What Should I Do To Prepare For A Track Event?
[NSXJT@aol.com, FG] Every car goes through a "tech line" before being allowed to go onto the track. Many items are checked but of particular interest to us will be:
Battery hold down - make sure it is tight
Floor mats removed
All loose objects removed from car - cockpit & trunk. (This means anything that isn't bolted down.) Bring a box that you can throw everyting in when you empty the car. If not, your radar detector, tapes, etc. will be scattered, run over, etc.
If you have a nose mask (bra) for the car, put it on. You won't believe what flies through the air when you're on the track.
Put on metal valve caps. The plastic ones can fly off.
Use tape weights inside the rims, not clip on weights which can fly off.
Remove wheel covers. They can also come off.
Rain-X your windshield if it looks like rain.
Use Z or better rated tires and make sure they are in good condition! This is the most common cause of failure during extended high speed runs, and when a tire goes, control is lost. Typically it is recommended that you put 300-400 miles on the tires before taking them to the track (assuming you're not using shaved tires). Also, a new tire with full depth tread blocks WILL feel more squirmy than worn or shaved tires.
[KS] When you go to the track, it’s recommended that you clear out anything in the car that’s loose and isn’t bolted down.
In previous posts, I mentioned that I have found that it’s essential to remove the spare tire as well. Even though it’s bolted down, its weight has created ongoing problems with the wingnut frequently getting loose (even on the street, until I use some Loctite) and with the bolt on the top of the vertical spare tire support beam loosening and coming out. So now I make sure to remove the spare tire before taking the car on the track.
Which isn’t enough, as I found out last weekend at Gateway International Raceway in downstate Illinois. I removed the spare tire. When I went to replace it, I found that one of the rubber caps on the ends of the horizontal spare tire support beam had come off. Gone. So now there are two more pieces I have to make sure to remove before going on the track. (At least, at $6.40 list, this is one of the less expensive parts on the car to replace when you lose one.)
"To Bring" Checklist
Clothing-Cotton is best. Cotton long-sleeved shirt or jacket is better than any synthetic (fire).
Shorts, T-shirts etc. for non-driving sessions
Wear comfortable sneaker-type flat soled non-slip shoes and socks. NO SANDALS. NO HIGH HEELS. NO BOOTS.
Bring a ground cloth or some garbage bags to put things on/in. The paddock may not be fully paved, which can mean mud if it rains
Rain gear - rainsuits, umbrellas, boots, change of clothes. If it is raining and you get wet changing pads, etc. then dry clothes and shoes are REALLY nice. A big tarp is handy too.
Sunscreen lotion, a hat, sunglasses, bug spray
A fire suit, five point harness, and helmet can ease your mind. Some or all of these items are required at some events
Pens and pad for notes
Camera and film
Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen--you can get a headache and you can't take anything else at the track.
Membership cards, Check books, credit cards, cash, license
Wet ones! (great for a quick hand cleaner after changing wheels, brake pads)
Cooler (with non-alcoholic beverages <g>)
If you and a buddy are interested in doing some timing, a stopwatch, clipboard, and pens.
For The Car
Duct tape !!!!
Air pressure guage and air compressor (part of NSX toolkit).
If possible, an air tank. There may only be air hose and there is often a line
Extra brake pads (front and rear) and tools for changing brake pads. If you don't know how to do it, someone there should be able to help you.
Window cleaner and paper towels
Shock adjustment tools (if you have adjustable shocks)
Full fuel can. Gas may be available at the track, but often only for part of the day. It may also be racing fuel and cost several times more then regular gas. It is not unusual to go through a full tank of gas during the day
Brake bleeding gear
Service manual (if you're driving something other than an NSX) <g>
Tires (if you're driving an NSX)
Preparing for a Summer Track Event
[AWN] Our cars all have air-conditioning, but we probably don’t want to spend the entire day locked in our vehicles.
So... If you want to be comfortable, you'll want to bring:
A cooler containing a gallon (128 ounces) of water (or fruit juice or sports drink) for each person in your party, and as much ice as you can fit in the cooler. Don't bring any alcoholic drinks.
A wide-brimmed or visored hat.
Sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher.
A folding chair for each person in your party.
Something to provide a little shade. NSX trunks are pretty small, but I think there are beach umbrellas that'll fit in there... And maybe a few attendees can get together and each carry part of a big tent or awning or something.
A small towel... Soaked in icewater from your cooler and wrapped around your neck, it'll go a long way toward keeping you comfortable.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. I’ll be VERY surprised if anyone shows up in a driving suit, but for safety’s sake, you should at least wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts (both of non-synthetic materials), and real shoes.
While at the track:
Apply sunscreen liberally.
Drink 16-32 ounces of cool fluids each hour, even if you're not thirsty; thirst is NOT an accurate indication of dehydration.
Watch for these signs of heat exhaustion, and pull off the track and let someone know if you feel them:
I know that this all sounds like common sense, but people really DO collapse from heat exhaustion.
At the Track