Want to do my first track day ever - What do I need?

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by New Duke » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:49 pm

PeteH wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:25 pm
:whathesaid: If you don't know when your brake fluid was last changed then now's a good time to change it (old fluid will boil at a much lower temperature). Apart from that, have fun!
Gonna wave my arms and draw attention to this :bounce: . At Snetterton in Feb I think we still had the original factory brake fluid in the car. Finding out that pumping the pedal does nothing on the start of a long journey home is not fun.

And the CG-Lock takes time to arrive, so buy it soon as you can. If you have leather seats then without one you'll be sliding all over the place.

If you don't currently rev match, might be worth watching some videos and practising on normal roads. To ease the stress on your clutch.

Not RX8 related, so soz if you know these:
Maybe plan in advance where to get cheap fuel at lunchtime, don't pay track prices.
And I'd avoid going out with the first bunch when they open the track, let the eager beavers do a few laps (and prob cause a red flag) while you double check everything.
Take a camping chair so that when you're not on track you can sunbathe!

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by SeriousSam » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:34 am

The car in stock trim is great for getting started on track days. One thing that stands out to me though is your exhaust - which decat and catback are you running? Most of the race circuits in the UK are under strict council noise regulation, and an unsilenced decat with a catback on RX-8s can put you over the drive-by noise limit at a number of circuits. Which circuit are you doing, and is it one of the days where the club will have some members going as well?

In terms of prep, you'll want to ensure everything is up to snuff, so check your fluid levels, and take spare oil at the very least. If you're handy with the spanners, then giving the car an oil change and a brake service will do you the world of good - lubricated slide pins all round and fresh brake fluid will do the trick. Seeing as it's your first time out on track, you're not likely to be pushing the car too hard, so if your tyres and brake pads are decent makes with plenty of meat left on them, you'll be fine - you can always uprate them later once you reach their limits.

On the day, be sure to keep your sessions short. 20 minutes is the generally recommended session length, with a warmup lap at the start and one or two cooldown laps at the end of each one. Don't go longer than this, otherwise you'll start putting extra stress on the car and yourself - it's surprising how mentally taxing your first track experiences can be. When you park up, leave the car in gear and don't use the handbrake - you'll probably weld the rear brake pads to the discs and you'll almost certainly boil your brake fluid, neither of which is a good thing. And be sure to get some tuition while you're there - it's often said that the best mod you can do to any track car is to tighten up the nut that holds the wheel ;)

Remember, if you've got any questions or concerns, have a word with the organisers. Everyone attends the same briefing in the morning, and you can almost guarantee that somebody will get carried away on track and ignore one or two of the basic rules. The organisers are there to stop that sort of stuff, so don't be afraid to go and have a word if someone's behaving badly on track. They won't bite your head off for being a novice. Speaking of which, ask at the end of the briefing if they have any novice stickers, and if they do, stick one on the back of your car. That will tell the other drivers that you're new to the track, and they should give you a bit more room.

Most of all though, have fun. That's what it's all about, so have a nose round the garages, chat to some of the other drivers, and immerse yourself in it :thumleft:
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by PeteH » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:45 am

This is a great thread, and perhaps should be made a sticky (if we don't have one already).

I've got one more. Make sure you wear a long sleeved top, but make it a lightweight one. It's a regulation at all tracks (I think) to cover your arms, but you will get hot, so wear something comfortable and thin. And don't wear thick soled boots or trainers. Thin soled shoes make car control much easier.
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by ChrisHolmes » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:34 am

Try to get a passenger ride first if possible as a car on track is very different to one on the road and definitely book a tuition session. Use your mirrors a lot to look out for faster cars coming up behind. If you get into a load of traffic and feel pressured then ease off and let them all pass you then tag onto the back one, but beware they may not follow a good line as they may also be novices.
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by V8 Power » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:01 am

If available pay for some instruction.
It will make a massive difference to your car control and you will go much faster without trying so hard.
A lot of experienced track day drivers will still do this when they drive a track for the first time. Nothing better than local knowledge.
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by GreySilver Beast » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:00 pm


PeteH wrote:This is a great thread, and perhaps should be made a sticky (if we don't have one already).
Done :thumright:


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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:13 pm

thanks for all the info :)

forgot to make clear, i have done trackdays before, just not in this particular car.

car had all fluids and oils etc changed last year and its done about 2000miles since. i did an oil and filter change at the weekend, so that is fine.

i just have a ghetto decat and toyosports cat back, im going to snetterton so know the crack with the track etc. my mates fireblade powered kit car is louder than my rx8, and he gets on fine!

what tire pressures do people recommend? i am using stock sized road tires (Avons) on stock wheels.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:15 pm

boosted wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:12 pm
what year? early cars are a bit more prone to oil surging, or burping. consider fitting a catch tank. Run the oil level at 2/3rds.
premix some 2t in your fuel tank.
Dont run fuel at less than 1/3 else may suffer fuel starvation.
keep your sessions short so nothing overheats, brakes and clutch, melt your tyres.
build up gradual, start slow in morning learning circuit, learning car and your abilities.
Dont be afraid to ask advice from organisers, other track dayers and yes get some instruction.
Take all the junk out of your car, dont want stuff flying around.
Check your wheels periodically nut tightness, and pressure ratings.
Before you go check brake pads ideally want over half thickness.
and have FUN.
car is a 2004. do you suggest just fitting a catch tank between the breather pipe on the filler to the inlet? or are there any other pipes that would need connecting into it?

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by PeteH » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:55 pm

Tyre pressure are something you will want to fiddle with yourself. A starting point that many people use is 28psi when cold, then let them rise to about 32psi when hot, and try to keep them around 32psi. Keep them the same all round.

