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      08-02-2019, 01:49 PM   #1
schembree
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HPDE 101?

Can anyone direct me to a newb HPDE thread? Planning on attending SchnellFest at COTA in September (if I can get in). New M2C, never tracked before, and would like to know what I'm doing before signing up.

I've read about issues with OEM brakes/pads on the track, but does that apply to the M2C with the upgraded brakes?
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      08-02-2019, 08:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by schembree View Post
Can anyone direct me to a newb HPDE thread? Planning on attending SchnellFest at COTA in September (if I can get in). New M2C, never tracked before, and would like to know what I'm doing before signing up.

I've read about issues with OEM brakes/pads on the track, but does that apply to the M2C with the upgraded brakes?
Welcome to the track!

So the M2 is definitely very capable but the oem brake pad is geared to the street. Would recommend swapping to a more track oriented pad for that event and also swapping to Castrol SRF. Cota in particular is hard on brakes so the SRF and more suitable pad will be more fade resistant. Can run the oem stuff - to me I just donít want to find out they have faded running down the back stretch going in to 12.

Thatís really all you need to swap. Check over everything, make sure fluids are topped off, all that good stuff. Go out, keep your eyes up, stay aware, and have a blast.

On new tracks I like to watch YouTube videos to get a feel for the layout. Something like forza works pretty good too. Itís nice having an idea what to expect. I have a video from in my M3 posted that I can send you if you want.

Also anyone is welcome to come out to Cota during an Edge Addict event. If you want to go get a feel for an HDPE they put on a pretty good one. There is one on Aug 31 and Sep 1 coming up. Iíll be there in my M2 - you are also welcome to ride shotgun for a few laps at full pace if you want. I am approved to take passengers if that makes you feel better...

I can answer anything more specific you might have or point you to someone who can.
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      08-02-2019, 10:00 PM   #3
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I don't think there is really a good HPDE 101 thread around here, the start is pretty simple, it's once you get into it a bit more then car specific discussion about upgrades is useful.

The most important thing for your very first time is that you want to do an event with instruction, ideally classroom, skidpad and in-car instruction. Your first few sessions will be sensory overload and you're likely to miss traffic or marshal signals so a second set of eyes in the car with experience is very helpful.

As to prepping the car, as mentioned you can start with stock pads and fluids but depending on the track and how quickly you pick things up you could end up with some fade. The stock brakes on the M2 can overheat very quickly, I'm not sure how much better the M2C's brakes are (they should be better since more mass and at the front there are at least some more ducts into the wheel wells).

For your first day you shouldn't really do anything else, regular high-performance summer tires like the Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Pilot Sport 4S, Continental's equivalent, etc are plenty good enough for beginner track days. Just make sure they have decent thread depth left, you're not likely to use up that much thread but the tire shoulders will likely take quite a beating.

There isn't really much else car prep that you should do, the first thing is to start to build up your performance driving skills. The key thing, in my opinion at least, is to find a good group to run with, good instruction is key. I'd recommend a group which does lots of instruction, avoid groups which are more lapping focused until you are honing your skills. Once you've found a good program to start with then hopefully they will have good details about any technical inspections they require and what safety equipment will be required. At COTA I'd imagine any group would require proper SA rated helmets (i.e. no motorcycle helmets), you may want to rent one initially (in which case definitely buy a decent balaclava, you'll be sweaty) or buy one.
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      08-03-2019, 12:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I'm ordering some Porterfield R4-S pads and I was lucky to get a car with Pilot Sport Cup 2's. SchnellFest is listed as a beginner to advanced track day, so I'm thinking there'll be instructors out there.
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      08-03-2019, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schembree View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm ordering some Porterfield R4-S pads and I was lucky to get a car with Pilot Sport Cup 2's. SchnellFest is listed as a beginner to advanced track day, so I'm thinking there'll be instructors out there.
Yeah they will have instructors - they wouldn't let you on the track without one as a beginner. You typically have to get a check ride to qualify for solo & then checks for each time you advance groups.

