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