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      06-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
mocohead
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Central Cal BMW CCA Buttonwillow HPDE Report

Spent yesterday out at Buttonwillow with the Central Cal BMW CCA. I got to instruct in a nice e36 M3, and in a nice Audi A6 2.7t driven by an Audi Club instructor. Temperatures were in the oh-hell-this-is-way-too-freakin-hot-to-be-out-here range, which means it was well over 95F, and at times hovering around 104.

My car is stock and it did very well. No overheating (even with the A/C on full blast), no limp modes, no CEL...nothing. 3 gallons of e85 were added to the tank at the start of the day and I had no detonation despite the high ambient temperatures.

Admittedly I didn't get that many laps in my own car, but when I was on track it was always with at least one student, and frequently two. I did get some minor brake fade but this configuration of BW is hard on brakes, with a number of sharp braking zones right on top of each other.

At the end of the day the A and B students had a combined track session so I went out to play. It was fun getting an entire train of e9x M3's to point me by!

Another interesting note - this was the first car I have driven on BW that could get power oversteer coming through the button hole (turns 2 and 3). That is a very slow, tight uphill off camber corner that usually makes cars plow and push like crazy. My typical path around that corner involves WOT all the way, allowing the understeer to help with the track-out. In the 328i I got on the throttle as I usually do, and son-of-a-gun if the back didn't step out! To me that spoke volumes about the amazing balance of the F30 328i.

What a great car! We are really lucky that BMW built us something that can be such a good daily driver, and yet so competent on the track.
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      06-08-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Maybe because I grew up in the San Walk-in Valley, the heat didn't really bother me, although I was so beat after eating at Willow Ranch I wasn't in the mood to "draft" Sergio all the way back home.

Got you on film in the Instructor's session:



Got Sergio on film in the 4th A+ session:



Any day at the track is a funtastic day!
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      06-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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That was definitely a blast!

Want to talk about throttle oversteer? My completely stock 328i started breaking the backend loose coming INTO the bus stop! Of course, my run flat tires were quite greasy and the TPMS said rim temps were well above 150 so...

Here's a lap recorded with Harry's Lap Timer with four souls on board:



And this is the 'full' session viewed from my helmet cam.

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      06-08-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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Wow car is so quiet I can almost hear you THINK.
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      06-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
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That was definitely a blast!.... Of course, my run flat tires were quite greasy and the TPMS said rim temps were well above 150 so...
Great videos! Did I hear you say "these run flat tires aren't so bad..." ???

Those tires suck! You're just driving well.
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      06-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Those tires suck!
Oh believe you us, we found out just sh*tty they were in the last session. The heat definitely finished them off as we went for a tank slapped at 80 mph.

Sadly, no videos of said tank slapper.
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      06-08-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
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RFTs are actually decent when they have grip.

They are predictable so that's good. I should really say that I thought they'd royally suck but they don't.
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      06-09-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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Great videos gents! I think I need to give-in and get a GoPro...

I agree the RFT's are pretty decent all things being equal. They are not the fastest tire out there, but they are predictable and seem to hold-up reasonably well to the track abuse.
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      06-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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You know what I found 'annoying' about my F30? The N20 engine is simply TOO quiet! At full tilt it barely makes any noise, compared to my E46. No loud grunt, no intoxicating exhaust or intake noise.... just power. Yeah, a bit annoying cause I bounced off the rev limiter countless times, waiting for the roar of the engine to 'tell me to shift' yet I never heard it. I've caved and ordered an M Performance can for the rear. Let's see if that solves my 'issues'.
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      06-09-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mocohead View Post
Spent yesterday out at Buttonwillow with the Central Cal BMW CCA. I got to instruct in a nice e36 M3, and in a nice Audi A6 2.7t driven by an Audi Club instructor. Temperatures were in the oh-hell-this-is-way-too-freakin-hot-to-be-out-here range, which means it was well over 95F, and at times hovering around 104.

My car is stock and it did very well. No overheating (even with the A/C on full blast), no limp modes, no CEL...nothing. 3 gallons of e85 were added to the tank at the start of the day and I had no detonation despite the high ambient temperatures.

Admittedly I didn't get that many laps in my own car, but when I was on track it was always with at least one student, and frequently two. I did get some minor brake fade but this configuration of BW is hard on brakes, with a number of sharp braking zones right on top of each other.

