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Tips for Rainy Track Day

1,281
3
Tulsa, OK
I searched around a little on the forum and didn't find anything on this subject but if I missed it just point me in the right direction ;)

I've got a track day at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit on Saturday and it looks like there is very good chance for rain. This will be my fifth track day but I haven't experienced any rain yet. I will be using my street tires (NT05s) for the day. I'm hoping to get the most out of the day and I've heard you learn a lot about car control and being smooth on a wet track. Any tips or suggestions from those who have tracked in the rain?
 
Started racing in South Florida and saw quite a few rainy track days. Now live in California so few and far between.

From what I remember. Increase tire pressure from what you would run dry track by at least 5 psi. Tires won't heat up as much and if there is standing water on the track, the less tread width you have contacting the track, the better (up to a point, of course). Run suspension on softer settings than you would on a dry track.

Finally, the dry track line through a corner is usually not the best place to be if there is standing water. Widen your lines a bit and smoother inputs everywhere.

Other than that, take it easy and work up to speed. I find rainy day track days to be lots of fun until I have to get out of the car :). Just my $.02

EDIT - If running a high "level" track pad that requires heat, might want to switch back to stock Boss pads or something a bit less aggressive. Brake temperatures are going to be lower.
 
I'm following Gary's rainy track day suggestion: stay off the track! Easy to do in CA. Jason's suggestions look pretty solid if you're going to run in the rain.
 
Running in sport mode will help but you don't get a good feel for the car. The biggest problem with running in the rain is someone else who may push themselves too hard for the conditions, you have no control over that. I have done it before and can say the NT05's are good on a wet surface, I did not lose control at all but everybody was passing me.
 
1,281
3
Tulsa, OK
jnathan68- Thanks for the tips. I'll probably run the tires at 35lbs if it rains. I'm not exactly sure what the wet line will be at the track but I'm sure they will discuss this at our drivers meeting. Haha I do have a little covered tent that will hopefully keep me dry. I hadn't thought about the brake pads, thanks for bringing that up...

NFSBOSS- Ha! The weather changes so frequently here in Oklahoma. There is a saying that if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute ;)

YellowBoss- I will run with advancetrac/TC turned off. As you said, my biggest concern is some yay-hoo going a little too hard and taking me down with him. This is always a factor on the track, dry or wet, but probably becomes more of a factor in the wet. Good to know about the NT05s.

Crossing my fingers for a dry day!
 
It rained us out at ECR last Saturday. My first time on wet track, had a new square set up with RS3's. Got to run 3 laps before they called it. Had traction on but it was real slick, several cars off the track. I had 35 psi and soft settings too, but did not get up to speed. Be careful and watch for "others" :) Good luck at Hallett, thats a fun track. John
 
Good tips. However I run with traction control full on in the rain. Check tire pressure after every run and adjust as needed. If track is drying out through the day the tires will get progressively hotter and pressure higher. Avoid standing water if possible. I drive the driest line.
The rain can be fun, but be careful (duh). I am timid in the rain but find most others are even more timid. I often find I can pass cars that I could not hang with in the dry.
 

drano38

Wayne
1,130
318
NFSBOSS said:
I'm following Gary's rainy track day suggestion: stay off the track!

+1, stay in the paddock.

I've driven in the rain and on a wet track a couple times, and it does work ok, with caution. I'm on NT-05 also--make sure you run them forward on a wet track for water channeling. I run them backward sometimes when I know the track will be dry for even wear.
Sport mode works--had the backend let go coming out of a turn last summer, and it engaged the back brakes to straighten out the car in a heartbeat.
Hydroplane is bad, so stay out of standing water.
If its raining enough for me to need the second intermediate windshield wiper position, I don't need to be on track.

Be safe.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,635
2,587
Arizona, USA
Also a fan of the "just don't go" strategy. Wet driving will definitely hone your skill as a driver, but learn on a skidpad where there's nothing to hit.

Too much to risk as an amateur driver in the wet; nobody's going to hand us another car if we ball one up.
 