I have no experience with Porterfield pads - is the R4-S a street pad? Not saying it won't work if it is - just to keep in mind that cota is hard on brakes (and temps overall). You'll get into some pretty decent speed in an M2C, fade can be a concern. Also I'm assuming you will be running with either full DSC on or at least in MDM. Depending on how much you trip the DSC can also add extra heat to the brakes. Continuous corner exit oversteer in particular can add a lot of heat to the fronts. Plus using a somewhat sticky tire. If you see that the traction control is kicking in a decent amount - certainly want to try to smooth it out a bit but also might be a good idea to do a quick brake check in advance of the heavier braking zones.

On the tires it can actually kind of be a bit counterintuitive. Grippy sounds like it would be better as a beginner cause you won't be sliding all over the place, but that's not really the case. As a beginner it actually can be easier to start on more street orientated tires. They typically give more warning before they break away - and typically can be easier to bring back under control after they break loose. Part of the process is finding the limits - and learning how to control it when you get there and when you go past the limit. Less grippy tires also mean that limit will be lower - so this all happens at a slower speed - typically safer approach. Plus they will usually last quite a bit longer.

That being said it's not like Cup2's are full on race slicks, you shouldn't have a problem with them. Running with DSC should keep them in line too. Just more a heads up on the value that a higher treadware tire can have. Also without camber plates you could wear the cup2's out pretty fast out there. If it is wet watch out for standing water too.

Mindset out there is key to progress. Awareness & safety before speed. Focus on picking up all the flag stations. Might read up on the different flags too. Some of the vids of COTA hot laps can show where the flag stations typically are during an HPDE - but those can always change.

I took a car control / skid class at Driveway Austin last year. It was absolutely awesome. Was a tremendous help as I started out on the track. Worth every dollar imo if you find you enjoy the track.
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      08-03-2019, 08:23 PM   #6
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I suggest doing a Car Control Clinic 1-day course as a prerequisite to HPDE on track. Why?

CCC curriculum varies by region but typically includes slalom, emergency braking with ABS, emergency braking avoidance, skid pad, and figure-8 or high-speed ovals. Some even have an autocross course.

As you'll see on the track, driver talent beats car ability every time.

And the best way to learn driving talent is in an empty parking lot covered in snow. And the other best way is in a CCC class.

Experiencing oversteer for the first time at the end of a long straight trail braking into a high-speed corner is dangerous.

Finally, I had my wife enroll last year. Not because she has any interest in tracking, rather because I wanted her to improve her proficiency. In the days leading up to the event, she wasn't happy and I thought the whole thing was a big mistake. Midway through the day she remarked how much fun she was having. By the end of the day she told me she had a blast and that she was a much more confident driver.



Quote:
Originally Posted by schembree View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm ordering some Porterfield R4-S pads and I was lucky to get a car with Pilot Sport Cup 2's. SchnellFest is listed as a beginner to advanced track day, so I'm thinking there'll be instructors out there.
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      08-06-2019, 04:51 PM   #7
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Hey schembree, if you like track days, there is a driving school called Driveway Austin close to the airport that trains drivers to get started on driving on tracks. They have 3 levels and was great to learn the basics and then moved to advanced. It's close to Austin airport. Thought I would let you know incase you are interested. I went through their 3 programs and recommend it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by schembree View Post
Can anyone direct me to a newb HPDE thread? Planning on attending SchnellFest at COTA in September (if I can get in). New M2C, never tracked before, and would like to know what I'm doing before signing up.

I've read about issues with OEM brakes/pads on the track, but does that apply to the M2C with the upgraded brakes?
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      08-06-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by srim3 View Post
Hey schembree, if you like track days, there is a driving school called Driveway Austin close to the airport that trains drivers to get started on driving on tracks. They have 3 levels and was great to learn the basics and then moved to advanced. It's close to Austin airport. Thought I would let you know incase you are interested. I went through their 3 programs and recommend it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by schembree View Post
Can anyone direct me to a newb HPDE thread? Planning on attending SchnellFest at COTA in September (if I can get in). New M2C, never tracked before, and would like to know what I'm doing before signing up.

