Track Day Advice

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derbyguy
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Track Day Advice

Post by derbyguy » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:14 pm

Hi everyone,

Had my 07plate 228bhp for just over a month now. Had new tyres (mid range, Avons, not incredible I know but better than ditchfinders), getting the D585 coils, leads and NGK sparks fitted this weekend and having full oil change too.

I've always wanted to take my own car on a track day and now finally have one worth doing it with. I am however a track day novice as such. I've done a couple of gift track days, red letter days etc, driving 911's, S2000s etc so the driving style and track etiquette etc I'm ok with. However I'm not very knowledgeable about doing it with your own car and to be honest it does worry me.

I'm looking for any advice at all about doing this. Which tracks are good for this, should I have an instructor, what should I do to the car beforehand, how to make sure I don't ruin whilst driving, tyres etc. Is there a limit to how many laps I should do with a road car? I dont know!

My main concern is that my car is my day-to-day car, it gets me to work and I take my son in it. I'm fairly confident of not crashing it as I will be careful enough due to this worry but I'm more concerned about wrecking anything else with that driving style. Will the tyres take it, am I likely to burn anything out or cause any damage to anything else.

Bit of a vague post I know but I will absorb all and any advice!

As you can tell from my username, I'm in Derby so Donnington would be great or other local tracks if you know of them.

Thanks!

Paul

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by acegeezer » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:18 pm

Hi and welcome Paul, nice to see you have become a full member too :thumleft:
There are quite a few members that do track days who will be along to give advice on your post, meanwhile, put your location in your profile and also update said profile with your car details.. including the colour ;) - It will then appear in the LHS panel, like mine :)
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by Elonexxx » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:37 pm

I was in your position last year, thought I'd chime in!

Theres some FAQ with some great advice I tried to absorb most of! http://www.rx8ownersclub.co.uk/forum/vi ... .php?f=169

But I'll say, I finally bit the bullet and booked on with a few others from here for Croft last May. Car had a few mods (more for looks than track work, lighter wheels with standard tyres, coilovers, ghetto decat) but stock brakes and cooling. (turns out I didn't even have full coolant :roll: )

Had an absolute blast! I wasn't the quickest, by a long way, but had a great day.

I stuck to about 15-20 min sessions.

Car didn't skip a beat!
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by Shagrington » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:43 pm

Everything you may need to know is contained within the trackday FAQ section Elonexxx has posted the link to above. Have a good read through the threads with titles like "Trackdays -how do I do them" to start with.

As you are near Donnington, have you seen the club Annual Meet and AGM will be held there in March? This would be the ideal opportunity for you as there will be plenty of knowledgeable and helpful club members there and even the offer of some tuition from some of our experienced track day drivers. Details here http://www.rx8ownersclub.co.uk/forum/vi ... 85&t=67637
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by Rutz » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:53 pm

Shaggy beat me to it so :whathesaid: Get yourself along to the Annual Meet /AGM :D
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by casey » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi, and welcome to the club. The link in Elonexxx’s post above should provide a lot of answers and reassurance. Have a good read and If there is anything unanswered then post up here and we'll do our best to respond.

I can well remember my apprehension at my first trackday in my own car in 2007. Like you, I'd done a few "Experience Sessions" on track, but nothing in my own car. All I can say is, the apprehension is a positive thing as it will ensure you are careful whilst you build some confidence in yourself and the car (which handles incredibly well on track). One warning, trackdayscan become addictive – I’ve now done over 50 trackdays in my RX-8 :D

As Shagrington said, your best option is the Donington Park event with the Club, as you’ll get plenty of advice and support from trackday enthusiasts!
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by tractorboy » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:07 pm

The only thing I'll add to what others have said is that you should try and do an open pitlane day as your first. This makes the whole thing much less stressful as you just go out when you want, not when the clock tells you. Almost all trackdays seem to be open pitlane but some (e.g those run at events like Japfest) are sessioned. My first ever trackday was a special novice day at Snetterton; it was sessioned and almost put me off completely! I also lost a whole session due to a red flag in the first lap.

Enjoy!

