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Old 12-05-2002, 11:57 PM   #1
Petar
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Default The quickest way to a racetrack.

Hello. I want to take my car to a roadcourse as soon as possible because, to be honest, it's the most fun thing I can think of to do with my car. But I need to learn a few things first. Most importantly, what's the easiest/quickest way to get on a track?

I'm not interested in schools at this point as I have not the funds. I'm thinking of an open trackday such as I hear about in the uk, or the sort of thing Jon Felstead is doing in his videos. I've heard of others attending bmw trackdays and the like; what I want to know is: How do I find out about these events?

I am located closest to Road Atlanta and VIR. I live in Western North Carolina. Any information on what to expect when I do go to an event would be appreciated.

Essentially, I am looking for a trackday primer guide. Help?
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Old 12-06-2002, 12:20 AM   #2
rkkwan
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While you don't need to attend a racing school like Skip Barber, you should look for clubs with good instructors and safe rules to run with. BMWCCA is good. Audi Club (aka Quattro Club) is good. NASA's HPDE is good. Go to their websites and see how often do they run at VIR and Road Atlanta.

Good instruction is very important, unless you just want to mess around and kill yourself. Instructors of those clubs are there to teach you the line, to teach you the technique.

Do a search of "VIR" or "Road Atlanta" on this forum, also the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic ones too.

-Ray
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Old 12-06-2002, 01:00 AM   #3
Petar
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Thanks for the advice, especially the searching bit. It's something most forget all too often on here.

Are the instructors an extra charge, or are they an inclusive part of the fee?
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Old 12-06-2002, 01:19 AM   #4
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They are included in these "driver's education" event. In fact, unless you've shown that you're experienced enough, you will not be allowed to drive solo. [And you shouldn't be!]

I started doing track days May of 2001, and has been on the track for about 20 days. Right now, I'll run in "intermediates" with most groups. Usually, for a 2-day event, I may get signed off to run solo during the last afternoon, so that I can try to utilize what I've learned in the previous 1.5 days from my instructors. [Provided that I don't do anything stupid and scare him/her off.]

-Ray
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Old 12-06-2002, 08:31 AM   #5
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In addition to searching this board, look directly at the websites of tracks in your area.

In addition to clubs, and the competition schools, almost every track has either it's own "school" or one (or more) that's associated with it to organize and manage track days. One exapmple is Summit Point's BSR School at www.bsr-inc.com (Cheap promotion... I teach there, and in fact should be on the track right now if it weren't for our snow!@#)

Also, take a look at the NASA national website (www.nasaproracing.com ). In addition to describing their sponsored HPDE's (Track days) there are some good pages on what to expect and how to prepare for your first time (and 2nd and 3rd, etc.) on a track.

That's just scratching the surface... check back here and follow links for more info than you'll want!
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Old 12-06-2002, 11:04 AM   #6
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Also try http://www.carguys.com/Calendar.htm

They have a program at VIR. They seem a little pricey. I think the car clubs' driver's ed programs are cheaper. Friday at the Track up at Summit Point is only $175 for 80 minutes of track time.
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Old 12-06-2002, 11:42 AM   #7
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Check the local Porsche Club of America chapters as well as BMW clubs. They do High Speed Driver's Education Events at tracks like Road Atlanta. You'll get an instructor assigned to you to help you learn about high performance driving on the track and getting the most out of your car in a safe manner.

I've been participating and instructing at track events for different clubs for years and I highly recommend it! It's pretty cheap track time and you'll never find anything else where you have so much fun practicing and learning a skill.

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Old 12-06-2002, 12:35 PM   #8
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NASA will be having another HPDE in February. I attended the same one this past year and had a blast. Great way to get your feet wet for more

The only problem I had with NASA is the disorganization on the one day. I never received a log book, and my instructor took off before he could sign me off/sign my log book.

VIR is one of the best tracks I hear on the east coast (it was my first time at a track) due to the brand new buildings and long track (3.2 miles). Lots of ups and downs, long straights, and pucker factors

My fee was only $199 due to Honda-Tech.com discounts
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Old 12-06-2002, 03:07 PM   #9
elgorey
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Default Re: The quickest way to a racetrack.

Quote:
Originally posted by Petar
I am located closest to Road Atlanta and VIR. I live in Western North Carolina. Any information on what to expect when I do go to an event would be appreciated.
NASA VA does a lot of events in NC and SC www.nasaracing.net
also check out www.trackschedule.com for other group's events at VIR and RA.
Feb 20,21 at VIR with NASA is the next event. Hope to see you there!

Evan
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Old 12-07-2002, 09:40 AM   #10
sdecker
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Thumbs up

Another vote for the driver education events put on by the BMWCCA. You will be hard pressed to get better value for your money.

The Peachtree chapter of the BMWCCA has one (tentatively) scheduled for March 8-9 at Road Atlanta. Non-member registrations open up on January 11th, per their website:

http://www.peachtreebmwcca.org/calendar.asp

My advice would be to register on the 11th, or even better, become a member of the BMWCCA and register on the 4th. If you plan to do more than one of these a year, the membership will pay for itself. I believe the non-member price is 350, the member price is 325 for both days with a full time instructor.

I can't speak highly enough about these guys. VERY pro-level stuff IMHO.

I have done a ton of write-ups/videos of my track day adventures this summer/fall in the WRX if you are interested.

Good luck, hope to see you there.

Scott
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Old 12-07-2002, 09:42 AM   #11
sdecker
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Default Re: The quickest way to a racetrack.

Quote:
Originally posted by Petar
Any information on what to expect when I do go to an event would be appreciated.

Essentially, I am looking for a trackday primer guide. Help?
Ray (rkkwan), can you dig up that link you sent me at the beginning of the summer when I was asking the same question?

I think it may have been posted in the NESIC area, IIRC...

Scott
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Old 12-07-2002, 11:14 AM   #12
rkkwan
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http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...threadid=87046

NESIC track guide, kindly prepared by Pilot (Drew).

-Ray
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Old 12-07-2002, 11:20 AM   #13
IXLR8
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Quote:
Originally posted by rkkwan
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...threadid=87046

NESIC track guide, kindly prepared by Pilot (Drew).

-Ray
I love this line from the above....

"Beau Barfield, Panoz Racing School Instructor: “Do not try to impress [the instructor] because you can’t. Do not try to scare [the instructor] because [the instructor] is already scared.”

The rest is good too... Also take a look at this NASA link (and the asociated pages): http://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/index.html
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Old 12-07-2002, 11:39 AM   #14
Petar
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Thanks all, this helped a ton.

-P
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