I've read about issues with OEM brakes/pads on the track, but does that apply to the M2C with the upgraded brakes?
I appreciate the heads up. I also forgot about Harris Hill south of Austin. Going to take a class at Driveway or Harris Hill first. Great idea.
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      10-24-2019, 12:18 AM   #9
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Glad to find this thread!

I'm on the same boat as the OP. Finally got a track-suitable car (new M2C) and looking at an HDPE event in December. The event is at DIS over two days (probably 4-5 25min sessions). I'm not sure what kind of wear to expect so debating what to do about rear pads and track tires:

I'm planning on Castrol SRF and DS1.11 pads up front and switching to DS2500 once back on the street (read that they have the same compound and no rebedding needed when switching between them). But on the rears, I first thought of putting DS2500s and leaving them for both track and street. But then wondered if I could just leave the OE pads in the rear? Will 2 days at Daytona be too much for OE rear pads? Any issues with brake balance?

Tires: thought of RE71Rs for track event and saving my OE PSSs for the street. If a couple of days track duty would (substantially) wear out the PSSs, does having dedicated track tires make $ense?

Thanks for any pointers!
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      10-24-2019, 08:17 AM   #10
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SRF and track pads is a solid plan, you will have no issues there. If you run your stock PSS and this is your first time at the track you will be absolutely fine with DS2500's, even the stock pads would probably work but just degrade fast. Running with MDM on will eat brakes quickly.

I would start on your stock PSS, RE-71's are incredible but better to move up to them later. Get a feeling for the car with stock wheel and suspension setup.

My first ever 3 track days I ran PFC-Z rated which is very similar to DS2500's with street Michelins with no issues on my e90 which is heavier with a less capable brake setup. Once you get fast enough to overheat the Michelins and they start feeling squirmy, you can move up to a streetable track tire (i.e. RE-71, Cup2, RS-4).

Keep your eyes up, stay sharp and have fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daytona_550 View Post
I'm on the same boat as the OP. Finally got a track-suitable car (new M2C) and looking at an HDPE event in December. The event is at DIS over two days (probably 4-5 25min sessions). I'm not sure what kind of wear to expect so debating what to do about rear pads and track tires:

I'm planning on Castrol SRF and DS1.11 pads up front and switching to DS2500 once back on the street (read that they have the same compound and no rebedding needed when switching between them). But on the rears, I first thought of putting DS2500s and leaving them for both track and street. But then wondered if I could just leave the OE pads in the rear? Will 2 days at Daytona be too much for OE rear pads? Any issues with brake balance?

Tires: thought of RE71Rs for track event and saving my OE PSSs for the street. If a couple of days track duty would (substantially) wear out the PSSs, does having dedicated track tires make $ense?

Thanks for any pointers!
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      10-24-2019, 01:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daytona_550 View Post
I'm on the same boat as the OP. Finally got a track-suitable car (new M2C) and looking at an HDPE event in December. The event is at DIS over two days (probably 4-5 25min sessions). I'm not sure what kind of wear to expect so debating what to do about rear pads and track tires:

I'm planning on Castrol SRF and DS1.11 pads up front and switching to DS2500 once back on the street (read that they have the same compound and no rebedding needed when switching between them). But on the rears, I first thought of putting DS2500s and leaving them for both track and street. But then wondered if I could just leave the OE pads in the rear? Will 2 days at Daytona be too much for OE rear pads? Any issues with brake balance?

Tires: thought of RE71Rs for track event and saving my OE PSSs for the street. If a couple of days track duty would (substantially) wear out the PSSs, does having dedicated track tires make $ense?

Thanks for any pointers!
Montaver is spot on - I just want to expand on the tires a bit more. A more street oriented tire like the PSS is typically going to be more forgiving & easier to drive. The breakaway & recovery characteristics will usually be better suited for a beginner. And not being as "fast" as say an RE71 you will be finding the limits at lower speeds. In my opinion this sets up most drivers to more quickly & better learn car control at the limit - a huge step in a driver's progress. Also keep in mind that stickier tires will be harder on the brakes - so don't out tire whatever you end up going with on the brakes. RE71 aren't slicks but are a noticeable step up from PSS.

