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First Track Day - What you NEED to know!

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Old 06-22-09, 11:51 PM   #31
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Track days are typically a couple hundred (300) or so for 1 day and maybe a little less than twice that for a weekend. However, I think the cost of PS2s for a whole day of driving (about 2 hours) is about $800. I think I used up approximately 50% of my useful tire life in 1 day. In addition, I believe I need new front pads and possibly new front rotors too. Not to mention the 2 tanks of gas. So, all in all, my 1 day at the track cost me about $1200? I'm thinking of downgrading to 18" rims because those tires are substantially cheaper than 19s and maybe using some cheap Hangkooks or Kumhos. I could sacrifce 5% of traction over PS2s for 1/4 the price I believe.

Also, timing laps isn't so helpful in a HPDE with all the cars in front of you. You can't pass unless the guy in front of you waves you by so a lot of times, your laptime is limited by who you're following anyways. FWIW, I had a laptimer with me but I didn't use it. They wanted everything out of the car including computers that were suctioned on to the windshield.
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Old 06-23-09, 12:02 AM   #32
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what's with the blue light covers, protection?

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Track days are typically a couple hundred (300) or so for 1 day and maybe a little less than twice that for a weekend. However, I think the cost of PS2s for a whole day of driving (about 2 hours) is about $800. I think I used up approximately 50% of my useful tire life in 1 day. In addition, I believe I need new front pads and possibly new front rotors too. Not to mention the 2 tanks of gas. So, all in all, my 1 day at the track cost me about $1200? I'm thinking of downgrading to 18" rims because those tires are substantially cheaper than 19s and maybe using some cheap Hangkooks or Kumhos. I could sacrifce 5% of traction over PS2s for 1/4 the price I believe.

Also, timing laps isn't so helpful in a HPDE with all the cars in front of you. You can't pass unless the guy in front of you waves you by so a lot of times, your laptime is limited by who you're following anyways. FWIW, I had a laptimer with me but I didn't use it. They wanted everything out of the car including computers that were suctioned on to the windshield.
is it safe to throw on cheap tires to run at a track? i can always throw on $150 nanking tires and burn it to hell.

HPDE runs typically require classes?

sorry for being a noob on this but i haven't ran full laps before, just 1/4 strips.
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Old 06-23-09, 12:43 AM   #33
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what's with the blue light covers, protection?

is it safe to throw on cheap tires to run at a track? i can always throw on $150 nanking tires and burn it to hell.

....

Blue painters tape to avoid 100+ mph road debris hitting the light housings..

Cheap $$ tires may give crappy traction, Depends on the brand & compound..

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Old 06-23-09, 03:18 AM   #34
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You are a braver man than me! Thanks for all the track tips, but I don't think I will ever take the car to the track, I am too afraid I would crash the damm thing.

Looks like you had a great time and really learned a lot about the car, I guess that is why some people have bought their car for.

There is a great web page here in Japan about a guy who is modding his "F" by making weight reductions , modifing the diff, exhaust, injectors ect,ect . I think he has taken off over 400lbs if my calculations are correct. How would you think your car would perform 400lbs lighter?
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Old 06-23-09, 04:45 AM   #35
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400lbs lighter might increase your laptime by 1 second
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Old 06-23-09, 05:26 AM   #36
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More pics are here. HUGE thanks to DaveGS4 for shooting pics, inviting us, and being an incredibly gracious and hospitable host (and Krista, our hostess) for the weekend.

One of my favorites, working hard in turn 2:

Click the image to open in full size.
DaveGS4..nice pic for Lance to keep as a souvenir!
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Old 06-23-09, 05:41 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dave600hL View Post
You are a braver man than me! Thanks for all the track tips, but I don't think I will ever take the car to the track, I am too afraid I would crash the damm thing.

Looks like you had a great time and really learned a lot about the car, I guess that is why some people have bought their car for.

There is a great web page here in Japan about a guy who is modding his "F" by making weight reductions , modifing the diff, exhaust, injectors ect,ect . I think he has taken off over 400lbs if my calculations are correct. How would you think your car would perform 400lbs lighter?
damn that is some crazy weight reduction!do you have a link by any chance? really interested...
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Old 06-23-09, 06:42 AM   #38
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Painter's tape on the lights prevents rock divots - great tip and tape job by DaveGS4!

Cost?

I paid $350 for two days (8 half hour sessions) at CMP with the Triangle Z Club/Tarheel Sports Car Club.

I bought Carbotech brake pads for the event $469.00. They're still good for at least one more track day. The rears look barely used, fronts took a beating. Discs are fine, not even close to worn out and thankfully not cracked despite the holes.

