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First track session, brake and tire questions

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First track session, brake and tire questions

Old 05-15-03, 09:20 PM
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First track session, brake and tire questions

I am running my first track session memorial day weekend.
I have a set of Toyo RA1 tires, what tire pressure to start out with.
Second, I have a set of Hawk blues for the track, is it okay to run these on stock rotors that have not been cut. Also can I put them on before the track (which is 30 miles away) or should I do it there.

The track is a road coarse. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-15-03, 11:18 PM
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I'll probably get ragged on for this, but... I highly recommend not using race tires your first, second, or fifth time on the track. The fastest drivers I know all began driving by spending a year or more learning on decent street tires. There is no way that you will use the extra grip the tires have and they will only teach you bad habits that will be hard to unlearn later. All you're doing is shooting your driving education in the foot.
As for hawk blues, total overkill for a beginner but they won't hurt you the same way that tires will. However your first time out you'll probably chew your rotors up as I doubt you'll get the pads to the temp they need and keep them there at the speeds you'll be lapping.
Otherwise, have fun, and remember to keep an open mind. :-)
-Matt
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Old 05-16-03, 06:11 AM
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I agree with Matt. Your first time out, you will not be going at the speeds that justify R-compounds and Hawk Blues. I spent five years on street tires and sport/track pads before going Hoosiers and R4Es. The prospective performance driver must spend time fine-tuning his/her butt sensors to get a really good feel for what the tires are doing before moving on to high-grip tires and high friction brake pads.
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Old 05-16-03, 09:08 AM
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run the car with all the race oriented pieces. there is no need to develope " butt" dyno. this is nonsense. learn the performance of the car with the equipment you intend to run. if you plan to use street tires then run the street stuff, but if you intend to actually race then learning the way the race type tires and brakes work will be important. look for someone to do some coaching and have some fun and not worry about some of this other bs.
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Old 05-16-03, 11:37 AM
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I agree with Matt, but he's already got them, might as well use them.

I run my Toyos 34psi cold.

I would swap the pads out at the track, until they have heat in them, they're not going to stop well, no sense in having an accident on the way to the track.

PaulC
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Old 05-16-03, 10:22 PM
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First off, i guess I should have mentioned that this is not my very first racing event. I have ran six auto-x's and one auto-x class. I ran on S02's for all those events. I just didn't think this was relivent to the original question.

I don't see the point of not running race tires. Could it really hurt, this just doesn't make sense to me. I understand that there is a chance that I might not use them to there full potential but could it really hurt to have a little extra grip.

I found that in auto-x I was definatly at the limits of my S02's.

Would Skip Barber racing school run street tires on there open wheel cars? I don't know but kinda doubt it.
Its also not like I am running full race slips, these are just r-compound DOT tires.

Thanks Silkworm for answering the original question, this gives me a place to start with tire pressure.
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Old 05-17-03, 12:59 AM
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Wicked,

Well, knowing that youv'e run some auto-x does alter my response somewhat..

What's the harm? Street tires howl when they get close to the limit.. R compounds don't start howling (generally) until they're almost at the limit, and typically grip hard right up until you get there. So you can get surprised when you do hit the limit. That's why I don't recommend R compounds for your first couple of times out on track, gives you a feel for your car close to but not at the limit..

PaulC
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Old 05-17-03, 01:00 AM
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Actually, Skip Barber does run Michelin Pilot Sports on their school cars, including the open wheel cars.. They're shaved..

PaulC
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Old 05-17-03, 08:51 AM
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I find the harm is exactly the same as learing to drive in a high horsepower car. With sticky tires you will be going artificially faster than your skill level dictates and this tends to foster bad habits and stunts your growth as a driver. Those people that start with an underpowered car and street tires are those drivers that are forced to learn how to use the entire track, carry momentum, and drive well. Once learned, stickier tires, better brakes, and more power will only serve to build on this established foundation and result in some amazing lap times.
-Matt
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Old 05-17-03, 04:09 PM
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I'm with Matt...
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Old 05-18-03, 11:06 PM
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There is a lot of good advice being mentioned here. The only things I wanted to add is that Auto-X and road course driving are two different animals. One may help with doing the other, but you are talking a lot higher speeds on a road course. It also takes a different technique to drive on a road course. An auto-x requires quick decisive steering inputs due to the tight nature of most course setups. Road courses require smooth steering inputs and a lighter touch due to the speeds involved.

