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    Thread: Track Day Event info for noobs

    1. 12-17-2006 11:25 PM #1
      There may already be one, but im just unaware of it, i was thinking it might serve well if we have some sort of sticky that incorporates basic info for noobs who are interested in going to the track. Im new to all this myself, having started a little over a year ago, but i think i have some experience that i can share with noobs...and i also not too long ago was a noob, so i still remember how it was like to be a noob. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/zeroforum_graphics/grinsanta.gif" BORDER="0">

      I know people have many many questions and concerns, heck im still learning, but having responded to various threads regarding noobs asking first time track related questions, almost always there are a few that almost everyone asks. Before i go on, id like to welcome anyone else with experience to chime in with anything else they feel would be helpful/yet not overwhelming for a noob. Thus, this thread does not have to remain the same, it can/shall be amended in time if it survives (because i dont know everything) ...and can eventually include what fluids to look into, tire rotation, suspension, etc...This probably looks and sounds a bit messy now, but its a start. Ill start off with some basic advice, wheels/tires, various tools a noob might need, and anything else that comes to mind.

      The knowledge vent begins: The best overall advice i can give a noob would be to take a step back and to not jump into anything too quickly. That means, theres no need for you to go and purchase slicks/R-compounds, a new set of track wheels, an expensive suspension, a bunch of power mods, a bunch of tools...i think you get the idea.

      The best thing you can do is to track your car in stock form. Learn to drive your car in its most base form. Once youve become comfortable with it in stock form, then begin to mod it one by one. This way, youll know exactly what your new rsb, or new tires, or new suspension is doing. Plus, youll value it more. Either way, as a noob, mods are going to make no difference.

      Everyone has a preconceived notion of on track driving, which is sorta based on their street driving experience. No intake, or chip/flash, or suspension is going to make any difference at first. Youll be too busy your first time just being overwhelmed by the overall experience. Youll probably be way off of the racing line, youll be braking in the wrong points, youll probably be in the wrong gears or shifting aggressively/excessively....youll basically be too busy doing a whole lota messing up.

      Tires: I was taught, and learned, the best way to begin is with some good old high performance street tires. There are many inexpensive high performance street tires out there...and they periodically change. No need to buy something super expensive, and vice versa, dont buy some super cheap knock offs. Get something decent. When i began, i started with the Michelin PS2s...they got the job done.

      Why not begin with Slicks or R-compounds? Ive never used slicks so i wont comment on them, but i use R-compounds and know why (either way, i think the same concept applies to slicks). As a noob, since you dont know how to drive properly on a track (you pretty much do everything wrong, like i mentioned earlier) you end up abusing/ruining your tires. If you dont properly drive on R-compounds you can ruin them from the get-go. Ive seen several noobs show up with new Toyo RA1s (which are R-compounds) and either flat spot them within the first session, or just lose control/spin off.

      Another reason why you dont want to start off with R-compounds as a noob, is because their tolerance for mistakes are lower. What that basically means in a simple way is, street tires give you a bit more room to "mess up"...where R-compounds dont. Street tires sorta give you a warning before they give...whereas R-compounds, dont give you much of a warning. The tolerance for mistakes with slicks are even lower...youre either stuck to the road, or youre a goner.

      Wheels: Your stock wheels should be fine for now. If you have some super nice expensive wheels, then maybe ask around and look into getting some inexpensive wheels for now. If not, use your stock wheels with the tires i suggested until you gain some experience. By the time your street tires run their course, youll by then have enough experience to know what you really need.

      Tools: There are a few basic tools youll need. Gradually youll learn what else is necessary, but for now the following will suffice.

      1. A good torque wrench...so dont buy some cheap $30 one from walmart, you need something good so you can trust its calibration. A good one is about $80-$100. If your stock wheels have a wheel lock, make sure to remember to take it with you. I forgot mine once as a noob.

      2. Tire pressure gauge. You really dont need some fancy shmancy one. Just make sure to use the same one to regulate your tire pressure, ie dont use yours, then someone elses on another tire.

      3. Some sort of floor jack. Why?...if youre going to want to swap out wheels/tires, or do any other sort of work on your car that requires you to lift your vehicle, youre going to need a floor jack. Aluminum low profile floor jacks are pretty popular. Why aluminum?...because theyre light. The last thing you want is to carry around a 50+lb steel jack. Although, i think some people use steel jacks also. If you plan on lowering your car, youre going to need a jack that will fit under your car...thus, the low profile versions. You can purchase a decent Aluminum low profile floor jack for around $90-$150.

