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What is holding you back from taking your car on track?

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Phil Bate » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:36 am

I like it, there's some really useful discussion going on. Bulldog - I think a lot of it is people afraid of junking their cars. It does concern me somewhat as it's my daily, and although insurance can be had it would still be a ball-ache if I mangled it.

I have already promised myself when I sell my house next year I'll buy a low compresion rex, rebuild it myself (for fun mostly) and strip the car as a track toy (JDM-Ben style!), then I wouldn't have to worry at all.

I will be doing at least one or two in my car early next year though as I am finally just about happy with it :)
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by RX8R3Rod » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:35 am

I think the concern about junking one's car is a common one. I've have it every time I've gone on track.

And BigPete did unfortunately total his beautiful '8 at Snetterton. So it seems to me that it is a very real and valid concern.

However, I think the risk is generally pretty low except on places like the Nurburgring where there are no run-off areas and the track is surrounded by Armco or concrete just a couple of feet off the track.

'Normal' circuits usually have good run-off areas where people are most likely to run-off. So provided you don't go too hard or you're not a bit unlucky (as can happen), you'll normally be OK. Blyton is virtually all run-off area, and it's a great circuit to build confidence, IMHO.

As to tyre and pad wear, again it just depends on how hard you go. Under Steve Lewis's coaching at Blyton last year, I chomped through a set of brand new Racing Brake ET500 pads in just over half a day. But, that was with Steve encouraging me to absolutely go for it, and him saying at the end of the day 'well, you're getting all you can from the car now'. So that's pushing it about as hard as you can in an '8, e.g. hard on the throttle up to any sharpish corner and hit the brakes seriously late until the ABS starts to bite (as a rough rule of thumb). That will eat pads.

Drive just a bit more sensibly and you won't see anything like that amount of wear to either pads or tyres.

Personally, I would also recommend tuition; either from a club member with lots of experience, or a professional driver such as Steve. They can teach you heaps (even if it takes a while to learn .. #-o ) and keep you and your car in one piece whilst you learn. A nice side-effect of the tuition is that it will make your track insurance cheaper, too. :D

The only other thing to bear in mind, is that there really isn't any pressure (other than any you may load on yourself) to go fast. If other people are going faster than you, just let them overtake. Who cares? Unless you allow it to happen or make it one it isn't a competition, a race or a willy-waving exercise. (And on track days the first two are explicitly forbidden, though the third is harder to legislate for) At any point in time on the track you normally will have some people going fast, some possibly as fast as they can, whilst some others may be doing exploratory laps or trying to concentrate on their lines and going quite slowly. Just use you mirrors and at places like Blyton you should have no issues at all. :D
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Bulldog » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:27 pm

I would echo what Rod has said.

Blyton is very good to practice on as you can make a lot of mistakes without any serious consequences. I have got ET500s on the front at the moment and they are good road pads however my opinion (and that of the manufacturer) is that they are not a good idea if your going to track the car, get yellow stuff they are useable on the road and very durable on the track. If you stick to 15 minute sessions then tyre wear is not a really big problem.

I think the factors coming out are fear (crashing, getting crashed into, not knowing what to do), financial (its expensive), hassle (if you bin your daily drive its arduous), time(using a whole day sometimes an overnight is time consuming)

So would a novice day in a 'not owned by you' 8 with instruction on a central track at a fixed cost be the way forward for those wanting to go on track?
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by matt_banks » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:42 pm

where do I sign? lol
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by JDM-Ben » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:17 pm

Some positive views and comments on this Mike, if you can get the numbers up than it would be great.

