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Old 02-28-2016, 07:22 PM   #1
The-Traveler
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Unhappy How can I LEGALLY enjoy a 400HP car in Ontario?



Hi Guys 'n Gals,

With the weather being so nice outside I took out the M3 (e92) for a stroll and met up with some of my childhood "car-guy" friends. We went to our old school car spot, which I'm sure some of you know, the 403 & Dundas Timmies.

It was windy and chilly, and there wasn't anyone there.

We were chatting about the various dumb things we did with cars growing up and I was asking them if they wanted to try a track day this summer. I was trying to explain that since I've purchased my M3 (previous car being an e46 330 coupe) I haven't really been able to open it up and enjoy it. The car has the double clutch transmission so I can't row gears anymore, (was the only fault with the car,) plus the power and 8300RPM red line, means that I'm going way over all speed limits by the time I top out 2nd gear.

Maybe I'm getting old (late twenties,) but I no longer feel that driving crazy fast on these regular roads in the GTA is fun, and it just feels stupid. When I was 16 I had a Dodge Neon, so ripping it through a couple of gears, couldn't get you in trouble and it took a while; but with this car it's gone in a second and you're always more than 50KM over, looking over your shoulder.

The second issue with Track days is that I have many years of payments left and so if I do a track day or Driver Development, I need to be able to get insurance on the vehicle. At the auto-show, last weekend, there was a company selling Track Insurance for approximately %1 of the value of you car, which sounded pricey but I could justify it... only to find out that their deductible was $5,000!

A couple of years back I spend some time in Germany and rented a Volvo and drove 650KM from Berlin to Munich in around 3 hours, it was the best drive of my life, so smooth and everyone moved out of your way. Every time I go anywhere on the 401, people clog up left lane doing 110 and so you have to drive like a douche and cut through traffic just to get around them.

In essence what I'm saying is that I am developing this pent up desire to really drive my car, but I'm trying to find ways to do it responsibly and legally. I've never driven at a track, but I'm very interested, so long as I can get insurance.
Sure I can drive up to Muskoka to enjoy the twisties, but how often can you justify driving that far for some nice roads? I've been to San Francisco, and there, 30 min outside of the city you've got beautiful roads... not like Toronto.

Can anyone else relate to how I feel?
Is there a solution?
How much are driver development days?
What are the chances of getting into an accident on the track?
What the hell do the super-car owners know that I don't?!


Apologies if I ranted a bit.

Last edited by The-Traveler; 02-28-2016 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
TSI
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I have the same problem as you (admittedly, my car is slower). I found the best answer was to actually forget about cars altogether and try gokarts. Not the kiddie kind, but actual race carts (shifter karts). Much more of the visceral thrill, but so much cheaper and no chance of ruining your car.

If it's your specific car you want to wring out, well, can't really help. Sorry
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:50 PM   #3
dbworld4k
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Solution is easy: you don't have to use all 400HP all the time. Otherwise none of the current high HP cars would make any sense.

I'm in my late twenties as well and recently acquired an E92 M3. Having owned a faster 335i and a M5, I'm no stranger to the 400ish HP club.

It always boils down to one fundamental: pick your time and place to have your fun

Find some empty back roads. Do some track days. If your only seat time is going to be on the 400 series highways and urban jungle, then you're not going to enjoy even a fraction of what these cars have to offer.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:35 PM   #4
bjsbrandon
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Although I can't completely relate as my car is comparatively slow, I do understand.
Like dbworld4k said, there's a time and a place. If the only driving you get to do is in traffic, well...that sucks man.
There's some great roads around Hamilton/Burlington area if that's not too far of a trek. I could PM you a google maps route my buddy with an e90 M3 made if you want.
As far as track stuff, I'm not too sure. Insurance has always been a question for me as well. Last summer, I looked into doing a Mosport track day hosted by Endras BMW. The price was $550 and that included a full day on the track, with professional instruction and training, breakfast/lunch/snacks catering, etc. You're required to bring your own vehicle and they provide a complimentary vehicle inspection at the dealership prior. Not sure on if they had some sort of insurance included with that though. I doubt it.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:03 PM   #5
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Track school is the best bet for sure....Guess what, it's considered "driver education" which means ...you're covered...definitely ask about that.

Secondly, since you've never been before, the school will be safer and you'll learn a lot too.

