:
 
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