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Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? #5135863 06/16/19 04:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
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SLO_Town Offline OP
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Hello:

I'm looking to do some track work in either my SHOWROOM condition, street legal but highly modified BMW E46 330Ci, or a new Mustang GT. Tracks near me are Buttonwillow and Laguna Seca. Willow Springs and Infineon (aka Sonoma or Sears Point) are a bit further away, but still easily doable.

Speed Ventures has events at each one of these tracks and the prices are reasonable. Does anyone have any experience with Speed Ventures or similar organizations? I'm not a BMW CCA member. Anyone familiar with their events?

I am the original owner of my E46. It's never once been driven on a wet road, but still I HAND WASH the undercarriage yearly. It was never used for commuting. The only time it's out is when I WANT to drive it, and that's only on cools days on certain roads under light traffic conditions. 99% of it's life it sits covered in the garage. Yeah, yeah, I know....

I do 100% of my own maintenance and modification work (other than a couple of alignments and smog tests, the air bag recall was the first time someone else worked on it since new). I use only the finest BMW M and Group N parts and boutique tuner parts (there's not a single polyurethane bushing on the car). The engine is dead stock, it has some drive train changes, and it has heavily modified suspension and brakes. I even have a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on it. The car really is track ready.

The only problem with the car is that it's virtually FLAWLESS. Therefore I'm a bit hesitant to use it on the track. I'm more worried about rock chips and such, not driving the car "fast". As a consequence, I'd like and environment where I'm not closely following other cars on a crowded track. I'd be happy with just 50 or 60 MILES of track time per day, most laps at 7 or 8/10ths with a few 9/10ths laps thrown in for a nice buzz. A car can be driven quickly, but smoothly. I won't hurt the car driving it like I'm capable, other than use up brake pads and tires.

Or do I keep the E46 as a garage queen and instead buy a new Mustang GT with the Performance Package and drive that snot out of that. My E46 is truly flawless. See pictures. Am I a fool to use it for track duty?

Anyway, Speed Ventures info. Which car? Other useful comments are welcome.

Scott

IMG_2067.jpgScott's 2003 BMW 330Ci #2.jpgIMG_1813.jpgIMG_1812.jpgFinned diff cover side view.JPG

03 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP (BMW TPT 5W-30)
10 Honda Element SC (Kendall GT1 Max 5W-30)
11 BMW E90 328i M-Sport (BMW TPT 5W-30)
16 VW Passat VR6 3.6L SEL Premium (Euro Castrol 0W-40)
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: SLO_Town] #5135917 06/16/19 05:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
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bdcardinal Offline
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I have run with them before at Street of Willow. They are a good group. As far as tracking your E46, I wouldn't. You have to be prepared for any car you take to the track to go off course. At Buttonwillow and Willow Springs that means getting covered in dirt/sand inside and out.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: SLO_Town] #5135958 06/16/19 05:58 PM
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Only you can decide what you're comfortable doing with any vehicle. I won't bore you with the history of our fleet of toys, except to say that some get used and abused, while others are more pampered. But they are all maintained.

Ultimately they are all inanimate objects that can be replaced.

Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: bdcardinal] #5136106 06/16/19 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
I have run with them before at Street of Willow. They are a good group. As far as tracking your E46, I wouldn't. You have to be prepared for any car you take to the track to go off course. At Buttonwillow and Willow Springs that means getting covered in dirt/sand inside and out.

You are probably right. It probably makes more sense to buy a Camaro 1SS !LE. $45K sticker. I'm pretty sure I can buy for thousands less.

I've had my E46 for 17 years and have meticulously cared for it. It makes no sense to give it track duty at this stage of its life. It really does look and drive like a new car.

Thanks for the Speed Venture feedback.

Scott


03 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP (BMW TPT 5W-30)
10 Honda Element SC (Kendall GT1 Max 5W-30)
11 BMW E90 328i M-Sport (BMW TPT 5W-30)
16 VW Passat VR6 3.6L SEL Premium (Euro Castrol 0W-40)
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: SLO_Town] #5136199 06/16/19 10:58 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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Speed Ventures is at Buttonwillow the last weekend of July. I will most likely be there with some friends and our Lemons car so we can get track time. It is a CRX and none of us has owned or driven a FWD car on track before so it will be interesting.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: bdcardinal] #5136242 06/17/19 01:11 AM
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SLO_Town Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
Speed Ventures is at Buttonwillow the last weekend of July. I will most likely be there with some friends and our Lemons car so we can get track time. It is a CRX and none of us has owned or driven a FWD car on track before so it will be interesting.

Lemons. FUN!