      Other than those 3 there are probably a bunch of other stuff you can get also, but look into those 3 for now. Like i mentioned in the former part of this thread, if this post survives or becomes a sticky, it will most likely evolve...so expect to see additions/adjustments. Hope this was helpful for now.

      Wanted to make a few additions to this thread. After thinking things through, i thought it might be easier to simply add a few threads instead. If youre simply looking for some threads to read, these are some decent ones. Im sure there are other informative threads out there also, these are some of the ones i remember:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3548249

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3669840

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3663073

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3667192

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3644268

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3512994

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3573871

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3397339




      Modified by number9 at 12:01 PM 2-19-2008


    2. 12-18-2006 03:25 AM #2
      Quote, originally posted by number9 »
      3. Your oem jack will be fine for now, but eventually you may want to look into getting some sort of Aluminum floor jack. Why aluminum?...because theyre light. The last thing you want is to carry around a 50+lb steel jack.
      No offense but they call those things widow makers for a reason. They should only be used in an emergency. And FYI the craftsman aluminum jacks weigh in at just about 50 lbs. Mine is a little lighter at about 40 lbs.

    3. 12-18-2006 07:14 AM #3
      Quote, originally posted by NOVAdub »
      No offense but they call those things widow makers for a reason. They should only be used in an emergency.

      Thank you for the response. I created this thread to help noobs with the basic questions that almost everyone inquires about as a noob. It would be in their best interest, and ours for that matter, if everyone who wants to participate to respond with suggestions/advice that are pretty clear. For that reason i ask that you elaborate as to what you meant by that comment.

      Every track event that i go to, people who show up with their extra set of wheels/tires (which are their track set) utilize some sort of floor jack to lift their vehicle, so they can swap out their street set with their track set. Thats basically why i recommended a floor jack in the first place...so im not sure why you stated, "They should only be used in an emergency" when people utilize them to swap out their street set for their track set, and vice-versa.

      When i was a noob, everyone that i met/spoke to, recommended some sort of Aluminum low profile floor jack for my vehicle, based on the reasons listed in the preceding. If there is something youd like to add, you are more than welcome, but please elaborate as much as you can.


      Quote, originally posted by NOVAdub »
      And FYI the craftsman aluminum jacks weigh in at just about 50 lbs. Mine is a little lighter at about 40 lbs.

      Yes, there are many different kinds, including Craftsman, and within each kind there are types for every application. So before purchasing, make sure the floor jack youre investigating qualifies for your application. For instance, for my vehicle, the typical jack thats utilized is the 1.5 ton...why, it gets the job done...and mine iirc, is around 30lbs. There are also some very inexpensive jacks, and from what ive heard, dont bother purchasing those because they are highly susceptible to failure. In retrospect, there are also some very expensive jacks...but the affordable ones ($90-$150) get the job done.

      To everyone: Again (since im not Mr. know-it-all) if theres anything that i forget to mention, or if something is unclear, please do inform me. TY




      Modified by number9 at 4:38 AM 12-18-2006


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      12-18-2006 09:19 AM #4

      Also to add on tires. R compounds are not recomended for beginners and novices not because they will chunk the tire or tear them up that can happen with some summer tires if poorly driven at the track. The reason is R compounds don't give you verbal feedback like street tires will and if they do its usually to late your already spinning or off the track. Until you can FEEL what the car and tires are doing you need to hear what the tires are telling you about whats going on in the corner. Even though some R compounds might give you some verbal feedback, most give too little to help new drivers and that is the most important reason you dont go out there at first with r compounds.

      As a side note:
      Even after 3 years of HPDE and a season of racing I am still learning how to not overdrive my tires, but thats more of a racing thing then track days.


      Modified by jamesb at 9:21 AM 12-18-2006


    5. 12-18-2006 10:35 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by number9 »

      so im not sure why you stated, "They should only be used in an emergency" when people utilize them to swap out their street set for their track set, and vice-versa.
      You said that the OEM jack should be fine for now. They are not designed as a service jack. They are unstable and break often so they really arent fit for swapping wheels. If you can afford a track day you can afford a $20 jack from the local auto parts store. They arent the nicest jacks but they get the job done. Weight is irrelevant when choosing a jack just dont get the one that weighs 100 lbs because it will never leave your garage.

