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Preparing for First Track Day Ever

This is a discussion on Preparing for First Track Day Ever within the Focus RS Racing forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Originally Posted by wiltocking Well, it has been great input so far. Especially the pointers of how to take care of the car and let ...

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Thread: Preparing for First Track Day Ever

  1. #21
    RS Member Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiltocking View Post
    Well, it has been great input so far. Especially the pointers of how to take care of the car and let it cool down. That's great insight that might not be obvious to anyone who hasn't tracked a car before.

    I've gotten most of the items on the list lined up but ran into a bit of a snag today with:

    2) Mechanical Inspection

    The Ford Dealership mechanics were not willing to perform the Mechanical Inspection as a quick visual since in their minds it would make them liable. However the same form from Edge Addicts states that the driver is liable etc. etc. What was recommended was to perform the inspection per the form with one of ther Master Mechanics at $135 an hour (and leave the car all day). So now I turn to you again, does this make sense for a possible $1000 USD on inspection? The form is linked below, and I can see how it's a bit more involved than a typical multi-point-inspection done at the dealership. Since the car is new I'm kind of thinking it would be ok to have anyone just sign it and be done with it.

    It would be good to do everything proper this first time around though, so that I can repeat it all for later events. Any advice? Or someone know a good mechanic in Houston that could handle something like this?

    Mechanical Inspection
    Anybody should be able to do that inspection in an hour, or they are hosing you for cash. I would try and find a performance shop in your area (there should be a ton in houston) and I bet they are used to doing those inspections. Also if you have a jack it is really easy to do yourself in about 20 minutes.
    GoodbyeGolfR likes this.
    2016 Ford Focus RS - NB RS2
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  2. #22
    RS Senior Member wiltocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
    Anybody should be able to do that inspection in an hour, or they are hosing you for cash. I would try and find a performance shop in your area (there should be a ton in houston) and I bet they are used to doing those inspections. Also if you have a jack it is really easy to do yourself in about 20 minutes.
    Yup, that's what I'm doing now. There are some local performance shops here that I'm talking to who are more famliar with what is needed than your typical grease monkey tech.
    | 2016 FORD RS | RS2 PACKAGE | NITROUS BLUE | 19" PREMIUM PAINTED FORGED WHEELS | MICHELIN CUP 2 TRACK SUMMER TIRES |

  3. #23
    Supporting Member GoodbyeGolfR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark289 View Post
    Coming off the track, leave your engine running for a few minutes. This helps cool down the turbo and avoid heat soak. This from a Ford engineer.
    And leave your hood open.
    Prior-- 2013 Golf R
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  5. #24
    Supporting Member GoodbyeGolfR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiltocking View Post
    Morning! So I've been puttering around Houston for a while now in the RS and enjoying it as a great DD. But I need to stretch its legs! I used to live in Colorado and also Andalucia, Spain which had great mountain roads to speed around in. Since South Texas is devoid of such topography, I've signed up to a track day this Sunday at Austin. This will be my first track day ever! Kinda excited/nervous.

    I've gone through the threads here for "Racing" and read plenty of great experiences tracking the RS. I'm by no means an expert, and will be riding with and instructor at CotA. What I couldn't see much of is advice for preparing for track day. Would really appreciate any helpfull track advice for a noob What else would you add to this list:

    1) Track Insurance

    2) Mechanical Inspection

    3) TrackTape or PPF

    4) Helmet (Provided at track)

    5) ????
    Go on YouTube and see if you can find a narrated run through of the track so you can see proper lines and things to key off of when you are on that track. You would be amazed at the concentration level needed to nail everything you need to pay attention to at speed, and having seen this stuff from the driver point of view can be really helpful. It will give you things like "coming up to that blind turn, make sure you are lined up on the second tree from the right you see up there, that will set you up for the turn" etc. Really made my first track day ever at Laguna Seca so much better. The corkscrew without those pointers, is super dangerous and not intuitive. Same with the front straight.
    Prior-- 2013 Golf R
    Current -- 2016 Frozen White FoRS/RS2/Forged Alloys/SS/No Sunroof
    PTU leak attempted repair. On to round 2. First attempt failed. All modding on hold until fixed. In the shop right now! Fingers crossed.

  6. #25
    RS Specialist mullick's Avatar
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    FWIW most insurance companies have gotten wise to HPDE events and have excluded them from their policies. I have been with Geico for 7 years and not that long ago there was a policy amendment stating any incidents involved on a track designed for racing are not included. Unless you are driving slow on the track like a parade its not covered they specifically state high speed driving is not covered. Previously it was only if the event was timed or was a competition.

    This could be different with other providers but I havent found one that allows it.

    The track I goes to has their events covered by https://locktonmotorsports.com/product/hpde-insurance . If the event is listed on their site you can get coverage for it. The rates are reasonable and you set the value of the vehicle.

