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      03-04-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
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Thumbs up I did a two day M-School [Updated: Added Day Two!]

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TLDR; Did a two-day M-School in California. Had a blast. Highly recommended, even if you never track your own car.

I recently participated in a two-day M-School at BMW's Performance Center West. I thought people would be interested to know what it was like, hence this writeup. The event was organized by BMWCCA's National Capital Chapter. We drove on Sunday, February 19th and Monday February 20th. The price of the school was $3395 (this was a special BMWCCA rate) and included the following:

---Two nights in a hotel
---Dinner on Saturday / Sunday night
---Breakfast on Sunday / Monday morning
---Lunch on Sunday / Monday afternoon
---Transportation to/from the hotel and the Performance Center

That left me with covering air travel to California, transportation to/from the airport, and any extra meals or hotel nights I needed (I stayed over Monday night). All in all, I'd say I probably spent ~$4100 for everything.

Day One --- Morning



We arrived at the Performance Center around 8:30am. Not much to say about it, it isn't terribly big. The one in South Carolina is larger. That is a new M5 sitting out front.

The first day started with some time in the classroom. Things kicked off with a round of introductions for instructors and participants. After that it was time for some slides. These covered a variety of topics including seating position, understeer, oversteer, braking, weight transfer, vision, cornering, etc. This lasted about an hour or so. I thought this was all really good information. Classroom time ended with everyone dividing up into three groups, blue, green, and red. Each group had six students in it. Within each group, each student had a number. For example, I was red #1 (Red Leader!). Once everyone had their numbers, and made a pitstop in the restroom it was time to head outside and start driving.

Weather



The weather was nice, though a bit chilly in the morning.

Cars



The cars on tap were M2s, M3s, and M4s. All cars have DCTs, no manuals here. Different cars were used for different activities. Each car had a magnetic number on it. This number corresponded to the number you were assigned in the classroom. You can see the numbers on some of the cars in the picture above. So, for each event, because I was red #1, I would get into the car with the #1 on the side. There was one driver per car, no sharing or swapping of drivers required. If a car breaks down, runs out of fuel, or is otherwise out of commission, they simply pull the number off, roll in another identical car, and stick the number back on.

Each car is completely stock. No racing harnesses, helmets, or special equipment is required. All cars run on Continental Tires at stock air pressures.

Vehicle settings were set based on what the instructors said at the start of each activity. All the M3s/M4s had the M1 buttons pre-programmed with the necessary settings. This adjusted all the steering, suspension, shifting, DSC, etc. I don't remember what they had them set to, but I do know MDM was used all the time. For the M2s, we started with "Sport" and moved to "Sport+" later on.

Instructors
A quick note on how the instructors work once you're in the car. With the exception of one skidpad event, there is no instructor in the car with you. You are in the car by yourself and there's a two-way radio clipped to the driver's side door pocket. The instructor has a radio of his/her own and feedback/guidance is provided using the radio. You can, if you need to, pick up the radio to ask a question or ask for help.

Participant skill level
There were participants in our group with a huge variation of skill levels. Some had several other M-School days under their belts, HPDE, autocross, etc. Some had very little experience. This proved to not be a problem at all. You are encouraged to drive at a speed/level that you are comfortable with. You are never forced to drive beyonds your limits.

Track
All of the activities for day one were done at the BMW track (as opposed to the actual circuits over at The Thermal Club). The track layout was changed throughout the day, using cones, depending on what we were doing.

Cones
OMG, cones. There's cones everywhere. Blue cones for turn-in points, yellow cones for apex markers, blue cones for track-out points, green cones for starting lines, red cones for pit lane, etc. The cones are made from rubber and running one (or more) down with the car doesn't hurt the car (or the cone).

Autocross



The first thing we did, being in the red group, was autocross. The M2s were used for this. They had us put the cars in "Sport" mode. Each activity kicks off with the instructor leading you through whatever you're doing. We followed his car around the autocross track and he pointed out turn-in points, braking points, where "pit lane" was, and any other gotchas. Then, they turned us loose, releasing us from the starting line one at a time, until everyone was on the track at the same time. The six of us did laps for 25 - 30 minutes. If the gaps between the cars closed too much the instructor would call someone into pit lane to try to break things up a bit. A quick 20 second break and then you were let back out onto the track. This was one hell of a way to start the day.

