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Old 03-04-2011, 03:04 AM   #1
parkerlewis
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Default First track day - SUZUKA (with PICS!)

Hi all! First up, thank you for making this such a deep, resourceful community....I have learnt so much on here, but have only recently joined as a member.. I hope this is in the right section, and not too tired a topic.

I have a GF8 Sti Version IV wagon that I am taking to Suzuka Circuit next Wednesday.....and just going through my final checklist of what to do/what to look out for.....there will probably be no English speakers there, and although my Japanese is pretty strong, I still misunderstand a lot of technical talk....so thought I would ask you guys for some tips...

I have a stockish GF8 classic STI wagon version IV, with quality coilovers, advan ad07/te37 225/45/16 tyres. Reclinable bucket seat, and 3 inch harness.

I am doing an oil change tomorrow, and a brake fluid change on Monday. I have some 100-900 degree pads coming on Monday (cutting it fine!).
I have checked my hoses, and the coolant is pretty new. I have not experienced any problems since owning the car. The battery is new.
I am also getting an alignment and wheel balance on Monday.

Anyway, I am a bit nervous because my car will be the biggest piece of crap there....everyone will be in R35s, Evo IX/Xs, worked FD mazdas and so on....the tuning shop I am going with is known for doing very high end stuff, so I am pretty nervous about sharing the track with these monsters, and also of course, keeping out of their way....

Does anyone have any last minute advice for me? Anything at all.....
Thanks!
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Last edited by parkerlewis; 03-12-2011 at 06:10 AM. Reason: added pics....
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:26 AM   #2
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Just got a call from Project Mu.....pads are out of stock! So I am now going to be running some ENDLESS Type R 0-650 degree C pads...... I have heard that Suzuka is not too hard on the brakes compared to many other tracks in Japan.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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You should bring a second Swatch so you can synchronize with your instructor. Other than that, I'd say you can't lose.

Sorry. Someone who knows something will come along soon to help you, I'm sure. The only thing I'd say is that most of my local track day groups seem to have an outside tech sheet of stuff to have a mechanic look at beforehand. Thinks like checking that the steering rack is ok, motor mounts ok, wheel bearings ok, suspension components all properly tightened, etc.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoinks View Post
You should bring a second Swatch so you can synchronize with your instructor. Other than that, I'd say you can't lose.


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Old 03-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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I'm imaging Suzuka in my head and I don't think it will be hard on brakes. Regardless of that, you should make sure the brake pads you have are meant for track duty. Your car is definitely lighter than any of the STi's in the states but brakes are far and away the most important part of a track day.

Will you have an instructor in the car with you? If you do, don't worry about keeping an eye behind you, he should do that for you. If you don't have an instructor, don't worry about letting faster cars pass you every second. Just make sure you stay on the proper racing line and make them go offline to pass. I'm not sure how they do it in japan, but that's normal procedure at most track days in the US.

Most of all, have fun!
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
parkerlewis
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Ok, so I just hold my line like a race, and let fast cars pass me off the racing line....makes sense! and sounds easier than what I expected, which was that I would have to stay off the racing line when a fast car comes through.

The pads are 0-650 and have a decent friction rating....I hope they are ok. They are Endless Type R, but are Japan-only, by the looks of things, so hard to find info and opinions on.....
I thought they were circuit pads, but today found out they are street/track pads, so not as track-focused as I had hoped...but oh well, it is just my first track day.
I will be doing my brake fluid in about 6 hours time...just need to get some sleep first!
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:14 PM   #7
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Sounds like the car should be in good shape.

Make sure you wear whatever clothes are required and bring helmet, etc. Also important to bring a lot of water for yourself, even in the cold.

As mentioned, check behind you for faster cars, but most of all have fun and make sure you don't drive outside your comfort zone. The goal is to bring the car home in one piece.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:49 AM   #8
parkerlewis
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Yeah I was a bit worried about that....watching so many on youtube crashing at suzuka has made me nervous...ha ha...

Todays update... Changed the fluid out for Weds Sport 5.1 fluid, which the mechanics at TRIAL recommended to me...
Also put in some Castrol RS 10-50 oil....and a Blitz filter.
I need to get an alignment done tomorrow at 9am, then when that is done head over to pick up my track day brake pads, and then get to work by 2pm!

I am installing my harness tonight too.

Also just bought some nice Nomex racing gloves, and recently picked up a BELL open face helmet.
I do not have a suit, so will just wear the required long pants and sweater this time....I have run out of money (almost)...so no racing suit first time around.

