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      03-06-2018, 06:51 AM   #23
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Ive done that class there before as well and it was a blast. thank you for sharing. I have been trying to get out to the thermal M school but coordinating the schedules of my 3 friends and I and the limited class openings makes for a tough task
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      03-06-2018, 08:39 AM   #24
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I did a more modest track based BMW Canada hosted event about 10 years ago. I then looked into more affordable track driving options.

No mean to troll but although the BMW M HPDE events seem like a blast for those with the means, here is another option:

I highly recommend doing a bit of research into finding reputable HPDE clubs (we call these Lapping Clubs in Quebec, Canada), where volunteer instructors will assist you. These schools or clubs are based on enthusiasts that sit with you as passengers, and coach you. This includes tips on your driving and meaningful modifications to your car. You get to use your own personal car. You need to be prepared for faster than normal wear on tires, brake pads, and fuel consumption. There will be a very small member subscription fee, and track time fee to add to the expenses. On average, these come out to a few hundred dollars for a full day of silly fun. Sometimes fees are less where these event occur on evenings during the week.


Full disclosure: was a participant in these club events for two years, then became an instructor, and now an organizer and instructor for a couple of these clubs in my area.

If you use your common sense, you dont overdrive, and you dont go crazy with modifications especially during your first season, these can be a blast, and is a more affordable option than BMW hosted events with their own fleet of cars. Furthermore, HPDE or Lapping days are a great learning experience to add to your skill set, applicable to your daily driving, in your own car.

As an instructor, I have seen all kinds of participants. Some become hooked, some show up to try out their car once or twice, never to return. Reason being either or: the added wear and tear on their vehicles, limited budget and other priorities, mis-behaved drivers sharing the track, etc. This is why it's so critical that you do your research, and find a reputable and safe track driving club.

Hope this offers another perspective to some ... Did not intend on ticking anyone off ... Just socializing another cheaper alternative to high performance driving events.
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Last edited by dcaron9999; 03-16-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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      03-06-2018, 12:01 PM   #25
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This sounds like a lot of fun. Would love to do this.
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      03-06-2018, 01:42 PM   #26
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nice place to be..
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      03-07-2018, 12:52 PM   #27
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BMW invented the performance driving school, now everyone else is copying the formula. Cadillac and Lexus have their own driving schools.
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      03-08-2018, 08:29 AM   #28
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      03-08-2018, 04:37 PM   #29
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Wow, thank you, good reading....
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      03-15-2018, 09:54 PM   #30
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Very informative, thanks for the detailed write-up!
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      03-22-2018, 04:20 PM   #31
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Awesome report
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      03-22-2018, 04:36 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Looks awesome ! But $4100 ? That's not cheap...
Considering you burn through a set of tires, that's a little over $1000 for the Continental Extreme Sports. Plus fuel, plus wear and tear, plus instruction, two nights stay at a decent hotel, and all those meals it's not too bad. I used the Handling School voucher I got for free from BMWFS for a ~$800 credit and a BMWCCA discount to bring to cost down to below what they paid for this one. Drove the M3 down myself and it was a nice little vacation of just driving the tires of a bunch of M cars!

Oh and I forgot the swag. A nice jacket, hat, notebook etc.
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      03-22-2018, 04:39 PM   #33
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i might have missed this, but do they not give you a free helmet for the 2-day school anymore?

i did a 1-day school a while ago, 2010 or 2011 i think, and was told that i would be given a helmet to use and take home if i'd signed up for the 2-day. i would have done it just for that if i'd known!

and too bad there isn't a manual option. not that i'm faster with a manual but it was nice to obtain some professional instruction in one. we had 1M's at the school at the time so you had to use a manual at least once.
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      03-22-2018, 04:40 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Looks awesome ! But $4100 ? That's not cheap...
Well, the tires that your gonna melt into the ground aren't very cheap. I would imagine that is a pretty big portion of that cost.
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      03-22-2018, 04:42 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
i might have missed this, but do they not give you a free helmet for the 2-day school anymore?

i did a 1-day school a while ago, 2010 or 2011 i think, and was told that i would be given a helmet to use and take home if i'd signed up for the 2-day. i would have done it just for that if i'd known!

and too bad there isn't a manual option. not that i'm faster with a manual but it was nice to obtain some professional instruction in one. we had 1M's at the school at the time so you had to use a manual at least once.
Not anymore. We weren't even required to wear them anymore. I was hoping for one as well.
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      03-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #36
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well, that sucks.

i don't mean to shit on OP's thread btw. M school is a blast, and even if it's not the best value in the world, there's value in having the peace of mind that you're driving someone else's car and BMW will take care of everything for you
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      03-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
well, that sucks.

i don't mean to shit on OP's thread btw. M school is a blast, and even if it's not the best value in the world, there's value in having the peace of mind that you're driving someone else's car and BMW will take care of everything for you
No helmets required to run. And no, they didn't give us one. We did get some swag on the second day, a polo shirt, hat, nice jacket, and a few other bits and bobs. I've been slacking and haven't written day two up yet, I should get that done.

