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      08-22-2019, 07:47 PM   #16

Drives: 2012 BMW 128
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NE

iTrader: (5)

First DE weekend went great. Ran with NASA NE and had a blast.

The track we were at was very technical and not novice-friendly with a few blind apexes, multiple elevation changes and 15 turns total. Learning the lines took at least two 20min sessions to master. By the end of the weekend we were going at it at a smooth pace, not necessarily fast since I was still learning after all. Not a lot of hard braking zones except for maybe two turns from a straight and mostly used trail braking techniques and lifting off the throttle. Still lots to learn but doing a full weekend definitely helped in learning fundamentals.

I had an awesome instructor who is also a Spec E30 racer. We talked about what my goals were throughout all sessions. He also set up challenges throughout the weekend for us to do but never pressured to achieve them. He also focused on track etiquette such as point-bys, heeding flags, pit speeds etc. He was firm yet gave me lots of quiet time to focus and by the end only spoke on the headset when absolutely needed. We did two drive alongs in his E30 to learn lines and brake zones. This for me was very helpful since it still took time to learn track lingo. The drive alongs were of course at 3x speed which was awesome! Went solo for the first time at the last session of the weekend and by that time, I got the lines somewhat in memory as well as braking zones and areas where I could pick up on speed. Since the track has more turns than straights, max speed for me was maybe 100mph. We switched between 3-4th gear most of the time.

As for the 128i, it performed beautifully. We did a total 1hr on track per day for the two days. Stock N51 engine except for a Euro air intake. Öhlins with Swift springs for suspension - could have dialed the dampers stiffer but was advised not to to learn how the car behaved which was a big help. I was on Öhlins recommended settings for damping (5clicks from full hard I think). Sport seats were OK. Ran on stock rubber lines, brakes and rotors with RBF600 and Porterfield R4 upfront and PFC08 in the rear. Massive dust maker, the Porterfield, but both performed as expected. The way I drove the track was not too brake-dependent though, so still have a lot left for a few more DE days this year. Still have yet to use the F30 brake upgrade parts. Overall, the stock brakes were enough at my level driving. Ran on stock 207Ms with square RS4s. Track alignment helped with even tire wear though still have yet to confirm this. Haven’t checke on the car since parking it after the weekend. Car held up fine, no temp issues were encountered. We basically drove it hard on track and parked it without worry until the next session. Comfortably drove it to-from track (70mi drive) during the weekend with no hiccups and AC on a hot weekend to boot! Nothing can beat that for a dual purpose track toy!

Looking forward to maybe two more events this year if time and budget permits. The experience exceeded expectations. Having gone through one weekend, I realized that I could shoot for getting to TT level with my 128i and then call it quits just because this is most-budget friendly and does not require getting a “new” car. Maybe Spec racing or Endurance events if I ever get there, who knows? My instructor definitely put the needle deep into my arm and got me hooked.