Skidpad



The second thing we did was skid / slide recovery on the skidpad. It's a huge concrete pad, ringed with sprinklers to make it wet, and covered with cones in the middle positioned in the outline of a circle. We did this event in the M3s, with all the nannies completely turned off. This is the only activity where the instructor rides shotgun with you. The purpose was to drive around the circle and practice recovering from a slide / spin. It sounds easy, but getting it exactly right is very tricky. The pad is very, very slick. Parts of it are so slick it is essentially the same as trying to drive on an ice rink. Seriously, that slick. The cars would start to spin at speeds of 12 - 15mph, while doing lazy slight left hand turns around the circle (counter-clockwise). I felt like I was getting a good handle on it just before we ran out of time. Another 5 - 10 laps around and I think I could have held the slide for much longer.

I was actually dreading this event after having done a similar one on BMW's skidpad in South Carolina. That skidpad has a _RIDICULOUS_ amount of grip compared to the one in California. You could do 45mph around the skidpad in SC, with all the nannies turned off, in the wet, and still not get the backend to step out on you. That meant all the spins / skids happened at much higher speeds and you needed to be a lot quicker to be able to catch it. I'm sure people with more experience would prefer that setup to the one in CA, but I thought the slower speeds in CA were much better for learning on.

Corner Entry
The last activity of the morning was corner entry. This was done in M4s. The point here was to walk through each step of entering, apexing, then exiting a corner. We did each step individually, then put them together and did some laps. For example, we would come down a short straight, up to 55mph, then get hard on the brakes (100% ABS stop) at the turn in point. The purpose was to see how quickly the car would stop, and how much more room we'd have, if we needed it. Next time around we moved the stop point to the apex. Then to the track-out point, etc. Each time the instructor, who was standing on the infield of the corner, would provide feedback/tips over the radio. This event was good because it really helped you work on the technical aspects of taking a corner correctly.

Lunch
Pretty standard fare here. Provided by BMW and setup in the cafeteria area on the second floor of the building. This took about an hour. The advise here would be to eat sparingly, no one wants to puke in an expensive M-car.

Last edited by orangeglim; 03-23-2018 at 07:38 PM..
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      03-04-2018, 10:22 AM   #2
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Day One --- Afternoon

Rat Race
After lunch it was back over to the skidpad for the Rat Race. This was done in M3s. All the nannies were disabled. Cones are setup on the skidpad in an oval shape. Two cars line up on opposite sides of the long side of the oval. There's a green start cone on each side the you pull up next to. The goal of the event is to do laps around the oval (counter-clockwise) and complete the laps before your opponent does. The entire purpose of this activity (in my mind at least) is proper throttle control. The skidpad is ridiculously slick so putting down tons of power does not help you finish your laps first. Do that and the backend walks right out on you and if you spin around you're disqualified. The instructor calls out who is in the lead over the radio, so there's a competitive nature to this event. I like this one. It's relatively low stress, and, drifting around the skidpad is loads of fun. I didn't win.

We used these M3s for most of day one:


These three were all individual colors.


Long autocross

After the rat race we did another, longer section of autocross. This was using different portions of the track that weren't being used for the M2s. We used M4s for this. This activity introduced trail braking and a tricky high speed chicane at the end of the straight. This was tough. We ran for a long time. I was getting worn out by the end. I had the A/C set to 60F and on the highest setting and I was still hot. My left leg was tired from bracing my body back into the seat. That probably sounds miserable, but it was still an absolute blast. The was the longest, fastest, section of track we did during the first day. At the end, the front tires were nice and toasty.



They also stunk like burning brakes and you could feel the heat coming off of them after you got out of the car.

Timed autocross

After a short break it was back into the M2s for timed runs on the earlier autocross section. These runs were done in Sport+ mode. Each driver took turns doing one lap. Each lap was timed. At the end of the lap you needed to stop in a stopbox. The stopbox was basically four cones, set up at the corners of a square. The timing gate was at the entrance to the box. So, you needed to get your entrance speed just right to stop the clock, but not so fast that you overshot the box. Overshooting the box added 2 seconds to your time. I don't like stop boxes. We got to run five laps, my best recorded last was 26.833 seconds. After everyone was done with their five laps we kept running extra laps, but not for official times. I did eventually get my time down into the 25s, but you'll just have to believe me though because I have no evidence.