      How about a list of things to bring with you for your first track day....

      For the car:
      -Extra fluids (brake fluid, oil, coolant etc.)
      -Torque wrench (Mine cost $10 at harbor freight)
      -Wheel chock (Never use the E brake after coming off track.)
      Everything else is optional really but a couple things to consider:
      -Brake pads
      -Hand tools
      -Jack
      -Jack Stands

      For the driver:
      -Long sleeve cotton T shirt
      -Long pants (cotton)
      -One of those folding chairs
      -Sunblock
      -Water
      -Snacks (track food can get pricey)
      -Pop up canopy (Optional, except maybe in the summer)
      -Sunglasses

      Im sure I missed a few things, but this will get you started. One of the best things you can do is find some people local to you that will be going to the track day and pool your resources. Drive to the track in a group. FRS radios can make the trip a little more entertaining.


    6. 12-18-2006 11:28 AM #6
      As NOVADUB has pointed out, the OE jack supplied with most cars is at best, questionable when it comes to raising the car. IMHO, these jacks are supplied by the manufacturer only b/c it is a requirement and in a perfect world under ideal conditions (read: flat floor in your garage with wheel chocks on all 3 unlifted wheels and perfectly clean wheel/hub mating surfaces) the OE jack may allow a wheel change without failure provided the car doesn't get rocked from side-to-side when removing and installing the wheel.

      An inexpensive trolley jack can be found at most any hardware store for well under $50 - Sears currently has a special for $39 that includes a 3000 lb trolley jack and 2 jack stands. When I used to autocross, I had a similar jack that came in its own little plastic case so that all the pieces were neatly stored out of harms way.

      IMHO, one of the first pieces of equipment for a Track Event or an Autocross where you'll be changing wheels is some sort of a trolley jack.

      Also - not to be rude but would the Moderators please change the title of this thead to "Track Event info for noobs" - Road Course Racing is vastly different from Track Events.


    7. 12-18-2006 03:44 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by mgyip »
      Also - not to be rude but would the Moderators please change the title of this thead to "Track Event info for noobs" - Road Course Racing is vastly different from Track Events.

      I was going to reco the same.............


    8. 12-18-2006 08:24 PM #8
      These are all good points. I may not have enough time the next few days, but will try and respond to all these ideas asap.

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      12-18-2006 10:23 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by mgyip »

      Also - not to be rude but would the Moderators please change the title of this thead to "Track Event info for noobs" - Road Course Racing is vastly different from Track Events.

      I concur


    10. 12-19-2006 12:29 PM #10
      R compound tires are designed to work with race suspensions. There is very little if any to be gained by R tires on a stock suspension. R tires are made to work at elevated temps and camber settings not available in stock suspensions.

      I've instructed at 100+ track days, including competition licensing schools. Here is what I always tell noobs to do for their first couple of events.

      1. Know the rules of your club inside and out. Also know the event supps. Don't be surprised when you arrive at the track.

      2. Have your car ready a week in advance. If in doubt about some tech issue, don't wait until track day to figure it out.

      3. Leave everything you think you know at home.

      4. LISTEN Listening to everything your instructors tells you is the key to a great event. First, your instructor will be much more relaxed if he knows that you are listening and doing as told. Second, uyou can't learn without listening.

      5. The first few track days are all about the driver, not about the car. You need to focus on what you are learning. Bring a friend to take care of your care between sessions.

      6. Lay off the beer the night before and the caffine the morning of the event. Eat bland foods for breakfast and lunch. Your gut will be in a big enough knot with nerves, don't compound it by eating the wrong stuff.

      7. Ask questions, even if you think it is a silly question to ask. Chances are that the instuctor that answers the question had ask the same question when he/she was a noob.



    11. 12-19-2006 01:10 PM #11
      The biggest issue for new students (and even repeat students) is to LEAVE THE EGO AT HOME. No one is impressed that you can do burnouts in the paddock or that your car costs more than the average family income in the average Third World Country.