As for the tires & brakes, I can certainly agree with using what you have but first time out, you need to read what the car is doing, especially with the tires. If you can't here them "talk" then you can't effectively learn what your actions are resulting in.

Driving your car to the event on the Blues is a big no-no. Your rotors will look like phonograph records pretty quickly without the proper heat range being applied.

Aside from all that, your first time out should be fun as well as a learning experience. Think less of car performance and more on driver performance. Have fun out there.
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Old 05-19-03, 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by wickedrx7
I don't see the point of not running race tires. Could it really hurt, this just doesn't make sense to me. I understand that there is a chance that I might not use them to there full potential but could it really hurt to have a little extra grip.
The grip will not hurt your outright lap times if you were to switch between the two tires. It will however hurt your development as a driver because that extra grip is going to mask a host of small things that you won't realize without more experience on other rubber. You will show a much bigger improvement by switching to race rubber later, not to mention the money you will save on cooked tires.

A race tire just has a much "finer" feel at the limit of it's performance and you won't actually realize what the tire is doing without a lot of experience on street tires.

Your autox experience will help on the race track, but realize you still don't have too much. Be leary of overconfidence, humility goes a long way towards improving your driving and keeping the car in one piece. I spend about 90% of my time autoxing and the rest track driving. They are very, very different but after being so comfortable autoxing the car I find myself mentally well prepared for the road course; I can spend more of my concentration on mastering what the car is doing that moment as opposed to planning a couple turns ahead.

Last edited by DamonB; 05-19-03 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 05-19-03, 07:11 PM
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I'd run the race tires, but that's just me. On our FBs in SSA we used 38-40 psi with the stock suspension. Better suspension with less weight transfer and you get away with slightly lower pressures. I agree 100% with Pauly, you're there to have fun. And road courses ARE a lot different than autocrosses.
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Old 05-19-03, 09:33 PM
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Thanks for all the advice everyone, i see your point. I understand the point of not being able to "hear" the tires talk to me. The funny thing about that is, my S02's where always pretty quiet right up to the point of release. The other thing is I suppose that R compound tires don't give much warning that they are going to lose traction. Hopefully I don't kill myself.

I also realize that Auto-X and road coarses are two totally different things. Incedently thats why I am trying this, i got bored rather quick with auto-X.

The bottom line is, I am going out there to have fun and thats what I am going to do.

Maybe down the line I will buy a 1st gen with bias tires to hone in my expertise.
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Old 05-21-03, 08:40 AM
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Wickedrx7

1). The Toyo Proxies RA1 when pushed do give audible feedback.

2). I would run 32psi cold to start, after 4-6 Track days you will want to monitor hot tire temps. I would recommend 40 hot which means after a hot 20 minute session take you pressure reading, if you find staggered readings of 39 cold in the fronts and 41 in the rear I would add air to the fronts to 40 psi and lower the rears to 40. There are many other related issues, tire size, alignment, and pyrometer results for
proper fine tuning, however for now the 40 psi hot give you a good baseline to start.

3). Hawk blues are only to be used on the the track , they will destroy your rotors if used on the street. I would recommend Hawk+'s for now as a dual purpose pad. If you are" bedding new rotors and pads" I would go very east your first session as to not" shock the rotor ". Seasoned track drivers will run a couple of laps to bring the rotors up to temp run a cool down lap then pit and let cool.
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Old 05-21-03, 06:26 PM
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Jack

Thanks for all the great info. This will help me get started.

I have hawk HP+ on there curently and am planning on running them for my first event. If the brakes start to fad, I will change them out. ANy more advice you can give me will be appriciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-21-03, 09:01 PM
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You asked

1. Run the highest pump gas 94 Sunoco if your state has Sunoco. If the track has 100 unleaded add 5 gallons to give you some additional octane. Run stock boost.................

2. Watch your water temps.....Watch your water temps...
Run your heater on full blast on windshield setting while on the track.

