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Discussion Starter #1
So I got the track bug after attending the Adrenaline Academy last month. I wanted to pick the brains of all you seasoned track vets on what I should look at doing to get the most out of local track days.

First, what sort of car prep items are "must-do" upgrades for the car? I plan on keeping my RS as close to stock as possible, but I assume there are some things I should do in order to get the car track ready. Brake upgrades (fluid for sure, pads maybe)? RDU cooling solution? Anything else recommended?

Safety stuff is pretty easy - Snell rated helmet, and probably a Schroth Quick Fit harness. With the Quick Fit harness, what is the difference between the "Pro" and the standard? Is it just ability to use the HANS device? Do most guys get track day insurance as well?

FYI, I do DD my RS as well - so I wouldn't want any upgrades to reduce my every day experience either.

Anyway, thanks in advance all!
 

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I ran mine stock except for better brake fluid with no issues. I suggest not letting your factory tires getting above ~45 hot. I simply started around 40 or so knowing they would clime. Tire wear across 6 days of track use was totally fine, but others' experience has been more problematic (presumably from driving style/technique, maybe track surface too).
 

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Excited for you, I remember when I got bit by the track bug about 8 years ago lol.

First off, contrary to what you would hear everybody tell you, you can pretty much track the car completely stock no problem (I did for my first couple of trackdays with the RS to establish a baseline and see what I want to upgrade). It would be beneficial to do a few things before hand though

-As you mentioned, get a good helmet and don't cheap out. Go to a shop and try them on and find one that is most comfortable for you, you will be using this for a while.
-Change your oil before your event. If you start doing this regularly, you will have to change it more often too. I typically do about 5-6 track days a year and change my oil every 3rd trackday.
-A brake fluid upgrade would be good (Castol SRF or Motul RBF600) but not necessary for a newb imho since you probably won't be very hard on the brakes anyway. You probably will be braking early and holding it too much, so I would definitely do a bleed at the minimum.
-Inspect your tires and make sure you have plenty of thread left. Depending on the track, you might be annihilating those shoulders with the lack of camber we have.
-Schroth quick fit is a great option. I have the standard version and really like it since I too daily my RS and can put it on/take it off at the track after I take out the kids seats. You are correct that the pro allows you to use it with a HANS device.
-Keep an open mind. Sign up for the beginner run groups and get some training/coaching if you can. Make friends around the paddock and ask for ride alongs from those at the higher run groups.
 

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I ran mine stock except for better brake fluid with no issues. I suggest not letting your factory tires getting above ~38 hot. I simply started around 32 or 33 knowing they would clime. Tire wear across 6 days of track use was totally fine, but others' experience has been more problematic (presumably from driving style/technique, maybe track surface too).
This is literally all you need. Go stock, learn and have fun. Put track mileage on your car and then modify appropriately. Don’t overthink it, have fun
 

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Play around with the driving modes. When I first went to events I just assumed that putting it in "Track mode" and leaving it there was best. Now I usually do my first run in sport with soft suspension and the second run in track with stiff suspension and see how I feel. I've found different settings work better on different tracks. Also, I got myself a trunk organizer that I throw in the back before each event. It's got water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, and my helmet. It's handy having a little storage thing I can just pull out of the car when I get to the track that has all my essentials. and it gives me a place to put anything that I might've left in the car that I don't want rattling around.
 

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All the advice here is great. A stock RS is a pretty damn good track car.
My personal experience running 41/38 tire pressures hot suggests that's too low. I now run 44/42 hot, MPSS 235/35-19, measured after every session. That equates to about 34 cold. The extra grip you get running 38 is outweighed by the risk to your rims.
I also suggest you bring a torque wrench to check your lugs. I torque to 100 ft-lbs, and check every couple of sessions.
 

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Play around with the driving modes. When I first went to events I just assumed that putting it in "Track mode" and leaving it there was best. Now I usually do my first run in sport with soft suspension and the second run in track with stiff suspension and see how I feel. I've found different settings work better on different tracks. Also, I got myself a trunk organizer that I throw in the back before each event. It's got water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, and my helmet. It's handy having a little storage thing I can just pull out of the car when I get to the track that has all my essentials. and it gives me a place to put anything that I might've left in the car that I don't want rattling around.
Yes very much, I did 2 autocross events, and i found that sport without sport suspension on is better than with it on. This was after 10 runs, I also found the drift mode isnt as slow
 

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If you haven't already, put spacers or locks under your seat to stop it from sliding around at the track. This was very annoying for me.
 

