I've been lurking around the Forums while contemplating the purchase of a Z06 to replace my M3. Any of you guys put them out on the track in the Southeast? Any lap times for Road Atlanta, CMP, VIR or Roebling Road?
I got to run the Z06 at a Justin Bell two day competition clinic earlier this month. The stock car will run in the mid to high 1:30's on this ten turn 2:25 mile circuit. (Incidentally, the only person to totally crash a Justin Bell Z06, was an editor from a car magazine--real car experts - huh ??)
These times at Moroso are a bit faster than SCCA ITS, if that helps as a frame of reference.
We got to run the car hard in day, night and wet track conditions. IMO if you were to take one of these cars to a track day, the car should run with about any other street car there. (most street cars at Track days are prepared, but the Z06 is "prepared" out of the box)
Because the speed potential of the car is so high, it takes a good bit of experience to safley approach its limits. That says an experienced driver in a Z06 will be among the top 10% at a track day, regardless of what else shows up.
The amazing thing about the Z06 is how track ready the car is, without modifications. Porsche has allways had that reputation, but IMO, you need to get the kind of Porsche only sold in Europe to get the same level of "track readiness".
On the other hand, comparing them to pure racing cars on slicks is a toatlly different matter. I have no direct experince with one set up for SCCA racing. But one car I have seen (running SCCA GT1) was converted to coil overs (vs leafs) and it was SCARRRRY FAST !!
Thanks for the feedback. I've been to 2 events in my M3 where Z06's were running, and I was able to run with all of them (barely). I have no idea how hard they were pushing, or how capable the drivers were.
the biggest difference between driving a BMW and a Z06 on a roadcouse is it is much easier to drive a BMW all out than a Z06. thus, it takes a good driver to take full advantage of the Z06's abilities while a lesser driver can utilize the full extent of the BMW. my guess is the drivers in the Z06's weren't able to drive their cars all out.
I own M car and was getting an 01 M3, after driving Z was hooked. There is definitely big difference in the way the car handles but I drove high performance V8's in 70's and 80's before switching to BMW. I am going to Justin Bell's to learn better how to handle this fun ride. :cheers: :cheers: :z:
If you were staying with a Z06 with a E46 M3 (not the current 300+ hp model) then you were out driving the Z driver.
I don't know how to put this delicately, but a Z06 will burry a E46 BMW. (assuming both drivers max out their respective cars)
I've owned and raced a 1st gen BMW M3. It was able to put away some 2nd gen M3's. (probably driver skill, but still ...) I've also owned an M-Coupe. I did not consider it very track friendly. Too narrow to me.
The Z06 combines a lot of great features. Cornering force exceeds that of any street car tested by Car and Driver, (this yields high entry and mid-corner speed), the torque is unbelievble (this yields explosive exit speed and acceleration), and finally the brakes feature extremely easy modulation to the threshold and don't fade.
What I observed with professional drivers like John Paul or Justin is they have a perfect line and are extremely smooth in the transitons. When the car is near the limit you do not want to be learning (and adjusting) the "line". This is a car that deserves a lot of respect while learning. The electronics may ultimately save you, but those brown shorts leave a lasting memory !!
There are a lot of good reasons to buy a M3. More practical, maybe you like the "feel" better. Faster track times is not among that list.
I currently race an SPU car in SCCA. I bought the Z becasuse it can outrun my race car while on street tires. Now that is a feature you don't find frequently.
Actually I think the decison is pretty simple. If after driving a Z you want the M3, then you should buy it.
X Porsche Guy,
I have ridden in and driven many pre 2002 M3's on track at
Mid-Ohio. They are very good cars.
A stock 2002 Z06 will beat a stock pre 2002 M3 at Mid-Ohio(2.4 mile course) by 6-7 seconds if both are driven by the same experienced driver.
BTW: I do not find the Z06 any harder to drive than most other cars. Found the 911 the hardest to drive but still love it.
You can always use active handling at first until you get used to the car.
I agree with your observations, and second the 911 point.
Having not driven the 2002 M3, I'd suspect, based on the 300+ HP, that the car is close to the Z06. My guess is it is close enough that the driver can be the difference either way.
On the difficulty of the Z06. I think you'll agree that the real challenge is getting the last 10 - 15% out of it. But this is a characteristic of any truly fast track car. When you really are on the limit things are happening very fast. I guess that's the real fun !!