03 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP (BMW TPT 5W-30)
10 Honda Element SC (Kendall GT1 Max 5W-30)
11 BMW E90 328i M-Sport (BMW TPT 5W-30)
16 VW Passat VR6 3.6L SEL Premium (Euro Castrol 0W-40)
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: SLO_Town] #5136461 06/17/19 10:22 AM
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I_4 Offline
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Being on the east coast, I do not know anything about Speed Ventures or the tracks out west. I have done HPDE on the northeast tracks, Watkins Glen is a great driver’s track. I, personally, would not subject your NON replaceable BMW to track days. Even in well regulated track events, sometimes, someone makes a mistake, drives over their head, or is just a jerk. Yes, they get pull in and talked to, or benched, according to their transgression. But you and your car may be the one affected prior to them being pulled off the track.
I will give you an example from my firsthand experience. A couple of years ago at New Hampshire, there was an RX-8 in my run group. Overall lap time, he was slower than me in the Miata. But could somewhat catch up on the front straight. This was the norm for three sessions. On the fourth, last session of the day, late pm, he could stay with me a bit better in the twisty bits. I waived him by on the front straight. Exiting the infield section, same lap, (ends up in NASCAR turn two) He spun, ending sideways at track out, somewhat blind section from the infield, no yellows shown in time for my arrival. I missed him by a couple of inches in my pristine 92 Miata. (summer use only, seen rain twice in the last 15 years) It could have been real ugly for the both of us. I pinched the exit to avoid a t-bone and nearly spun myself. No other choice, the exit is concrete wall, NASCAR turn two. I talked later, to the driver in the garage area, after he was benched and the session was over. I was polite on approach, and he told me that he wanted to be “faster than a Miata” at the end of the day. I did not appreciate that, and his over-driving the last session. I typically, back off just a bit in the last session, to keep everything intact and account for any lack of concentration, fatigue, familiarity, etc. After all, the goal is to drive it home.
I have not done New Hampshire since, for that near miss, and a couple of other reasons.
I would you suggest that you obtain a ride that you could push off a cliff and not feel bad about. At this stage of it’s life, your BMW has too much to going for it to become a track toy. It will be on a race track with different cars and drivers of different talent levels and objectives. Get something that can be replaced and you not feel any emotional loss. And track day insurance is not a bad thing IMHO. The Mustang GT track pack should be a great choice for you.


2007 BMW 328 Ams Euro 5W-40
2005 Honda Civic Si EP3 Ams Sig 5W-30
2000 Mazda B3000 (winter)
1992 Mazda Miata (summer/HPDE) Ams Z-Rod 10W-30
1990 Volvo 240DL
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: I_4] #5141143 06/22/19 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by I_4
Being on the east coast, I do not know anything about Speed Ventures or the tracks out west. I have done HPDE on the northeast tracks, Watkins Glen is a great driver’s track. I, personally, would not subject your NON replaceable BMW to track days. Even in well regulated track events, sometimes, someone makes a mistake, drives over their head, or is just a jerk. Yes, they get pull in and talked to, or benched, according to their transgression. But you and your car may be the one affected prior to them being pulled off the track.
I will give you an example from my firsthand experience. A couple of years ago at New Hampshire, there was an RX-8 in my run group. Overall lap time, he was slower than me in the Miata. But could somewhat catch up on the front straight. This was the norm for three sessions. On the fourth, last session of the day, late pm, he could stay with me a bit better in the twisty bits. I waived him by on the front straight. Exiting the infield section, same lap, (ends up in NASCAR turn two) He spun, ending sideways at track out, somewhat blind section from the infield, no yellows shown in time for my arrival. I missed him by a couple of inches in my pristine 92 Miata. (summer use only, seen rain twice in the last 15 years) It could have been real ugly for the both of us. I pinched the exit to avoid a t-bone and nearly spun myself. No other choice, the exit is concrete wall, NASCAR turn two. I talked later, to the driver in the garage area, after he was benched and the session was over. I was polite on approach, and he told me that he wanted to be “faster than a Miata” at the end of the day. I did not appreciate that, and his over-driving the last session. I typically, back off just a bit in the last session, to keep everything intact and account for any lack of concentration, fatigue, familiarity, etc. After all, the goal is to drive it home.
I have not done New Hampshire since, for that near miss, and a couple of other reasons.
I would you suggest that you obtain a ride that you could push off a cliff and not feel bad about. At this stage of it’s life, your BMW has too much to going for it to become a track toy. It will be on a race track with different cars and drivers of different talent levels and objectives. Get something that can be replaced and you not feel any emotional loss. And track day insurance is not a bad thing IMHO. The Mustang GT track pack should be a great choice for you.

Sorry for the slow reply, l_4. Good info on your part. You get it. Thank you!

Scott


03 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP (BMW TPT 5W-30)
10 Honda Element SC (Kendall GT1 Max 5W-30)
11 BMW E90 328i M-Sport (BMW TPT 5W-30)
16 VW Passat VR6 3.6L SEL Premium (Euro Castrol 0W-40)
Re: Anyone familiar with Speed Ventures? [Re: SLO_Town] #5147239 06/29/19 04:17 PM
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A_Harman Offline
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Get the Camaro 1LE or a 5th-Gen Z28. You dote on the BMW too much to ever get the most out of it. True learning in road course driving requires many, many laps. Your idea of doing 7-8 laps of 8/10ths driving per session will never get you to the point of feeling a car in the last couple of tenths. You need a car that you can rely on and not too feel too bad about using hard.


1985 Z51 Corvette track car
2002 Camaro Z28 LS1/6-speed
2001 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel
1972 GMC 1500 shortbed project truck
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