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    Last edited by mullick; 12-14-2016 at 06:08 PM.
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  7. #26
    RS Senior Member wiltocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullick View Post
    FWIW most insurance companies have gotten wise to HPDE events and have excluded them from their policies. I have been with Geico for 7 years and not that long ago there was a policy amendment stating any incidents involved on a track designed for racing are not included. Unless you are driving slow on the track like a parade its not covered they specifically state high speed driving is not covered. Previously it was only if the event was timed or was a competition.

    This could be different with other providers but I havent found one that allows it.

    The track I goes to has their events covered by https://locktonmotorsports.com/product/hpde-insurance . If the event is listed on their site you can get coverage for it. The rates are reasonable and you set the value of the vehicle.

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    Thank you for the very informative post. Same here with Geico, wasn't expecting them to cover anything and wasn't surprised when they said no. The event organizers recommended Lockton and that's who I used, an additional $300 for peace of mind is not bad imo. Though now I'm begining to see why people prefer AutoX lol
    mullick likes this.
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  8. #27
    RS Senior Member wiltocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodbyeGolfR View Post
    And leave your hood open.
    Well, the high is going to be 37 degrees... might not even need to worry about it.

    Cold great for intercooler right!
    GoodbyeGolfR likes this.
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  9. #28
    RS Senior Member wiltocking's Avatar
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    It has been almost a month since my first track day ever and wanted to leave a write up while it’s still fresh in my mind. Christmas, vacations and work all got in the way of doing this earlier but here it is finally.

    My expectations of attempting to develop some type of “skill” were completely misplaced, my instructor told me not to focus on that. And I was not sure what he meant until we were out on our first lap! This morning at COTA the weather decided to drop to 25F! And our driver orientation meeting informed us we were to drive with windows down! That meeting covered the basics of track etiquette, where to let pass and how to let pass (only when the vehicle in front flagged you by). It really didn’t leave you prepared; thankfully I had an instructor who I defaulted the task of finding and paying attention to all the track flags.

    Immediately, the amount of concentration/thinking you have to do at every moment while driving became apparent. There is no just nail a turn and high five for a job well done. You need to be already thinking of where you are, what turn is coming up, looking for markers, what’s your speed and getting in the right spot for the next one. It.. is.. exhausting. After this I quickly reshuffled my priorities to:
    1. Survive
    2. Don’t damage car
    3. Learn track

    Way below those, there might be an attempt at improving “skill” haha. The instructor did a good job of calling in what to do without feeling he was pushing me past my limits. He made things simple by telling me we were mostly going to stay in 3rd and 4th (which is what we used 90% of the time except on straightaways). We had a two way helmet radio where he would be constantly be voicing commands. And he kept an eye out for cars in my rear that wanted to pass that would be out of my view, as well as, all other flags and info. This really let me enjoy the day

    After our first set of laps, I got a chance to ride in the instructors black RS with stage 3 tune (410hp) and extra wide rears. And damn was my mind blown at what the RS could do! He was battling it out with track spec’d Miatas and Porsches as if they were nothing! This immediately gave me a clearer understanding on how much I could push the car compared to my first timid go around.

    On my next turn as soon as the tires warmed up, I pressed the car further and had a blast all day long. The RS might not outrace a Corvette but it out-turns them! Managed to go fast enough not to bog down the group and also begun to overtake some. Until this track day, I wasn’t sure what was so great about the car, it was fast but yet city driving never made me feel amazed. I can say now IT IS AMAZING! It’s just plain fun.

    As far as lessons learned go, first one is definitely check your fuel level; it loves to gulp down gas (7mpg FTW). Full tank lasted me all day and didn’t notice it until the last go around where I got low fuel. It didn’t last the 5/6 laps at full speed lol. So played it safe and ended it early instead of having to need a tow. Second, high tire pressure helps a lot. Kept playing around with it and ended the day at 52/47 cold, which felt just right. They would gain about another 5/6psi when hot (however the day never went above 33F sooo tire temp topped out at 80F). Three, turn on the heater full blast early on, even with windows down it helps and boy am I glad I had seat heaters! Bonus: finally saw the tachometer RS indicator light up!

    Thank you all for your advice, every bit was useful. Seems the other enthusiasts are all about tuning there car here and there between runs while my RS just sat there. Maybe someday, but for my experience level and vehicle choice, I’m glad all I had to mess around with was tire pressures and checking oil levels.

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  10. #29
    RS Expert Austin's Avatar
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    Awesome man.

    When you get a little more time under your belt, you'll learn more things about what the car is doing and changes to make it happy. I think your tire pressure is probably too high but it's not like we are trying to set lap records!

  11. #30
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    Congrats on what sounds like a fun day and great learning experience. Did you get any video of you runs?

    The temptation to get over to High Plains Raceway here in Colorado is getting very very large. The question is do I lie to the Missus or face the endless questions if I tell her? Ya, lying is right out.
    2016 Stealth Gray Focus RS
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