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    Thread: Track Day Event info for noobs

    1. 04-09-2007 12:10 PM #36
      Bumping this up for noobs looking for info since the track season is starting

      And also adding to read over the CCR for 2007 since a few things have changed since last year, especially the SA ratings of helmets.


      Modified by Memphis R32 at 12:11 PM 4-9-2007


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      04-09-2007 12:19 PM #37

      Uhm, this is sticky now so its always on top of the forum. But yes, as far as I can see many updates, either M95 or M2000 or better depending on the club putting on the event.

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      04-09-2007 01:26 PM #38
      My one piece of advice is make sure you know exactly what your insurance situation is regarding track events. Many insurance companies have excluded any and all damage that results from participating in a track event. You should either make sure your insurance will cover it, purchase track-day insurance, or have the financial resources to cover both damage to yourself and any damages you may cause to others (up to the point of causing another's car to be totaled). If you cannot say with certainty that you can commit to one of these three, you should not participate in a track event.

    4. 04-16-2007 11:18 PM #39
      Quote, originally posted by swartzentruber »
      or have the financial resources to cover both damage to yourself and any damages you may cause to others (up to the point of causing another's car to be totaled). If you cannot say with certainty that you can commit to one of these three, you should not participate in a track event.
      You are the only one responsible for your car on track. If someone totals your car its your responsibility to fix it, not the person who hit you. Hopefully the person will admit they made a mistake, apologize, and maybe lend a hand in fixing the car, but they are in no way obligated to do anything at all. Im not saying I wouldnt be mad if someone totaled my car, I just wouldnt exepect them to fix it.

    5. 04-17-2007 04:39 PM #40
      Alright, I may be a bit biased, but since it was posted by Vortex Media Group themselves, this guide into motorsports has to be good!! LOL

      http://www.vwvortex.com/artman...shtml


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      04-24-2007 06:35 PM #41
      Quote, originally posted by NOVAdub »
      You are the only one responsible for your car on track. If someone totals your car its your responsibility to fix it, not the person who hit you. Hopefully the person will admit they made a mistake, apologize, and maybe lend a hand in fixing the car, but they are in no way obligated to do anything at all. Im not saying I wouldnt be mad if someone totaled my car, I just wouldnt exepect them to fix it.
      Sorry, but this is absolutely untrue, at least for my insurance. For all driving events that I participate in, the driver is expected to have insurance, and must make a claim to that effect (what insurance they have). You are naive to think that you are not obligated to repair someone else's damage, if your direct action caused that damage (ie, your car drops oil, causes me to spin; you make an unsafe pass and hit me). My insurance company covers me on a track, and would be obligated to cover damage to someone else's vehicle if I cause that damage. If someone else damage's my vehicle, and doesn't have insurance, they can expect to be sued, exactly as if they were driving on the road and weren't carrying insurance. If you cause damage to someone else's car that is severe enough to require an insurance claim, then the most likely scenarios are either your insurance will cover it, will cover it but bill you, or decline coverage and then that person's insurance will come after you personally. Also, the main track I drive on has cameras covering almost the entire track, so it wouldn't be that difficult to determine fault.

      Also, keep in mind that what I'm referring to is for Performance Driving Schools, not actual racing events (as far as I know, no regular insurance covers racing). I know this forum cover's both, so if it's a race you are participating in, then I would agree that it's your personal responsibility.


      Modified by swartzentruber at 5:37 PM 4-24-2007


    7. 04-25-2007 08:55 AM #42
      what track is that? I just want to know where not to take my car.

      edit- Iw asnt go to say anything because I dont want to scare newbs away, but I got to thinking about this and your attitude will be the end of DEs. If you cant afford to push your car off a cliff leave it at home. You are voluntarily putting your car in a high risk enviornment and therefore you are the only one responsible for it. This weekend a friend was tagged by a 911 turbo exhaust tip. Luckily the car is fine, a little dent and some scratches, but he didnt even think about finding the driver to get him to pay. Once you start assigning blame, getting insurance involved, you will be the end of DEs. I enjoy driving on track too much to let that happen. If you want someone else to cover damage to your car drive it on the interstates. If you want to drive on a track understand that if anything happens at all you will be footing the bill. Do you think all of those race cars at DEs carry insurance? Of course not, so what if they wreck you? Are you going to sick your insurance company on them and end the fun for all of us? I said it earlier, and Ill say it again. If you cant afford to drive your car off a cliff leave it at home.




