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  • Track Day Discussion

    Hey all, I'm considering doing a trackday in september and wondering what I should do to prepare the car, and also what experiences people have had with their cars, eg: it lets go in high speed bends, pads will need replacing etc.

    I'm paranoid as hell about losing it and taking out my daily drive and a car under finance lol.

  • #2
    If you're worried about writing the car off I'd probably leave traction/stability control on (even though it may slightly hamper lap times). I'm guessing you will need to replace brake fluid, and possibly the pads also. I'd suggest flushing your brake fluid and using something cheap like Castrol Response super dot4 or Nulon xtreme brake fluid before and after the track day (about $9-$11 per 500ml from Supercheap Auto etc, and rated to 284 degrees dry boiling point, 184 wet). Next step up would be the Penrite SIN stuff that's rated at 310 degree dry, 198 wet, at twice the price, or if you really want something fancy then be prepared to pay about $65 a litre for Lucas Grand Prix 600 racing brake fluid capable of achieving 312 degrees dry boiling point, 204 wet (available from GSL Rallysport, see http://www.rcolt.com/showthread.php?...ng-Brake-Fluid). This all depends on how hard you drive on the track, and for how long of course.

    Comment


    • #3
      Just some basic hints - drive to your ability, start slow and work your way up! No use going like a bull at a gate and losing it every corner - remember, other guys on the track will have had more experience, so don't try and race them. If you are worried about insurance etc., it may be wise to take you number plates off when going on the track if you do not want to be recognised. Check that all your fluids are topped up, and remove all loose belongings from the car. In SA you need a magnetic sticker to show where your battery is in case of an accident, you'll also need to fit a fire extinguisher, have non flammable long pants and top, enclosed shoes and of course an ADR approved crash helmet.

      If you have a moment on a corner and lose it, don't overreact and try to violently counteract the spin (can look messy in a FWD), better off letting the car spinout and next time you'll know what your limits are on that particular corner. If you feel your brakes are starting to go or your tyres feel like melting licquorice, best to do a cool down lap and give things a rest for a while. Also when you exit the track immediately, drive around for a bit to let your brake discs/pads cool down a bit.

      Remember, if you are paranoid about damaging your ride, just take it easy till you build some confidence. My first outing on a track (Mallala - wet track), resulted in a big spin on the first corner where I just let it do a 180 rather than wrestle control back. Next moment for me was locking up the brakes at the end of the second straight, then off into the grass, luckily I stopped before I got to the fence. Yes, I may have had a few spills but I am the wiser for it and now have a good idea of what to expect at the limit. The best way to drive is to be smooth and fluid, especially regarding entry/exits on corners, no piont in sqeeling the tyres around every corner, that simply means you have already reach the level of adhesion for your tyres, instead try taking another line into the corner that allows you to maintain grip.
      That's my 10c worth, everyone will be different to how they approach these days, but like you, i had a car under finance and couldn't afford to do anything stupid!

      Comment


      • #4
        Nothing really.

        I dont bother with all the hype personally, I have tracked my colt 4 times in 100,000km and havnt had issues. But some things do need checking.

        Brake Pads Make sure there is atleast 1cm or more of pad material left, I went last time with out that cut out in the middle showing, Bad move, once it dried up they lasted all of 4 laps till one pad gave up and threw everthing off it. Why? once that cut out is gone, you into the area of the pad which if bedded in correctly will contain all the glue material and doesnt work well. Thankfully that day for my a mate threw in a spair set of pads and we changed them at the track.

        Oil Level, make sure its full, I have never taken extra with me and I have never had an issue with it.

        Brake fluid level, make sure its full, you will use pads up, and thus the level in the resovour will drop.

        Tyre pressure, on the day take a guage with you when hot they will go up around 10psi

        Remove all loose objects from the car.

        Take a small amount of tools just in case and wheel changing gear if you need to rotate, I take my hydrolic jack and stands.

        What to change when your done, Nothing i never do, I clock 5000kms fair quick around 2 months. Just check all of the above again.

        But things like the gearbox oil is only due at 100k I would change it at 50,000kms, like I did then at 100k

        The track is not as scary as you think, Everyone else is in a car thats also not insured, so they wont take risks either, and race cars should be in a seperate session.

        And listen to coro's advice about driving. start slow finish quick.

        Comment


        • #5
          I personally used to look for fledging track days. They're smaller circuits (1 - 5km) and they run 1 car at a time. I've seeb some where there are 5 cars at a time on the track and overtaking occurs, and some tracks that are 10km long.
          Benefits of shorter track is less wear and tear as you don't get over the normal temperatures as when you thrash home from work.

          Make sure to warm up tyres and oil. You may want to use a better oil. Check timing. If you know someone with computer gear run over your fuel map. You can tweak things to run a little smoother and cleaner at high revs to prevent black smoke and then reverse them when done. Cool down when done, you don't want to crack a head or warp a disk.
          Like the other guys said, check your pad depth and brake fluid. I've never bothered changing fluids, but as I said I run short courses so I don't overheat brakes or fluids.