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I'll add to the chorus. The other two cars I've tracked always got at least track pads and tires. I recently took the RS out to PIR and had a blast with just fresh brake fluid, otherwise essentially stock. Both MPSS tires and stock pads held up very well. I'll be back out at PIR (Portland, OR) on June 6 with the BMW club if that happens to be on your list of track days.
 

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i took mine complete stock and had a blast. i set the tire psi to stock (46). definitely need to be lower. by time i was in the 3rd session, one tire had completely lost grip probably due to over inflation or overheated it.
 

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IIRC I saw here in the past "upgrade the driver, not the car".

How much is a good helmet nowadays?
 

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IIRC I saw here in the past "upgrade the driver, not the car".

How much is a good helmet nowadays?
I paid WAY too much for a Bell full face last year. Like $500. You can get decent open face helmets for $150-200. I went full face mask though, probably not necessary, especially without a roll cage.
 

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Play around with the driving modes. When I first went to events I just assumed that putting it in "Track mode" and leaving it there was best. Now I usually do my first run in sport with soft suspension and the second run in track with stiff suspension and see how I feel. I've found different settings work better on different tracks. Also, I got myself a trunk organizer that I throw in the back before each event. It's got water bottles, sunscreen, snacks, and my helmet. It's handy having a little storage thing I can just pull out of the car when I get to the track that has all my essentials. and it gives me a place to put anything that I might've left in the car that I don't want rattling around.
Good point, at the RSAA one of the instructors recommended track mode with soft suspension v the harder suspension.
 

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As a follow up, something you may want to consider doing before heading out to the track is how you're going to remove track rubber from the car. This stuff is a B****. I've read spraying down the front of the car with Pledge works great, just wipe it down before leaving, but never tried it. I've also read that Mothers Racing Rubber Remover (R3) works well.

Regardless, get it off quick (before heading home). It only get's harder the longer it sits there. As I learned after a Friday track session...
 

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As a follow up, something you may want to consider doing before heading out to the track is how you're going to remove track rubber from the car. This stuff is a B****. I've read spraying down the front of the car with Pledge works great, just wipe it down before leaving, but never tried it. I've also read that Mothers Racing Rubber Remover (R3) works well.

Regardless, get it off quick (before heading home). It only get's harder the longer it sits there. As I learned after a Friday track session...
Really? I leave all those rubber/tar scuffs on my car for weeks at a time until its time for a car wash. Comes right off with any bug & tar remover :shrug: I have a harder time taking off all the bugs I accumulate on the way to and from the track lol
 

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On frozen white, after a few track days my car was fuuucked with all the rubber scuff marks (and cones lol) I found a good clay bar session took them right off
 

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Really? I leave all those rubber/tar scuffs on my car for weeks at a time until its time for a car wash. Comes right off with any bug & tar remover :shrug: I have a harder time taking off all the bugs I accumulate on the way to and from the track lol
Washed it on my way home. Didn't notice it at the track, only when I parked it in the garage. Probably would have come off with some harder scrubbing in the wash. Have heard bug/tar remover also works great for tire rubber.

I gotta get it all off and cleaned up; have a 3m front end kit coming in the next week or so. That'll make life much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Are most of you guys tracking with the standard 3-point belt? I have been looking at the Schroth Quickfit harness as an alternate - seems like a fairly affordable solution.
 

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Are most of you guys tracking with the standard 3-point belt? I have been looking at the Schroth Quickfit harness as an alternate - seems like a fairly affordable solution.
I tracked the car with the regular belt for the 1st year, then did a seat belt lock (CG Lock) for 2 trackdays, then got the Quickfit.

The CG lock definitely helped keeping me in place but the design was not really meant to accommodate our thicker than usual belt latches. Also, being on the "husky" side, I found it to dig and poke me a little during use.

The Quickfit worked really well and I was very happy with it. It held me in place and really connected me to the car, so I can feel more, particularly weight transfer, yaw, etc. It also helped on my braking and heel-toe since it prevented me from flopping forward during hard braking and saved my left leg and knees since I no longer had to brace myself on the dead pedal/door/center console during cornering. Since my car is my daily too, I really like the fact that I can head to the track, take out my kids carseats, install the harness right before the first session.
 

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I hope you're enjoying this car on the track!

Just to add - if you use a harness it's strongly recommended to use a HANS

Standard seat belt allows you to 'roll out' and reduce head momentum

Love my quickfit, but with a heavy helmet on and shoulders locked in - I love my HANS more!
 
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