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by ChrisHolmes » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:23 pm

What everyone else above has said, Come along to the Donington track day on the AGM weekend, and to the overall event to make some new friends and put faces to names on here.
I have only done three track days and thoroughly enjoyed them all, then first time out is scary but you get into the swing pretty quickly. I went out for couple of runs with other members first and that was an eye opener for what the RX8 is capable of.
Donington is a good safe circuit, a wide track, wide run offs on grass and large gravel traps too so as a newbee you should be fine as you wont be at the tracks limits more your own.
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Track Day Advice

Post by GreySilver Beast » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:40 pm

I got into Track Days from the encouragement of casey,Harrizone and Jang =D> =D> =D> =D>

Now covered about 35 Track Days driving the following cars : 3MPS,RX-8 R3 and GT86 :P

I highly recommend coming along when we are around to give you pointers and added support on the day :thumleft:
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Total T/Days Jan 2011 = 68.5 + 38 session's

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by derbyguy » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:33 pm

Thanks everyone. I've been through quite a few of the posts now.

I'd like to come to the AGM track day but unsure at the moment with timings etc. Was going to have it as a birthday present but it's a bit early. Might just have to do 2 days instead :)

I really would rather come to one with other Rex owners to learn from you all so I'll see what I can do. GSB, are there many slots left for the open pit lane?

As basic checklist for my first day, would this do:

Me
Car
Helmet
Tyre pump & pressure gauge
Spare oil
Jack


Given that it's my first time and won't be pushing it that hard do you still think that spare brake pads and fluid is essential? Especially as I don't know how to fit them :s

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by GreySilver Beast » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:45 pm

I would bring Spare Brake Pads and don't worry there are enough of us there who can change them for you (count me out though )

There are plenty of spaces left and just post up in the Topic

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S/D-C/limits - RX-8,3MPS,RX-8 R3,GT86 =17 Skid Pan =1 Go Karting =1 Cars Driven =183
3 MPS MKII T/D = 6
RX-8 R3 T/D = 5 + 7 session's
GT86 T/D = 57.5 + 31 session's
Total T/Days Jan 2011 = 68.5 + 38 session's

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by SeriousSam » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:20 pm

I can echo what the others have said about track days - the wife and I haven't done many of them, but we've loved the ones we have done. Our first was at the AGM a couple of years ago, and was a great way to get started. It was a different circuit to this year's, but you'll find all of the experienced guys will bring tools and supplies so that pretty much whatever happens you'll be fixed up. I found that out the hard way at Spa when our car overheated and vented all of its coolant - the others all chipped in and got me back on the road to complete the road trip :)

The other benefit of doing a day with other club members is that they'll take you out as a passenger or give you a bit of guidance to pick your skills and confidence up. If you don't already have a helmet then you can hire one on the day, that's what we did the first few times, and don't worry too much about bringing tools - the regulars will have a mahoosive pile between them which they are usually happy to loan out and show you what to do with. Make sure you've got your towing eyes available, those will be needed to get on track.

Regarding the spare bits, if you're new to the whole track day thing then you'll not be putting much wear on the car. Best thing to do is ensure that everything is in good shape before you get on track in the first place - if your pads are looking low, swap them out and get the new ones bedded in before you go on track. Ditto for the fluid, if it's not been bled in a while then flush it out with fresh stuff in advance. Be sure there's plenty of meat left on your tyres and that all of your fluids are topped up - not too much on the oil don't forget ;) - and you should find yourself quite happily driving home at the end of the day.
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by kozakuk » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:33 pm

Hi guys I was thinking of changing alloys to rota/bola 19 x 8,5. with off set about 20 to 30 mm, Would they be any good for track days or just look? Also I wanted big brake kit from AP racing with bigger discs and 4 pot calipers please comment and advise!!!!

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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by SeriousSam » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:22 pm

Depends what level your track driving is at really. I do track days on standard brake hardware and standard wheels, I'm planning to upgrade things as my skill level improves but for now the car is nailing it. Increasing the wheel size will be mainly a looks upgrade, standard wheels are very light and if you want lighter wheels at a larger size, you need to spend big money. As for the brakes, you don't really need a BBK on these cars, but you can upgrade the callipers to 4-pots on the same size discs using a kit from Mazda Rotary Parts.

Other, more experienced track drivers have a wealth of setups and advice which will be more valuable than my own :)
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by WildMan10 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:18 pm

The wider tyres on 19" will give you more grip at the expense of slightly slower acceleration and top speed. If you want to go that route I have some 19" Rota's on my R3 with 265/35/19 Vredesteins where I can dig out an image later. I may even be selling them over the next few months.
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Re: Track Day Advice

Post by Dr. FrankenRex » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:27 pm

I've got 255s on my R3 19" rims. They're quite good on track, although I went for 255 width purely for looks. The performance difference is really negligible.

If you're after performance then go for a set of 18" PZ rims as they are nice and lightweight.
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