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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I race in a class of 1987-1991 BMW 325's. Once/month I tow a 7k lb enclosed trailer to tracks in the SE, call it 4-8hrs. My 2000 F-250 is supposed to be the best model year of one of the best diesel engines ever put into a truck. But it's loud as hell, the gas mileage sucks around town, and the truck is as austere as a prison cell. It's so damned loud that even after weather stripping mods and 2 1/2 layers of sound proofing in the cab, I still arrive at events with my hearing dulled. It's punishing and I'm sick of it.

I'm stoked about the reviews of the Ram's mpg. My daily driver is a semi-restored classic 80's BMW 5 series and I'm very protective of it. If the weather is crappy it's the truck that goes to work. That 30mpg is almost twice what the F-250 gets in town. The low payload and towing capacity is a concern tho. I sure hope I'm not making a big mistake.

I came out of school as a mechanical engineer, but never used it. I'm a former Marine and Army Ranger. After retiring I became a computer geek. Hobbies are competitive shooting, I've been doing triathlons for 30yrs, and of course car racing. The race class is called SpecE30 and is the 3rd largest race class in the nation. The BMW 3 series, '84-'91, is called an E30. A "Spec" class is one where very few modifications are allowed. We can't fool with our drivetrain, we all have the same suspension, and there's really nothing of importance on the car that one can use to gain advantage. This is a good thing. It means that when I get my ass kicked, it's because I suck. Not because the other guy is an ortho surgeon and makes a million/yr. I don't want to lose because I'm outspent. It also keeps costs under controls. You can get a decent SpecE30 for $10k. Classes that allow lots of mods get very expensive. There are other classes on the track with us that have cars worth >$200k. People with normal income levels can't wad up a $200k car and walk away with no regrets.

There are tracks all over the nation. Organizations are going to those tracks all the time and hosting Driver's Education events all the time. Sign up on line, show up with your car in good condition, they assign you an instructor for the weekend, and you have the time of your life. After doing many events, some choose to get their daily driver off the track by buying a dedicated track car. This is much safer and much more fun because the fun is "on the edge" and you really can't do that in the car you plan to drive to work on Monday. But in a dedicated track car that you could wad up and it wouldn't be a financial crisis, has a full cage, race seat and harness....now you can attempt to live on the edge. And that's where the fun starts. At some point, some enthusiasts start thinking about competition and transition out of driver's education, thru comp school into wheel to wheel racing.

I've been racing now for 7yrs. I'm really not that great. As one of the largest race classes in the nation the competition is fierce. Guys that do well in our class do well in "The Show" at Rolex, Grand Am, World Challenge and Continental race series. I'm no threat to them, but at the end of the day the beer tastes the same and my adventure stories are as good as any.

Here's what it's like to race.
Here's the race last Sep where I broke my wrist.
Here's my most popular video. The end of my first race car. 87mph into a cement wall at Road Atlanta.

3 kids in grade school, Married to a lawyer chick.

Truck ordered today. http://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/ram-1500-diesel-purchasing/174-[official]-ive-ordered-put-down-deposit-thread-5.html#post2478
-Scott in Savannah, GA. Gress Home Page
 

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Racing a spec class, is a good time.

I ran track days for a while, but I had a few buddies that were hurt bad, so I got out of it. Also, as I got older, I had a hard time staying tucked up on a bike, and I would be in pain for a few days after, regardless if I went down or not.

I also understand about the big diesels. I had a 2002 Cummins Ram. Inside the cab wasn't too bad, but I couldn't talk to someone at a drive-up window. (ie, McDonald's) but, my old Cummins would get better mileage than my new 1500. (18 vs 15 mixed driving)

I ordered a new ecodiesel just based off the MPG, and since it has better torque than my gas 1500, I figure the towing will be at least the same.
 

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I race in a class of 1987-1991 BMW 325's. Once/month I tow a 7k lb enclosed trailer to tracks in the SE, call it 4-8hrs. My 2000 F-250 is supposed to be the best model year of one of the best diesel engines ever put into a truck. But it's loud as hell, the gas mileage sucks around town, and the truck is as austere as a prison cell. It's so damned loud that even after weather stripping mods and 2 1/2 layers of sound proofing in the cab, I still arrive at events with my hearing dulled. It's punishing and I'm sick of it.

I'm stoked about the reviews of the Ram's mpg. My daily driver is a semi-restored classic 80's BMW 5 series and I'm very protective of it. If the weather is crappy it's the truck that goes to work. That 30mpg is almost twice what the F-250 gets in town. The low payload and towing capacity is a concern tho. I sure hope I'm not making a big mistake.

I came out of school as a mechanical engineer, but never used it. I'm a former Marine and Army Ranger. After retiring I became a computer geek. Hobbies are competitive shooting, I've been doing triathlons for 30yrs, and of course car racing. The race class is called SpecE30 and is the 3rd largest race class in the nation. The BMW 3 series, '84-'91, is called an E30. A "Spec" class is one where very few modifications are allowed. We can't fool with our drivetrain, we all have the same suspension, and there's really nothing of importance on the car that one can use to gain advantage. This is a good thing. It means that when I get my ass kicked, it's because I suck. Not because the other guy is an ortho surgeon and makes a million/yr. I don't want to lose because I'm outspent. It also keeps costs under controls. You can get a decent SpecE30 for $10k. Classes that allow lots of mods get very expensive. There are other classes on the track with us that have cars worth >$200k. People with normal income levels can't wad up a $200k car and walk away with no regrets.

