Cars & Vehicles Safe Driving & Driving Test Techniques

Track Day Preparation

    • 1). Prepare your wheels. Make sure wheels are balanced and that your tires have enough tread left to ensure appropriate levels of traction and grip while avoiding overheating and vibrations that can leave you numb from the impact all the way through the steering wheel. Carry out a visual inspection of your tires a few days prior to the track day to ensure they are in good condition. Look for cracks, tears, ripped chunks of tread, loose bolts, scuffing and tire pressure. Also, bring a second set of wheels with you so you can change them for your trip back home. If you don't have a second pair of tires, remember to reset the tire pressure once they've cooled down before heading back home.

    • 2). Install racing brakes. What is appropriate for city driving will not be strong enough for the speed and repeated stops of a racing course. Invest in drilled discs for the front brakes and in fast road pads that are far more resistant to fading than standard brakes. Similar to tires, you should also bring a second pair of brakes pads and discs with you. It is common for track day racers to go through an entire set of brakes in a day. At the end of each race, allow for your brakes to cool down slowly by doing an extra slow lap to avoid cracks.

    • 3). Refill the oil of the gearbox with the appropriate grade, which will produce smooth changes and reduce crunching between gears.

    • 4). Set the timing of your engine, top up the oil and ensure the oil cap is secure. Bring a bottle of oil with you to top off the engine as the day goes on. If you find that you need to add coolant, before a track day it is recommended to flush and clean the system entirely before refilling with fresh coolant. In between races, you may want to keep the bonnet of your car open to allow it to cool down faster for better overall performance.

    • 5). Have a look at your lights and indicators to make sure they work, and set up your mirrors appropriately so you don't have to play around with them on race day.

    • 6). Make sure your seat-belt is secure and will react well to sudden stops. Inspect your helmet to be sure it has no cracks or default.

    • 7). Make sure you have plenty of gas with you to last you the day, and a little extra to take you home, or at least to the nearest gas station.

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