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Erik S 13th July 2018 06:22 AM

My first track day
I've had sport bikes/ dirt bikes and vans all my life but always wanted a sports car. The 2010 M5 with 8K on it was my ride. Garage queen big time, too little time to use only has 12K now and bought it in 2012.
Anyway, in the US there is Bimmerfest West and Speed Ventures had a track day to go along at Auto Club Speedway. Got rid of the original pilot sport tire (cracking on the side wall going over 140 mph did not seem to be a good idea) and got the Pilot Sport S4 tires $1,400.00 for 4ea. First timer class, point by only one the straights , 3 straights, Almost all cars in my group were BMW's and old Porsche that was slow and one of those $62,000.00 650 HP Camaros. The Camaro guy was a little faster than me. The only other car faster was a stripped out M3 90's vintage that had a roll cage and seemed like a track day only car. He got me in the turns as he was 1000 lbs lighter but I got him in the straights. He had better times by maybe 2 seconds. My best time was 2:04 on the "Roval" (front straight and turns 1 and 2). The promotor told us to use all driver aids the cars have so I had traction control on as well as anti lock. I hit the rev limit just a few times. We had 4 session 20 min. each. I made up most on the other by being a very late breaker (fumes from the brakes occurred in sessions 3 and 4. So much so if I had more session I would have been a little more balanced and not too late, through the apex but still way faster than the others. I did make time on the other because of the 506 hp but they were all braking early.

My main point to this story is the traction control. I use this M5 for canyon runs to my sisters who lives in Acton so I take Angeles Crest to Angels Forest. 30 miles of twisting canyon roads with 3 intersection/stop signs. I've alway driven with traction control on and a big advocate of it use, cliffs and mountain sides are bad. On the track day it is a big mistake I've learned. Going around a track you know, pretty much, what is coming up and there is run off. I was pushing hard and learn the traction control would not let the car accelerate until the light on the dash went out and things were " safe to accelerate". I know my times would had be better with it off if I could have accelerated out of the corners a little out of shape. Granted I would had to be a little more careful in the beginning so I did not spin but that is what a good driver can do. My mistake and I followed the rules but next time the traction control is off.

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