Personally I'm not a fan of catch cans on road based track cars. Road cars breath the sump through the inlet in a closed system, so no oil can hit the track. If your car burps then I'd say get it fixed! If you do fit a catch can then I strongly recommend you breath the can directly to the air intake. There is nothing more annoying than a car which leaks oil all over the track from an over-flowing catch can.
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:11 pm

thanks. just after a tire pressure starting point. im no race driver, so chances are i will just stick with that.

thanks
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by warpc0il » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:01 pm

GreySilver Beast wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:00 pm
PeteH wrote:This is a great thread, and perhaps should be made a sticky (if we don't have one already).
Done :thumright:


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Not only is there already a thread covering this question but there's an entire section of the forum dedicated to Trackday Information & FAQs
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:11 pm

Apologies, I didn't actually spot it.

My question was kinda generic to ensure I didn't miss anything major that was lacking with the rx8 in particular on a track when it is pretty much stock.

I will have a look through that section and get some more info.

Thanks.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by PeteH » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Don't apologise! Dave was rightly having a go at me and Nigel for being lazy. :thumright:
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Basic track day prep advice please

Post by GreySilver Beast » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:30 pm

I already thought about moving this Topic to the Track Activity Section :lol: , so perhaps Dave should do that for us :thumright:
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Total = 64.5 + 38 session's
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by brix79 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:00 pm

Quite right Dave. :clint:

I guess we're all a bit guilty of not referring to the dedicated section. Better that people get responses rather than tumbleweed though. :D
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:25 am

1 other thing i would like to know; is it worth me replacing the plugs with stock heat range ones? i currently have the hotter plugs fitted for more reliable starting. will it be an issue or should i get some to be safe?

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by warpc0il » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:54 am

That's a good question and it's something that had come to mind with recent threads about unexplained overheating.

Those plugs were developed for the US where people were driving automatic transmission RX8 around town for short journeys and the original plugs were getting sooted up.

Mazda made it very clear that the hotter plugs were only a response to that issue.

However, somehow suppliers got hold of stocks and have been marketing them as "for more reliable starting" quoting a line from the Mazda document that relates to sooted plugs.

Unless your driving is likely to cause plug sooting then you shouldn't been using them at all and definitely not on track.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:47 am

alot of the main parts sellers sell both types and tout them as being ok for general road use, esepcially short journeys?
interestingly, ryan rotary performance sell the hotter plug variant only!?

i shall get myself some of the normal plugs and bang them in.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by dac69er » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:16 am

Ordered a set of the re8cl plugs and a new set of front brembo pads just to be sure.

Will see how I get on.

Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by docjonty » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:55 am

Premix heavily

1 litre to a full tank
Consider track day pads , on hard braking circuits you will lose brakes if you are going hard.
Agree re oil - mine burped my first track day
Change the engine oil before and after the track day
Consider changing gear box oil if you dont know when it was done. My gear stick can get so hot you can touch it!
Tyres - if you can afford it get new ones that have a track bias, but it is fun on road tyres.

If on road tyres, keep your TC on until you get the feel of the car and track

consider changing brake fluid to racing spec stuff

Take extra fuel with you if none on track, plus spare brake pads and oils , oh and plenty of water , for you to drink.

Make sure all the crap is out of the car and the boot is empty

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by MR_E » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:27 pm

docjonty wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:55 am
Premix heavily

1 litre to a full tank
I thought the standard was around 150ml-250ml on the road, then 300-400ml for track. 1 Litre seems a tad excessive?

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by warpc0il » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:58 pm

You won't want to be adding 1 litre of premix without a decat, and even then I don't see the advantage.
That's more than you'd add to an RX7 with the OMP removed completely.
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by PeteH » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:40 pm

Track use will go through at least half a litre per tank anyway. I never premix my track car. It's your choice, but the omp injects so much oil on track that you should be careful adding even more...
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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by sztriki » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:19 am

I'm probs gonna pull the trigger and visit the Bedford Autodrome this October. First track day ever, going with a friend and will be sharing the car (and some costs).
Gearbox and diff oil changed in May, gonna do an oil change before, take premix, get a belt clip and helmet, tyres are okay, in fact one of the reasons for going to the track is that there is plenty of tread but they're not great tyres so I can accelerate their replacement.
My question is regarding brakes. I'll have a brake pad check done way before the track day but what's the recommended condition of brakes for surviving a track day? Brand new, halfway gone, 2/3 still there etc? Trying to figure out if I should replace them before or after the day (pending on current condition).
I know, how long is a piece of string, just looking for a general ballpark condition that should be okay for a day. Not planning on drifting or going supernuts as still the first day but I would expect them to get some abuse and AFAIK they're bog standard normal pads, nothing fancy or racing level.

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Re: Basic track day prep advice please

Post by warpc0il » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:40 am

Brake pad wear is hugely accelerated if/when you get them above a critical temperature, which in turn is governed by how hard you brake, the layout of the track (so if they get any chance to cool between hard stops) and how long you stay out.

As a novice I'd recommend that you only stay out for 15 minutes at a time and do a slow down lap before pulling into the pits.

This has many advantages;
- the shear physical and mental effort is reduced, such that you're more likely to make it through the day
- shorter sessions with longer gaps in between gives the muscle memory and mental processes a chance to sink-in, such that each session should be faster/smoother.
- peak temperatures are reduced and the car also has a chance to cool between sessions. Leave in-gear with handbrake off.

I've not driven Bedford but a whole day at Blyton Park I'd go through about a 3rd of the new front Mintex road pads, by keeping the sessions short.

Others were staying out for 20-25 minutes and running their pads down to the metal.
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