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First Track Day - What you NEED to know!

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Old 06-23-09, 04:55 PM   #46
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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?
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Old 06-23-09, 07:55 PM   #47
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Instead of buying brand new crappy tires, specially if you are using R-comp, get good tires that are race-used. You can find those at ebay or sources like below. Also if a particular racing series - in my case Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series - has your car or car that uses same/similar spec tires, go to that race when they are held nearby. You can "possibly" score sets of tires that were used only for qualifying. I've gotten 4 tires for like $100. That's like getting pretty much brand new ones with free shaving and heat cycled to boot.

http://www.meisterschaftmotor.com/tires_wheels.html
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Old 06-23-09, 07:59 PM   #48
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BTW if you're just starting out doing HPDEs, most experienced folks recommend you do NOT buy R-compound tires like kt22cliff recommended in his post above. Learn the limits of your car first using street tires.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:17 PM   #49
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Thanks for your post - I really enjoyed your notes and preparation ideas! Usually I just bring my entire Craftsman socket setup and a general tool bag since it seems the tools you need are always the ones you left behind at home!

It seems from your assessment of the front brakes that they are barely adequate for track use? Correct me if I'm wrong but your use of oil, brake fluids, etc really conflict with what I had to use.

I used to race occasionally at Putnam and other tracks in the midwest with my Eclipse and Audi S4. I can say the brakes on the Japanese cars really suck - barely 1.5 laps into the race and my pedal sunk to the floorboard and the Eclipse was done. The Audi however had much better success. Having an instructor is priceless to tell you what to do because my first couple laps in the Audi I "thought" I was flying but my lap times were like 12 seconds off pace. This is when I found out drifting the car is not the fastest way around the racetrack!

But from most of my track sessions I don't remember swapping pads or adding that much oil nor doing all the mechanical aspects you mentioned. Is the IS-F just too heavy of a car to track hence the large amounts of heat generated?

Would have been awesome if you had a video camera next time - it's fun to watch yourself drive, ask me how I know...

I have to agree with the OP it's NOT about lap times - just going fast on the track requires 110% of your concentration and really teaches you how to drive the car safely and quickly. In real life situations this can mean the difference between a crash or driving home safely.

For those who have not tried tracking your car (not racing) you MUST do it - it's the best time you will ever have with the car. Nothing beats not having to worry about police around the corner but make sure you get a lot of rest the night before, I was totally exhausted after one half day track session! I could play 6 full court games of b-ball and not be this drained


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Old 06-26-09, 03:05 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
Having an instructor is priceless to tell you what to do because my first couple laps in the Audi I "thought" I was flying but my lap times were like 12 seconds off pace.
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Originally Posted by s4play View Post
I have to agree with the OP it's NOT about lap times - just going fast on the track requires 110% of your concentration and really teaches you how to drive the car safely and quickly. In real life situations this can mean the difference between a crash or driving home safely.
I don't have PhD in math but those two statements somehow doesn't add up.
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Old 06-26-09, 03:42 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
Thanks for your post - I really enjoyed your notes and preparation ideas! Usually I just bring my entire Craftsman socket setup and a general tool bag since it seems the tools you need are always the ones you left behind at home!
Not necessary for this car. You only need to service the brakes. 11mm and 13mm wrenches will suffice with tools to remove wheels and a hammer/pin punch for the pins.

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It seems from your assessment of the front brakes that they are barely adequate for track use? Correct me if I'm wrong but your use of oil, brake fluids, etc really conflict with what I had to use.
No, I would not say they are barely adequate, they're actually very impressive. I would say on a track known for being the hardest on brakes in the entire Southeast you would be wise to put high temperature pads in the front and turn off the VSC. I had no brake issues on the second day with VSC off. My instructor repeatedly commented about how good the brakes on the IS-F are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
I used to race occasionally at Putnam and other tracks in the midwest with my Eclipse and Audi S4. I can say the brakes on the Japanese cars really suck - barely 1.5 laps into the race and my pedal sunk to the floorboard and the Eclipse was done. The Audi however had much better success. Having an instructor is priceless to tell you what to do because my first couple laps in the Audi I "thought" I was flying but my lap times were like 12 seconds off pace. This is when I found out drifting the car is not the fastest way around the racetrack!
Brakes on Japanese cars suck? You arrived at this conclusion because your Mitsubishi Eclipse had poor brakes? Strange that Motor Trend would comment the brakes on the MkIV Supra were the best they'd tested in 30 years from any manufacturer. Keep in mind the brakes on the IS-F are Brembo calipers and Brembo rotors. They are not Japanese.