      Modified by NOVAdub at 6:46 AM 4-25-2007


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      04-25-2007 09:46 AM #43

      That would be the first I heard of someone able to make a claim against someone else for fluid dropped on the track. Given that if someone is dropping fluid a debris flag should be out and cleaning planned if its bad enough then its your fault for spinning knowing there is something causing loss of tracktion on the track.

      Also where do you run that people are even allowed in a DE event to make a pass in a corner? Tell me so I never instruct there!!!

      If your insurence will cover damage at an HPDE then you good to go, but I know many other policies that wont even cover someone backing into you at a paddock because it happen 'on a race course.'


    9. 04-25-2007 10:01 AM #44
      Quote, originally posted by swartzentruber »
      For all driving events that I participate in, the driver is expected to have insurance, and must make a claim to that effect (what insurance they have). You are naive to think that you are not obligated to repair someone else's damage, if your direct action caused that damage (ie, your car drops oil, causes me to spin; you make an unsafe pass and hit me).

      This type of "logic" is horrifying and spells the end to Drivers Education events as we know them today. With the threat of insurance claims, lawsuits and the like, most tracks will either shut down due to skyrocketing insurance claims OR they'll turn the events into "no fault" events which will become a free-for-all (which road races are today for the most part).


    10. 04-25-2007 05:18 PM #45
      I'd like to echo my friends statements above. Worries about insurance for driving events are the responsibility of each driver, but they should not be yet another excuse for avoiding track events. I would like to mention that a majority of policies will not cover even the newest newbie's bling bling wheels when he/she prangs the curb in a snowstorm; an easily avoided move with half a day's 'green group' car control skills mastered.

      Insurance is a business of making and keeping money by charging premiums and paying only the smallest of claims. Drivers who are humble enough to admit their inabilities and brave enough to come to a DE ought to be -rewarded- with lower premiums for increasing their skill. I'd prefer to keep the insurers out of the picture until they choose to truly serve their customers who are better drivers not just lucky enough not to have been in an accident or stopped for speeding. A lack of claims or close encounters with Officer Friendly are -not- indicators of lower risk.


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      04-25-2007 05:49 PM #46
      Quote, originally posted by jamesb »

      Also where do you run that people are even allowed in a DE event to make a pass in a corner?
      They aren't, but yet it does happen. Maybe your track events are so well run this type of situation never happens, but I've seen it at mine. If someone does something against the rules, and it causes a accident, then you can bet I'd ask my insurance company to go after them. The "dropping oil" isn't as good of an example, because you are right that typically a debris flag would get dropped, but I've also seen situations where a driver will repeatedly get on a track knowing there car is or has a high potential for leaking fluids, which is more of a grey area of responsibility.

      Too many drivers get out on the track, and "hope" it will never come back to bite them. You are absolutely right that many ins comp won't cover anything on a track. That doesn't mean that it automatically ceases to be your responsibility. Suppose through your direct action you cause a life threatening injury to someone out on a track. Do you honestly believe the family of that person isn't going to sue you, if your insurance company declines coverage?

      As I stated above, if you are out on a track knowingly without insurance coverage, and no means to take responsibility for your actions, then you are a threat to your and every other driver's (who is on the track with you) financial well-being. If you deliberately get out on the track without being certain of your insurance coverage, then you are taking a huge financial risk.

      Everyone above is concentrating on the minor things that can happen, and that's absolutely not what I'm talking about. It's not just damage to cars to be concerned with. My old insurance also excluded the life insurance portion of auto (what your family gets if you die), and the health insurance (covering hospital bills if in an accident). Those represent very rare events, but they certainly can happen. After my insurance company specifically changed coverage language to exclude HPDE type events, I stayed off the track until I found a company that didn't exclude it, because I considered it to be to much of a risk to my financial well-being participating in these events without knowing I'd be covered.


    12. 04-25-2007 06:06 PM #47
      Quote, originally posted by swartzentruber »
      They aren't, but yet it does happen. Maybe your track events are so well run this type of situation never happens, but I've seen it at mine.

