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Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything

This is a discussion on Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything within the Focus RS Discussions forums, part of the Focus RS Forums category; @ JAK167 any advice for a first time track driver? I have my first event coming up this May at Autobahn Country Club and just ...

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Thread: Track Day Experience - Brakes/Cooling/Handling, in other words, everything

  1. #21
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    @JAK167 any advice for a first time track driver? I have my first event coming up this May at Autobahn Country Club and just need the basics. My car is stock and I don't plan on being able to push it to the limits yet, so I'm mostly just concerned with any beginner level things I should know about. I've read bringing a torque wrench, blocks to keep the car from moving (and not using the e-brake), fill up on gas, really basic stuff. Anything I am missing? Do you do anything to protect the paint? I feel like I have seen pictures of people taping off their cars, is this necessary? Should I bring anything else?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    @JAK167 any advice for a first time track driver? I have my first event coming up this May at Autobahn Country Club and just need the basics. My car is stock and I don't plan on being able to push it to the limits yet, so I'm mostly just concerned with any beginner level things I should know about. I've read bringing a torque wrench, blocks to keep the car from moving (and not using the e-brake), fill up on gas, really basic stuff. Anything I am missing? Do you do anything to protect the paint? I feel like I have seen pictures of people taping off their cars, is this necessary? Should I bring anything else?
    Make sure you have a helmet! Depending on how hard you drive (or plan to drive) it's good to have an extra set of brake pads and tires. You can protect the paint with blue painters tape (won't scratch or leave residue), or get a clear bra (such as XPEL). I would recommend this, you will get lots of rocks and debris on the track from other cars. I personally have a clear bra, which has held up well.

    Also, I will be at the Autobahn on 5/11, I assume you are the 3rd RS that is currently signed up?? Make sure you fill out the tech sheet before hand! My friend (2016 SB RS) and myself (2017 FW RS) will both be there that date. Happy to provide any helps/tips/etc.

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    Supporting Member DeanHart's Avatar
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    Be sensitive to potential brake fade from fluid over heating. Retire at the first sign of this . . .

    Looks like you'll have support for tire pressures, etc

    At the start of every session I like to remind myself that I need to drive my RS home at the end of the day.

    Have fun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanHart View Post
    Be sensitive to potential brake fade from fluid over heating. Retire at the first sign of this . . .

    Looks like you'll have support for tire pressures, etc

    At the start of every session I like to remind myself that I need to drive my RS home at the end of the day.

    Have fun!
    Ditto here
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    @JAK167 any advice for a first time track driver? I have my first event coming up this May at Autobahn Country Club and just need the basics. My car is stock and I don't plan on being able to push it to the limits yet, so I'm mostly just concerned with any beginner level things I should know about. I've read bringing a torque wrench, blocks to keep the car from moving (and not using the e-brake), fill up on gas, really basic stuff. Anything I am missing? Do you do anything to protect the paint? I feel like I have seen pictures of people taping off their cars, is this necessary? Should I bring anything else?

    For me, taping off the paint would have been over kill. I've had some nice vehicles at Watkins Glen beyond the FoRS and never worried enough to bother.

    Stock FoRS brakes held up to 4 hrs of hard use across 2 days, and at least another 2 hrs through half another event before being spent. My first track day was with just 1200 miles on the car, so my brake pad life was essentially "from new." They are quite capable, especially for OE pads. Replacing the OE fluid to a high boiling point one like Motul 600 or similar will help keep performance consistent. Paying attention to changes in their on-track feel is probably more important than anything else.

    Tire life is probably greatest for PSS if you get to running ~46 psi hot. My own tire wear was awesome when I kept pressures close to that... as in I did NOT start them at 46, but let them gain ~8 psi on track.. generally bleeding down a bit right after pulling off track to achieve 46 and heading out next session without (much) further adjustment.
    Last edited by Molez93; 03-22-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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    RS Specialist BigFatFlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    Anything I am missing? Do you do anything to protect the paint? I feel like I have seen pictures of people taping off their cars, is this necessary? Should I bring anything else?
    All you really need to do as a beginner is bring an open mind. If you are doing it with out an instructor, make some friends at the track and ask for ride alongs with those who are familiar with the line. Even better, find somebody who has an RS or something similar (ie someone who has AWD or a larger sedan vs a Miata).