Yes, drifting is the slow way around an asphalt course, and it shouldn't take a watch to arrive at that conclusion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
But from most of my track sessions I don't remember swapping pads or adding that much oil nor doing all the mechanical aspects you mentioned. Is the IS-F just too heavy of a car to track hence the large amounts of heat generated?
What do you mean by too heavy? It's a heavy car compared to some and CMP is very hard on brakes. This also means the engine is working very hard because the heat in the brakes is a byproduct of horsepower (100% of the heat from your brakes originated in a combustion cycle in the engine if you start and finish at the same elevation.) Your version of maintenance and mine could be very different, and AFA "all the mechanical aspects" well, everyone else at the track was doing the same things - bleeding brakes, checking and adding oil, and checking wheel lug torque the same as I was. If you believe your engine doesn't burn oil there's not much to say. I know every engine burns oil and after 2 hours mostly above 4000 rpm it burned some. Not exactly sure how much because I didn't check it on Saturday, only on Sunday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
Would have been awesome if you had a video camera next time - it's fun to watch yourself drive, ask me how I know...

I have to agree with the OP it's NOT about lap times - just going fast on the track requires 110% of your concentration and really teaches you how to drive the car safely and quickly. In real life situations this can mean the difference between a crash or driving home safely.
Video would require a mount and a camera. I have neither and as much as it would have been helpful to review what I did right and what I did wrong, it will have to wait until next time. Along with a checklist of other things I'd like to get done before my next track weekend. I do agree, it can be a very valuable tool for improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s4play View Post
For those who have not tried tracking your car (not racing) you MUST do it - it's the best time you will ever have with the car. Nothing beats not having to worry about police around the corner but make sure you get a lot of rest the night before, I was totally exhausted after one half day track session! I could play 6 full court games of b-ball and not be this drained


rick
I agree - track driving rocks. But I was FAR more tired at the end of a race day when I rode motorcycles. Sears Point (Infineon) and Willow Springs will suck the energy out of you in ways no car could possibly match. When you get to the green/white crossed flags and all you can think is "thank GOD we're halfway" in what should be an easy 10 lap race, you know you're working hard.
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Old 06-26-09, 03:46 PM   #52
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kt22cliff, please exit this thread from this point forward so we can get off the lap time topic. Thank you.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:32 AM   #53
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Follow Daves advice on the R-comps. You definitely want to start off on street tires and learn the car, and improve your own driving skills before movin on to R-comps.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:42 AM   #54
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The Chief Instructor recommended buying used street tires - worn down to the wear bars - as an economical way to keep track tires on the car. It actually makes sense since you're not competing, just learning the car, and those used tires will work fine on the track as long as the previous owner was a cruiser not attacking every freeway on-ramp in sight.

I'm seriously thinking about getting a set of OEM wheels from Finish Line Wheels and putting used tires on them for track days. Admittedly I had less wear than I anticipated with the Bridgestones (I really thought I might completely kill the outer tread blocks, but didn't), but I'd still feel better about putting on a set of throw away tires and driving home on a set of full depth tires.

Also FWIW, drilled discs suck. I knew this when I bought the car, but these pics tell the whole story. Cracking is evident after a single track day.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Another interesting note, the Lexus on the front calipers looks gold now, not silver,

Click the image to open in full size.

I checked pricing, and the OEM discs can be had for ~$240 a piece before shipping, but if I'm only going to get a couple of track days out of a set of discs, I might even swap discs for a track day. I'd really like to get some flat blanks or maybe slotted, but PLEASE no more drilled rotors.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:52 AM   #55
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But drilled rotors look so much cooler Lance!

LOL Actually on a serious note, one of the main reasons besides the insurance issues that I don't go to tracks like this is the huge amount of wear and tear on the car and the costs incurred. If I ever decide to do this sort of racing I'd definitely have a dedicated lightweight track car to play with, but what you did by going out to learn the car deserves a .

PS..Definitely not cool about small cracks and the discoloration on the brake calipers.
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Old 01-09-11, 07:45 PM   #56
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Looking at taking the car to VIR for an entry level drive, would any of you recommend all the equipment in first post?
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Old 01-09-11, 07:47 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobuxracer View Post

Also FWIW, drilled discs suck. I knew this when I bought the car, but these pics tell the whole story. Cracking is evident after a single track day.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Another interesting note, the Lexus on the front calipers looks gold now, not silver,

Click the image to open in full size.

I checked pricing, and the OEM discs can be had for ~$240 a piece before shipping, but if I'm only going to get a couple of track days out of a set of discs, I might even swap discs for a track day. I'd really like to get some flat blanks or maybe slotted, but PLEASE no more drilled rotors.

Are the cracked discs at all covered under warranty?
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Old 01-09-11, 09:30 PM   #58
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Are the cracked discs at all covered under warranty?
No, cracking is considered normal wear and tear. The service manual says the disc is fine unless the cracks go from hole to hole, hole to edge, or exceed 30mm in length.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:40 PM   #59
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So been considering doing a track day lately as I would really love to learn about the car more and get some instruction. However you mention about needing to service the breaks a lot and that worries me as it is something I have never done in the past. I take it I couldn't make it through a track day without doing anything about the brakes then?

Only starting to look into things now but hoping to maybe do one this fall sometime.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:38 PM   #60
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I'm doing my first track day august 20th and 21st! Can't wait! Thanks for the tips!
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Old 07-21-11, 01:38 PM
 
 
 
 
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