Tires definitely took a beating, but are not worn out. I was prepared to buy another set if necessary. These tires still have at least one more track weekend in them. If you can find a set of worn out street tires (at the wear bars, but not corded or patched) these can be ridiculously cheap (~$10 - $20) and will work fine on the track unless it's raining. Yes, cheap tires will be fine too because you're not competing for lap times, you're learning your car. Cheap tires may wear quickly and may slide sooner than good tires, but you will learn what your car does at lower speeds and less risk too. So if your goal is to become a better driver, cheap tires will work just fine.

The likelihood you'll wreck your car is tempered by having an instructor in the right seat telling you what to do and helping you focus on what you need to learn to get around the track safely at speed. They will not push you into doing anything stupid, and they want to ride home in their cars too. There were no serious incidents in any of the student groups over the whole weekend. The worst thing I did was put two wheels off when trying a line that works for my instructor in his car, but does not work for the F. We figured it out and tried something else that worked perfectly.
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Old 06-23-09, 06:52 AM   #39
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Does anyone know if you throw your auto policy out the window when you do one of these events? If you crack it up, is it all on you because you are considered to be "racing"?
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Old 06-23-09, 07:17 AM   #40
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What is the problem with motorcycle helmets?

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Old 06-23-09, 07:20 AM   #41
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What is the problem with motorcycle helmets?

Koz
Wrote this up for another post....

Can I use my certified motorcycle helmet?
For many High Performance Driver Ed groups have claimed M helmets (which stands for multi-purpose) as NOT acceptable. The biggest point has to do with fire protection, but there is a lot more to it. Here is what MVP out of California writes about it and kept it simple:

What Are the Differences Between the SA, M and K Standards?

The SA standard was designed for competitive auto racing while M standard was for motorcycling. The K standard was released to accommodate helmets used in karting.* There are three major differences between them:
  • The SA standard requires flammability test while the M and K standards do not.
  • The SA and K standards allow for a narrower visual field than M standard (Some SA and K certified helmets may not be street legal).
  • The SA and K standards include a rollbar multi impact test while M standard does not
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Old 06-23-09, 07:27 AM   #42
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Does anyone know if you throw your auto policy out the window when you do one of these events? If you crack it up, is it all on you because you are considered to be "racing"?
First thing to clarify, this is not racing. It is a drivers eduction course with no timing allowed and is not a competition. Passing is controlled and EVERYBODY gets the checkered flag at the end

Some insurance companies do cover it; others do not. Many groups now offer track weekend insurance for a specific event and some (Lance's instructor had it) have annual track coverage available. I've bought it a couple of times when forecast was for rain all weekend and we had some new parts on the car that significantly changed the way it drove. You can sign up for it based on the value you want to place on your car plus you can cover your mods. I think it was about $180 for a three-day weekend for my wifes track car valued at about 40K with mods. The annual premium was ~$800 for a tracked prepped 350z.
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Old 06-23-09, 07:34 AM   #43
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Most if not all regular insurance policies WILL NOT cover anything from the track. Some of them used to cover as long as it wasn't "timed" hence the no stopwatch, ban on trackmate or other timing equipment in the car rules at some HPDE. But now insurance companies got smart and do not cover anything at the track with regular policies whether it's timed or not. There are track event specific insurance policies you can buy per event or even per year with a cap on number of events etc. But get ready to fork over $$ specially if you want the liability coverage at similar level to what you have on your regular insurance

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Does anyone know if you throw your auto policy out the window when you do one of these events? If you crack it up, is it all on you because you are considered to be "racing"?
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Old 06-23-09, 12:14 PM   #44
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My instructor told me he got a policy with $30k coverage and unlimited events for his 350Z (which tragically got into the tire wall the next day when he let a friend drive the car) for $800 annually. I'd call that pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. I'm looking into the same thing. I'd hate to have to write the check myself for damage to the F should I hit a wall or roll the car.
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Old 06-23-09, 05:26 PM   #45
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Yeah insurance is definitely a smart investment for any track day. Things can just go wrong. Someone elses mistake, a blown tire, fluid on the track, or just a plan F*Up.

They always say don't track your car unless you can afford to plow it into a wall.

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About cheap tires. If you plan on getting cheap tires keep an eye on them. Cheap tires will tend to "chunk" or come apart as they heat up and you beat on them. Also keep an eye on how much they are rolling over. Cheap tires have soft sidewalls, and they will roll over on themselves. Which could result in a blowout or losing the bead. Both if which would be real bad on a track. Just keep them aired up, WAY aired up if you can to compensate for the soft sidewalls.
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