      Track events that allow "accidental" passing in the turns are track events that I'd avoid like the plague. If that happened in one of my events, I'd send that person home and ask them to NOT RETURN. There is no excuse for that kind of aggression or stupidity at a track event - if you're seeing that at the Drivers Education events that you've attended, then you need to find another sanctioning body that is interested in Safety and Education. In all the years that I have been associated with Drivers Education events, I have NEVER seen a pass in a turn, period!!


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      04-25-2007 06:54 PM #48
      Please try and keep this on topic - provide help and tips to track day noobs. Please start new threads on side discussions. Thanks!

    14. 04-25-2007 07:53 PM #49
      In keeping it on topic yet dousing the flames, a new driver would be smart to make sure they are not -excluded- from coverage for any damages at a track. Policies are worded cleverly nowadays such that even autocross is considered "racing."

      A new driver would also do themselves well to find a reputable event sponsor to sign on with. I've been fortunate to have driven with a variety of very well organized groups with extremely low tolerance for uninvited passing nor vehicles unfit for track driving. If you're reading along and this discussion on liability and unsafe conditions frightens you, it should. Not a one of us here is interested in leaving our cars at the track in a wad or series of small chunks. We're not afraid of it, but we're also not driving so carelessly that we'd cause it to happen.

      We're very in tune with our cars; the noises they make, the vibrations they produce, smells, attitudes, even what some parts taste like. This stuff didn't just magically appear in our psyche but it grew there through experience, time, talking to other drivers, and yes, sometimes having stuff break.

      Fear of the unknown is a perfectly natural thing. In fact, I just sent in an editorial to 'vortex for consideration all about fear and why it ought not keep any driver away from higher driver training. Allowing fear to keep us from moving forward is what isn't healthy. Fear of the track, fear of the insurance man, fear of not being ready, fear of being the new guy who's really slow... nonsense. Face your fears with just a little bravery and you'll see there isn't much to be scared of afterall. Not even the insurance man.

      Heck, you might find your insurance company will give you a discount for completing some schools like accident avoidance or winter driving.

      I recommend looking for experienced drivers near you too whom have been there and done that. They started out where you are now and often a face to face over a coffee does more than reading some entusiastic strangers on an Internet forum.


    15. 04-25-2007 09:48 PM #50
      Quote, originally posted by joe@vwvortex »
      Please try and keep this on topic - provide help and tips to track day noobs. Please start new threads on side discussions. Thanks!

      Will do - If any entrant in an SCCA PDX event in the Washington DC Region takes it upon him or herself to pass in a turn, that entrant will be summarily ejected and permanently banned from any SCCA events. Furthermore, that person's name will be circulated to other clubs holding Drivers Education events to keep that person from wreaking havoc at other clubs.

      This is to reassure new track event attendees that such stupidity MAY happen BUT IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. As was stated early on in this thread, Drivers Education events (also known as PDX, HPDE or simply Track events) are to LEARN, not race.


    16. 04-25-2007 10:08 PM #51
      This may have been said already but it might be worth repeating.


      If you've taken that step to come drive at a track event and you don't feel comfortable. get off the track.

      Tell your instructor how you're feeling. Open up. Check your mirrors and maintain an elevated but safe pace back the pit and put your fist in the air. Get in and stopped and don't go back out until you're ready.

      Meanwhile, analyze what it was that got you spooked. Too much traffic behind and you couldn't point them all by? Too much traffic ahead and you were getting squirrelly trying to keep your distance? Ask for clear track ahead or behind dependign upon your needs and rely on the track custodians to put you where you're at ease and able to work on your chosen area of improvement.

      I've often found putting a faster car ahead of me has helped demonstrate differences that allowed that car to catch me. I've found other drivers in the paddock with similar cars and asked to try to grid together so we can learn from one another. Helping one another out is a common theme at different tracks and with different groups.


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      04-25-2007 11:40 PM #52
      Learn your flags ahead of time. The first day on the track isn't a good day to try to learn/remember what the different flags mean.

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      04-26-2007 02:14 PM #53
      Another point that's pretty good for first day out on the track. Many tracks have a website where you can find out more about the track, but more importantly, you can download a layout of the track. It can be very helpful trying to get a mental image of the track in mind, once you start setting your braking points and learning the line.

