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Bmw-cca Stuck In The Stone Ages!

Discussion in 'E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008-2013)' started by rschrader, May 23, 2011.

    rschrader guest

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    I have happily been driving my 2011 M3 hardtop convertable in many of the local track days (NASA, SpeedVentures,etc.) and wanted to sign up to participate in the 6/10 track day at the Fontana Speedway. Come to find out they don't allow convertables, hardtop or not.

    BBW-CCA says that until they are able to verify the safety of the hardtop convertables the ban will continue. Apparently, those in charge of making the rules at BMW-CCA have deemed the hardtop convertables unsafe. Is this a position the club has shared with BMW? Did BMW sell me an usafe car?

    Very frustrating. After finding out that my M3 was banned, I tried to sign up to drive my new X5. Apparently the X5 isn't welcomed on the track except in the novice group which is sold out.

    Just venting a bit..

    ForcedInduction guest

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    Many clubs do not allow drop-tops or SUVs at HPDE events due to the obvious safety issues. IMO they are executing good judgment even though I understand the frustration.

    rschrader guest

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    I can understand the SUV and soft tops. The hard tops should hopefully be allowed soon. Something about insurance costs. Thanks for the reply.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    A hard top may offer more protection than a drop-top but the structural integrity of the vehicle if it gets upside down is likely to be significantly lower than a coupe/sedan.
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    CRKrieger

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    I understand and I agree with you. Unfortunately, I lost that argument almost 20 years ago at a national HPDE conference. For the time being, that's the rule, but these rules are not absolute. Rules can be changed. It will take serious involvement on your part to get the issue back before a board that will change it. As BMW sells more and more cabrios and roadsters, more and more new club members will be demanding that they be accommodated in HPD events. I am not a cab/roadster owner or driver, but I do support your position.

    As an instructor, I have ridden with drivers in convertibles and I have few qualms about it in the right vehicle. You just need to find and elect enough like me to get the rules changed. At the same time, don't immediately turn it into an argument and don't get strident about it. Nothing galvanizes an issue faster than taking a caustic approach to it.* So, tone down the rhetoric and develop a coherent and reasonable plan to address their concerns. Then, start talking to the right people. I'd start with your chapter HPDE chair and chapter board. Once they're onboard, approach your RVP and other RVPs as well as any national board officers you may know. Simply go about talking to reasonable people who are either current office holders or who are willing to run for club offices and get them into a position to change the policy - because that's how BMW CCA works.


    * BTW, back in 'the Stone Age', we DID allow drop-tops. So, in the club's view, this is the more enlightened approach.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Well, yes and no, CR. . .

    Krieger and I may be the only two instructors who have taught in open-air cars. But he is only partially right about how the verts and roadsters came to be considered the Wheels of Satan. It's not the Board, it's the chapters---most specifically, the Driving Events Committee.

    For years---at least since 1998---members at the Chapter Congress have wrangled over the issue. Minimum standards were once open to interpretation that allowed an argument for, say, teh Z4, with its "factory rollover protection." But that interpretation came to be a minority position, and more recent DEC rulings have been decidedly in the anti-open camp.

    I do not see this attitude changing any time soon. And these days I have no credibility, because since I now own a roadster, it is assumed that my pathetic bleating on behalf of drop-top owners is inspired by my own personal interests.

    However, I have believed since long before I bought the Silly Car that if our mission is to make better drivers of our members through our schools, then we should be able to do that regardless of which BMW they favor.

    What's this about not allowing X5s? Is somebody plumb loco?
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    CRKrieger

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    Ah, yeah. Thanks for that correction. I think anyone who starts getting into this rat's maze would figure out who needed to be lobbied pretty quickly.
    Three or four years before that, actually. I don't remember exactly which year it was, but it was the first DEC congress after 1993. The chief antagonist was 'CCA's general counsel (whose name escapes me) who advised the conservative approach in spite of many compelling arguments I made that the club exposure would be nil. At the end of the day, he and I still disagreed and, as I was merely a representative of my chapter, not paid counsel for anyone, the vote went conservative. There was still a fairly free chapter option, of which we took advantage for a few years until a litigation-shy board took over after I left the presidency and went the way of the DEC's litigation-shy approach.
    I think the 'no SAV/SUV' policy is more a 'quality of life' thing when it comes to the BMW jeeps. Nobody with his hotted-up M3 wants to get passed by an X3. I can see where the prohibition works to protect against me bringing out my Real All-Murrican Jeep© Vehicle Grand-by-God Cherokee Lardo (with a stroker 4.6!) and rolling it into the weeds off Turn 8, but simply prohibiting non-BMW SUVs would take care of that.

    We may run the best and safest events there are, but this is not to say we couldn't do better for our members. The system isn't perfect yet.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    I think the real concern is safety. Even a hardtop can become disloged in an accident and impart injuries that would not normally be possible in a sedan or coupe. Obviously SUVs have a higher cg and that can be a real safety issue on-track.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    SUVs and SAVs

    Yeah, well, it turns out there's a reason BMW called their trucks "Sport Activity Vehicles." When they launched the X5 in 1999, BMW turned journalists---journalists!! :eek: ---loose at Road Atlanta in the damn things. Yee-ha indeed.

    And then there was the V12 Le-Mans-engined X5 that Hans Stuck drove around the Nurburgring in under eight minutes. . . .

    I double-dog dare you to try to roll an X5 M. Bill Auberlen, for one, swears it can't be done.
    Dave Flogaus likes this.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    I'll bet when the driver goes off track into the grass/mud and catches a tire an SUV will flip just like a car will. We've all seen this many times. A higher cg just makes it easier to achieve. Active controls aren't very effective when the tires are in the air... ;)
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    CRKrieger

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    Of course it will roll if you 'trip' it. Anything will. That's why you're instructed to drive straight off the track. On the other hand, the only thing I've ever seen flip (not roll; flip) on the track was an E36 M3. I agree with Auberlen. You probably can't roll one of these without trying.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    As an instructor you know that things happen on track that are unexpected. ;)
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    tiFreak

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    challenge accepted, let me tag along next time you're test driving one for Roundel :D

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