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Student/Instructor chat

Discussion in 'Driving Schools' started by steven s, Jul 29, 2010.

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    You'd feel right at home sitting around after hours with Dave Farnsworth and me living our instructors' 'dream world'. For many years, we've wished we could buy a fleet of 2002s (and now, E21s and probably E30s) in which to teach everyone how to drive. There are a lot of good reasons this makes better drivers than someone who shows up in a car that does everything for him in the corners and walks away from everyone on the straights. That gives them a huge ego boost while we shake our heads and wait for the disaster to occur.

    One of my favorite lines for all the high-hp guys is that a well-trained chimpanzee could drive as fast as they do in a straight line. So what's the point? In a straight line, your grandma could drive just as fast. So check the ego and forget your straight-line 'kill stories'. We aren't impressed.

    What we are there for is primarily to teach people how to drive well in corners. The fastest (and most dangerous) corner at Road America is The Kink, and there are very few cars that can't reach the highest speed you have any business driving through there. You can crash an E21 320i there because I know a guy who did it. So every car out there has the power to learn where the limits are. You don't need to enter any turn any faster than you'll be going through it. "But whabbout braking and downshifting?" You'll get plenty of that for 3, 5, 8, and 12. For the fastest turn at the end of a straight, it's only about 100 and if you cook your brakes going from >160 to <100, guess how good they'll be in two more turns when you need to get down from >160 to <50 ... :eek: The good driver in the 320i at its limits will be going through that turn pretty close to the same speed as the good driver in the M3 at its limits. It would surprise you how close they are.

    Something that even some instructors seem to constantly overlook is pitting out of a train. If there's no realistic possibility that you'll be passing a moving chicane driver within the next two passing zones, then just pit and let it go. Wait for a big open space, or a couple of fast capable drivers, and then get back out on track where you can learn something other than frustration and passing in a straight line (You did that on the interstate on the way in, didn't you?). Yeah; you lose a minute of 'track time'. Would you rather spend three, five, or ten behind someone whose ego, or lack of attention, is wider than you can get around?
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    That's what I miss most about my E21.

    thanks for the insights CR and everyone else.

    The 1981 320i had what -- THREE electronic chips in the entire car, counting the digital clock, the radio and the ANALOG ECU computer?

    You are on TOTAL manual control in that 5-speed stickshift car. Good luck trying to blame a computer problem in that vehicle. The only "computer" worth mentioning in that car is the one belted into the driver's seat.

    My E32 by comparison, has at least 12 different computer-controlled systems in it.

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