    19. 04-26-2007 10:07 PM #54
      Check Google video, streetfire, and YouTube for in-car cams from said tracks as well.

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      07-09-2007 09:42 PM #55
      At track day schools, you should always allow for" spin room", on the car in front of you. This should include a pass strategy of said car. If you are catching the car( and want to pass), he/she should be ready to move over and point afterr the turn . If you are not ready to pass or passing will force you to go faster than you are ready, wave off the pass, back up a 100ft and continue.
      If the car in front of you spins, and you run into it, you suck, and better be ready to pay for your damage, IMHO .
      At a very few schools, the instructors might be allowed to pass, exiting the turn, IE; at WGI at the toe of the boot, the slow weak car stays outside and points the fast car inside and up the hill.
      At Sebring in 17, the slow car may point the fast car by inside. Some instructors have run together for so long , that this is not a big deal. If the pass is made without a point, than the passer gets the boot.
      I bring my race car for instructing, no insurance. Keep your head out of you arse. Have a crisis management plan. This is not racing.
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      07-10-2007 09:53 AM #56

      Say wha? The pointee stays on line, the passer moves offline to pass, NEVER the other way around.

      Situational awareness can stop you from hitting a spinnging car too, I have never kept a mandetory distance from the car in front of me.

      But then west coast is odd as you already mentioned passing inside a corner, out east we only allow it on selected straights.


    22. 07-10-2007 11:07 AM #57
      I think the point to take away from the passing differences is that both drivers need to be aware of one another to make a pass happen safely. I've heard tell from European track drivers that the faster car stays on line and the slower car moves off while that would spook me being used to the other way around. It's a matter of being absolutely clear what the passing rules are as well as being patient if you are the faster car looking for that safe pass.

    23. 07-10-2007 11:53 AM #58
      I've never heard of a drivers education event where the slower car moves off-line - I've seen it done but not as part of the formal classroom instruction. The vast majority of schools teach the following: Stay on-line and BE PREDICTABLE. Using your INDEX finger, point the car by towards the direction that you want the car to pass - for example, point to the left (arm fully extended out the window) if you want the car to pass on driver's left; point to the right (arm extended out the window, over the roof of the car), if you want the car to pass on driver's right.

      Instructors are another game entirely - some are racers who are looking for free "race" time while others are instructors who enjoy driving fast. Most instructors have enough experience and situational awareness that pointing a car by BEFORE a turn and getting passed AFTER the turn is a non-issue - this just shows advance planning since it's a bit busy to hammer the brakes, downshift, turn-in, accelerate AND point by a faster car.

      "Spin room" is a bit difficult to define or enforce - some students who are faster due to driver skill are easily stuck behind a much slower car if they don't "assert" themselves. This doesn't mean pushing the other car thru turns or using the other car for brake pads (not that I'd ever do that ) but rather to make their car very visible in the slower car's mirrors. Hopefully the slower driver (or their instructor) has the good sense to instruct the slower driver to let the other car pass - the big challenge here is when the slower driver is in a fast car or has an inflated ego. I've encountered a few students who were proud to say "No one has passed me except for the super-fast cars". Once in the car, I discovered that the reason why no one would pass is because they were terrified of getting hit as the student was driving way, way, way over their head!!!

      I agree with Mike - THIS IS NOT RACING. If you want to go racing, first scratch your "baby" and give it a few dents - if you can't stand to see that happen, don't race.


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      07-12-2007 10:46 PM #59
      Some schools have the passer go around, some have the car being passed, move over, some use the turn signals for which side to pass on!!. As long as both drivers know what is going on , than be it. MM
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      10-13-2007 11:35 PM #60
      This is a nice thread, but I have some questions about car maintenance around a track day. I know about the required items - brake fluid flush, etc. Is there anything else I should know about? Should I change my engine oil before and after the event? Fresh coolant? Any other normally infrequent maintenance items that should be done with each event?

      I would expect a more aggressive maintenance of fluids, but I am not sure if more aggressive means for every event or what.

      Thanks!

      -E


    26. 10-24-2007 11:39 AM #61
      Quote, originally posted by ErykTheRead »
      This is a nice thread, but I have some questions about car maintenance around a track day. I know about the required items - brake fluid flush, etc. Is there anything else I should know about? Should I change my engine oil before and after the event? Fresh coolant? Any other normally infrequent maintenance items that should be done with each event?

