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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 06-11-2005, 07:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The mods may elect to move this, but it does relate to the E39. I wanted to briefly share with you all my impressions of driving a basically fully outfitted Nextel Cup car (#20 Home Depot) at Richmond International Raceway. My dear wife surprised me with a "Rookie" session with the "Richard Petty Driving Experience" (www.1800bepetty.com) yesterday, which included multiple brief instructionals, followed by 8 laps, by yourself, in a genuine Nextel cup car, following behind an instructor, who drives the car in front of you. The idea is to follow his line and maintain 3 car lengths behind him, and if you do well, he gradually increases speed up to the lawyer-determined maximum lap pace (which at Richmond's 3/4-mile oval is about 90mph average, 108 mph top speed; Pro race-pace is 122 mph avg., and up to 130 mph in qualifying). Richmond's track actually required some throttle modulation and braking, so it was different than, say, a RPDE session at Daytona.

Anyway, my point is that it felt surprisingly similar to my 1999 540/6 (but a LOT louder, WOW!)! It was familiar in that it was a big car that felt much smaller than it was; the handling and "feel" was similar (the transition from understeer to throttle-on balance toward oversteer was VERY familiar, and the G's weren't far off on the banked turns). The acceleration g's felt similar to a 30 to 80 mph run, except that in this case it was accelerating from 60mph to 108 mph, so I guess M5 would be closer still. Wow, what a rush! Overall, I wanted to go a LOT faster (career change?!?), but for most folks it is quite the experience! :-O

The 4-speed shifter and ergonomics were crude, of course, and the removable steering wheel was practically in my sternum. I could barely move in the suit/helmet/head restraint/harness I was fastened in, but didn't feel claustrophobic - the interior felt otherwise as roomy as the E39's cockpit. Just a lot harder and more metallic...

Overall, I recommend trying the RPDE if you can swing the dough and/or have an unbelieveably awesome wife such as mine (of over eleven years). They run sessions at tracks throughout the U.S. For me, there was no nervousness; it all felt very natural, almost deja-vu-ish...
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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lucky...

I'll do it one of these days
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I did mine at Phoenix in February of this year. One mile and very flat, almost no banking. These are all Busch look alikes and use Chevrolet 358 cu in engines and a two barrel carb at abot 650 HP. It was loud, but with the helmet on she was not too bad, the HANS does restrict the left to right view (peripheral vsion). Very quick and very stable, overall lots of fun.

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Old 06-12-2005, 10:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Man, I want to do this so bad.

Your are so lucky.
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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e39 > cup car

Hope you had fun
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry, but all of Richard Petty's cars are Busch cars, regardless of how they are painted. I had a Ford Taurus look alike (Jeff Burton's #9,last year before switching to the Cingular car) and I asked the question of the Petty Mechanics, how they are prepped and was told all are set up as Busch Cars, no Holley four barrel double pumpers and all Chevy engines.
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bear@Jun 13 2005, 03:28 PM
Sorry, but all of Richard Petty's cars are Busch cars, regardless of how they are painted. I had a Ford Taurus look alike (Jeff Burton's #9,last year before switching to the Cingular car) and I asked the question of the Petty Mechanics, how they are prepped and was told all are set up as Busch Cars, no Holley four barrel double pumpers and all Chevy engines.
[snapback]353221[/snapback]
I totally agree - I re-read the literature and their web site and they claim only to have Nextel Cup "style" cars. Either way, it sounded great, even if it WAS a 2-barrel...
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I miss spoke on the carburetor, it is a 4BBL, but a DEMON 390 CFM and yes they are painted to look like a Cup Car (sponsorship money). The ones at Phoenix were Elliot Sadler's #38 M&M, Tony Stuart's Home Depot #20, Dale Junior's Budweiser #8, Jeff Burton's #9, and Richrd Petty's # 43 (the stand beside photo car). They are quick, and fast and handle very well considering that they are not state of the art , cars by 2005 standards. At Daytona there is a sign that says "Gone 165 MPH"? and then the Richard Petty advertisement. If you have the opportunity, take a ride, a very moving :-) experience.
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