Not sure if I could help in anyway but if it happens let me know if you need a hand.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by brettski » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:32 pm

well im going back on track on sat for the third time. Last time it ended up in new brakes all round,second hand gearbox and fitting, so wasnt cheap,but worth every penny and all the moaning from the wife
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Mani » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:27 am

I've done a number of track events (gift style stuff), but never used my own car on track. I think if there was a knockhill event with other experienced Rx8 track goers, I'd possibly take the plunge, but the forum events tend to be southern based due to forum member numbers I suspect :(

I have driven knockhill a couple of times, including in a single seater, and think it is a fun track if people can be persuaded to venture up to Scotland. You could always combine it with a road run up the A82 around Loch Lomond, which is always good :idea:
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Will66 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:37 am

If I am still based up in Scotland next year and can afford to bring the 8 up there I'll get over to Knockhill.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Mani » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:53 am

Sounds good, and maybe a few other Scottish owners would be interested. I think I'd be up for a visit if I had a reassuring voice helping with my nerves!

I actually need an excuse to wear out the horrible Maxxis tyres on the car just now :P . Although I might just replace them this winter even though they have 6mm or so left... I only do 5k a year, it is taking a while to wear them down :roll:
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by BMcG » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:45 pm

Need to build the 8 trackcar first :(

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Will66 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:55 pm

If it's your first go then a stock RX8 is more than enough. Then your track mods can evolve with your ability.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by BMcG » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:21 pm

Ah it will be first go,

And the plans are small to start, Looking at a couple of cheap ones on the bay will have them comp tested before i buy unless silly silly cheap..

Plans to start are rather simple,

interior stripped out (help claw back some of cost)
Oz lightweight wheels and decent rubber
strip paint back and sort rust
respray in a unique colour i have one in mind

abuse and enjoy it

will be my second time with an RX8 so i know what to expect but this time i can just rag the crap out of it :twisted:

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by NicKD » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:04 pm

Guys,

Obviously I have a little more experience on track days than the average person; this is what I would say.

I was writing war and peace, but thought the shorter answer was better.

One. Your standard car, if in good health is up to it. It will have in fact have been ragged around and around track during development by engineers, test drivers, journalists and indeed That Jeremy Clarkson before you even got your hands on it. You can significantly reduce wear by doing shorter stints. Those road tyres that wonderful on the road can feel like horrible mush after just a short time on a circuit. Don't let them over heat. There are some very capable road / track tyres that while they may cost more initially can save you money in the long run by not disappearing on track.

Car to car contact is very, very rare. Cars in Armco are more common but generally due to unfamiliarity, either with the car, circuit or conditions. If in doubt, take instruction. You took lessons to learn to drive, why make it any different on track and it is cheaper than insurance.

Don't modify your car until it is holding you back. The list is long of drivers who built cars to go faster not realising it is mainly the driver not the car that makes it fast.

Don't worry about being a novice or that you might be slow. If you don't like it, and not everyone does, at least you tried. If you are slow, so what, if you are smiling, that is what matters. Good drivers and absolutely everyone had a first time on track, will have far more respect for novices than bad drivers. Don't worry. If people are causing you a problem, tell the organisers, they don't want to lose you. If you truly are a mobile chicane, again, don't worry most if not all TDO's will help you and encourage you.

Shared ownership cars are a nightmare, if you have never done it you would not believe the things you can have problems over. The very main thing is there is no way that you can accurately proportion cost and effort. Who houses the car, who takes it to track, who has to mend it and maintain it? Don't under estimate the cost and effort just getting it to track.

You learn so very much more on wet circuits than you ever do on dry ones.

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Bulldog » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:29 pm

I have made loads of progress in my first year with a road car on road tyres. This club has all of the raw material in terms of people and an incredible base car to make it one of the best track day clubs in the land.

I have just bought the car that just might change your life. It will be ready to go in the Spring :)
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by RX8Head » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:55 am

For anyone who's not been on track before or only a couple of times there's a [urlw=http://www.clubmsv.co.uk/car-home/event ... uctid=1698]novice day for just £59 at Snetterton[/urlw] you'll get six 15minute sessions as it's not an open pit lane one. I'm toying with going :-k and although my track experience is limited if I do go I'd be happy to help anyone who has never been to a trackday before.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by tractorboy » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:41 pm

Very tempted! Only just up the road from me AND it's a Sunday :)

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Will66 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:29 pm