There are tracks all over the nation. Organizations are going to those tracks all the time and hosting Driver's Education events all the time. Sign up on line, show up with your car in good condition, they assign you an instructor for the weekend, and you have the time of your life. After doing many events, some choose to get their daily driver off the track by buying a dedicated track car. This is much safer and much more fun because the fun is "on the edge" and you really can't do that in the car you plan to drive to work on Monday. But in a dedicated track car that you could wad up and it wouldn't be a financial crisis, has a full cage, race seat and harness....now you can attempt to live on the edge. And that's where the fun starts. At some point, some enthusiasts start thinking about competition and transition out of driver's education, thru comp school into wheel to wheel racing.

I've been racing now for 7yrs. I'm really not that great. As one of the largest race classes in the nation the competition is fierce. Guys that do well in our class do well in "The Show" at Rolex, Grand Am, World Challenge and Continental race series. I'm no threat to them, but at the end of the day the beer tastes the same and my adventure stories are as good as any.

Here's what it's like to race.
Here's the race last Sep where I broke my wrist.
Here's my most popular video. The end of my first race car. 87mph into a cement wall at Road Atlanta.

3 kids in grade school, Married to a lawyer chick.

Truck ordered today. http://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/ram-1500-diesel-purchasing/174-[official]-ive-ordered-put-down-deposit-thread-5.html#post2478
-Scott in Savannah, GA. Gress Home Page
Very cool man. Locally there's an import league who race 80's/90's compacts...but my buddy dominates so much that I don't even play. Runs an Acura Integra (v-tec is banned) but he had a 2.0-litre re-stamped with the code/serial of a 1.8 and all B-series blocks have interchangeable parts so you can't tell...until he comes down the straight. He's the only racer I've ever talked tech with and that gives that "league" a really high rate of cheating. His son races out of his shop but doesn't know anything about the cars but he's also running an old Honda with a B-series). Keep up the footage, I sold my drag car and I'm waiting on my truck so keep up vids of either!
 

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Looks like car in front on that last video dropped a motor and you hit oil.

Better in a car than on a motorcycle. I was both a flat track and roadracer. Some guys my age still try to participate. Man it would be more than a broken wrist now.

Your videos are super exciting. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Backstory on the big crash, from Vimeo, the video hoster. A Spec3 (BMW E36) lost coolant in front of me. It looked like he was going to stay left so I resolved to stay right. I backed off the gas a little to reduce the g loading. At the time I thought that he was blowing oil, but I would find out later that it was coolant. My plan to stay clear of the stuff didn't work out tho because as I entered the S curves I found that there was no way to avoid the fluid trail. Keep in mind that this is all happening in about 1 sec. There seemed nothing I could do other than just try to be careful. Which is when my rear end snapped around.

It was immed clear that there was no saving it. In order to prevent hooking into one of the cement walls on both sides, I locked up the brakes. Which is when I hooked hard right into a cement wall at 87mph.

The impact knocked the wind out of me so I just sat there for a bit and worked to get some air with shallow breaths. By the time I could breathe, a red flag had been thrown and the other race cars were all pulled into the pits. Figuring it might be smart to get out of the car in case it got worse, I gingerly climbed out. It also seemed to me that doing some moving would give me some answers for the ambulance crew's questions that were sure to come.

I lay in the grass for a while. It was quite comfortable. I appreciated the fact that I didn't have to do a goddamned thing. There were folks coming to get me and my only responsibility was to just lay there and enjoy the sunshine.

Except for a broken rib, I was fine. Hitting the harness that hard bends bones in ways that they are not used to, the anti-sub straps were quite unkind to the family jewels, and the knee bar stove in a bit and whacked my shin, but I was in much better shape than the car. The math of an 87mph decel in 18" works out to a g load that would not appear to be survivable.

After reviewing the video many times it looks like I had 30-40deg right steering input when the rear end slipped out. I immed went to 5-10deg of left input to try to catch it, but when nothing happened I went to brakes. Once you lock up the brakes you generally keep going in whatever direction you were going in. I wanted to get on the brakes before I started too much lateral movement. That way I might just slide right down the track. At least that's what the automatic reactions were trying to do in the small fraction of a second available. At least that's what I think they were trying to do. The reptile brain absorbs information, makes decisions and reacts so fast that it's hard to 2nd guess later what was going on.

The driver can feel what happens well before it's apparent on the video. By the time the video shows the car going sideways, the reptile brain had already decided, for good or ill, that it wasn't salvageable and to lock up the brakes and try to slide down the center of the track. And we saw how well that plan worked. ABS is nice in that it prevents a person from flat-spotting tires, but it would seem that it's not always on your side.


Pick of aftermath. http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr17/RangerGress/SpecE30 No 6 KIA Dec2011/IMAG0044.jpg

What we do isn't really all that dangerous. It's pretty rare for someone to get hurt. What boy hasn't broken a few bones in an adventure? Motorcycle racing? Now that's dangerous. Every once-and-now I'll be at an event that has motorcycle sessions. They keep the ambulances busy. Too dangerous for me.

Re. the import league. It's just as much fun to be a mid-packer then to be at the pointy end, so don't let his big engine be a factor to keep you away. Besides, unless the delta in cars is enormous, it's really about skills, not the hardware, and it's a helova lot harder then it looks. The guys that are good, are magic. The fact that I'm not magic doesn't make it less fun.

I'm one of the guys responsible for making sure that the cars don't have illegal mods. Having done for a while now, and building my own engines, I've a reasonably good handle on the hard-to-detect ways to get more power. Tearing down someone's engine to go on a fishing expedition would be a very confrontational approach and we don't want to go there.

We just implemented a dyno rule and it's first use will be in a week and a half. I've come out of turns and drag raced down long stretches 100's of times. We have 150-155hp at the wheels in our OEM drive train. The cars weigh about 2500lbs. The other guy will need 4 or 5hp on you before you can tell at all that he has more engine. The dyno rule is going to DQ cars >163hp. This will catch the couple of knuckleheads that have engine mods that only a tear down would detect.
 
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