      As mentioned - LISTEN to your instructor. Regardless of what you may think or "know", your instructor's goal is to keep both of you safe and to teach you how to drive. If you know it all, then you would have been signed-off and asked to instruct at registration - it this hasn't yet happened, either the sanctioning body is stupid or you're not as good as you thought. If you find that you can't communicate with your instructor, speak with the organizers and get another instructor.

      Do NOT time yourself or "race" your buddies - Drivers' Education events are wholly untimed. This is for your safety since the worst scenario is an unskilled driver who has to beat his friends at the expense of his vehicle and the well-being of himself and his instructor Track events aren't races and races aren't Track events - That's part of the "Know the Rules" but also part of the mind-set. Come to learn how to drive fast - if you want to race, there is another group that teaches that as well.

      If you want to participate in time trials, LEARN HOW TO DRIVE and then have at it - time trials and road racing are alot of fun but they come at a cost as well. Time trials are timed competition - think an autocross on a road course where each car runs essentially alone

      Road racing is a different animal entirely - first off, write off whatever car you're racing as it WILL be junk soon enough. Then get used to being passed ANYWHERE by ANYBODY. Unlike a Drivers Education event, Road Racing is all about beating the car in front of you - sometimes at all costs but those people don't tend to race for long b/c they either go broke from building new cars or they get asked to find another hobby.


    12. 12-19-2006 07:53 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by jamesb »

      Also to add on tires. R compounds are not recomended for beginners and novices not because they will chunk the tire or tear them up that can happen with some summer tires if poorly driven at the track. The reason is R compounds don't give you verbal feedback like street tires will and if they do its usually to late your already spinning or off the track. Until you can FEEL what the car and tires are doing you need to hear what the tires are telling you about whats going on in the corner. Even though some R compounds might give you some verbal feedback, most give too little to help new drivers and that is the most important reason you dont go out there at first with r compounds.

      As a side note:
      Even after 3 years of HPDE and a season of racing I am still learning how to not overdrive my tires, but thats more of a racing thing then track days.


      Modified by jamesb at 9:21 AM 12-18-2006

      Before i respond i just want to say that im glad some people have responded. Hopefully, we can get some more experienced members/instructors to chime in also in due time. Hopefully, this thread can survive and evolve, with the help of everyone else, to become informative enough for noobs.

      As far as the info on R-compounds, good point, i forgot to mention that...i will incorporate that also. In fact, theres obviously much more info ive left out. Primarily because it would have been quite a task to include everything i thought that might be helpful, second, it will be good if we get others to join in also.


    13. 12-20-2006 03:01 AM #13
      Quote, originally posted by NOVAdub »
      You said that the OEM jack should be fine for now. They are not designed as a service jack.

      I suspected you were making reference to the OEM jack...but i wasnt sure, because when you quoted me, i thought for a sec that you were maybe referring to the aftermarket Aluminum low profile floor jack i noted. Either way i wanted to be certain.


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      12-20-2006 09:04 AM #14

      actually on the jack, you where not clear and even I thought OEM. I would instead recomend a light weight aluminum jack with a weight rating suitable for your vehicle.

    15. 12-20-2006 06:47 PM #15
      Some clothing was mentioned, but I have found weather to be in extremes at any track event I have ever been to.

      Be prepared for 40 degrees and raining in July or August, as well as 100+ degree days. Be prepared for warmth in the earlier months as well. (maybe thats just my northeast experience talking)

      Nerves were mentioned too. Be confident in your abilities to learn, but respect the fact that you are driving on a track at relatively high speeds. I truley didn't learn to have 'fun' at HPDEs until I could relax and actually enjoy it. Your driving will improve too.

      Heck I'm a noob too. Ha.


    16. 12-21-2006 09:20 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by MattyRoose »
      Nerves were mentioned too. Be confident in your abilities to learn, but respect the fact that you are driving on a track at relatively high speeds. I truley didn't learn to have 'fun' at HPDEs until I could relax and actually enjoy it. Your driving will improve too.

      Oh so true - RELAX, the events are about LEARNING and HAVING FUN. No one is there to grade you or laugh at you or compare you to the other drivers. If you blow the entrance to a turn, don't ruin the rest of your session obsessing over "My buddy was right behind me, he'll think I'm stupid". Instead, work on LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES. I know I've made tonnes of mistakes and I get a chuckle out of watching my video tapes where I scream at myself which is audible over my unmuffled exhaust!!