Also camber plates - if you find that you enjoy it & start tracking more then might want to consider them pretty early. Will pay for themselves in tire savings.
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      10-24-2019, 05:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montaver View Post
SRF and track pads is a solid plan, you will have no issues there. If you run your stock PSS and this is your first time at the track you will be absolutely fine with DS2500's, even the stock pads would probably work but just degrade fast. Running with MDM on will eat brakes quickly.

I would start on your stock PSS, RE-71's are incredible but better to move up to them later. Get a feeling for the car with stock wheel and suspension setup.

My first ever 3 track days I ran PFC-Z rated which is very similar to DS2500's with street Michelins with no issues on my e90 which is heavier with a less capable brake setup. Once you get fast enough to overheat the Michelins and they start feeling squirmy, you can move up to a streetable track tire (i.e. RE-71, Cup2, RS-4).

Keep your eyes up, stay sharp and have fun!
Thanks for the feedback. Here's my thinking behind the dedicated track tires:

My local tracks are Daytona and Sebring. A set of RE71s are roughly the same cost as PSSs.

If I ran the stock PSSs, I was concerned that I may be left with fairly worn tires for street use, and they likely would not pass inspection for a second HDPE early next year (I'm in Florida ). If correct (big "IF"), I would then have to buy another set of PSSs (for street use), and repeat the cycle after the next HDPE.

If I ran the RE71s now, I would spend the tire money up front, but they would last several track events, and my OE PSS would be good for a couple of years (at least). I will only drive this car about 6k miles/year on street. I do appreciate the point that these better tires may keep me from learning the car gradually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OG Shark View Post

Montaver is spot on - I just want to expand on the tires a bit more. A more street oriented tire like the PSS is typically going to be more forgiving & easier to drive. The breakaway & recovery characteristics will usually be better suited for a beginner. And not being as "fast" as say an RE71 you will be finding the limits at lower speeds. In my opinion this sets up most drivers to more quickly & better learn car control at the limit - a huge step in a driver's progress. Also keep in mind that stickier tires will be harder on the brakes - so don't out tire whatever you end up going with on the brakes. RE71 aren't slicks but are a noticeable step up from PSS.

Also camber plates - if you find that you enjoy it & start tracking more then might want to consider them pretty early. Will pay for themselves in tire savings.
Really appreciate the feedback (I'm learning a lot on this forum)! I definitely want to learn and improve my skills gradually. I may be a little excited and overestimating my ability to use up PSSs on one weekend )!

Camber plates, yes! On my radar!

I'm pretty sure I will enjoy this, regardless of setup. This car is a blast and track days have been a bucket list item for a long time! 😊
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      10-24-2019, 09:42 PM   #13
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With no track experience I think 1 weekend on MPSS will have plenty of life left in them. I've seen several people still running MPSS + stock pads without camber plates after starting in novice groups and moving up to intermediate groups (i.e. 2-4 weekends) on my local track (which admittedly is not that heavy on brakes), they usually have very dusty wheels and worn shoulders but still lots of life.

For a complete novice I would stay stock, you can upgrade the fluid and perhaps pads but your first sessions are not going to be at high pace. You'll be overwhelmed with concentrating on the track and traffic around you. DS2500 pads would likely be absolutely plenty for the first weekend and likely fine for one or two more if you do decide to change pads. Starting with more aggressive pads probably won't help much for the first few HPDEs as you won't really get that much heat into them.

After you've enjoyed your first weekend then inspect pads and tires and consider whether camber plates and better pads are needed. I was on track with my M2 with MPSS + Pagid RS29 and no camber plates for 2 weekends in intermediate groups, the tires have now been retired to street use only (shoulders completely gone but lots of tread otherwise). I added camber plates the following season and went to RE71s and moved up to advanced groups, the RE71s don't last long (RS29s lasted 10-12 days).

I've been running RS4s and PFC08s recently, the RS4s last much longer than RE71s. I got 5 days or so out of my last set of RE71s, I'm going into day 7 & 8 with the RS4s this weekend. The PFC08s will have lasted me a full season (14 days) and might have some life left for next year too.
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