At the end of the day the A and B students had a combined track session so I went out to play. It was fun getting an entire train of e9x M3's to point me by!

Another interesting note - this was the first car I have driven on BW that could get power oversteer coming through the button hole (turns 2 and 3). That is a very slow, tight uphill off camber corner that usually makes cars plow and push like crazy. My typical path around that corner involves WOT all the way, allowing the understeer to help with the track-out. In the 328i I got on the throttle as I usually do, and son-of-a-gun if the back didn't step out! To me that spoke volumes about the amazing balance of the F30 328i.

What a great car! We are really lucky that BMW built us something that can be such a good daily driver, and yet so competent on the track.
I'm so glad I only read positive reviews about the F30 328i on track. I can't wait for my first track event with this car in 2 weeks at Gingerman. What is your set up? Assuming you have stock camber up front, I am shocked if this car does not understeer at least moderately.
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      06-10-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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I'm so glad I only read positive reviews about the F30 328i on track. I can't wait for my first track event with this car in 2 weeks at Gingerman. What is your set up? Assuming you have stock camber up front, I am shocked if this car does not understeer at least moderately.
My setup is all stock. There is no negative camber to be had out of these cars at this time so we are all in the same boat.

The 328i is the most neutral BMW I have ever driven on a track. You can MAKE it understeer, and you can MAKE it oversteer. But if you drive a clean line with proper entry speeds, it is remarkably neutral. Remember that it is essentially a mid-engine car...

I can't say this often enough - do yourself a favor and if possible add 2 gallons of e85 to your tank just before going out on track. You will appreciate it!
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      06-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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Sergio - great videos! You're very smooth and extremely consistent!!!
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      06-10-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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Thank you!

And I second your thoughts. The 328i is very neutral. It also has amazing turn in, which was a pleasant surprise my first time on track. My opinion is that the F30 chassis is so stiff that it translates to excellent properties when on track. DHP makes this automobile an awesome track weapon and daily driver.
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      06-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #14
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Is there a certain percentage of e85 to not exceed (such as 50% or more). I really know nothing about using this and don't want to do any damage to my car out of ignorance. Also, if I'm not running any software upgrade, will e85 give me an performance benefit?
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      06-10-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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E85 has about 110 octane or so. I used to mix in a gallon or two of 100 'unleaded' in my E46 and it would make a difference but as unleaded fuel octane ratings go up so does the lead count (it's not 100% unleaded). This translated to higher lead levels in oil as noted in several Blackstone Labs oil analysis reports.

With that said, a gallon or two of E85 will boost the total octane rating of the tank only by a couple points as well (in California 91 is the prevelent 'premium) so 2 gallons of E85 will bring it up to just past 93 octane. If you use that for a day or two for a track event it won't have time to do any serious damage, if at all. Remember, most fuel blends already have some levels of Ethanol in them, just at a lower concentration (10-15% vs 85%).

Also, the option to prep an N20 engine to full flex fuel seems to only require a couple changes if you go by the ETK and most of them are in the fuel fillter (cap) and spark plug. Nothing is noted for the fuel tank, lines, etc. http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=833274 (post #12)
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      06-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #16
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I have run 50/50 e85/91 and been fine. Honestly if you just put a couple of gallons in your tank, you get most of the benefit with minimal risk. You don't need software to benefit - my impression is that our cars detonate pretty significantly even stock. Adding the e85 will just allow you to run with minimal timing pull and reduced risk of damage from detonation.
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      06-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #17
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Speaking of detonation, were you able to pull knock/detonation counts using tool32?
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      06-12-2013, 08:16 AM   #18
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Speaking of detonation, were you able to pull knock/detonation counts using tool32?
Nope... The only thing that does is read codes.
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      06-18-2013, 04:10 AM   #19
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Wish i was there!
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      06-18-2013, 08:27 AM   #20
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Mocohead,

What tires have you been running. I will be on NT-01 245/40/18 this coming weekend; the suspension is bone stock.
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      06-18-2013, 01:14 PM   #21
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someone post this thread on e90post. ha.
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      06-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #22
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Mocohead,

What tires have you been running. I will be on NT-01 245/40/18 this coming weekend; the suspension is bone stock.
I was on the stock RFT"s. My car is 100% stock!
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