Tempted to do this too, despite not quite being a novice.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by RX8Head » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:33 pm

Will66 wrote:despite not quite being a novice.
Bit of an under statement guess you'll have to tell a little white lie or two :---) .
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by lewis-rx8 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:30 pm

Booked on my first track day at snetterton, looking forward to it.
Was bit put off before just with costs really, fact may need new discs + pads all round, tyres. just wary of harming car. + price of fuel and initial booking fee.
but think once get on track all that will be forgotten :)

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by RacingSnake » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:08 pm

I have done a few UK track days and the 'ring in other cars but I need to go through my RX8's front suspension to check for wear before I take it out on track. I bought the RX8 primarily because of the way the chassis behaves so I am looking forward to pushing it in relatively safe conditions.

On the subject of spirited road driving and what appears to be a common lack of confidence, these guys get recommended time after time. http://www.ridedrive.co.uk/performance-driving-menu.htm

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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Bulldog » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:01 pm

I totally agree that time behind the wheel is the most important thing.

Lots of experienced drivers in the club will give you the benefit of their experience.

I have found paid tuition in an rx8 to be poor as the instructors take you no where near the limit of the car.

Can I point out as some people in talking to me appear to think that I am creating a stripped out track car. I am not. It will be a 'near' stock RX8 as the rationale behind it is to give people a first taste of track driving. Once the car is put together and tested on track I will post more details.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Conan » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:08 pm

Jeez, I could teach you to drive a full blown race car for that
The lack of confidence is about track driving for the first time not about driving the car on the road.
People should be aware that advanced road driving is just that and is done within the speed limits and has more to do with awareness than high speed control.
There are advanced instructors in the club that help people.
There are also track drivers in the club that help people (as Bulldog said)
I find a £30 MOT is a very good way of checking over your car for a track day for lots of people even if you have 6 mths left to run.
Hope to see you at a track day Snake
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by RX8R3Rod » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:13 pm

I absolutely agree that time behind the wheel on track is critical.

As to whether paid-for tuition is good value or not depends, it seems to me, on a number of things. Certainly I don't think any instructor in a 25-minute session or 2 hours or so is going to get you near the limits of the car, as there's so much more to learn about driving on track (at least in my case) before you need to get near the limits, or can do so safely.

However, (in my experience) you'll find that if you think the paid-for tuition might be helpful, you need to find a tutor who you can work with (so that's someone who understands where you are, where you want to get to, and can teach and coach driving (being incredibly fast on a track doesn't automatically make a good teacher) and you get on with) and build a relationship with them. They will initially help you establish sound basics around lines, accuracy, smoothness and consistency, and when you have those to some extent they will encourage you to push (safely) as far as you can go. When you get to that point, you will definitely start to push the car near to, and beyond, its limits.

But you will be doing so with a solid base of skills that should help keep you and your car in one piece.

That's what Steve and I were working on at Bedford when I welded the pistons to the brakes. :oops:

Of course, how quickly one can do that will vary, but I'd budget for a good few days with your instructor, not just a few hours. As NickD said, it is like learning to drive ... And that takes a while for most of us.

We all can take different routes to the same end, the important thing is that we get there safely, not hurting ourselves, anyone else, or our '8's in the process. :D
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Will66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:14 pm

:whathesaid: is all good stuff. Check all your consumables against the wear limits, if they're close then consider that you'll either need to replace them before, in the case of things like brake components, or after, tyres principally, a trackday.
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Re: What is holding you back?

Post by Harrizone » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:31 am

With regard instruction, as has already been said finding one that you can readily relate to is not always possible and short sessions do not give either them, or you, the opportunity to reasonably gain substantial benefit and more to the point very few if any instructors have prior knowledge of the RX8 and it's characteristics.

This may not be the case so much nowadays, but certainly for me it was the case, although one respected driver was heard to say, not so long ago, that he did not realise that the 8 was as quick as it was, although it did not have the acceleration he expected of a car with a turbo. #-o
Now a distant memory unfortunately.

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