1,281
3
Tulsa, OK
Thanks to everyone for the advice and tips. Hopefully it just stays dry and I don't have to deal with it. If it is pouring and there is a ton of standing water I will probably just stay off the track. Game-time decision I suppose. Maybe I'll just take a bunch of beer with me, chill out under my canopy and watch everyone else slide off the track ;D

The quattro would be nice ;)
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Bring the right tires. I really like how the Super Sports work in the wet.

Last time at Fontana, i specifically took an off-line detour to use some standing water for tire cooling...but I generally agree to avoid it. I did that at a point when the track was mostly dry later in the day.
 

isrboss

If you have good car control ie good at drifting, have fun. I had one wet track day at Gainesville, so speeds were low and I spent the whole time chasing the rear end. I did learn a lot, but we also only had 2 cars on the track at a time. I would personally stay in the paddock if it gets wet. Like others have said, you may be a pro, but I can bet there will be some novice out there to. Leave the TC ON! You don't get cool points for a crashed daily driver. hahaha

AWD=wet
 
ArizonaGT said:
Also a fan of the "just don't go" strategy. Wet driving will definitely hone your skill as a driver, but learn on a skidpad where there's nothing to hit.

Too much to risk as an amateur driver in the wet; nobody's going to hand us another car if we ball one up.
My very first session at my very first track day in my Boss was in a steady rain. The instructor said lets go so I did. By the time the session ended there were 3-4 cars in my run group getting pulled out of the mud. I'm not planning on finding out what that's like. ;)
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
14
Connecticut
All good suggestions, including the tire pressure. Too soft a tire allows a channel of water to build up in the center of your tires so you get less of a contact patch. The other thinig to think about is where the most water is and where the oil on the track is going. In general, for banked turns, stay up high off the normal line. Since the turn radius is smaller down low there is more water per square foot of track. It's also where all the oil on the track is flowing to. Also remember smooth inputs to steering and braking make all the difference in the world when driving in the rain. I've done it a lot, most of it in my Audii TTS Quattro with Michelin PSS's (which is very much cheating ;-) but have run in the rain a number of times with the Boss. Rain is the on ereason why I keep my original set of Corsa's around with me. As track tires I don't like them but they are better than slicks or my NT-555R-II's when in water.

-Pete
 
1,281
3
Tulsa, OK
Thanks for all the tips! I lucked out with the weather yesterday. It was a little damp during my first session but was dry for the second and stayed dry the rest of the day. Ran R6s for the first time and the grip is awesome 8)
 
roadhouse said:
Thanks for all the tips! I lucked out with the weather yesterday. It was a little damp during my first session but was dry for the second and stayed dry the rest of the day. Ran R6s for the first time and the grip is awesome 8)

That is good news, always better in the dry. Running in the rain is interesting, did it once and that is enough for me. I only carry slicks to the track now. It is fun strapping on some R comps for the first time ;D
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Forgot to mention...I did get to run in the FR500S in the rain on rain tires. It was awesome how the Miller crew got to work once the call was made to switch the tires. I was looking forward to the whole day on slicks, but it was nice that the rain didn't kill all the fun. So I think it was two sessions on the slicks and two on the rain tires.

Glad the rain didn't spoil *your* fun! :)
 
1,281
3
Tulsa, OK
You and me both! Here are a two videos from Saturday. There was a sweet '13 302 LS there with a roll bar, harnesses, and R6s. Lots of other mustangs as well. I don't have video from the most exciting session, which included my best times and a good spinout (camera died :-[) so these will have to do. The R6s are great but it's taking me some time to trust that the grip is there. Also worked on some H/T downshifting throughout the day. Improving my driving and having a little more fun each time I go out 8)

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KY4IibfORxk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/oT3ZqCVm304[/youtube]
 
good comments on setup and stuff...

staying off the track is the best advice, but if you do go out, I'd suggest:

1. (standard disclaimer for safety gear...get some)
2. stay OFF the racing line. that's where all the rubber and oil are. especially important if it's the first rain in a while - just like on the street
3. when intersecting the racing line, be as straight as possible. usually means a really late apex.
4. smoothness of all inputs is really important
 

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