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Old 12-16-2002, 05:24 PM   #1
Fred
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Member#: 3560
Join Date: Jan 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Four Oaks, NC
Vehicle:
06 STi, 02 WRX
94 Open Light 2.5RS

Default preparing for track school

I'd like to do my club's track school at VIR in February, but I'm not sure about the prep/ costs other than the entry fee. Need some advice...

2001 RS with Eibach springs/ stock struts and 20mm rear swaybar, Goodridge brake lines, Porterfield R4S pads, WRX front rotors, 215/45/17 Kumho MXes on Rota Subzeroes. Also have stock 16X7 wheels with RE92s, which could be replaced with Azenis or something. I own a helmet that meets the specifications.

I'm thinking I would need to get some Porterfield R4 pads (front only, or front & rear?) or something comparable in another brand, but I don't know about the tires. How much pad/ rotor/ tire wear should I expect from 90 minutes of track time?

Another issue: I started autocrossing this year and got pretty decent at it, but I've never been on a real race track. Should I save my money for a while and do some more autox, then do a track school later, or should I go ahead and do the school now (depending on how much the total cost will be)?

Decisions, decisions...

Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2002, 05:44 PM   #2
rkkwan
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Location: Houston, TX
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2010 Honda Fit Sport
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1. Track days and auto-x are quite different. I don't believe one have to do one or the other, one before the other, etc... So, don't worry about that.

2. I've been using R4 since my 2nd track event. They are great, but pricey. You're going to destroy your rotors and everything else before they'll fade. I love them, but I also think it's a bit overkill to use them at my level. I think R4-S will be pretty adequate for a track newbie; and at VIR, the course is long enough to let the brakes cool down between turns.

With the R4 I've been getting about 8 days (about 90 minutes each day) of use, at various tracks.

I think your car is pretty much ready to go on a track. Might want to flush your brake fluids and use something like ATE Super Blue.

-Ray
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Old 12-16-2002, 05:59 PM   #3
TBreu007
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2002 WRX
Sold...for a race car

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You sound pretty much set. Although I do use Superblue on occasion, I would definitely recommend Motul instead since it doesn't stain you master cylinder blue causing suspicion with Subaru techs. on warranty work they are looking for an excuse to get out of.
Also, Motul has a higher boiling point.

If you have the money, I would definitely recommend just doing the track event instead of a couple autocrosses. They are so very different, and you will get more track time and learn more in one school (as long as it is a good school) than you will at 10 autocrosses.
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Old 12-16-2002, 06:49 PM   #4
IXLR8
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Especially for your first track day, focus on yourself rather than your car... (it sounds just fine the way it is, including the tires).

Make sure your helmet fits well and is comfortable (you already said it meets spec). There's a good chance it'll be cold and you'll be running with the windows down, so dress warm but not bulky... Get some good, warm gloves... they don't have to be expensive driving gloves, but should be thin/tight in the palm/fingers for a reasonable feel on the wheel... Mechanix-wear has some pretty good stuff. Same idea with shoes.

Once you're hooked on track driving (and there's a good chance you will be) then look to make reasonable mods to your ride... but for a while at least, you are the weakest component of the package... spend your money on more track time!
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:46 PM   #5
Fred
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94 Open Light 2.5RS

Default

Thanks for all the help, guys.

I'm already using Motul RBF600, and keeping it flushed. The most I've pushed the brakes was for a few minutes in the mountains of NC. Never felt any fade, and the corners were a lot closer together than at VIR - but I wasn't going over 60 or 70 mph, either.

I'll probably want to take it easy out there, since it's my first time. Just wanted to make sure I'm not in for any surprises.

And feel free to keep making suggestions...
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Old 12-16-2002, 08:42 PM   #6
rkkwan
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There was a very nice thread on the New England board on track day preparation. It's started by "Pilot". Do a search - I think it's called the "NESIC Track Guide" - it's very thorough, and you should be much more prepared than I was in Watkins Glen last year.

-Ray
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Old 12-16-2002, 08:47 PM   #7
CivicSiRacer
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I don't know where I put the list but here's an online version:
http://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/firstday.html

Make sure you stay hydrated, get lots of sleep, and eat some food throughout the day. After my first track day I was EXHAUSTED! I got back to the hotel and slept for like 12 hours It is literally sensory overload.
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Old 12-16-2002, 11:36 PM   #8
swalk
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Excellent replies/link above. Keep in mind that you are a rookie on the track and have a lot to learn. Keep an open mind and listen to your instructor. There is an old axiom - don't try to impress your instructor...you won't! Don't try to scare your instructor...he's already scared!

VIR is a challenging but very rewarding track to learn. Take it easy and learn the basics of track etiquette. Leave your ego at home. This is a track event, not a race.
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Old 12-17-2002, 01:14 AM   #9
rkkwan
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Oh yeah! VIR is the favorite track of mine, and I've driven on over 10 track in N. America now. It's a bit hard for a newbie, though, as there are so many corners to learn and remember. I was much greener when I went there early this year, and it wasn't the 4th session before I was comfortable. Take your time to learn the course. VIR's website has a pretty good track guide, with corner-by-corner photo description. You must check it out before going.

-Ray
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Old 12-17-2002, 07:39 AM   #10
CivicSiRacer
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Yes VIR was the first track I've attended and I was told I am going to be spoiled from now on The bathrooms were so clean you could eat off the floor (not that I would do that or anything).

But also remember it's an HPDE (High Performance Driving Education/School) not a RACE. Some people tend to forget that and throw out everything they've learned and get to the downhill esses and off you go into the grass

I was on this guy's butt (5th Gen Civic H/B with B16A supercharged) going into the esses and he wouldn't let me pass on the straight. So I was right up on him. He was watching me and not the track and spun out right infront of me. My instructor told me to mash the gas.

Little tips for you at VIR.
  • Keep the gas planted as you go through the uphill esses (between turns 6-10)
  • Take most of the turns out-in-out
  • downshift to 2nd for Oak treet (or some cars even 1st)
  • Don't stay on the brakes too long or you will overcook your brake fluid and loose your brakes
  • If you are stuck in a train of cars you can pull into pit, wait for the group to pass and get out on a empty track
  • And remember to have fun!!
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:55 AM   #11
Brett555
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I put together a "Track Guide" and "Track Checklist", they can be found here... http://www.soloracer.com/articles.html

I think one of the most important things for your first time at a high speed driving event is to have an instructor in your car with you. Try to go to an event that gives you plenty of time with an instructor and also plenty of classroom time. They will help you out AND hopefully try to keep you from doing anything dangerous/stupid. I know several people who have had incidents at their first track event primarily because they were on their own out there.

Have fun...its a blast!
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