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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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@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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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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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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@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.
 

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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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@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 you’re 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
- don’t be a hero. The RS is shockingly fast on track, and can throw punches way out of its class. Don’t 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. didn’t bother bringing things like brake pads and stuff. You’re 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.
- you’re 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 you’ll 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 you’re clear on the rules for your event, especially for passing. Whether it’s point-to-pass or passing zones etc. The more aware you are of the rules, the more relaxed and confident you’ll be when faster guys come up behind you.
- you can go hog wild trying to painter tape the front, but hey it’s a car you’re 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 don’t 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
 

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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

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 :driving:

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 :cool2:. 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!
 

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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 don’t 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.



I’m 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
 

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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.

I’m 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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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 don’t 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.



I’m 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
Yeesh. This is completely different then my experience with the PSS. Wonder how much of this is related to session length, driving style, and tire temps. After 24 ~25 min sessions (6 days & 800 miles) mine are still daily driving worthy.

I'm not truly hooning on track, but I am moderately aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
@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?
Since you are a first time HPDE driver, definitely use the instructor!!! As a novice your payment should include an instructor to work with you the entire day. Ask questions, lots of questions, about everything. The more you ask the more you learn.

I prefer novice students using stock or even lower powered vehicles. They are a lot more forgiving when you make a mistake on track, and you will make a mistake. Heck, I have even had people go to track days in a Toyota Camry. It's a lot easier to save a Mazda Miata if you go into a corner too fast than an 800hp Corvette.

Simple tools for simple repairs are definitely a good idea. Air gauge. Make sure to have good tires with tread left (you will drive if its raining). Torque wrench a must. Check the torque on your lugs cold, before you drive to the track, again after the first session, then at lunch and you should be fine. Make sure to have a relatively new set of brake pads. Do a full brake fluid flush and replacement, and make sure to bleed the clutch too. Use good fluid. Doesn't have to be RBF600, but a good fluid. I use Pentosin DOT4 LV (low viscosity). It has a boiling point close to 500 and you can get it from most part stores for about 18 bucks a quart. New air filter or clean it if its a K&N type. Simple check of engine bay and undercarriage to make sure you do not have any deteriorating brake lines, suspension points, radiator hoses, belts, etc. You will be pushing car hard. If you have a worn out part, it will have a higher chance of failure.

RE protecting the paint, some people just put a couple of layers of masking tape at higher impact points. You usually don't get rocks, but tire rubber. I've never used it for my cars. I get more damage driving around the highways around Chicago than I have ever gotten from the track. Personal preference.

RE being on the track itself, the number one rule is it is not a race!! No one will win a trophy and have their named splashed in magazines for your track day. The purpose of the day is to make you a better driver, not to try to break the track record.

I tell all my students, to go fast you first have to go slow. You are not used to moving at the speeds you can attain on a race track and you have not trained your brain to interpret all of the information to make you a fast driver. I usually start my students by having them only use one gear for the whole track (easy at Gingerman) and focusing on memorizing their reference points in the first few sessions. With Autobahn, you will prob have to shift up on the straights. By only using one gear, it helps the students focus on memorizing and fixing their reference points without the distractions of shifting, and because the car is not in its powerband in one gear, the student has less chance of getting on trouble while learning the reference points in the first few sessions.

Each corner has four reference points. 1) braking point - the spot you lift off the gas and apply the brakes in a straight line; 2) Turn In Point - the spot you lift off the brake and turn the car into the corner with a neutral throttle (neither accelerating of decelerating); 3) Apex - the center of the corner and the point where you can begin very gently begin to accelerate; and 4) Exit Point - the spot where you have stopped turning and you can go to full throttle acceleration.

When you go slow to go fast, you are memorizing these four points for each of the corners on the track. As you memorize them you can then anticipate what you have to do next. Using less brain power in making your decisions. Since you now have not maxed out your brain, it is easier to go faster when the reference points come at you faster. I usually recommend for my students to be able to do at least one whole track lap and hit every reference point right on the marks before they start thinking about adding speed. Remember its about making you a better driver, not going fast. Try to be as smooth and gentle as you can. Caress the wheel, brake, and throttle. Quick, fast actions will upset the balance of the car.

