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Autocross the GS430?

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Old 02-21-05, 06:19 AM   #1
trimless
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Default Autocross the GS430?

The local BMW club here in Houston has an autocross event at the police academy driving course. Feeling confident that my GS can handle pretty good with the recent upgrades which include: Bilstein PSS coil overs, Daizen sways, front and rear upper STB's, Toyo TS-1's on L-tuned 17" wheels.

Well, when I arrived at the event my confidence was a bit shaky. Most of the cars were non-stock with suspension upgrades and this was my 1st autocross event. Then it started to rain, oh crap!
I had 5 runs at the track, the first 4 runs the track was fairly wet and I could not push the car. 1st run was 67 seconds and steady improvement down to 61 seconds on next to last run. The last run the track had dried but was still slick in some spots. I ran a best time of 60.3 seconds.
Compared to all the other cars, I ran right in the middle of the pack! A few were as low as 53 seconds, and the slower cars were up to 71 seconds. Bottom line I was very impressed with how the GS stacked up againt the competition and I received many comments from other drivers that were impressed with the time.

I did run with traction control on and it really hampered the car coming our of turns. I'm planning on upgrading to the LSD and wonder how much that will improve traction out of the corners with VSC turned off. Anyway, I'm really impressed that this car can hang with BMW's now!
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Old 02-21-05, 07:55 AM   #2
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VERY Nice job! Middle of the pack on your first try ever is awesome !

If its a dry day (or even just a practice day) try it with the VSC off if you're in a good lot with no obsticles (aka light poles or curbs). With your mods you'll be suprised at how much further beyond the 'expected' limits of the VSC you can push the car before you lose control and traction.
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Old 02-21-05, 12:53 PM   #3
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very nice results there, that's awesome! the gs is big but it can do pretty well in the handling department
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Old 02-21-05, 12:58 PM   #4
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Talking My Autocross Experience...

I ran an event last Halloween in Cumberland, MD. At that time, my car was 100% stock. I didn't even check the tire pressure and entered my car along side a host of modified Corvettes, 993s, 996s, Audi S4, A4, BMW E60s, and even a Lotus!

To my surprise, my car handled well enough to post a best time of 54.3 seconds, which was 10 seconds faster than the slowest, but 12 seconds slower than the Lotus. My best time was eventually disqualified because I kicked up some powder from the lines coming out of the last turn going into the finish line straigh-away! Arggghhhh!!!!

This was my first ever autocross event in a large sedan and it won't be my last. All I can say is that this type of fun was almost too fun to be legal! I have since upgrade my suspension and wheels and I can't wait for the Spring events to arrive!

...Just my two cents.


P.S.
BTW...I received quite a few strange looks from other drivers. They seemed confused as to why I would enter my car into such an event. I kept telling them that I didn't spend $50K on my car just to cruise around town. I wanted to see what this thing could really do when pushed. In addition, a few of them were amused by how quiet the GS ran even when I was at full throttle.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:04 PM   #5
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Default ...Here's a picture from the track...

...Sorry about the low resolution. My hung-over friend was attempting to take photos for me.
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Old 02-21-05, 01:10 PM   #6
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It's nice that the police are willing to sponsor this ...and give people a relatively safe, and legal place to do their motorsports instead of illegally and dangerously on public roads.

I did a whole thread on just this one subject here on CL about a month ago and stressed that I though this was the best solution to chronic racing on public roads....to have either the civil authorities or track owners set aside time specifically for the public to bring their cars and compete legally. I'm glad to see that some places are doing that ...especially with the authority of the police.

Of course, needless to say, it is still drive at your own risk.
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Old 02-21-05, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Legal Racing

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It's nice that the police are willing to sponsor this ...and give people a relatively safe, and legal place to do their motorsports instead of illegally and dangerously on public roads.

I did a whole thread on just this one subject here on CL about a month ago and stressed that I though this was the best solution to chronic racing on public roads....to have either the civil authorities or track owners set aside time specifically for the public to bring their cars and compete legally. I'm glad to see that some places are doing that ...especially with the authority of the police.

Of course, needless to say, it is still drive at your own risk.

Yes, I agree 100%!! I'ts so much more fun to drive fast and not worry about other idiots on the road or "the man". Autocross is so much fun, I'm hooked for sure. I'm tempted to sell my drag strip car (67 Chevelle) and buy a miata or something small for a weekend autocross car. It's fun in the lexus, but I can't help think that autocrossing is not really good for the car. What the heck, you only live once!
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Old 02-21-05, 05:43 PM   #8
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shoot i live in houston give me heads up on the next one i would like to check it out... not for my car but just to check it out.
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Old 02-21-05, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimless
The local BMW club here in Houston has an autocross event at the police academy driving course. Feeling confident that my GS can handle pretty good with the recent upgrades which include: Bilstein PSS coil overs, Daizen sways, front and rear upper STB's, Toyo TS-1's on L-tuned 17" wheels.

Well, when I arrived at the event my confidence was a bit shaky. Most of the cars were non-stock with suspension upgrades and this was my 1st autocross event. Then it started to rain, oh crap!
I had 5 runs at the track, the first 4 runs the track was fairly wet and I could not push the car. 1st run was 67 seconds and steady improvement down to 61 seconds on next to last run. The last run the track had dried but was still slick in some spots. I ran a best time of 60.3 seconds.
Compared to all the other cars, I ran right in the middle of the pack! A few were as low as 53 seconds, and the slower cars were up to 71 seconds. Bottom line I was very impressed with how the GS stacked up againt the competition and I received many comments from other drivers that were impressed with the time.

I did run with traction control on and it really hampered the car coming our of turns. I'm planning on upgrading to the LSD and wonder how much that will improve traction out of the corners with VSC turned off. Anyway, I'm really impressed that this car can hang with BMW's now!
Excellent results and write-up! I also went to a local BMW event and was a bit humbled by it all and er, didn't do as well as you shall we say. I also didn't have coilovers then or supra LSD like now. Trust me an LSD will help you a TON because the VSC won't kick in hardly ever.
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Old 02-22-05, 08:33 PM   #10
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Great to hear the GS got a lil respect from the bimmer crowd.

One BIG speed secret, try running the whole course manually shifted into second gear. Your handling will be better and I can almost guarantee faster lap times. As long as the straightaway speed is no higher than about 60mph, 2nd gear will be fine.

I did this at the Lexus Performance driving school I attended this summer. I set the the best lap time of the entire day, until the hotshoe after me tried the same trick and beat me by a tenth or so. Damn , I shoulda never said anything.
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Old 02-23-05, 06:33 AM   #11
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Default 2nd Gear

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Originally Posted by RMMGS4
Great to hear the GS got a lil respect from the bimmer crowd.

One BIG speed secret, try running the whole course manually shifted into second gear. Your handling will be better and I can almost guarantee faster lap times. As long as the straightaway speed is no higher than about 60mph, 2nd gear will be fine.

I did this at the Lexus Performance driving school I attended this summer. I set the the best lap time of the entire day, until the hotshoe after me tried the same trick and beat me by a tenth or so. Damn , I shoulda never said anything.
Thanks for the tip, but I had that one figured out already. The tranny kickdown in these cars is way too slow to leave it in drive for such an event. I had the car manual 2nd for the entire lap.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimless
Thanks for the tip, but I had that one figured out already. The tranny kickdown in these cars is way too slow to leave it in drive for such an event. I had the car manual 2nd for the entire lap.

Way to go.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:22 PM
 
 
 
 
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