      I would expect a more aggressive maintenance of fluids, but I am not sure if more aggressive means for every event or what.

      Thanks!

      -E

      If this is in regards to your R32, i would recommend you ask experienced R32 owners for specifics. Everyone has an opinion on how often to do what...some people flush their fluids after every event, others every 2 events, so on and so forth. Either way, if this is in regards to your R32, its best to inquire within the R32 community.


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      10-24-2007 12:56 PM #62

      I bleed every event, flush every spring. You really dont need more then that if your actively on the track or racing.

    28. 10-24-2007 01:04 PM #63
      Quote, originally posted by jamesb »
      I bleed every event, flush every spring. You really dont need more then that if your actively on the track or racing.

      Why waste brake fluid? Use the car in front of you to slow down - it's easier on pads and rotors too...


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      10-24-2007 01:06 PM #64

      Dave, John and Spanky didnt appreciate me doing that last time.

    30. 10-25-2007 10:58 AM #65
      Quote, originally posted by ErykTheRead »
      This is a nice thread, but I have some questions about car maintenance around a track day. I know about the required items - brake fluid flush, etc. Is there anything else I should know about? Should I change my engine oil before and after the event? Fresh coolant? Any other normally infrequent maintenance items that should be done with each event?

      I would expect a more aggressive maintenance of fluids, but I am not sure if more aggressive means for every event or what.

      If your budget allows and it will make you feel more confident, go ahead with accelerating your fluid changes. I do not believe it is really needed though I have been known to change the engine oil ahead fo schedule if I have a track date within a few weeks or a few hundred miles of a regular change. Otherwise, I am comfortable with annual flush n fills.

      I bleed my brakes before and after at a very minimum and I do not consider it a waste. I am a big fan of SpeedBleeders that help the job go very very quickly; quick enough even for a bleed in between sessions sometimes though I am getting better at conserving my brakes and tires as I get more experience.

      Certainly a complete check of all fluid levels before and after an event date is prudent. Track days have had a side benefit of keeping me more in touch with the condition of the car all around. Where some people think I'm abusing my car by taking it to the track, the exact opposite is true... I'm taking better care of my car than they are of theirs.


    31. 11-01-2007 06:33 PM #66
      This is wisdom that needs to be quoted here:

      Quote, originally posted by number9 »
      - Wave at every single corner worker on your warm-up, and cool-down lap. Most people think the purpose of that is to just say hi. They think its useless, thus, they dont wave. Whereas, that process actually makes you form a habit of looking at every single corner worker upon reaching them. Once you form that habit, you will habitually check probably all corner workers on every lap. That will save you from a fatality some day.


    32. 11-01-2007 08:11 PM #67
      Quote, originally posted by scotaku »

      I bleed my brakes before and after at a very minimum and I do not consider it a waste.

      Man I havent had to bleed my brakes all year!! I flushed once at the beginning of the year, and again when I swapped calipers. I guess its nice having a relatively light car thats easy on brakes. Ive gotten a whole year (15 days so far I think) out of my pads and they arent even half worn!

    33. 11-02-2007 01:46 AM #68
      Quote, originally posted by scotaku »
      This is wisdom that needs to be quoted here:


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      11-28-2007 11:17 PM #69
      WOW! I am very greatful to find this site online, let alone this topic, since after having my car this past spring/summer/fall I've been dieing to take it on the track. I was going into it with a show up and haul ass attitude , and am more than renounced that idea! Now with these noob pointers, I'm dieing to get through what hellacious winter I have to come, and haul ass responsibly and with smarts

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      11-29-2007 10:48 AM #70
      Quote, originally posted by imola0158 »
      WOW! I am very greatful to find this site online, let alone this topic, since after having my car this past spring/summer/fall I've been dieing to take it on the track. I was going into it with a show up and haul ass attitude , and am more than renounced that idea! Now with these noob pointers, I'm dieing to get through what hellacious winter I have to come, and haul ass responsibly and with smarts

      My next Project TT segment will report back on my experiences on the track this year. I did five events for a total of eight days. The most important thing IMO is to go into these things with a willingness to listen and learn. Prepare by leaving your attitude at home.


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