Here's a picture of the orange M2, because I don't really have any others to show for this section.



The M2 was wrapped in orange. I snagged this pic to show how the reflector in the front bumper was covered over. It still looked bad ass and had a wrapped carbon fiber roof.

Timed long autocross

It was getting late in the day by this point (3:30ish PM). The last thing was two more laps on the longer autocross section using M3s. These were timed using a stopwatch. All three run groups (blue, green, red), ran back to back to back to see who turned out the quickest time. This was good fun. I finished in the middle of the pack with a 1:26.07 for my two laps. First place turned out a blistering 1:21.92.

Dinner

Dinner was provided by the Performance Center and hosted in the same area as lunch. This was primarily traditional German food, the names of which I can't remember. I do remember there was some apple pie/cake that was quite tasty. I'm pretty sure there was beer available as well, but I didn't have any. After dinner, around 6pm, we were driven back over to the hotel (in the hotel shuttle, not anything fancy). I was thoroughly exhausted, physically and mentally. I got back to my room and went to bed maybe 45 minutes later, well before 8pm local time.

Last edited by orangeglim; 03-04-2018 at 03:41 PM..
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      03-04-2018, 10:23 AM   #3
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Day Two

Morning

We started the second day a little later in the morning, around 9 - 9:30am. We were back in the classroom for this.



We discussed where we would be driving for the bulk of the day, on the South Palm circuit of the Thermal Club.



This is actual race track that's part of the larger Thermal Club venue. This is something they do not have at Performance Center East. We drove on the circuit in a counter-clockwise direction. So, if you're wondering why bother with Performance Center West vs Performance Center East, this is a great reason. We discussed the circuit as a whole and a few gotchas (as in, don't crash into the guard rail coming out of pit lane, that'd be embarrassing). Then we moved onto a discussion of how to handle the corners on the inside of this particular circuit.



We discussed braking techniques, where we were supposed to be on the throttle, how much, etc. Once we finished with the academic stuff we were reassigned to different run groups. The instructors were keeping tabs on everyone's skill level on day one and the groups were reassigned accordingly. This was done to keep drivers of similar skill levels together. As a result, everyone had a better, more consistent time out on the track. After some idle chitchat (we finished up early), we headed out to the cars.

I ended up in the green group, as #1 again, so I got to drive this monster first.



This thing looked awesome, an M3 in matte black. I mean, seriously, look at that thing. It's bad ass. I loved this car. We rolled down the road from the Performance Center building and onto the Thermal Club complex.

Side Note
It was SUPER windy on second day. Temps with in the high 50s, low 60s (F), but very windy. The sky was mostly blue with a few clouds, but dust was blowing everywhere and the gusts where pretty damn strong. I was worried it would be an issue while driving, but I didn't notice any abnormal effects.

Corner entry, back straight
The first thing my group did was corner entry on the back straight. This was done pretty much the same way as the corner entry during the first day. We worked through the corner(s) a segment at the time, stopping at first and then proceeding through each part in turn. The instructor stood at various places and gave feedback to each driver. The thing that struck me the most about this activity was acceleration of the M3 when starting off about 1/4 of the way down the bottom straight. The M3 pulls like crazy after the 1-2 shift (I ran in automatic mode, lame, I know). I don't recall doing any events at Performance Center East where you can really experience how the M3 pulls off the line. It's super impressive.

Corner entry, middle section
After doing several laps around the outer part of the circuit it was time to move to the corners on the inner section. Again, this was a corner entry activity. We did this in M4s. I was a bit disappointed because my M4 had a crack in the windshield that was right at my eye level. I mentioned this to the instructor but he wasn't fazed by it. I was hoping to get the car swapped out, but no such luck. It was a minor annoyance that I soon forgot about. This is the corner in the diagram picture shown above. There's a very long braking zone, a sharp corner at the end, a chicane, and then we were back at the start line. Each student went, one at a time, after which the instructor provided feedback. At several points we were told there wasn't enough tire squeal and that we could drive faster, if we wanted.