Ok I will bring plenty of water for sure...and some bananas!
It is cold, but I am hoping for no rain, because I am on Advan ad07 and it is my first track day, so I am hoping for dry weather...
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:07 AM   #9
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Wow..... Just eating now after finishing up at the track. That was one of the best experiences of my life! I just wish I could hit the track for one more lap!!
Kept hitting the rev limiter.... So frustrating.....ha ha..... I will post photos and more later on when I am at my computer.....
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkerlewis View Post
Wow..... Just eating now after finishing up at the track. That was one of the best experiences of my life! I just wish I could hit the track for one more lap!!
Kept hitting the rev limiter.... So frustrating.....ha ha..... I will post photos and more later on when I am at my computer.....
Glad you had a great time and everything went well. I hope you have a lot of money saved up because this sport is not cheap
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:05 AM   #11
parkerlewis
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Yeah everything was great. I went off the track twice, but no dramas....
The body had a lot of roll, and the drivers seat was inadequate, and I wish
I had a lap timer, and I wish there was no 180kmh limiter....they were my 4 gripes!
I am going to Okayama International in 3.5 weeks time for my second track day.
Have a bit of work to do on the car.

I do most of the work myself, cars are cheap over here, and so are parts, and track days are $150-200 a day, so so far not too expensive, but yeah, I guess you are referring to tyre changes and broken gearboxes/diffs/engines and hitting walls, when referring to the sport as 'not cheap'!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:07 AM   #12
parkerlewis
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On that note, some guy who hit a wall hard a few weeks ago at Suzuka, got billed $10,000 for repairs to the track urethane wall pads, and so on....
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
eviltuna7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkerlewis View Post
Yeah everything was great. I went off the track twice, but no dramas....
The body had a lot of roll, and the drivers seat was inadequate, and I wish
I had a lap timer, and I wish there was no 180kmh limiter....they were my 4 gripes!
I am going to Okayama International in 3.5 weeks time for my second track day.
Have a bit of work to do on the car.

I do most of the work myself, cars are cheap over here, and so are parts, and track days are $150-200 a day, so so far not too expensive, but yeah, I guess you are referring to tyre changes and broken gearboxes/diffs/engines and hitting walls, when referring to the sport as 'not cheap'!
Fixing the seat should be first on your list followed by suspension. You can play with the ecu to unlock the limiter but I would advise not to get a lap timer. Pushing to get a good lap time is what's going to get you outside your comfort zone and into trouble very quickly.

Most of the expense I was talking about was sign up cost, wear items, and things that need fixing. They can add up quickly.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltuna7 View Post
Most of the expense I was talking about was sign up cost, wear items, and things that need fixing. They can add up quickly.
Yup. The running joke with racing is as follows....

The best way to make a small fortune racing is to start with a big one.

We have one local track around here that is fun, but tough on the cars. On top of the $150 entry for the track day you're going to eat up a set of brake pads (yes, one brand new set dead in one day), 1/3 the life of a set of tires, and probably $50-100 in fuel. A lot of guys I know stopped running at that track because it was $700-1000 each trip when you figure in the maintenance and wear items. In comparison we can usually get 8-10 track days out of a set of tires/pads at the other two local tracks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:52 AM   #15
parkerlewis
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Yeah the day at Suzuka hardly touched my tires or pads....it is a very flowing track, I guess. But, I am not sure....definitely not an expert....

Fuel is expensive, yes. But I was only on track for 1 hour so only went through, well....not even half a tank of hi octane, which is $95 a tank here. So $45 on fuel I guess....
The day was $220....but like I said, only 1 hr of track time...

I will just race when I have money spare....not every week.......but damn, it is addictive! I cannot wait to get back out there....

Ok, I will not get a lap timer...that was just an afterthought I guess. I think I will pick up a used Apexi RSM for $100 and use that to cut the speed limiter. Unless there is a cheap 'hack' way to do it??

Yes I really want a Bride what was it called....um. Artis type L or something. It is a limited edition bucket seat I sat in at a shop last week. It fit me like a glove...bigger than the regular one....and only $500 new. Weighed 7kg.. Recaro is pretty expensive over here.....
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:58 AM   #16
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:05 AM   #17
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Pics are not working sorry I will try to figure out how to fix this....
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:11 AM   #18
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:24 AM   #19
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_REG7894 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:25 AM   #20
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_REG7907 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:25 AM   #21
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_REG7909 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:26 AM   #22
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Before the session....


_REG7911 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:28 AM   #23
parkerlewis
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They allowed us to take a friend for the first lap, at a smooth pace, no overtaking.....

....so I took my wife for a spin....she thought I was going full speed...ha ha...she was so scared even just heading down the straight at 140kmh.... I was really glad they let us do this...because if not, it would have been a really boring day for her, just waiting around in the cold....


_REG7913 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:28 AM   #24
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Buckling up....very nervous at this stage.....not really knowing what to expect...

_REG7928 by ezdonutz, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:29 AM   #25
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The opening lap with my wife....


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