          Watch for changing temperature as the day goes on. 10 degree's air temp plus cars running the track all day can put track temp up 20 degrees which will affect braking and tyre presure and the two put together can add to brake fade.

          In QLD you need a blue diamond pointing to your battery location and yellow diamonds on tow points are always handy. You can buy a full sticker kit on ebay. ADR approved helmet.

          Check the website of the event your thinking of entering. EG: www.oakeysprints.com.au They do 10 runs of 1.6km between 9 and 5 in September. So from this you know you can dawdle the first run get a feel for your grip levels, push it a little during the day when track it hot and sticky because it's only a short course you want get brake fade, and then thrash it about 3 when the track is warm but air temp is starting to cool. It also tells you everything you need to bring and have.

          Mind you I ran a Pulsar and it was a little more susceptable to outside factors due to outdated materials and such. RColt may be different. And I'm not tracking mine. Hit the tyres too many times already. You'll know the bad corner (every track has one) on the first lap. If your worried, don't push it AT ALL on this corner. Make up for it somewhere else.

          Most importantly, you won't win your first time out. Look at rookie drivers in V8 supercars. Most have worked thier way up from go-karts as 12 year old kids. And thats what it takes to be good. Practice. A good driver could thrash me on the track in a stock Corolla over my RColt just by knowing the corners. Just have fun and practice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh Im going to be babying it around like crazy, I'll be using the track day almost entirely to learn the track and get a feel for the car under all the different types of accelleration & braking etc. This is sound advice though guys, really appreciate it. Has anyone here done some laps of Winton? I'm trying to judge what times I should eventually aim for, fastest so far I've seen was 1:47 (well, it was the only time I could fine) and that was a stock colt with 500kms on the clock lol.

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            • #7
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvorte...th/3982556733/

              Um, who was this? rofl.

              FILLS ME WITH CONFIDENCE THIS DOES.

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              • #8
                .....

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                • #9
                  That was Hendo down here at Mallala raceway in Adelaide, he was pushing pretty hard at the time, tried to recover the from lose, but may have made things worse - that's racing for ya!

                  Note that he wasn't running standard rims or tyres and the colt was pretty modified (15" racing wheels with true semi-slick tyres).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Corosith View Post
                    That was Hendo down here at Mallala raceway in Adelaide, he was pushing pretty hard at the time, tried to recover the from lose, but may have made things worse - that's racing for ya!

                    Note that he wasn't running standard rims or tyres and the colt was pretty modified (15" racing wheels with true semi-slick tyres).

                    I wonder what ever happened to that roof diffuser? Looking everywhere for one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here you go, should fit just fine and cheap as dirt - may just need a little bit of a trim on the sides!

                      http://cgi.ebay.com.au/New-Suzuki-Sw...item5ad7aabfa7

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                      • #12
                        Im heading to Marulan track next month.
                        Am abit nervous too.
                        Will be first time on one.

                        Will be taking all the advice here.

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                        • #13
                          Just to let everyone know dont try and push to hard, i was quicker around mallala than a fair few WRX's the colt just realy isnt built for racing in my books, yes it is fun but dont get to serious and push and push, i should know.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blaze View Post
                            Im heading to Marulan track next month.
                            Am abit nervous too.
                            Will be first time on one.

                            Will be taking all the advice here.
                            what date are you going? im keen..=D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Trakedays are over rated with "OMG My car might die" So agree with Macca on this one~

                              Yes you are pushing your car to its limits and if not maintained it will have problems. Like the last track day me and terrence went to, our mate in his WRX (Very well looked after) went out for his 1st session and boom... blew a head glasket and he didnt even pass turn 1. Shit happens and sometimes if you're not careful it happens to you at the track.

                              JUST make sure you are driving within your limits. Don't think you're the best driver in the world and go out there trying to race everyone. Reason why hendo flipped his colt was if you look closely, you notice how he lost the rear due to oversteer and tried to correct it only to hit the ditch causing his car to flip. Again shit happens but thats a risk you are going to have to take if you want to track.

                              For someone taking a stock rcolt out, i suggest you be very easy on your cornering as the car is prone to oversteer on off camber corners. The corners that have a dip into em will cause for some serious oversteer witch i experienced at wakefield around the fishhook. My 1st time was great fun and i was running 1.30's because it was my 1st time. I just wanted to have fun. Once you get the hang of it and you start going back again then you will consider driving faster. 2nd time around i was doing 1.20's so you see there is always room for improvement but just be sure your within your limits and dont push yourself to hard.

                              Best thing is to get your car serviced (New engine oil, pads and discs) before you go and thats it. Dont really need to change brakefluids as i went recently and i had old fluids and had no issue. The colt isnt fast enough for you to worry about hard braking and late braking etc. Keep your ASC on and just enjoy yourself.

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