There are quite a few options besides the $550 mentioned earlier - I hope that's the BIG Grand Prix track for that price. Smaller tracks like Mosport Driver Development would be a better place to start anyway - keeps the speeds lower.

I find Trillium BMW club is pretty good. The prices are reasonable, they bring lots of instructors and try to match you with others with similar experience.

After taking a bunch of track school courses, I started going on my own with some friends. I've made many friends at various events too. Most of the time, we'll pick a day and head to Cayuga. It's pretty casual - you just check their calendar and show u with some dough....aboiut $100 for an evening. They don't even require a helmet. Cayuga is still "tight" so you won't even hit 200 kph with your car. Mosport GP will let your M3 stretch it's legs a bit but you still won't hit Vmax.

So what do your childhood "car-guy" friends drive?
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:17 AM   #6
mudmojo
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We hit the same track insurance booth and when they told us about the 5K deductible, we had to laugh it off.

I think there's a few challenges here with your vehicle choice if you want to have fun legally on public roads.

Your car is geared and delivers torque in such a manner as to necessitate going at least 40kph before any fun starts. To have any below 40, you'll have to do it in a shipping/sliding fashion. Because it's a DCT tranny, there's no satisfaction of the pedal dance and it's so efficient that it's maybe too good. A gentle pull of a lever will take you over 100 easily.

Secondly, we live in and around the GTA. The roads suck around here.

Here's what my buddy did. He bought a crap car and his second vehicle was a 600cc supersport motorcycle.

What he did well with the bike
- picked a vehicle that provides the sensation of speed even when not moving quickly . check!

Here's where he could have done better in my opinion.
- picked a vehicle with no torque down low
- picked a vehicle with way way too tall gearing
- picked a vehicle that hits torque peak at way too high of a speed to have legal fun
- picked a vehicle that can easily break all speed limits in 1st gear
- picked a vehicle that the cops are looking to target and can hear from a mile away when ridden spiritedly

See where I'm going with this?

The most fun I ever had with a road car was a little Subaru that had low gearing. Mid 12 second car all day long but it was the need to change gears all the time that made it fun. The top of 3rd was only about 120kph. The interactiveness was incredible.

This is also where my M5 fails but as a GT car that is meant to gobble up miles, I find its tall gearing to be both a blessing and a curse.

Ironically, I think a car like one of those new Teslas would be awesome in a straight line. Go like stink while staying under the radar.

I too like the idea of taking it off public roads. Gokarting sounds awesome if you have the means to tow a kart and live close to a track. E90/92/93 M3's need a custom hitch setup to tow so access to another tow vehicle would be a better idea imo.

If you are into 2 wheels and want an adrenaline rush, bikes are way cheaper to buy/enjoy than cars. Dirtbiking in particular is amazing simply because on designated trails, there are no police waiting around corners with speed guns to empty your pockets. You could also take a sportbike to the track too if outright speed is your game.

Let's put it this way. I owned a 9 second evo (street tires, pump gas) and the rush I got out of that was generally not close to my little 250cc dirtbike when riding offroad.

Then of course there are extreme sports like downhill mountain biking that'll get your heart pumping without breaking the bank anywhere near as much as taking a car to the track. Everyone's perception of fun is different but that's mine.

Whatever you decide upon, enjoy it!
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:27 AM   #7
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How can I LEGALLY enjoy a 400HP car in Ontario?

I second the motorcycle notion. Sports cars are incredible fun but the bike world is a whole new world of thrills. Hence why I got one this year as well. I still remember doing my Rider Training in 2010 and I had an absolute blast on their shitty 250cc Yamaha cruiser bikes they teach you on. Dollar for dollar, riding on two wheels is probably the most fun you can have while keeping your clothes on.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudmojo View Post
Here's where he could have done better in my opinion.
- picked a vehicle with no torque down low
- picked a vehicle with way way too tall gearing
- picked a vehicle that hits torque peak at way too high of a speed to have legal fun
- picked a vehicle that can easily break all speed limits in 1st gear
- picked a vehicle that the cops are looking to target and can hear from a mile away when ridden spiritedly
How about installing some Prius tires on your M3?

