thunderzy New Reader
9/22/11 1:24 p.m.

I am attending my first track day this Sunday. What do I need to bring with me?

Teggsan New Reader
9/22/11 1:43 p.m.

Event organizer should give you a list.

If it hasn't, here's what's in my track day kit. I keep it light; others may have many additional items that might come in handy.

Helmet Blue painters tape Torque wrench and correct socket for lug nuts A few quarts of oil (yes, you will likely use somewhere between a little and a lot of oil) Brake fluid in sealed container Stuff to bleed brakes (correct wrench, overflow bottle, rubber mallet) Video camera and mount Tire gauge

Make sure you've gotten any required pre-event inspection done. Most organizers take a copy of your drivers license and insurance card as well.

codrus New Reader
9/22/11 2:00 p.m.

In addition to the stuff above:

  • lots of water
  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • camping chair
  • tarp to put all your stuff on after you take it out of the car (and to wrap up if it rains)
  • jack
  • jackstands
  • wheel chocks


Raze Dork
9/22/11 2:10 p.m.

a couple of hot chicks in bikinis never hurt a track day...

Osterkraut SuperDork
9/22/11 2:12 p.m.

From what I understand about track days: money, mostly.

jimbob_racing Dork
9/22/11 2:22 p.m.

I'd suggest a fast car that somebody else owns. Baring that, make sure that in the event that you crash your car you are prepared to pay for it out of your own pocket. If not, drive accordingly.

stumpmj Dork
9/22/11 3:56 p.m.

In addition to what's been mentioned: Spare brake pads and all tools needed to chagne said brake pads. I'd bring them even if you put a brand new set on before heading to the track. Cash for gas and food at the track.
Water. More water. Gatorade. Water. Food. Water. It's hard to stay hydrated. Sunscreen and a hat. An EZ up or equivalent if you have one. A camera.

Teggsan New Reader
9/22/11 6:33 p.m.

Yeah, lots of water. I actually pack a large cooler, fill it up with ice at the hotel (if traveling to a track weekend) and load it with bottles of water and gatorade.

Track food is usually pretty awful, and you may not have a chance to leave for lunch, so you may want to pack some non-awful food.

Teggsan New Reader
9/22/11 6:34 p.m.

Dehydration-->slower thinking-->increased potential for bad outcomes.

motomoron HalfDork
9/22/11 11:52 p.m.

Many organizations require long sleeves/long pants, so jeans and a long sleeve T. Bring a towel to dry your head off after sessions. You will not believe how sweaty you can get in a 20 minute session. Bring a jack, a jack stand, brake bleeding stuff, fluids, basic tools set, windex and paper towel, duct + blue painters tape, a pad and paper, business cards, a folding chair, big hat, sunscreen, more beverages and snacks than you think you'll need. I never drink Red Bull ~except~ before my after lunch session when the brain fade will set in.


I never did that when I was a student, occasionally did it when I was un-instructed and after I became an instructor, and NEED to do it now that I'm racing. You'll be using an amount of brain/processor power you won't believe.

Finally - as an instructor who seems to consistently get people on the line and up to speed quickly here's the absolute most important things to try to do.

  • Be open and willing to learn.

  • Make a plan w/ your instructor of what you'd like to get from the experience.

  • KEEP YOUR EYES UP! Keep 'em up. UP! There's no amount I can stress the importance of this. It's what's different between racing drivers and the general population. Racers acquire and process information faster and more effectively. Looking as far down the the track and into and through the corners will make it all SO much easier.

  • Brakes. Use them later and harder than you think is possible. This is the other thing racers can do that the gen pop can't. Use their brakes. I had a student at Summit Point Shenandoah earlier this summer. He was struggling horribly. He had a classic problem: Too fast in the slow parts, to slow in the fast parts, and an unwillingness to adjust speed with brakes. The third session I asked "will you be offended if I begin to yell at you in an effort to get you to start using some brakes?" " What if I get on the brakes too hard?" "Trust me - If you do I'll buy you a tank of gas. There's no such thing as too much brake in a car w/ ABS"

So we go out, and the first corner he's consistently blown, I say "wait...wait...BRAKE!". He get on the brakes, his release is actually really nice, and with the car slowed can turn in and open the throttle to rotate the car. The angels sang, I sh1t you negative. And that was it. Like magic, he started hitting his apexes, getting good drives out. He took off about 15 seconds by the end of the day. So use your brakes.

  • Try to take note of reference points when you get it right. There's a line of sealer you put your left tires on, a blob of dirt one red patch on the curb before the apex. As you exit 6A there's a light pole out past the fence that is the perfect place to head for a money entrance to T7. Reference points make it much easier to string together consistent laps while using up less of your brain.

  • Relax. Take a breath. When you get to a straight, check your mirrors, scan your instruments, consciously relax. Don't death grip the wheel. Stay loose!

  • Be generous with the point-by. You cannot win a track day. Well, not 'til you're an instructor and it's the last session of the day. You can win that one. But for now - if someone is all up on you, give 'em a point by at first opportunity. Then see what they're doing that makes them faster. It's entirely possible that they're carrying more corner speed in their Geo Metro than you are in your Nissan GTR...

  • Have fun. The idea is to learn about how to drive at speed. Better car control, all that. It really does translate to the street. become a regular track driver and you'll realize one day that it's been years since you had one of those heart-pounding moments when a gen pop driver tries to kill you. You see everything unfolding before the regular drivers do and you have the ability to use steering, brake and throttle to effortlessly make the car do what you want, like magic.

Have a great time and learn a lot!

thunderzy New Reader
9/23/11 6:04 p.m.

thank you very much.

motomoron HalfDork
9/23/11 6:36 p.m.

One last thing - when you come off the track, hot, don't use your parking brake - the shoes/ pads will cause the rotor to cool unevenly which can in some cases contribute to warpage. Leave it in gear to keep it from rolling off.

9/23/11 10:20 p.m.

"Red Mist" Repellant.

Jeff Dork
9/24/11 12:06 a.m.

Clean underpants. Have fun !

fasted58 Dork
9/24/11 12:12 a.m.

trusted help to work on the car, takes the burden off you and allows you to focus on driving

car39 Reader
9/24/11 9:19 a.m.

ditto on the point bys, please. Nothing more fun than tailgating the ultimate driving machine thru the twisty parts and having it pull ahead on the straights, so we can do the tailgate thing all over again. If you see a blue flag out assume it's for you. You'll be happier because you won't have someone riding your butt, he'll be happier because he can maybe get a few clean laps.

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