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Completely new to track racing need help and advice.

I would like to start running my car at VIR. Im only about 2 hours away. How does it work whats the best way to start. I know absolutely nothing about it. Can you just show up to an event or are there certain things you need to do. What kind of expenses will I be looking at as far as brakes tires cost to run etc. Also can insurance be obtained for track days and if so how much.
So So many questions any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
For your first time you'll at least want the brake cooling kit and DOT 4 brake fluid installed. Most likely the stock brake pads will be fine for your first day but you'll want to upgrade those too when you get a chance. The experts should be along shortly to give you more details.
 
No way in hell am I an expert, not by a long shot, real long shot but my first time out the insurance cost about $250-300. You'll have to sign up for a HPDE class which is a lot of fun. There are some instructors/ avid drivers on here that can fill you in. Enjoy!
 

steveespo

Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Child
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Go to Motorsportreg.com and see what events are upcoming. A lot of groups (almost all) use this site for sign up and event registration.
Join some clubs that track day, track daze, IMG, NASA, EMRA, hooked on driving, Porsche Club of America, BMWCCA, SVTOA, SCMC, SCDA, Audi Club NA are all clubs I am a member of and have run events with over the past 3 years.
Lockton insurance does track day coverage, about $200 per event or they do multi event policies that save you quite a bit if you go 5-7 events a year.

You need a helmet that meets SA2005 or better yet SA2010. Get a closed face helmet as most groups are going to mandate them for 2014. For the car, fresh fluids, especially DOT4 brake fluid as Rick suggests, fill halfway between the min and max lines. If you do VIR you will need new pads after the event. Don't go there if you have less than half thickness on stock pads, you will end your day early.
Remember to relax and listen to your instructor, he or she will guide you around the track on the safest and almost quickest line. You will love it and find yourself much quicker at the end of the day and feel like you're working half as hard. Drink plenty of water and eat during the day.
Have fun.
Steve
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Steve gave a lot of good info there. The DOT4 fluid is a MUST by the way, do not take that lightly. The stock pads should be fine, however I would suggest putting appropriate pads on the car from the start since A) its safer, especially if you don't have brake cooling ducts and B) if you stock pads are new now they will be just about useless after 2 days of track driving.

Also, remember that its not a race. Leave your ego at home. You probably will have cars with much less HP passing you regularly, that is normal. Gauge your instructors enthusiasm to teach you and how interactive he is. Be critical of this because he is the key to your learning. If you don't fell he/she is cutting it request another instructor.

You will (or at least should) be amazed at how much you DON'T know about driving when you first start in HPDE's.

Lastly, not all clubs are created equal. Some have much better training capabilities than others. PM me if you'd like my perdoective. I instruct for some of the clubs Steve mentioned and drive with most of them also.

-Pete
 

unrealford

Mustang owner since 84
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Great thread, I've been relaxed on asking questions, didn't want to embarrass myself.
What pads do you recommend for a beginner?
 

Tucson 302

2013 Black LS #439
What Steve and Pete said are spot on. I am a newbie and swore when I bought my car I wouldn't track it, but after attending Track Attack I signed up with two clubs before getting on the plane back home. Having that instructer in the seat next to you on the track is what you need to not turn your car into a heap of worhtless metal. Both clubs I drive HPDE with cost about $40 to join and the weekend events run about $100 or so a day. I drive with Pro Autosports which is an affiliate of ASA Racing and the Arizona chapter of NASA. Start thinking about tires too, the stock Pirellis on my car have several track days on them and this weekend I had several occassions where my back end broke loose which was new for me even with Sport mode on.

But most of all have fun, but be careful it's very addictive ;)
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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unrealford said:
Great thread, I've been relaxed on asking questions, didn't want to embarrass myself.
What pads do you recommend for a beginner?

Its really based on the tires you use at the track and if you wish the pads to do double duty on the street also. Experience level does come into play, but not as much for HPDE as for all out racing. Even the most novice of drivers can make mincemeat of street pads.
 

unrealford

Mustang owner since 84
521
0
PeteInCT said:
Its really based on the tires you use at the track and if you wish the pads to do double duty on the street also. Experience level does come into play, but not as much for HPDE as for all out racing. Even the most novice of drivers can make mincemeat of street pads.
Stock Pirelles, and I'd probably use the pads for street also.
But I only drive my car on sunny days and my Drag Strip events.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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unrealford said:
Stock Pirelles, and I'd probably use the pads for street also.
But I only drive my car on sunny days and my Drag Strip events.

I'd go with Pagid RS-29 up front and RS-56 in the rear. Much better stopping power than stock, very good wear and very rotor friendly. The RS-29 is the pad compound that Audi has won with many times at LeMans, but its not the most aggressive pad they make so it is 'street friendly'. PM me for quotes.

-Pete
 
367
1
General items to bring are:

Toolkit
Rope
Tow hook
Jack
Air compressor
Air pressure gauge
Extra gas
Gloves
Water
Lawn chair (optional)

#9 always gets overlooked. But if you're out there for 3+ hours in the boiling sun, you'll be thankful you have it. All the other items are for setup/repair/emergency. A tow hook/rope may sound funny, but get your lowered car deep into the grass or a ditch and you'll be wishing you had those items.

Take care of your car. The initial lap(s) should be used for warm up. No, not exactly for you. For the car. Get the water/oil temps up to operating temperture, brakes up to temp and tires. It's good form to also follow the racing line during your warm up lap. Often times, you'll find it easier to be on the line going slow than it is going fast. The more adept you get it at as speeds increase, the faster you'll be (an oversimplification, to be honest. But I'll stick with it). You want to get to a point where you no longer have to think about the line. You should ideally instinctively be on it without thought as you become familiar with a track. On lap 2, you can start to up the tempo.

Do not stay out for too long!!! Tires, brakes and fluid *will* overheat. Stay out too long and a street car will overheat the oil--breaking it down and deminishing it of it's protective properties. When you are finished your session, do a cool down lap. If you want to be anal, do it with the heat on-- this allows heat to vent away from the cooling system in both ways: air hitting the rad, and air going into the cabin. Also, this lap should be *really slow*. Perhaps even slow enough that you should never need to touch the brakes. Give them a chance to cool off.

When you pit, do not pull up the hand brake. Stop on a flat surface, shut off the car and put it in gear. Then pop your hood. This allows the motor to cool and vent heated air away.
 
PeteInCT said:
I'd go with Pagid RS-29 up front and RS-56 in the rear. Much better stopping power than stock, very good wear and very rotor friendly. The RS-29 is the pad compound that Audi has won with many times at LeMans, but its not the most aggressive pad they make so it is 'street friendly'. PM me for quotes.

-Pete
I can confirm this pad setup works well on track and the street.
 

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