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    Thread: Track Day Event info for noobs

    1. 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.

    4. 04-26-2007 10:07 PM #54
      Check Google video, streetfire, and YouTube for in-car cams from said tracks as well. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    5. Member flyinglizard's Avatar
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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.
      Mike Ogren
      The http://www.fwdracingguide.com/ Money back guarantee!, You can go 100$ faster with this 20$ guide
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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.

    7. 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. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    8. 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.

    9. Member flyinglizard's Avatar
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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

    11. 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.

    13. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

      [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    17. 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!

    18. 11-02-2007 01:46 AM #68
      Quote, originally posted by scotaku »
      This is wisdom that needs to be quoted here:
      [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    19. Member imola0158's Avatar
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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.

    21. 12-07-2007 10:13 AM #71
      Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets books are excellent off-season reads. I think his #2 book is good for the weekend warrior looking for a better understanding of the mechanics of setting up the car as well as some early mental preparation for safety and speed.

    22. Junior Member ItsA96's Avatar
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      12-28-2007 05:47 AM #72
      Words to live by:
      If you know everything - you know nothing!
      If you don't learn something new every day (in this case at the track) - you're doing something wrong!

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      01-06-2008 05:37 PM #73
      I am a little confused on why the R-compound tires are not recommended on the track? I though R-compound was specifically for use between track and daily road use.
      I have Toyo T1Rs on my GLi and I have really become quite comfortable with the way my car handles now, and all of the suspension characteristics seem so much clearer to me no.
      I am definitely going to Summit Point this year in May with Track Daze. I am very excited to learn how to drive on a closed road course. And hope to meet a lot of like minded people.

    24. 01-07-2008 08:02 AM #74
      Its not that they are not recommended on the track, its R-coumpound tires are not recommended for a novice. Other tires give a bigger warning that they are approaching their limits (squeel) whereas many novices find that the warning R-compounds give is when they find themselves spinning around on the track.
      Have fun at Summit - it's a fantastic track!

    25. 01-07-2008 09:31 AM #75
      To clarify, R-compound tyres are specifically for "Competition and Track Events ONLY". Unlike street tyres, R-compounds have a very finite heat-cycle span during which they're sticky as bubble gum and after that, they're like ice. Street tyres are engineered to endure seemingly countless heat cycles without changing the tyre's properties because of their intended usage. R-compounds use the same logic - short number of heat cycles because after 8-10 heat cycles on a race car, the tyres are either worn out or (if the team has $$) they're replaced with fresh rubber.

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