Cloverleaf Laps
Next it was off to the skidpad again, this time in M2s with DSC 100% disabled. For this event we did cloverleaf pattern laps on the skidpad. These were timed on a stopwatch. The skidpad was dry this time, but that didn't really help much. There were three cones that we had to make a cloverleaf lap around, and then come to a stop in the stopbox. I'll say it again, I don't like stopboxes. I found this particularly tricky. The skidpad is super slick, so trying to go all out with tons of power doesn't work here (despite what Clarkson might think). I finally got the hang of it on my last lap, but it was too late to correct the terrible times I put up on the previous four. The guy in my group with the best times made efficient use of the handbrake to whip the car around the cones. I tried this but I wasn't able to pull off the same moves.

Lunch
Another break for lunch inside the Performance Center building. I don't remember what we had, but it was tasty enough. Again, eat sparingly to avoid an upset stomach in the car later. At this point I realized that I had pulled a muscle in my back trying to put the brake pedal in the M2 through the floor during the cloverleaf laps. It wasn't painful really, only mildly annoying. About an hour for lunch, like the first day, and then we were back in the cars.

Lead/Follow laps, M3s
The first event we did after lunch was lead/follow laps in the M3s. I was back in that bad ass matte black M3. For this the groups were further subdivided into 2 or 3 cars, plus an instructor car. This is where everything you learned during the first day and a half was put together into coherent laps around the South Palm circuit. The instructor took the lead and took us around the track. The idea here was to keep 2 - 3 car lengths between the car in front of you and follow the instructor around the track. This was awesome, I really enjoyed this activity. It was challenging because the instructor sped up incrementally after each lap, so you really needed to concentrate to drive the line correctly. I routinely hit 135mph along the bottom straight, which is a little unnerving with so little space between your car and the one in front of you. We did quite a few laps, swapping the order of cars on the back straight when the instructor called it out. This was so each student had the chance to drive directly behind the instructor. So, I started in the second position, dropped to last, then to the middle, and finally back to second again. When we finished this section I was surprised when we did not do any cool down laps before coming into the pits. I felt bad for the carbon ceramic brakes that were radiating a significant amount of heat. The front tires on my M3 were 246F, as reported by iDrive. Then again, not my car, so

Lead/Follow laps, M4s
This was tough, we went immediately from the M3s into M4s after a short pitstop in the restrooms. The format was exactly the same, on the same section of track, just in M4s instead. I thought the M4 felt better around the circuit than the M3 (despite the cracked windshield). Maybe it was because I was more familiar with the circuit than I was before, I don't know. I felt like I could take the M4 around the track faster than the M3, with fewer "oh sh*t" moments. We also changed instructors, so we got to experience the style of the different instructors when driving complete laps. Again, this was an absolute blast. These laps, combined with the first lead/follow in the M3s, meant we drove this portion of the circuit continuously for over an hour. This is where you really get to see what these cars can do. Flooring it onto the bottom straight and hitting 135mph never got old. I mean, seriously, this was awesome. Honestly, smashing the brake pedal and feeling the car haul itself down to 65mph before hitting the left hander at the end was equally as impressive. You can't (safely) drive on the street like this.

After we finished our laps in the M4s the instructor led us off the track and over to the fuel pumps to top the cars off. They had full tanks in the morning but were now nearly empty. iDrive reported a whopping 6 mpg, oh well, not my car, or my gas. While I was waiting for my M4 to fill up I noticed a Lamborghini Gallardo (I think, I'm not good with Lambos) and a Ferrari LaFerrari sitting in the parking area directly next to the pumps. It was cool to see, but we were specifically told not to take any pictures, so, sorry.

Timed autocross
After we finished refueling our M4s it was time to hop into some M2s and head back to the Performance Center track for some timed autocross. This was very similar to the timed autocross on the first day, but the cones/track were modified to change the layout. This is the event where the M2 really shines, it feels so damn good doing an event like this. The M2 seems to just pivot directly around the driver. It felt great and really showcased what this car can do. It felt quite a bit stickier around the corners than my M235i. So much so that it convinced me to put down a deposit on an M2 of my own (won't get it until Q4) . I really wish we could use the M2s on the larger section of track so we could feel what it was like on the circuit. It feels so much smaller and more nimble than the M3s and M4s. The contrast, to me, was very apparent after spending so much time in the M3/M4s before. On my last lap I had a ripping good time going, but then I bumped the downshift paddle coming out of the last corner and knocked the car into 2nd gear which tanked my time, doh! I don't know what my time was, if I recall my lowest around around 51 seconds or so.