It's expensive, yes, but the skills learned, I thought, were really valuable, both on the track and the street. I'm very happy to have had the chance to do this event.
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      03-22-2018, 04:51 PM   #38
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Awesome write up for day 1!

I have made every effort to try to register for the 2 day M School in Thermal. What sucks about it is the events overlap Saturday, and I can't drive on Saturday for religious reasons. The only other 2 day that isn't on a Saturday ends on the eve of a holiday, which I would need to be home for, so that's not happening, either. I was really looking forward to the two day school, but limited dates make it all but impossible for me to do. I have no choice but to use my voucher (for getting a BMW) with a 1 day school instead. Question is, do I go all the way to Thermal for a 1 day event (I've never been to CA before), or do I go to SC (I've been there once before, years ago, for a 6 series driving experience - it pretty much mirrored your first day's experience)? If I go to SC, I'll probably make it a 2-3 day trip. If SC, most likely 2 days max.
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      03-22-2018, 04:52 PM   #39
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Hell of a detailed review!

Much appreciated!
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      03-22-2018, 04:54 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoof View Post
Awesome write up for day 1!

I have made every effort to try to register for the 2 day M School in Thermal. What sucks about it is the events overlap Saturday, and I can't drive on Saturday for religious reasons. The only other 2 day that isn't on a Saturday ends on the eve of a holiday, which I would need to be home for, so that's not happening, either. I was really looking forward to the two day school, but limited dates make it all but impossible for me to do. I have no choice but to use my voucher (for getting a BMW) with a 1 day school instead. Question is, do I go all the way to Thermal for a 1 day event (I've never been to CA before), or do I go to SC (I've been there once before, years ago, for a 6 series driving experience - it pretty much mirrored your first day's experience)? If I go to SC, I'll probably make it a 2-3 day trip. If SC, most likely 2 days max.
We actually drove Sunday and Monday, so I think that would have worked for you? I think that was something they did for our BMW CCA group though, I'm not sure.

I thought the track out in CA was different enough to warrant a trip to CA for it. I will get the second day written up here soon which will cover most of the stuff that's different.
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      03-22-2018, 04:58 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Looks awesome ! But $4100 ? That's not cheap...
# because NOT your car..
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      03-22-2018, 05:02 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer456 View Post
BMW invented the performance driving school, now everyone else is copying the formula. Cadillac and Lexus have their own driving schools.
was BMW or Porsche first?
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      03-22-2018, 05:03 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoof View Post
Awesome write up for day 1!

I have made every effort to try to register for the 2 day M School in Thermal. What sucks about it is the events overlap Saturday, and I can't drive on Saturday for religious reasons. The only other 2 day that isn't on a Saturday ends on the eve of a holiday, which I would need to be home for, so that's not happening, either. I was really looking forward to the two day school, but limited dates make it all but impossible for me to do. I have no choice but to use my voucher (for getting a BMW) with a 1 day school instead. Question is, do I go all the way to Thermal for a 1 day event (I've never been to CA before), or do I go to SC (I've been there once before, years ago, for a 6 series driving experience - it pretty much mirrored your first day's experience)? If I go to SC, I'll probably make it a 2-3 day trip. If SC, most likely 2 days max.
that is certainly an interesting conflict.... no racing on Saturday.

time for a new religion! Motorsports counts as new religion I am pretty positive.
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      03-22-2018, 05:14 PM   #44
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Quote:
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Well, the tires that your gonna melt into the ground aren't very cheap. I would imagine that is a pretty big portion of that cost.
Continental is a sponsor of the school (see pictures). All the cars run on Conti Extreme Contact Sport tires. According to the lead instructor Conti donates 5000 tires a year. So, I'm not sure tires is the bulk of the cost. That said, the Conti tires are excellent. You really get a feel for what they're capable of during the school.
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