5k deductible is not bad if you totally wreck it.... but you could probably part out and get more $
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:20 PM   #9
jabela
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Tracking is very safe, especially the Trillium events and on smaller tracks. Autocross or time attack is a very safe way to have fun as well.
I've never heard of two cars coming into contact. Occasionally a car hits a wall at CTMP, but it's usually some bro in a Ferrari 599 or a old Corvette. If you're responsible enough to take it easy and not push over the limit you'll be fine.

At smaller tracks like TMP, CTMP DDT, Shannonville, it's almost impossible to wreck your car.

Certainly having fun on the track is massively safer and less costly than doing it on public roads. Crashing into someone else or getting caught for 50+ over is going to cost you more than totalling your car at the track (which when it does happen is often only cosmetic damage from a tire wall or something).

That said, if you can't afford to replace your car, you shouldn't be risking it on the roads or track.

You could get a cheaper car just for the track (E46 M3, Miata, BRZ, Boxter, etc).

As others have said karting is pretty much your best bang for the buck, but there is some risk to your health there (usually only broken limbs if in a big crash).

Goodwood arrive and drive karting is a good place to start http://goodwoodkartways.com/?page_id=191

BMW Trillium Club has a winter karting series at indoor electric karts. It's actually pretty fun because they turn the speed up from what the general public gets.

Motorcycles are fun but the most dangerous out of all options. I need 2 hands to count the number of friends I have that have died or been seriously injured. Too many idiots texting out there to ride safely on the roads.
Definitely fun on track though.

Another option is Chump Car racing. Many teams have spots you can buy into for a season or just one weekend. It's very safe and is real racing.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
jabela
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Originally Posted by windwagen View Post
How about installing some Prius tires on your M3?

5k deductible is not bad if you totally wreck it.... but you could probably part out and get more $
Hah, +1 to running skinny tires


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Old 02-29-2016, 03:01 PM   #11
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Admittedly, my M3 is actually pretty damn slow, but my previous car was a 300-something horsepower 350Z a really short final drive, so I'd say it was at least "quick" and that I can relate to some of your troubles.

When I got an itch to test the limits with the 350Z, I took it out to Shannonville for a track day. Absolutely no regrets.

Take a look at http://torontotrackdays.com/ for a list of events that will be held in the upcoming season.

Take note of who is hosting the event and what their policies are. I personally recommend Touge.ca track days because they are VERY safe and inexpensive (I paid under $100 for the day). No one is to pass around corners and you are only allowed to pass if pointed by. It keeps the risks very low. Essentially, the only thing you have to worry about is yourself. Don't push the limits too hard and you won't get yourself into trouble. I wouldn't bother with insurance if you trust yourself enough.
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:07 PM   #12
jabela
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Touge group is good. I've gone out with them several times.

I do recommend going with a good driving school first though. Money well spent and your insurance should cover it since it is driver education (as windwagon mentioned).
http://trillium-bmwclub.ca/content/a...river-training
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:42 PM   #13
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OP, don't assume you won't be insured on the track unless your insurance company has told you so. I would phone your company, you don't even need to give your name, and find out if they cover "driver education" events on a track. Some of the major companies will cover you, but you cannot be racing, or timing. Most clubs will have you run with an instructor, and wait for point-by's for passes. Both of these two requirements will help with the insurance.

As others have said, Trillium is a great, high value club to start with. Great instructors, great crowd, and awesome track. I also understand that they have yet to have a claim denied for an accident on track. Having said that, you will likely have problems with your insurance company afterwards, so most people just go to the track under the expectation that if the damage is minor enough, they will be paying out of pocket themselves... Beginner group is generally pretty safe, but anything can happen (ie fluid on track etc).

It's a very addictive sport. I would try it out at least once.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:44 PM   #14
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I enjoy autocross, probably not the speed you're after but it's a great way to push your car laterally and can be a humbling experience when a stock Toyota Matrix beats you lol.

As for development days, I did the Ontario Time Attack school at Mosport (full circuit) and it was a blast, well worth the money.

http://www.casc.on.ca/timeattack/about
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:26 AM   #15
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The sound of that beautiful V8 snapping and growling thorough the ///M sport exhaust is something I never get tired of.
Track days are for sure the best way to enjoy the limits of the E90, but I enjoy every day I fire that engine up!

As a friend said, BMW drivers don't accelerate from the on-ramp, they're slowing down....
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