Wrap up
The timed autocross was the final event of the day for my group. We finished around 4pm. After that we headed back inside for a Q&A and debrief with the instructors. This was a good time, they announced the best times on the cloverleaf laps and the timed autocross. The winners got cheesy foam cones (like they do in SC). We chatted about the new M5 sitting outside, Continental vs. Michelin tires, a few other topics. The day ended with everyone getting a swag bag filled with various things, a metal water bottle (honestly, not that nice), a polo shirt, a nice lightweight jacket (I like this a lot and have worn it quite a few times since), and a few other bits and bobs. You also get a certificate for having completed a two-day M-school. Apparently this is required if you ever want to do the Advanced M-school class which is supposed to take place almost exclusively on the various Thermal Club circuits, and with DSC disabled for the bulk of the two-day course. There was talk of the NCC chapter doing this during President's Weekend next year (2019), so maybe I'll get in on that. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but who knows. I do wish the certificate was of higher quality, though, it looks like someone blew up a .jpg too big for an 8.5x11'' sheet of paper. Ultimately, that was inconsequential to the awesome time I had during the two days.

I should mention that there's also a gift store on site, so I bought t-shirts for each of my girls (6, 8, and 10 years old), another polo shirt for myself, and a BMW GoPro toe-hook mount. I spent around $250 on extra stuff to better remember the experience.

Overall
If you've only ever done BMW classes at Performance Center East you might want to consider doing a two-day event at Performance Center West. I thought the change in venue was worth the price of admission. The instruction track is different and the South Palm circuit is unlike anything they have in South Carolina. That said, if you only do a one-day school I don't know that it would be worth the expense because you don't venture out onto the Thermal Club circuits.

Last edited by orangeglim; 03-23-2018 at 07:37 PM..
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      03-04-2018, 11:28 AM   #4
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Looks awesome ! But $4100 ? That's not cheap...
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      03-04-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
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also recommended!
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      03-04-2018, 11:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I did the 1-Day M School a couple years ago in SC with the National Capital Chapter and considering the 2-Day M School at Thermal later this year. I’m on the fence and leaning toward passing on it. A few questions:

1. How does the track compare to Performance Center East (SC)?
2. What are you experiencing in the 2-Day M School that you’re not getting from the 1-Day? I know what th marketing materials say but interested in an unfiltered and unbiased view?
3. Are you driving the new M5 at all? I think I know the answer but would like to confirm.
4. Do you get a hot lap with the instructor in the new M5?
5. Is the M2 being driven on laps of the broader course and not just the “AutoX” section?

Thanks again for sharing and please post more pics when you have a moment.
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      03-04-2018, 11:54 AM   #7
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Thanks, well-timed, as I'm starting to think about doing one this summer.
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      03-04-2018, 11:56 AM   #8
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Good write-up, a lot of fun Recommended for sure I guess
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      03-04-2018, 12:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing!
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      03-04-2018, 02:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark_Kent View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. I did the 1-Day M School a couple years ago in SC with the National Capital Chapter and considering the 2-Day M School at Thermal later this year. I’m on the fence and leaning toward passing on it. A few questions:

1. How does the track compare to Performance Center East (SC)?
2. What are you experiencing in the 2-Day M School that you’re not getting from the 1-Day? I know what th marketing materials say but interested in an unfiltered and unbiased view?
3. Are you driving the new M5 at all? I think I know the answer but would like to confirm.
4. Do you get a hot lap with the instructor in the new M5?
5. Is the M2 being driven on laps of the broader course and not just the “AutoX” section?

Thanks again for sharing and please post more pics when you have a moment.
1. The track experience is different. SC has more elevation change, especially that one section tucked away in the back corner near where they run the motorcycles and such. It's almost complete flat in CA.