      I once had a student who was incredibly tense behind the wheel to the point that he had trouble turning the wheel b/c he was terrified to move his hands around the wheel. I asked if I could drive his car and his response was "Sure - it doesn't matter if you wreck it or if I wreck it since insurance won't cover it". Within the first two turns, his first words were "Gee, you so relaxed out here - I'm normally like that on the street but not out here". After a few laps of showing that student that it didn't require the death grip to steer nor did one mis-step cause the a catastrophe, he relaxed significantly and came away from the event a much more confident driver.


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      12-23-2006 03:58 AM #17
      I actually broke my oem jack yesterday. The channel stretched and the pivot point slide right down into it. Good thing I had a hammer and a C-clip handy. First time used I think. Counted as an emergency, I had bald tires on and couldn't even get up the driveway at first...

      Know the rules of who you are going to run with and where you are going to run. Respect them. Including noise levels and helmet restrictions.

      When the corner marshall says that the drag race traction compound turns slippery like ice when raining, he's right, don't wait for the rented spec racer ford in front of you to connect with the wall.

      Oh, and it's not as hard as it looks. Really, anyone with a safe car and an interest in going fast can do it. Don't think that just because your 1.8l automatic isn't a Ferrari, that you shouldn't have fun on track if thats what you want.

      Make sure everything is out of your car before you go, I was at an event, and a guy forgot his bowling ball in the trunk not pretty.

      Don't bring friends and family along, they will get bored. Make them drive seperate, that way you can send them out for food/oil/disposable cameras.

      Take pictures, the ones with silly grins on the drivers faces are best.


    18. 12-24-2006 09:00 AM #18
      Know when to say when.

      Starting out running stock parts is great advice, and I agree with it. But, you have to be aware that stock brakes on many cars are not up to track use for the length of a full session. Since you'll have an instructor in the car, hopefully your instructor will recognize the signs of impending brake fade and warn you about it / tell you to slow down and head for the pits. But, you shouldn't rely on your instructor completely.

      When you get halfway into the session, start expecting your brakes to not slow you down as well as they did at the begining of the session.

      Once you start smelling your brakes, slow down and head in. If you keep pushing hard, you'll eventually head into a turn, hit the brakes, and not slow down. It's really scary the first time that happens. Hopefully, there's enough run off room that you can just go straight without hitting something.

      Once you're hooked, brakes should probably be the first upgrade. At least better pads and fluid. You probably won't need a big brake kit, juts pads and fluid.

      And learn how to bleed your brakes. After a day on the track, you will need to bleed them. Just ask someone at the track at the end of the day to help you / show you how if you don't know. People will be more than happy to help, and bleeding brakes is essential. So that means you need to add to the track box / tool box the right size wrench for your bleeder valves, a length of plastic tubing to fit on the bleeder valve, a bottle to hold the fluid that you bleed off, and some new brake fluid to top things off. A pair of mechanix gloves are a good idea too.


    19. 12-24-2006 11:05 AM #19
      You make a good point.... changes to keep a stock car consistant throughout a session might not be mods per se, IMO. For example, you can remove your backing plates and change the fluid. The car will be the same as it was cold and the brake will fade less, so that would be a good idea and pretty much costs nil. Another related change you could make, and it easy to do is to change pads to some streetable but more durable. I'd stay away from race pads which might brake better but will have a whole different feel and will eat rotors when cold. If you still have brake fade issue, you could add ducts, not eay or perhaps something as simple as these:

      http://www.takspeed.com//shop/...ath=6

      He's pretty quiick to add new apps if there is a demand.


    20. 12-26-2006 10:22 AM #20
      For an absolute beginner (first 3-4 times EVER on a track), stick with stock EVERYTHING. You won't be driving fast or aggressively enough to overwhelm your stock equipment. Refrain from modifications until YOU know what to modify - don't rely on "My friend has big brakes so I need them b/c my friend has them and I'll look stupid if my car doesn't have the same mods". The most infuriating thing I hear as a "Track Event Excuse" is "My car isn't hooked up right so I couldn't attend" Bulls**t!!

      As a driver improves, the brakes are certainly one of the first targets for improvement. Many DE participants have two sets of brake pads - one for street and one for track that they change at the track. Race pads are a double-Bozo no-no for the street - they don't grip when cold, they dust worse than any factory BMW or Mercedes Benz pad, they eat rotors for breakfast and the dust from the pads will bond itself permanently to your fancy wheels.


