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Old 05-18-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
imprezaL2345
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Default Want to do an HPDE

I am very interested in taking part in an HPDE 1 class in July. I want to take the wrx as its completely stock and 100% working. I already comfirmed that it doesnt void the warranty with my dealer so i should be good. Any general suggestions,tips, and input on whether you benefited from it or not would greatly be appreciated. It's not cheap after factoring in lodging(5 hrs away), helmet, membership, course cost, so i want to make sure this will benefit me noticeably.

On the website they say they don't teach heel-toe and if you want to use it you have to learn it on your own. Did you go to the track knowing how? If not, do you feel you would have learned more knowing it?

The car i'm doing it is pretty much brand new(08 w/ 1700 miles). Should i worry about tearing the car up? Also, i was thinking about taping off the front end to prevent rock chips from the 5 hr drive and the track. Is this common or is it overkill?

Thanks
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
MasterKwan
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Quote:
I already comfirmed that it doesnt void the warranty with my dealer so i should be good.
Yeah, it doesn't "void" the warranty but, if you blow the motor up, that doesn't means they'll cover it. I think it was a mistake to even ask. The less they know, the less likely you are to have problems if something breaks ("yeah I was driving along and bang, the motor failed"). I'm just saying.... I didn't know how to H&T on my first couple track days. It's not a requirement. You won't be going fast enough for it to really matter initially.

1) Decent brake fluid.
2) Decent pads
3) Fresh oil change with 10w-40 or 15w-50.

That's all I'd do. Unlike drag racing, HPDE's aren't really that hard on the car. Expecially not for a beginner. Mazda is offering track insurance for their next event. Might want to check on whether you event offers it. I'd get it if they do.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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if you are running HPDE 1, u wont really need to worry about tearing up your car.

taking ur car 100% stock will be fine, but u might want to think about brake pads since the stock wrx pads might fade towards the end of the day.

as for learning techinques, u dont really need those techniques as a beginner. what you should be concentrating on is driving on the correct line and being smooth.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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don't worry about technique. don't worry about trying to outrun a "faster car" in your run group. keep your mouth closed and your ears open, and you'll learn a ton. trust your instructor, and do what he/she says.

as far as the car goes...you're probably fine stock, although if you start to get the hang of it your tires will take a beating and your brake pads will fade like a mofo. get ready to learn what the terms "body roll" and "understeer" mean too!

you're gonna love it ~ just remember it's not a race and that you are there to learn....and you'll leave with a big grin on your face, and you'll be hooked.

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:51 PM   #5
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keep your head up and look where you want to go!

If you have access to a skidpad and the HPDE offers skidpad time, it's a great place to learn car control.

Oh yea, +1 for getting some new pads.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:21 PM   #6
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Smooth is fast and fast is smooth. Don't worry about going fast, work on driving smoothly speed is a byproduct of good driving. As stated earlier listen to your instructor and don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember instructors at HPDEs are car guys(or girls) at heart too and usually love what they do.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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What event/group are you planning to run with?

All good advice above. I'd definitely recommend some higher temp brake fluid, and brake pads that are more suited for track time. Something to keep in mind with a stock WRX. Slow in, fast out. The car will understeer like crazy so you'll have to be very patient getting into the corners. Listen to your instructor, keep your eyes up, try to relax, learn, and have fun. I always tell my students there are 3 basic things I want the student to do during an event:

1. Be safe
2. Learn
3. Have fun

First one is up to the organization, instructor, and the student. First one happens and the second will happen. The first two happen and the third will happen.

Last edited by mav1c; 05-18-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
What event/group are you planning to run with?
Same question I had. I'm running 2 events in July.

The Summit Trackdaze event and VIR with NASA

Duncan
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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A few things I have noted after 4 HPDEs:

Don't overdrive the tires.
Practice downshifting before corners somewhere and powering through.
Take a good tire gauge and watch your pressures and adjust as your instructor suggests.
If you think your a good driver and have a fast car, be ready to be humbled.
Take a spare set of brake pads (although my stock pads were fine after 3 days).
Be ready to have fun and learn a bunch.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
imprezaL2345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunk View Post
Same question I had. I'm running 2 events in July.

The Summit Trackdaze event and VIR with NASA

Duncan
yep, im planning on going to VIR, NASA HPDE 1

as far as brake pads, they have 1800 miles on them. Do you guys really think ill need to replace them at the end of the day? Fresh oil change? I havent even reached the miles to do the first oil change. Should i still do all of that? Im not doubting you, but more, discouraged that'll have to do maintance at 2500 miles

as far as blowing it up. im not going to do this if i'm going to be pushing the car to where the engine might blow. I want to experience track time, while learning how to drive the car, and without the worries of an open track.

any insight on taping the front?
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:27 PM   #11
vinceGC8
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get an oil change.

for the brake pads its not that u will destroy them its that stock pads are designed to take the heat that they will see when your at the track. u will probably end up glazing the pads and then just melting them on your rotor.

if u do decide to run stock pads, u will really get to se what brake fade feels like.

if u want to tape the front go ahead. i suggest clearbra instead. taping the car up takes a good amount of tape. i went thru 3 rolls of 3in wide blue tape when i went on a road trip. it worked but its a pain in the ass.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:47 PM   #12
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In HPDE 1 you shouldn't be going hard enough or deep enough to kill your stock pads.

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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If you are taping up the front of your car, you should perhaps re-evaluate if you are ready to take your car to the track. You must be prepared to LOSE your entire car at the track. There is no insurance (unless you purchase it specifically for the track) at the track.

-mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #14
imprezaL2345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paisan View Post
If you are taping up the front of your car, you should perhaps re-evaluate if you are ready to take your car to the track. You must be prepared to LOSE your entire car at the track. There is no insurance (unless you purchase it specifically for the track) at the track.

-mike
true. im leaning towards the wrx instead of my l because i know my L wont pass the track inspection. I want to tape it mainly because i dont want to kill the paint after a day of exploring the cars limits. Im under the assumption that hpde is getting your feet wet with little possibility of wrecking.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jay3737 View Post
don't worry about technique. don't worry about trying to outrun a "faster car" in your run group. keep your mouth closed and your ears open, and you'll learn a ton. trust your instructor, and do what he/she says.
This. (Unless your instructor is making you uncomfortable by pushing you too hard.. if this is the case, talk to the chief instructor about it)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post

1. Be safe
2. Learn
3. Have fun

First one is up to the organization, instructor, and the student. First one happens and the second will happen. The first two happen and the third will happen.
This. (The only way to win an HPDE is to take your car home in one piece so you can do it again)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paisan View Post
If you are taping up the front of your car, you should perhaps re-evaluate if you are ready to take your car to the track. You must be prepared to LOSE your entire car at the track. There is no insurance (unless you purchase it specifically for the track) at the track.

-mike
This.. sorta...

Do be prepared to lose your car at the track. It happens, even to the "perfect" student.

But.. if you want to tape it up, then I don't see the issue why not - it can protect the car from chips and such. (Just remember, tape doesn't protect from brain fade or equipment failure)

and.. just in case we haven't said it enough:

Brake fluid - new and high temp stuff.

Brake pads - good idea for both Summit and VIR.. some tracks stock pads would be fine at, those are not the worst on pads, but they will still be harder on them.

Be safe. Do not do anything you are not comfortable with. (If you dont feel like going faster, don't let the instructor push you) Give point-by's when you can, (don't make the other driver wait too long even if he is in a Yaris.) Be curteous to other drivers on the track. If the instructor tells you you are scaring him, listen. Remember to smile and relax - it's not the Indy 500: It's your day off to have fun.



Jon K
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:37 AM   #16
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plenty of people tape the crap out of their cars...it depends on how much you care about the appearance of your car. i've seen $15k cars out there taped all the way up the hood, on the mirrors, and behind each wheel...and ferraris running with no tape. just don't plan to get that much taping done after you get to the event...it will take a while.

if you are not on summer tires, your tires will get greasier as the day goes on (maybe even in the first session). summer tires can get greasy too, depending on how high performance they are and how hard you push them. this will increase your braking distances, and combined with stock brake pads and getting faster as the day goes on, be ready for your braking distances to keep getting longer.

you don't HAVE to upgrade your brakes for your first track day, but a mild upgrade that is streetable will help, and you can probably find someone to buy your stock pads. high temp fluid is also helpful, but your fluid is very fresh, so if you want to wait, just understand that your pedal will get spongier as the day goes on.

although wrecking is largely up to you (and you can go slower to avoid it), it is also possible to have someone else wreck you on track. i personally have not seen this happen outside of the race groups (been tracking one full season), but i have seen a few students take out their own cars. just know that it is a possiblity.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #17
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Just go out there.. listen to your instructor and have fun..
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #18
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Always check your oil!
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #19
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You are welcome to join us (www.MVPTrackTime.com) at our track events. Happy Motoring!

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:34 PM   #20
i_drank_what
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paisan View Post
If you are taping up the front of your car, you should perhaps re-evaluate if you are ready to take your car to the track. You must be prepared to LOSE your entire car at the track. There is no insurance (unless you purchase it specifically for the track) at the track.

-mike
+1

I've done quite a few of these. Sometimes it does not matter how good of a driver you are, accidents happen. For instance, I was going well over 100 down the back straight at VIR when in front of me a mustangs brake rotor exploded sending huge metal chunks right back at me. It was really just luck that saved me from that one.

I think most important is to listen to instructions from instructors, to have fun and to stay away from the Red Mist.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:39 PM   #21
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Oh, one more thing that I've seen some people do.

Do not re-torque your lugs right after a run when they are hot. You can easily snap the studs if you do. Always make sure your wheels are cool to the touch before tightening them.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by i_drank_what View Post
Oh, one more thing that I've seen some people do.

Do not re-torque your lugs right after a run when they are hot. You can easily snap the studs if you do. Always make sure your wheels are cool to the touch before tightening them.
this reminds me about the whole "whatever you do DON"T pull up the emergency brake after a session" thing....seems obvious, but for a first timer could easily happen out of habit.

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #23
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Funny thing is I have always pulled my E-brake and never have had a problem. I understand the concept but just never had an issue doing it. Guess I don't heat up my brakes enough

-mike
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:26 PM   #24
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Funny thing is I have always pulled my E-brake and never have had a problem. I understand the concept but just never had an issue doing it. Guess I don't heat up my brakes enough

-mike
...maybe you've gotten so good that you don't even need brakes!

i have a list on my home computer of everything i take to an HPDE. i can post it up if the OP wants it, or if others want to add/detract (i am sure it is NOT all-encompassing).
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by imprezaL2345 View Post
as far as brake pads, they have 1800 miles on them. Do you guys really think ill need to replace them at the end of the day? Fresh oil change? I havent even reached the miles to do the first oil change. Should i still do all of that? Im not doubting you, but more, discouraged that'll have to do maintance at 2500 miles
DEFINATELY change the oil...you don't have the break in oil in your motor when you are driving it hard!!! get some synthetic oil in the weights people are suggesting
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