The Thermal Club circuit we ran on on the second day was lots of fun, more so than the big section that they run in SC. Pics and info on that when I write up day 2. If I had to chose one, I'd chose CA again.

2. I've only done the M-Club days in SC, which are one day events. These are (supposedly) BMWCCA-specific events so I'm not sure how they compare to the 1-day M-School. I will say, the second day was a blast. I figured if I'm going to spend the money, take time off work, make the trip, I'm damn well going to do as many days as possible. I wasn't disappointed.

3. No M5s in the school at this time. Maybe sometime later this year is what I remember hearing.

4. Nope, best we got to do was ogle the M5 in front of the building. Hot laps were done at the end of the second day in M3s.

5. Just like in SC the M2 is relegated to the smaller autocross section, primarily. I really wish we could have taken them out on the larger faster sections but the M3s and M4s were used for that.
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      03-04-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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Sounds like fun but for that kind of cash I hope you got a reach around. Having said that it makes me think what it cost to train me from DT, Active shooter, firearms, less than lethal weapons, use of force, crisis training, pursuit driving, it goes on and on...a ton of tax dollars, thank god I didn't have to pay for it.

We did weeks on the track doing all the follow the leader stuff, threshold breaking, late apex cornering, PIT, pursuit, felony stops, suspect apprehension, seriously high speed stuff....damn.

I'm glad you had fun, that stuff is a blast.

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      03-04-2018, 05:48 PM   #12
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Can I opt out of the Hotel and bring my own food? FYI I posted a coupon back in December for 20% off M-Performance School that got featured on the front page. If you had reserved at that time (you could book for 2018) that would have been a nice discount on the nearly $4000 price tag. Also, I believe BMWCCA members get some sort of discount. If you search for that thread, a few folks commented that they were even able to combine CCA and coupon discounts, but they decided to stop doing that after awhile so only a few people got that deal before it was shut down.

EDIT: Here's the URL for your info. Coupon is expired but might be worth reading anyway, there might be some discounts mentioned other than CCA that could be useful or they may still be accepting the coupon (like it was extended) though not likely due to demand:

https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...driving+school
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      03-04-2018, 07:32 PM   #13
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It was pricey, for sure. It's not something I plan to do regularly, so, as a one time expense to experience something pretty awesome I thought it was completely worth it.
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      03-05-2018, 10:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
TLDR; Did a two-day M-School in California. Spent $4100. Had a blast. Highly recommended, even if you never track your own car.

I recently participated in a two-day M-School at BMW's Performance Center West. I thought people would be interested to know what it was like, hence this writeup. The event was organized by BMWCCA's National Capital Chapter. We drove on Sunday, February 19th and Monday February 20th. The price of the school was $3395 and included the following:

---Two nights in a hotel
---Dinner on Saturday / Sunday night
---Breakfast on Sunday / Monday morning
---Lunch on Sunday / Monday afternoon
---Transportation to/from the hotel and the Performance Center

That left me with covering air travel to California, transportation to/from the airport, and any extra meals or hotel nights I needed (I stayed over Monday night). All in all, I'd say I probably spent ~$4100 for everything.
Glad you had a good time and great writeup!

For those who don't know, this particular 2-day ///M school was a special price for BMWCCA and NCC members. Significantly cheaper than the $4k rack rate.
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      03-05-2018, 12:39 PM   #15
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Just wanted to say that the price looks much better when you consider the price of the cars you were in effect renting and the price of the tires you were destroying. There is also the high wear and tear factor. You won't see many cars of that caliber doing track time and autocross because of those factors. I would enjoy this a lot knowing its not my car!
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      03-05-2018, 01:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
It was pricey, for sure. It's not something I plan to do regularly, so, as a one time expense to experience something pretty awesome I thought it was completely worth it.
Good write up! I was there too, but just taking photos. Some of which can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/bEdbOkvrlMZJmiIT2
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      03-05-2018, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeglim View Post
1. The track experience is different. SC has more elevation change, especially that one section tucked away in the back corner near where they run the motorcycles and such. It's almost complete flat in CA.

The Thermal Club circuit we ran on on the second day was lots of fun, more so than the big section that they run in SC. Pics and info on that when I write up day 2. If I had to chose one, I'd chose CA again.