    21. 12-26-2006 12:32 PM #21
      Relax... man, I wish I'd heard that one sooner than later.

      I still get a little case of the butterflies and I've just finished my first full year afer trying HPDE's out nearly three years ago. I look forward to more dates in 2007. I think the nerves keep me honest though I do need to trust that I've prepped the car and only need warm it up to get to speed.

      Being friendly and making friends with those I drive with has been a huge help. We're all human at different levels of experience. It's more than just a helping hand with a car in need but the comradery we take away from the track. It's something we have in common and sincerely want to share with other drivers... probably one of the reasons this thread got started too.

      Learn from another driver when you can; especially the driver in the car similarly equipped to yours. Stock, modded, what not, if they caught you and are now passing you, there is a reason. Acknowledge it and mention the fact to your instructor and together the both of you can see where that car is faster than yours. As you see what's being done differently, you learn to go faster yourself.

      Definitely talk with your instructor both in and out of the car. Take the advice to heart and head and decide how and where you're going to apply it. Repeat what you heard before you try something and ask your instructor to watch and talk you through it. Build upon each success. When you're done for the day, consider taking some notes for yourself and read them in a few days or weeks, especially if you're getting ready to return to a track you've been to before. No, you don't know it all, but you know some and you can pick up where you left off.


    22. 12-30-2006 08:56 AM #22
      Quote, originally posted by scotaku »
      Being friendly and making friends with those I drive with has been a huge help. We're all human at different levels of experience. It's more than just a helping hand with a car in need but the comradery we take away from the track. It's something we have in common and sincerely want to share with other drivers... probably one of the reasons this thread got started too.

      Pretty much.

      Oh and, thanks for all the responses. Youve all included some good advice. Like i mentioned in the former part of this thread, ive left quite a bit of info out with a purpose...so keep em coming if you guys feel it will be helpful, yet not overwhelming for a noob.


    23. 12-31-2006 12:15 PM #23
      'Thought I'd throw another one on the fire....

      Get to know the car and what to keep an eye on as you take it to the edge and back. Snag a tech inspection sheet from any event and go down the list yourself. If there are things you're just not sure how to check/verify, ask! Ask here. Ask your garage. Just ask. You'll learn as you get the answers and add to your own experience as you do. Surprise though; most of it is mere routine maintenance. And as your eye gets sharper, you'll be able to anticipate work your car will need well before track days pinch you for time.


    24. 01-04-2007 01:15 PM #24
      I have only done a couple HPDE, they were great experiences and I look forward to doing more.

      I mounted a video camera in my old car for the event, and alternated between front and rear facing perspectives throughout the day. It was a very helpful tool in looking at the track and other drivers, to find the lines, braking zones, etc. I want to try and do it everytime, so I can review the day over and over, hopefully getting more from it.

      I also bought a pair of Piloti driving shoes, cause the wrong shoes can be uncomfortable after a while. Hell, I wear em almost anytime I expect any spirited driving or any long trips on the street


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      01-31-2007 12:00 PM #25
      I just busted my trackday cherry at an ACNA event at Thunderhill in CA. There is alot of good info in this thread. I will add though that - if you can - go for laps with your instructor in their car. Watch what they do. If you can - go with an instructor who has the same car as you do or at least the same type of car - fwd, awd or rwd. I was fortunate that my instructor had a TT quattro as well and I learned alot just riding with him.

    26. 01-31-2007 10:34 PM #26
      Good point on the ride along. My instrcutor grew up right down the road from the track, and has driven there nearly his whole life. Needless to say, he knew the track very well.

    27. 02-02-2007 01:54 PM #27
      I didnt read though everything yet so I applogize if this has been convered.

      - When doing your cool down lap, actually cool down. Drive at a slower pace and really concentrate on hitting the proper apex during this time. Shift the car into high gear so you are running around 2-3000 rpm and keep it in that gear. High performance driving is most taxing on the car in terms of thermal management. Brakes will get very very hot in additon to the engine and trans. This cool down period will let the components cool at a natural rate. When you get to your pit area do not apply the parking brake!!!! You will warp/heat stress the rotors. Pop the hood of your car and let it idle in neutral for about 5-7 minutes to circulate fluid and disipate heat.

