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Motorsports & Track Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
Chrsb5
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

I signed up for a BMW CCA novice introduction to the track event. I've never driven on a track before or attended a HPDE, any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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Make sure your brake fluid has been changed. Most clubs require it to have been changed in the last 12 months (IIRC). Take all the crap out of your car so you don't have to leave it track side. You'll need a totally empty car to get on the track. Check your ego, you'll build a lot more skill if you start slow and add speed as you gain understanding of what is happening. Keep your traction control on as well.

Track days are a blast, have fun!

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Old 10-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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If autocross, the instructor will walk the course with the group. ATTEND THIS. Things will become more clear walking the course versus going balls to the wall your first time out. And as mentioned, definitely be humble about this. Slower is faster. But don't be afraid to try and go fast, it'll just teach you what you are doing wrong.

Oh and prepare to buy new tires after. hahaha
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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I've never done a track day, but I've been told several times not to time my laps if I do go. Just work on your form and racing line.

Some people like to tape their car's paint up to prevent chips and all that.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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As what Tim mentioned ... Go at your own pace and be wary of other faster cars that are approaching from behind. After you pit check your tire pressure cos after a few laps the psi in your tires will have risen by 4-7psi so get a good tire pressure gauge. For 17" tires 30psi all around. Bring a few bottles of water cos you get dehydrated real fast.

Also watch and learn experienced drivers breaking points and always remind yourself to go slow in fast out.

Having said that I myself spun out on my 2nd lap cos I was to eager to catch up the car in front ... I was very lucky there was no damage to the car except for my ego lol.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

Start drinking water 72 hours prior to event.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
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Every person on earth should be drinking at least 64 ounces of straight water every day anyway. I go for the gallon.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

Thanks for the replies!

Well brakes and fluid are fresh, replaced everything including SS lines and a new fluid in July. Tires are fresh Continental extreme contact DW and filled with nitrogen, so hopefully I won't see two much of a pressure increase as they heat up. Water is an excellent idea, I plan on bringing a snack too. There's no crap in the car at all. As far as driving fast, having an ego, I'm pretty much in the opposite state of mind, a little nervous and eager to learn what I can and hopefully have fun.


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Old 10-04-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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If you're nose-to-nose every time you pass another car, check to see if you're going the wrong way around the track.

Mostly, have fun.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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Bring plenty of snacks if you aren't packing your lunch.

Don't think too much about the water; you are in NJ and are probably attending the Oct driving school. Weather will be pleasant and it's not going to be that hot or bad. To be clear - bring water, but don't bring too much.

Sunglasses, a book or ipad if you think you'll get bored between rounds - although you might be busy between the skid pad and shaloms and trying to make sense of the hectic pace.

The guys at the track (all NJ BMWCCA guys) are fantastic and very helpful. It might get overwhelming @ times but take a deep breath and realize that you there to (a) learn, not race, and (b) have fun. And @ any point, just reach out to the volunteers and the members to clarify your queries. Everyone will pause to answer and guide you.

I have taken this Intro to the Driving School in the past and hence adding my 2 cents out of experience.

ENJOY.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #11
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

is it too late to sign up?
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
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NJBMWCCA has run driving schools since the early 70's and run a great show. Their Intro to the Track program is fantastic. If you listen to your instructor and pay attention in the classroom, you will have a blast. Grab as many instructor rides as you can.

Have you taken your car to a shop for the tech inspection? Is everything checked? Is it filled out properly? I have had to fail drivers at the tech spot-check for loose batteries, expired helmets, brake fluid older than 6 months, and other easily avoided things clearly listed on the tech form. Do you have a SA2005 or later full face helmet?
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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is it too late to sign up?

As of a couple days ago,they still had a couple novice spots open.

http://www.njbmwcca.org/services/sch...p?event_id=352
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Take all the crap out of your car so you don't have to leave it track side. You'll need a totally empty car to get on the track. Check your ego, you'll build a lot more skill if you start slow and add speed as you gain understanding of what is happening. Keep your traction control on as well.
Excellent advice. And "all the crap" means "anything that isn't bolted down...including floor mats. And projectiles in your trunk aren't a great idea, either.

Quote:
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I have had to fail drivers at the tech spot-check for loose batteries, expired helmets, brake fluid older than 6 months, and other easily avoided things clearly listed on the tech form. Do you have a SA2005 or later full face helmet?
Yup, I bought a helmet when I first started autox. Got a great deal...so I thought...until, 2 years afterwards, I found out it was no longer allowed. It had never even bumped the headliner, but it had expired....
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:48 AM   #15
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Brake fluid fresh.
Tire gauge, check hot air pressure immediately when leaving track.
Lug nuts torqued, recheck after every session.
Learn the lines.
Late apex.
Going off is expensive.
DO NOT do anything to get out of the way of faster drivers. Stay in the line and let them find a way around you.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:06 AM   #16
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Re: First time on a track, what should I know ?

Watch videos on YouTube of the track you are going to.

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:10 AM   #17
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A little pre event reading that will help:

http://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/preparing.html

Also read the links at the bottom of the page for more info.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #18
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

blah registration ended yesterday
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #19
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traction off
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #20
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First time on a track, what should I know ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 333Crazee View Post
Watch videos on YouTube of the track you are going to.

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Ha! Brilliant! I should have thought of this but it didn't even cross my mind. It's the lightening track at the NJ motorsports park in Millville NJ.


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