2. I've only done the M-Club days in SC, which are one day events. These are (supposedly) BMWCCA-specific events so I'm not sure how they compare to the 1-day M-School. I will say, the second day was a blast. I figured if I'm going to spend the money, take time off work, make the trip, I'm damn well going to do as many days as possible. I wasn't disappointed.

3. No M5s in the school at this time. Maybe sometime later this year is what I remember hearing.

4. Nope, best we got to do was ogle the M5 in front of the building. Hot laps were done at the end of the second day in M3s.

5. Just like in SC the M2 is relegated to the smaller autocross section, primarily. I really wish we could have taken them out on the larger faster sections but the M3s and M4s were used for that.
For 2: The 1 Day M School at Thermal is the same as the first day of the 2 Day M School. No special CCA events were added to this school.

At Thermal, the 2nd day is spent almost entirely on the South Palms circuit at the Thermal Club. So that's the key difference between the 1 and 2 day schools. The advanced M is spent almost entirely on the Thermal Club (2 circuits: North and Desert Palms)
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Last edited by calbears; 03-05-2018 at 01:17 PM..
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      03-05-2018, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer456 View Post
Can I opt out of the Hotel and bring my own food? FYI I posted a coupon back in December for 20% off M-Performance School that got featured on the front page. If you had reserved at that time (you could book for 2018) that would have been a nice discount on the nearly $4000 price tag. Also, I believe BMWCCA members get some sort of discount. If you search for that thread, a few folks commented that they were even able to combine CCA and coupon discounts, but they decided to stop doing that after awhile so only a few people got that deal before it was shut down.

EDIT: Here's the URL for your info. Coupon is expired but might be worth reading anyway, there might be some discounts mentioned other than CCA that could be useful or they may still be accepting the coupon (like it was extended) though not likely due to demand:

https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...driving+school
The 2 day and Advanced M school price includes the hotel and food. And you don't want to miss the meals at the performance center because the chef is awesome.

You can't combine the CCA discount (15%) with a coupon. But you can combine the CCA discount with the voucher (not sure that's the right term) that you get when you buy a new BMW. I called the performance center and enquired whether my M2 purchase qualified for a car control clinic and got about $700+ in credit and used that with a 20% off coupon to get a 2 Day M school for about $2500.
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      03-05-2018, 01:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calbears View Post
The 2 day and Advanced M school price includes the hotel and food. And you don't want to miss the meals at the performance center because the chef is awesome.

You can't combine the CCA discount (15%) with a coupon. But you can combine the CCA discount with the voucher (not sure that's the right term) that you get when you buy a new BMW. I called the performance center and enquired whether my M2 purchase qualified for a car control clinic and got about $700+ in credit and used that with a 20% off coupon to get a 2 Day M school for about $2500.
That's a big discount over $4000. For that you can get an MPPSK, which you keep as long as you own the car verses blowing $2k for a weekend. I attended the UDE when it came to my city and for a relatively nominal fee they let you drive the M cars, otherwise it was free. Got my performance fix without having to spend any money and even came away with a couple of souvenirs.
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      03-05-2018, 05:37 PM   #20
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Last year I combined the 20% off UDE promotion with the $849 car control school credit for the 2-day M-School. Brought the price down to $2520, and I had four nights (the car control school credit also had two nights) in the Palm Springs area.

One thing to note is that the BMW CCA 15% discount is only good for full school programs. It doesn't apply to the shorter 1hr-half day "experiences" the performance centers offer. The UDE/Holiday 20% off promotions apply to all programs.
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      03-05-2018, 10:19 PM   #21
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I am so jealous of you guys getting to drive in the M schools. Some day I would love to go.
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      03-05-2018, 10:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calbears View Post
For 2: The 1 Day M School at Thermal is the same as the first day of the 2 Day M School. No special CCA events were added to this school.

At Thermal, the 2nd day is spent almost entirely on the South Palms circuit at the Thermal Club. So that's the key difference between the 1 and 2 day schools. The advanced M is spent almost entirely on the Thermal Club (2 circuits: North and Desert Palms)
Thanks for that. Candidly, I'm not interested in paying $4,000 for half of the class to be a repeat of the 1 Day M School. I'll have to look into the Advanced M School.
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