3. Flush you entire brake sytem with Motul brake fluid and change your oil.

4. When you finish your session and come into the pits find a place to keep driving your car to slowly dissapate the heat in your motor, turbo's and brake system. When you come to a stop do not put your emergency brake on, the rotors will be hot enough to fry cat fish.
Also open your hood and let the car idle for at least 5 minutes with the heater on full blast

5 Listen to your Instructor, learn the line, work on being smooth as possible. Work on heel toe for down shifts and the most important piece I impart onto my students .................don' kill the Instructor..........
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Old 05-22-03, 09:50 AM
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Listen to your Instructor, learn the line, work on being smooth as possible. Work on heel toe for down shifts and the most important piece I impart onto my students .................don' kill the Instructor..........
as a part time instructor these are some of the ideas I try to instill in new drivers. I have been on some audition rides and it is not what you are there for. you don't need to try and impress the instructor with your mad skillz. you will be faster and safer if you follow their instructions. the thing that will impress these guys is improving in every session and having a good time. and remember "don't kill the instructor" this will have top be my new catch phrase thanks Jack.
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Old 05-22-03, 04:35 PM
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Uhh, huhhh...
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Old 05-22-03, 06:47 PM
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I have changed all fluids, I have a fan mod that allows me to run my fans on high if I want(they will be the whole time).

I am hoping to have fun, hopefully my driving skills will be mad yo. Just kiding, I am going to take my time and listin to my instructor. Thanks for all the advice.

Sleep R1, are you one of those "yes" men
-Just kiddin around
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Old 05-23-03, 01:01 AM
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I usually see a 12psi build in the two tires doing most of the work witha 9 psi build in the other two. Thats with 30 min. of pushing pretty hard in the corners.

You should expect a 7-8 psi build to start with a target psi of 40. (depending on tire mfr. recomendations)

A good trick to check for tire rollover is to make a 2 in. white stripe where the sidewall meets the tread & re-check that mark after each sesson. Add pressure by 1.5 # untill roll over is minimal.

Keep in mind all rollover cannot be solved with pressure, neg. camber helps also.

Also, make certain you retorque your lug nuts/bolts after each session. They tend to lossen after expansion & contraction. Loosing a tire can greatly effect your ability to enjoy your weekend.

Have a great time & have fun. I hope you read this before you hit the track, and I hope it helps.

Kill a piston or two for me...
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Old 06-03-03, 05:57 AM
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Originally posted by 88GTU
I find the harm is exactly the same as learing to drive in a high horsepower car. With sticky tires you will be going artificially faster than your skill level dictates and this tends to foster bad habits and stunts your growth as a driver. Those people that start with an underpowered car and street tires are those drivers that are forced to learn how to use the entire track, carry momentum, and drive well. Once learned, stickier tires, better brakes, and more power will only serve to build on this established foundation and result in some amazing lap times.
-Matt
I agree. I like wrenching too much, so I have a wicked fast car (huge tires, brakes, & HP) and can't drive it anywhere near as fast as it should go. I think I need to start over with a slow(er) car so I'll actually learn how to drive.

-Max
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Old 06-03-03, 08:25 AM
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Max,

you can use your car to learn. you just need to take the time and use the instructors that are available. in the end you want to be able to use your own car to race or open track with correct? best to learn how to drive that car to its limits. I don't subscribe to the ladder system of slow cars to fast cars, street tires to slicks. I would attend events that have quality instructors or bring your own instructor(may cost you a dinner or two). keep the car modifications to a minimum and concentrate your time and money on learning to drive it. read some of the driving books before the next event and go to the event with the attitude you are here to learn and not just bomb around the track all day.
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Old 06-03-03, 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by Piston Killer
Also, make certain you retorque your lug nuts/bolts after each session. They tend to lossen after expansion & contraction.
Good advice. I only had this issue when running the car really hard for a full afternoon. I was worried by how easily the lug nuts broke loose at the end of the day, and I always use a torque wrench when installing lug nuts.
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Old 06-04-03, 09:32 PM
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Wink

Originally posted by maxcooper
I agree. I like wrenching too much, so I have a wicked fast car (huge tires, brakes, & HP) and can't drive it anywhere near as fast as it should go. I think I need to start over with a slow(er) car so I'll actually learn how to drive.

-Max
Keep the car. Go to school . I did. If you haven't done so you only "think" you know how to drive. Driving skills equate to better lap times, more so than having 14" rotors and 400 hp.

Panoz

Josť
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