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From digest.v5.n15 Mon Jul 22 20:13:40 1996
From: John Browne <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 17:42:35 -0700
Subject: RE: bmw-digest V5 #13

>Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 15:32:10 -0400
>Subject: Rolled my BMW at the Bridge and survived to post about it.
Rolled my BMW at the Bridge and survived to post about it.<<

Whoa, bad news! First of all, we're all thankful you're ok. Secondly, I'm sure everyone on the list who's ever been to a driver school is deeply sympathetic. There are tracks, and then there are tracks. Some tracks you can OTE and never hit nuthin'. Others will bite you if you make the slightest mistake.

You're to be commended for sharing your experiences. I hope you'll get back out there and keep working on it.

The hardest thing about driver's schools is learning to go slow to be smooth, cause the speed comes later. I think we all get hypercharged to stand on it, and can easily get up to dangerous speeds. A more experienced driver might have caught the slide, or would have had a safe OTE. Maybe not, I wasn't there, so I can't know for sure. I think it's vital for all instructors to keep their students to a safe speed, to tell them "if things seem to be coming at you too fast, SLOW DOWN." I've been out there, noticed I was in over my head, and stupidly kept going. Later I wrote a large check to the bodyshop. Last time I was on the track, late in the day I noticed my mind wander briefly. I said (out loud) SLOW DOWN NOW and did so, went in a parked the car. Drank some water. Sat down for awhile. Then I went out for a final session and did fine. If your mind wanders at 130mph you can die. At that speed the time it takes to notice something can carry you half the length of a football field.

I've seen many OTEs in the last 2 years on track, at least 7 have resulted in serious damage. Two cars were totaled. At SIR in a school a few years ago a fellow balled up a brand new, 1 week old, completely uninsured RS America ($85,000 US). Every single one of these incidents has been driver error. Every single one was avoidable. I may be dumber than the average bear, but after kissing two separate tire walls I've learned my lesson. If you want to drive really fast, go get a formula Ford and race it. Knock off a corner? Few hundred bucks. Hit a tire wall? No problem, a little duct tape. Smash the body? Costs $500. Try that on your M3... (Please don't all you FF2000 drivers flame me about how much it costs to race, I'm not talking about winning <g>).

I dread the day when I hear a school report that includes a serious personal injury. One of those could shut down our fun real quick. i think schools absolutely make better drivers of people, but they have to demonstrate that the risks in getting there aren't excessive.

>John Browne
>BMW ACA Puget Sound Chapter
>95 ///M3 LTW (PeeKay) (Tire wall #2)
>95 ///M3 (Tire wall #1)
>91 iX (Spunky the Brave Little Car) (my kid did this one...)

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