At Autobahn, depending upon the course you are running, North course, watch the kink at the end of the straight going into the first right, its easy to get in too hot, then you have to trail brake, which can easily cause a spin. South course, take your time with million dollar corner (they will tell you about it), it's named such because it has wrecked millions of dollars of cars. It's easy to get the rear loose under acceleration and if you go off, there is a nice tasty guard rail waiting to turn you car into tiny little pieces. Also, the chicane at the end of the back stretch. It's a pretty sharp 90 degree right/left and easy to get in going too fast.

RE the FoRS in particular. Since you are running stock, I would recommend adding a bottle of water wetter to your coolant tank. Definitely helped keep the heat lower. Also, either before you get on the track in a safe place, or when you first get on the track, try getting the FoRS to get into ABS while braking, then find the limit where you can brake just before the ABS intervenes. IMO, if you can keep it out of ABS, you will have much lower brake temps. Same thing with the stability control, set it for sport mode and find the limit and try to stay out of it. When you feel more comfortable, you can disable it completely (I do), then you have a much less chance of overheating the PTU. IMO, start you tires at 37psi cold and adjust accordingly. IMO, if you are getting more than a 12-15% increase in cold to hot, you are probably to low and need to add a few pounds of air. IMO, if you are less, then you would need to remove a few pounds of air. If you can adjust your rear sway bar, stiffen it up as much as possible. Definitely helped my handling.

PM me and I can help with other questions you may have.
 

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At Autobahn, depending upon the course you are running, North course, watch the kink at the end of the straight going into the first right, its easy to get in too hot, then you have to trail brake, which can easily cause a spin.
My first ever track experience was with a Groupon Formula ford driving experience at Autobahn North.

I am 6’5” and could barely fit in the car. I didn’t have enough room to work the clutch really so I just left it in third the whole session.

I kept leaving my braking later and later until I took the checkered, braked way too late, and spun at that kink. Luckily the only thing damaged was my pride.
 

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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 don’t 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.



I’m 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
Yeesh. This is completely different then my experience with the PSS. Wonder how much of this is related to session length, driving style, and tire temps. After 24 ~25 min sessions (6 days & 800 miles) mine are still daily driving worthy.

I'm not truly hooning on track, but I am moderately aggressive.
I did 3 track days, each one had about 5-6 20 minute sessions in 34°c ambient air temps. Used my oem PSS and they didn’t have any adverse wear or chunking. Hell when I sold them they still had tonnes of tread left (7 or 8/32). Maybe it’s the track I’m on or driving style. Definitely drove the absolute piss out of the car. So I don’t see how all these other people keep having issues.

Also camper, if you’re running 40/38 cold, the temps on track should be shooting those pressures well over 50psi if you’re not checking. I ran ~38 hot and it was perfect
 

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I did 3 track days, each one had about 5-6 20 minute sessions in 34°c ambient air temps. Used my oem PSS and they didn’t have any adverse wear or chunking. Hell when I sold them they still had tonnes of tread left (7 or 8/32). Maybe it’s the track I’m on or driving style. Definitely drove the absolute piss out of the car. So I don’t see how all these other people keep having issues.

Also camper, if you’re running 40/38 cold, the temps on track should be shooting those pressures well over 50psi if you’re not checking. I ran ~38 hot and it was perfect
Yeah, I was measuring 46 hot after coming off track, but this was after a cool down lap so it could have been hotter.

I was trying to keep pressures high because in general tires wear quicker at lower pressure. It has been suggested in another thread that this type of delamination is due to heat buildup from running low pressures, but based on my experience I doubt it. That same other thread was also from Arizona so maybe our track surface has something to do with it:

https://www.focusrs.org/forum/9-focus-rs-discussions/31170-rip-pilot-super-sports.html#/topics/31170?page=1
 

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Yeah. The tracks I’ve been on are smooth. Enough where I keep it in track mode with stiff suspension. And heat buildup in tires doesn’t happen until sidewalks start to bulge, usually 20psi or lower
 

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I have found that 38 cold is a good place to start. Ater a 20 minute session, pressures are usually 42-44.
 
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