Track Day Newbie

  1. Gansan

    Gansan Senior Member

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    Just my experience, but there are occasionally some poorly run track groups that are horrendous for a beginner. They literally just throw beginners on the track and will only casually suggest an instructor as an option. I am guessing they expect everyone to already have experience.

    I accompanied some first timer friends to a track event where they did this. I was worried for my friends' sake--that they weren't really learning how to drive safely and they were basically beginners without instructors. I spent the day unofficially instructing them but I was just one guy and there's only so much I could do.
     
  2. JCrimson

    JCrimson Senior Member

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    Welcome to your new addiction.
     
  3. billabongrob

    billabongrob Senior Member

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    I’ve found PCA in the Texas region has some of the best instructors. I still like an instructor/friend to ride and coach with my occasionally. Stay out of the sun when possible and drink plenty of water. Helps with fatigue. Plan your pee breaks according to your schedule. Print 2 copies of your schedule and be mindful of your time.

    chin is also a great value as they do some extended and/or overlapping sessions. Great club in my opinion. Honestly, I had great luck running as a novice with PCA and then once I was a little more familiar/comfortable/not-a-hazard I started exploring other clubs that offered cheaper track time.
     
  4. willskiGT

    willskiGT Senior Member

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    #19 willskiGT, Jan 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    You won't (can't) warp rotors from having the parking brake on, but you can get some nasty pad deposits.

    Heater will definitely stave off any overheating, especially in the lower temps of winter.

    Get track day insurance. It's ~$150 for the day with a 10% deductible (so $3500 if the car is worth $35k), but being out $3500 is much better than being out $35k because someone hit you / dropped fluids on the track / etc. Your normal insurance will not cover any usage on track.

    Turn VSA fully off so you don't eat the rear pads (especially inner pads).
     
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  5. fatherpain

    fatherpain Senior Member

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    Does knowing how to heel-toe help at the track? I’ve never done this so would have to learn if it’s needed, heh.
     
  6. willskiGT

    willskiGT Senior Member

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    Auto blipper is faster/better than doing it yourself.

    I have Rev Match turned off when DDing or on mountain runs because it's more engaging to heel-toe, but I leave it on while on track.
     
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  7. fatherpain

    fatherpain Senior Member

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    I have rev match turned off all the time. Have watched some YouTube vids on heel-toeing and have the Acuity pedal spacer but have not tried the technique.

    My feet aren’t all that big and I’m a crappy dancer so dunno if I have the needed foot coordination to pull it off, heh.
     
  8. JESFromASC

    JESFromASC Senior Member

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    So running the heater when it is cold out is a good idea!

    Last time I checked (mid - 2019) full insurance coverage for a track day was close to $850.00.

    This is a newbie thread - leave the VSA alone for now. (That way maybe you won't need that insurance coverage) You won't be wearing anything out for your first track day...
     
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  9. willskiGT

    willskiGT Senior Member

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    I did a track day in September 2019 and got coverage through RLI / Hagerty for $160.

    Agreed value was $36,000 and my deductible was $3600 (10%).

    I would say other than a good helmet and an instructor, HPDE insurance is probably the most important thing to have at a track day if you are driving your DD or really any non-dedicated race car.

    There are several providers, so search for the best deal before you buy. Additional days are usually a lot cheaper (for example, my 1-day policy was $160, but a 2-day policy was just $245 and 3-day was $300).

    Pricing is based on agreed value, so if you track something more expensive than a CTR, it can get expensive quickly - a friend who attended the same track day paid nearly $700 for his 2019 M5 Competition.


    On the VSA front - I think the car handles more predictably with it off. I always leave it on when doing mountain runs or in daily use, but always turn it off on the track.

    But rear stability can be an issue with this car if you get the weight transferred up front and have a quick transition or decreasing radius corner. Personally, I like that as you can really rotate the car by trail braking (and the stock tires understeer horribly when up to temp), but maybe a bit much for a newbie.
     
  10. JESFromASC

    JESFromASC Senior Member

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    Well at that price it is certainly worth it!
    I can't recall who I looked at but when I was done with all the check boxes it got too pricy to say yes.
     
  11. Gansan

    Gansan Senior Member

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    Just out of curiosity I got a Hagerty quote for Buttonwillow Raceway, Willow Springs, and AAA/California Speedway. They were all the same amount. With no time trial coverage it was $202.

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