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Hey guys I just joined the bmw family after purchasing a 2000 M5 a couple weeks ago.:) I have been able to get it out a few times so far and on one of those trips I went to the Caffeine & Carbs event at Lime Rock Park that is usually held in New Canaan, CT. I took my mom along for the trip(I'm 20) because the guys were all busy(they missed out) and she was really interested about the whole idea of a "track day." We actually saw the original owner of the M5 at the meet/track day and he was going on the track for the first time in his 911. After hanging out all day at C&C my mom got the idea of why I love the sport of autoracing so much. She liked the idea of me eventually learning how to track a car and then graduate to going myself or with friends. I wouldn't be tracking anything myself at least until I graduate in a few years, but what are some ways to familiarize myself with speed beforehand. People at the track suggested Skip Barber and I like the way BMW CCA looks. Am I looking in the right direction with no experience? What are some better cars, bmw or not, for track use to start if all goes well these next few years?(not miata)

Disclaimer:I am fully aware that I am a young driver. I just bought a powerful car that I need to familiarize myself with. Think of this post as helping my positive speculation for the future. I have nothing against miatas. I am just trying to seek out all affordable options.
 

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Welcome the to family, the worst thing I did was buying a 911 and took it to the track for my first PCA track event. It was too much car for me and at the time I was 30. I think age has nothing to do with it, if you want a track car, buy a car that is rear wheel drive with manual shift. RWD is not important but a good feature if you are starting up. The car should be practical, i.e. you should be able to put 4 track tires, jack and some supplies. It shouldn't be the fastest car you can buy. A slower car help you improve your skill and easier to maintain. I would recommend any BMW 3 series with stick shift and fold-able rear seat. Having a BMW, you will stay in the same family maintenance wise and can take your M once in while when you gain confidence. M3 is another option but it will be a bit expensive to maintain, and can cover your mistakes.
 

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This sounds like something I personally need to do. I have found myself a few times now in situations where my M5 have been a bit too much for me to handle. I would like to and do plan on taking it to the track one of these days, however the BMWCCA driving events sound good too.

Anyway, you sound quite responsible and I am sure you are going to have fun. I myself am only 23 and have driven my other car a (1999 Oldsmobile 88), like I stole it every day since I got my license when I as 17. That car is hard to get in trouble with since it has very predictable handling and not quite enough power to get to dangerous velocities very quickly. The M5 on the other hand can bite your head off really quickly if you goose it too much.

I would suggest if you get a chance to drive it in the snow, take it out and turn the DSC off. Learn to control over steer and slides at 5 mph speeds in a safe area then you will better understand how to control the car when things do get out of hand. That has helped me out several times.
 

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Hit me up if you plan to head up north to CT. We should have a mini meet. I would start with E36 sedan (doesnt have to be M3) since it is very cheap to get parts if something breaks.
 

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I'm 20 as well. I have taken my m5 to the track three times now. Every single time I have been amazed at some aspects of the car, surprised by some, and totally underwhelmed by others. This isn't the first time I went to the track. The first track experience I had I was driving a nose heavy Audi S5 v8 that was a pig in the corners and straights. I would actually go against all the advice in this thread. I have driven cars like the S5, and others like a tuned 993 911 turbo with 650whp. The thing I can say is this, what one car does on the track, another will not. Expect to spin out after taking a corner too fast. Expect to take corners really really slow as you get used to the brakes. Expect to feel uncomfortable. I have yet to drive a car that feels as steady as my M5 does at 170mph. My point is, buying another car will get you the experience of being on the track itself, but it certainly won't get you the same characteristics of your beast as it rounds a track. I have a fairly stiff suspension on my M5, but the turn in of my car versus the 911 I drove is leagues apart, and that is to be expected. Take you car to the track. Do not buy a different car. You'll learn more about your car in 30 minutes on the track than you could in 5 years of driving it on the road.

Those are my .02.
 

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There's no substitute for seat time. Driving, and specifically braking on the track is completely different from driving on the street. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the car before unleashing it on a road course. You must RESPECT the track!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hit me up if you plan to head up north to CT. We should have a mini meet. I would start with E36 sedan (doesnt have to be M3) since it is very cheap to get parts if something breaks.
Since there doesn't look like there will be another C&C in New Canaan this summer the next time I will be in CT is for the C&C in September, however that is when school starts up again and I might not be able to show off the beast. Let me know if there are any meets in CT besides C&C. I would be happy to make the trip since most of the state is within 2 hours of me. :M5eyes:
 

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I wouldn't trust myself taking my M5 to track because I dont like how the brakes feel on the pedal. If you do take your M5 to track, do it easy and enjoy the experience.
 

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I, like everyone here, would highly suggest not taking such a powerful (and heavy) vehicle to the track. You'd be so much better off getting something smaller and less powerful as you could push it hard and not be so worried about the next corner. I'm currently looking around for a Miata to do have a little fun in since they are generally cheap, easy to work on, cheap, and parts are cheap. Let us know how it works out!
 
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