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Thread: Luckyducks's How to Guide: Track Day for Noobs

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    Legacy Member LuckyDuck's Avatar
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    Default Luckyducks's How to Guide: Track Day for Noobs

    As track days are getting more and more popular, here are a few facts about them to help you get started.

    Before I begin, please keep in mind that each track event organizer has his own set of rules. Make sure to you respect them at all times.


    1) State of mind


    Lapping lets you push your limits without thinking about speeding tickets or public safety, which is great! But it’s still real life, not Grand Turismo. There is no reset button and no insurance coverage for your vehicle.

    This summer, I saw a newish STi smash the wall @ Calabogie, body panels in pieces, airbags deployed… it was sad, but those things happen.

    That being said, lose the “go kart” mentality. The reality is, you’re driving a streetcar on a race track, which means you don’t have high temperature racing brakes with cooling ducts, you don’t have racing slicks, you have a streetcar. Please keep that in mind in order to go home a happy camper. I will get back on that later on.


    2) Vehicle

    -A bone stock vehicle is ok, (you will learn much faster with a slow, stock car imho, a modified car with sticky tires will hide your mistakes)

    -Modified cars are also ok, I wouldn’t suggest any type of racing harness unless you’re running a 6 points and a certified roll bar. If your car is lowered to the ground, raise it up. Lowered cars might look better for internet photos (boom, roasted), but lowering won’t make you any faster, it will only destroy your bumpers and rocker panels if you get off the track

    -The car you’re driving should be in good mechanical condition, no leaks, everything is tight (that’s what she said), good brakes (rotor and pads thickness), good tires (also check tire pressure), fresh oil is always good.

    -If you bring tools and strip your car at the track, keep an eye on everything, thieves are everywhere.


    3) Lapping/driving


    -Safety: you need a helmet, motorcycle helmet is ok.

    -First time ever: hop with someone, see how the track feels and start learning the turns.

    -Then, ask someone to act as a pace car and follow him for a few laps.

    -Once you know the track a bit more, go on your own, put your 4 ways (n00b alert, everyone will be extra careful around you) and go easy, increasing speed each lap.

    -It’s not a race nor a time attack event (yet), go at your own pace. Never go all out unless you can take the next corner with your eyes closed. (please don’t ever take a corner with your eyes closed.)

    -The organizer will explain where and how to pass/let people pass.

    -Passing zones are normally in the straightaways, you let people pass by giving a hand signal or turn signal. People who pass in non-passing zones are black flagged and kicked out.

    -In 4 years of lapping, I’ve never seen anyone trade paint with someone else. (no matter what the “online reputation” of the organizer was.)

    -As mentioned earlier, you’re probably driving a streetcar. If you drive it like a racecar, chances are you won’t go home very happy.

    In order to prevent excessive brake fade, disc warping, tires overheating/chunking, I suggest the following:

    1 warm-up lap
    2-3 hot laps
    1 cool down lap
    Pits (enter the pits SLOWLY, downshift if possible to manage the brakes, when you’re at a complete stop, don’t pull the e-brake. Get out of the car, push it a little then put it in gear, you don’t want to melt your brakepads on the discs.)

    quick tip: never lap within the first 10 minutes of an event, let those "over excited drivers" rip the track with cold tires and take pictures of them while they fly off the track

    4) Tracks
    There are plenty of noob friendly tracks to choose from:
    St-Eustache, Icar, Mosport DDT, Mecaglisse, Shannonville

    I strongly suggest Shannonville for the following reason.

    -inexpensive (75$-100$ for 3 hours on average)
    -easy track layout with no elevation changes
    -no walls to hit, if you get off track, you’re in a field of grass… (Chances are you won’t break anything, but it’s not as smooth as a golf course either)
    -no waiting time to get on the track
    - 4km track, doesn’t get boring quickly.


    Cons:
    2 hours and 30 minutes from Ottawa, (30 minutes from Kingston) (maps.google.ca : K0K 3A0)
    Towing is expensive if you break down(400$)
    Lapping is very addictive.


    Feel free to add tips and advices from your personal experience.

    I hope to see more of you at upcoming track events and I’ll gladly help anyone who wants to learn.

    Btw, I started go-karting at age 4 and I’ve been a cocky driver ever since. The very first day I stepped on a racetrack, I went balls out and it was a disaster, came home with lots of battle scars (poor old black s2k). That’s why I came up with the pace car approach with friends who want to start lapping… I get to see them go home happy with a car that’s still in 1 piece. So if you’re a noob, I don’t care if you’re the king of luskville/cbc/Gatineau hills/417 ramps, PLEASE TAKE IT EASY!!!


    If you’re not a noob… I’ll have my stopwatch ready…Tiiiiiiiiiiiime attackkk


    - illest Duck

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    Legacy Member Gamz's Avatar
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    The first informative post in RL history.

    Thanks for the info!

    I'd like to thank God for making me an Atheist.

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    Legacy Member mattbrunet's Avatar
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    good information
    ---------------------------------------------
    FRIED GANG

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    thumbs up on this post!
    Looking for a deal? check out our Used Items and Open Box Sales


    Open Box Sales
    Used Items

    www.trackwerks.com

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    Super Moderator radam's Avatar
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    stellar post

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    Legacy Member 97coupecivic's Avatar
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    good info


    Quote Originally Posted by PDP View Post
    Rim waranty is like tail light waranty....Once they can't see your taillights its out of warranty
    forums.streetandtrack.ca

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    Legacy Member PDP's Avatar
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    lucky duck is in my top 3 posters on this site

    thanks as always!

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    Legacy Member T5shortblock's Avatar
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    make me a child lucky!!!
    AEC: 819-775-5152


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    Legacy Member HotPepper's Avatar
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    Well done! Your out to make sure "keeping it real" doesn't go the wrong way!!

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    Senior Member fluffy's Avatar
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    repped.

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    as another experianced lapper nice write up but you forgot 2 things.

    respect the other drivers like you want them to respect you ( watch your mirrors)

    watch the track flaggers or marshals they are the key to your safety. if you see yellow lift and look, yellow flags dont happen for no reason

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    great post!

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    so this means you'll be at shannonville on monday?

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    Legacy Member GSX-RBOY's Avatar
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    LoL at black s2000.

    When you're out 4 times in a lap, you know you're trying too hard!!!
    Luv Ya

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    Legacy Member Musclecar's Avatar
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    I must also highly recommend (for anyone who can fit) lapping in an open wheel car at some point in your life. Think wearing a t-shirt with wheels. Every little movement affects the car in someway or another. It's the closest thing to a religious experience I've ever had.

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    Great post! I'm sure many will find this useful information.

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    its coming.

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    Legacy Member Tim's Avatar
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    How much will not having a front sway bar affect lapping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    How much will not having a front sway bar affect lapping?
    Unless you have plenty of lapping experience, I would not worry about things like that. Just make sure your car is safe to run! Driver skill is the most critical upgrade before anything else!

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