      - After you pull off the track drive slow around the pits. I usually drive in 2nd gear (to help cool the car) at around 5-8mph. Even though your blood is pumping stay focused, there is lots of people and equipment around and I cant recall the number of times I had close calls with someone backing out or running over to fix a car infront of me.

      - DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR BELTS OR HELMET UNTIL THE CAR IS STOPPED IN YOUR PIT!! You never know what is going to happen around you and its better to remain buckled in your car than to take your helmet off and a out of control car at the track hits you.

      -If instructors are around ask them to ride along and have a good conversation to your instructor about you experience level and what you would like them to help you on. The are not mind readers and do not know what abilities or comfort level you are at. Like wise if they dont feel comfortable in the car and ask you to back down LISTEN TO THEM. They have the experience to know when the car is getting close to being out of control more than you do so listen to their advice before you end up balling up your car or being asked to leave an event. In HPDE's YOU ARE NOT RACING, your there to be safe, have fun, and learn.

      - Give people the point by if they are faster, it make the event more fun for everyone. Dont make it an ego thing. Nothing frustrates drivers more than when someone slower has a train of cars behind them because they are either not not paying attention to the cars around them or are to stuborn to give a point by. If you let them around try to follow them and watch their lines and braking points, you might learn something from them. But DO NOT let the driver infront of you drive YOUR car. Stay alert!

      - Be Safe

      -Have fun

      - Ask questions

      - Learn

      -


    28. Member epk5150's Avatar
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      02-09-2007 08:15 AM #28
      I just wanted to say great advice guys and keep it coming. I really want to go to some track events and learn how to drive on the track and just have fun. Keep this thread alive and keep the info coming. Look forward to hearing more. If possible maybe you can help people learn how to find such events because i know im having a little trouble finding events on the east coast.

    29. Member
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      02-09-2007 10:10 AM #29

      Check out the capital area forum there are already a few events listed for early this season that are not too far from Norfolk.

    30. 02-09-2007 12:26 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by epk5150 »
      If possible maybe you can help people learn how to find such events because i know im having a little trouble finding events on the east coast.
      If youve never done a track day before this would be a perect event for you. Registration opens 2/15 for non R32 VW drivers and then 3/1 for everyone else. Its at Summit Point in WV so its not too far of a trip. There should be a lot of VWs there so come on out and join the fun. IIRC its $325 for registration, and that includes 2 days of track time plus an instructor. Im sure well get a t shirt as well. At the last one VWoA brought out the mk5 R32 to show off (in a spiffy new color too) and there are some other activites planned so youll have a great time. Hopefully well see you there!!

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zer...page1


    31. 02-09-2007 05:01 PM #31
      lunch both days too...


      One way I found events was to check the event calendars at the tracks nearby. That's how I found the Hype-R-Drive mini-HPDE's at Hype-R-Fest (Summit Point) as well as Friday at the Track, Car Guys Inc, and ultimately the Audi Club.

      I've also found trackpedia.com which is a track-oriented wiki for drivers of all skill levels. They just passed their first birthday and the site is growing daily.


    32. 03-07-2007 03:33 AM #32
      most everything has been said
      so i'll add couple little things,

      get to the track early, to get a nice paddock spot
      and to prep the car, don't want to rush working on the car, wrong time to make a mistake
      also, if your driving more than 2 hours to get to the track, get there a day early and get a hotel
      get plenty of rest, driving tired is very bad
      trust me you will be tired from sensory overload by the end of the day


    33. 03-07-2007 03:38 AM #33
      another thing, is not all instructors bother to buy an intercom
      so buy one yourself, the chatterbox is probably the best, but also a bit expensive

      you can buy an inexpensive Nady Intercom

      it can be difficult to hear your instructor, wtih a helmet on, and an exhaust, while your engine is reving, and the windows are all the way down

      an intercom setup, is nice because you can converse at a normal voice, instead of screaming at each other


    34. Member
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      03-07-2007 10:03 AM #34

      Many DE events are starting to require communicators or at least highly recomend it.

    35. Member Peter_Rabbit's Avatar
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      03-07-2007 11:06 AM #35
      go in with the attitude that you can learn something, that you are your biggest competition, and that a happy day = no crashes. Then you can focus on improving your ability and have fun at the same time.

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