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Where do you change tires at HPDE events? Specifically at NJ Motorsports Park?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Autocross / HPDE' started by idragmazda, Oct 24, 2018.




  1. idragmazda

    idragmazda Senior Member

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    Hey guys - newbie question here.

    I'd like to attend a track day and have a separate set of tires to use for the track day. My question is, do tracks typically offer tire changing service? I'm assuming people go through lots of sets of tires.

    I don't have a set of dedicated track wheels. I have the OEM wheels with all seasons that are on the car today and then a separate set of track tires. I'd like to switch to the track tires when I'm there and then switch back to the all seasons to drive home.

    Thanks!
     
  2. racer

    racer Senior Member

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    Depending on your $$$

    1) Drive on the track what is on the car currently
    2) buy a dedicated set of tires/rims for the track. Swap them over either a) at home or b) drag them, and a jack and lug wrench, to the track and swap over there.
    3) Make friends with someone who has a trailer and who will haul your stuff in exchange for beer ;)
    4) Hire a crew!

    There is no guaranteed "tire changer" available at a track. Some have independent shops located on the facility or nearby (in town) but both would eat into your day and you would miss track time. Plus, it could cost you another $100-200/day to get it done.

    You can likely find a second set of rims for track duty that would be cheaper in the long haul than constantly swapping tires.. welcome to the slippery slope!

    If you've never done a track day (either with a car or motorcycle) and have minimal or no experience with track days, you may not get much out of a dedicated track tire, especially if it is cold out. As an instructor, I was more concerned with the newbie on track tires than the newbie on all seasons, cause the All seasons keep the performance envelope down, while improving the TEACHING envelope of learning how to actually drive.
     
  3. OP
    idragmazda

    idragmazda Senior Member

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    Thanks! So it sounds like you're suggesting that since this is my first time out I should stick with the all seasons on the car. It will likely be cooler (high 40s / low 50s F) as well.

    I'm doing a no-previous track experience "paced laps" session led by a pace car, so it seems like I probably won't destroy the tires (a description of the event is below). Thanks!

    "The Progressive Paced Laps experience is for those who want to experience the speed of New Jersey Motorsports Park, but don’t have previous on-track experience. Drivers will take part in a full day of performance driving education including classroom instruction and (4) 20-minute sessions on track, led by the official Skip Barber pace car. Each session will build on the previous, progressively increasing speed and frequently exceeding 100 mph by the end of the day. "
     
  4. racer

    racer Senior Member

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    Sounds a bit like what they used to call "ducks in a row" ! Lead car.. a small group behind them. No one gets too much free room, but you definitely get a feel for the track and have time during the day to get faster. While unclear to me, it sounds as though there are no in-car instructors, just the lead/pace car and then feedback between sessions. I ran a similar event at Lime Rock many years ago in a Formula car, in the rain!

    You will certainly have fun. I think track tires could be overkill.

    I would get a tire gauge if you don't have one and ask around for others who have tracked their CTR about preferred tire pressures and monitor them. You don't want them too high or too low. The clubs I run with generally recommend 2-4 psi additional to help prevent sidewalls from wearing down during cornering and provide a crisper feel.

    Are you running on "Lightning" or "Thunder Bolt"?
     
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    idragmazda

    idragmazda Senior Member

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    Thank you! It will be the Lightning course, which they say is a higher-speed course. There will not be in an instructor in my car; only a lead instructor in the pace car.

    I know it is hard for you to say, but do you think I'll be able to go home on the all season tires I came with and will my brake pads be okay to drive home?
     
  6. racer

    racer Senior Member

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    I presume you are in the philly area and just treking over ? I would think its no more than 100 miles each way, maybe less? Street driving is fine. Depending how many miles are on your car, yeah, I would think you would be fine.

    A general rule of thumb for the track, regarding brake pad thickness, is that the amount of pad material should be equal to the thickness of the pad's backing plate. Your front brembos, especially if you remove a wheel, are very easy to check for brake pad material thickness.

    FWIW, I did two days at Watkins Glen on my WRX Wagon on the factory pads and those were smaller brakes and a heavier car than the CTR.
     
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    idragmazda

    idragmazda Senior Member

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    Yes from the Philly area so about an hour drive each way. The all season performance tires I have have about 5k miles on them.

    I’m gonna just buy a fresh set of pads for the car for after the track day.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
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