    Actual things to bring? Some snacks to keep the brain going, lots of water to keep hydrated and a good lawn chair. A decent tire gauge would be nice, just to be sure you are at spec, I wouldn't worry about messing with tire temps at this point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    @JAK167 any advice for a first time track driver? I have my first event coming up this May at Autobahn Country Club and just need the basics. My car is stock and I don't plan on being able to push it to the limits yet, so I'm mostly just concerned with any beginner level things I should know about. I've read bringing a torque wrench, blocks to keep the car from moving (and not using the e-brake), fill up on gas, really basic stuff. Anything I am missing? Do you do anything to protect the paint? I feel like I have seen pictures of people taping off their cars, is this necessary? Should I bring anything else?
    Last year was my first time on track, went 3 times with the RS relatively stock. My tips are as follows

    - does the group youíre with provide training? Often there will be experience drivers just relaxing and helping organize the event. Have them sit in the first few sessions with you to show you the track, and the basic/common racing line and apex points
    - donít be a hero. The RS is shockingly fast on track, and can throw punches way out of its class. Donít let the car get you in to trouble by going too fast or too aggressive early on.
    - I brought a small jack, jackstands, every fluid etc. didnít bother bringing things like brake pads and stuff. Youíre not going to blast through your pads on the first track day
    - bring snacks, bring water, and bring a chair. Even mild ambient temps can get very hot sitting in the concrete pits for 8 hours.
    - youíre going to be mentally exhausted. See if you can bring a friend or wife who will drive the car home after the event, especially if you have a bit of a travel. I guearantee youíll sleep like a baby in the passenger seat within minutes.
    - let your tires warm up properly, check pressures right after your heat and check lug nut torque between every heat.
    - make sure youíre clear on the rules for your event, especially for passing. Whether itís point-to-pass or passing zones etc. The more aware you are of the rules, the more relaxed and confident youíll be when faster guys come up behind you.
    - you can go hog wild trying to painter tape the front, but hey itís a car youíre about to track. You will get rock chips. You will get a lot of rubber scuffs. Wear it as a badge of honour.

    A couple more

    - watch temps but donít freak out. Oil will creep up to3/4, but the 5w50 we run can handle it without degrading.
    - pop your hood between sessions, and let the car idle for a bit when you park. Let those electric fans do what they can

    And most importantly HAVE FUN
    Last edited by 320icar; 03-22-2019 at 04:59 PM.
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    Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I'm very excited to track my RS. I love it as a daily driver and can't wait to see what it does on the track, the reason I bought this car was to have a car that I could enjoy both as a daily driver that would also be fun on the track. I've ordered a helmet and may get stainless lines and high temp fluid. From what I have read I think I will be okay on pads/rotors. The car only has 14K (mostly highway) miles and I have been very easy on the brakes. I'm going with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires as one of my Cup 2's got a nail pop, and even if it is repairable I prefer the peace of mind with new tires (plus the Cup 2's are terrible in the rain and this is my daily). I've got a nice little check list going and appreciate everyone's feedback.

    Track day check list:
    - blocks (for tires)
    - helmet and headsock
    - tire pressure gauge
    - torque wrench
    - snacks/water
    - lawn chairs
    - tech sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Carcrzy View Post
    Make sure you have a helmet! Depending on how hard you drive (or plan to drive) it's good to have an extra set of brake pads and tires. You can protect the paint with blue painters tape (won't scratch or leave residue), or get a clear bra (such as XPEL). I would recommend this, you will get lots of rocks and debris on the track from other cars. I personally have a clear bra, which has held up well.

    Also, I will be at the Autobahn on 5/11, I assume you are the 3rd RS that is currently signed up?? Make sure you fill out the tech sheet before hand! My friend (2016 SB RS) and myself (2017 FW RS) will both be there that date. Happy to provide any helps/tips/etc.
    I did buy a helmet and headsock, as I plan on this being the first of many events

    I do have a clear bra on the full front clip of the car. I'm getting the front doors, rocker panels, and rear bumper done next week. Think the rear doors or anywhere else is necessary?

    I am the 3rd RS that signed up . I did an event with Xtreme Xperience in a Porsche 911 GT3 last fall at Autobahn and have been dying to bring my RS ever since. Thanks for the tip on the tech sheet!
    Carcrzy likes this.
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  10. #29
    RS Specialist Camper Van Someren's Avatar
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    I finally did in one of my MPSSs at the track yesterday. The right rear had big chunks of delamination but the other three are fine. I was running 40/38 cold which was about 46/44 hot so I donít think that was the issue. This was my 4th track day plus 6-8K road miles on these so maybe it was just time. There are only a few mms of tread left.



    Iím not surprised it was the right (this was a CCW track with a hairpin and carousel) but I am surprised it was the rear, since the car has 60% weight on the front. It was getting pretty drifty as I pushed harder, both under power but also oversteering with lift throttle, trail braking, and over hills
    BigFatFlip likes this.
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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camper Van Someren View Post
    This was my 4th track day plus 6-8K road miles on these so maybe it was just time. There are only a few mms of tread left.

    Iím not surprised it was the right (this was a CCW track with a hairpin and carousel) but I am surprised it was the rear, since the car has 60% weight on the front. It was getting pretty drifty as I pushed harder, both under power but also oversteering with lift throttle, trail braking, and over hills
    Sounds about right. My stock PSSs were about done after it's 3rd trackday and ~12k daily driving miles in between.

    Both tracks I frequent (Thunderhill east and west) run CCW and I noticed the same type of wear on my right rear. I figured it was more due to the RDU directing more torque and over spinning it going around those left handers that was causing the excessive wear.

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