Amateur motorsport is an activity that any enthusiast will come across at some part of their journey.
Whether it’s the influence of manga and series like Initial D, spending a bit too much time watching the Fast and the Furious franchise (all of us at Carbonetics are guilty of this), or losing track of time on Wangan Midnight at the arcade, it’s a conversation that inevitably gets raised when hanging out with your “car friends”.
Always dividing opinion for those entering for the first time as beginners, is it something that is easily accessible, or are there too many barriers to entry that keeps it as a big jump from go-karting or sim racing?
We recommend for any performance enthusiast to take at least one track day with their beloved machine, and not to set any expectations on how they or the vehicle will perform. If you want to dive into your first day, here are some pointers to get you prepared.
As easy at it seems to bring your vehicle to pit garage on track day and shoot it off for some laps, let’s not forget the dangers of driving a vehicle at speed. There are significant safety issues that come with motorsport, not just for yourself but also for the health and longevity of your vehicle.
For vehicle prep, even if you play on doing just the one track day and calling it quits, look over these before you head out or get a mechanic to do it for you! Spend that bit of money before the event, so you’re not forking out thousands afterwards.
- At least a minor service including oil and filter change, brake fluid change, general health check up and oversight of the nuts, bolts, suspension parts and geometry. This will also bring up any major flags so you can get preventative maintenance done before you do any major damage on the track.
- Make sure your brake pads are up to standard to stop the car. We’re not talking about one stop that you make to avoid that dodgy collision in Cabramatta, we’re talking about repeated hard braking from 3-digits to low double-digits. Talk to your mechanic or head to your enthusiast Facebook group to see what pads will suit your desired use.
Have the right fluids. Brake fluids are graded, so check with a professional on what brake fluid you need to match the pads you’re using. Motor oil also heats up and degrades differently when in a performance environment, ensure that your engine is getting the right lubrication and can keep your engine protected when running at high temperatures! Coolant is also important, properly built track cars have engine management that is able to marry the engine load to the temps it needs to maintain. If your car isn’t at that stage, temperature gauges may give you a better idea of when to cool off and take an off lap.
- Don’t forget your blinker fluid too.
Stay tuned for our next blog where we go through the essentials for drivers as they prepare for their first track day!