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Track Tips and Safety Tips for the FD

Old 03-22-04, 08:48 AM
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Question Track Tips and Safety Tips for the FD

I will be taking my FD to an autoX and shortly there after to a track event. (Im between Sebring and/or some other ones here in Florida). Anyways what are some tips regarding equipment, safety, and even possibly driving style or tips.

This is what Ive heard and my very little knowledge:
Equipment:
Change All Fluids
Tires
Helmet

Safety:
?

Driving Tips:?

I have an upgraded radiator, I plan to get new struts soon. I know I need pads, Ive heard that our stock brake system is good except bads and new fluids are suggested. Anything else is highly apprecaited guys.
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Old 03-22-04, 09:16 AM
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Try this question in the Race Car tech forum.
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Old 03-22-04, 09:18 AM
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Fire Extinguisher!

Cooler of Water and sandwiches (If allowed on the Track)

I would recommend some 4 point harnesses. It may not be nessessary, but try racing without them and than try it with them and youll see how much youll love em.

Extra hose clamps, some hand tools, your spare tire, duct tape... really it is better safe than sorry. If you think there is something that may go wrong, it WILL go wrong. Prepare for it.
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Old 03-22-04, 10:17 AM
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Go over the car thoroughly. Fix absolutely everything that is broken or worn. Wheel bearings, suspension bushings, brake pads, brake lines, fluid leaks, hoses, belts, fluid levels, tires, etc. You're guaranteed to have more fun if you don't have to fix the car at the track.

If the car is completely sound then all you have to worry about safety is your driving; the car won't break and throw you into something.

Contact whomever is planning the track event and let them know this is your first time, then ask what you need to have you and your car ready for and what to bring.
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Old 03-22-04, 12:01 PM
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For autocross (Solo II for you SCCA types), Kate Hughes has a wonderful page that will answer most all of your questions: http://www.miata.net/sport/autox.html
Most groups use the SCCA classifications for autocross - depending on how you've modified your car, you'll probably end up in ASP. You'll need a helmet, but many groups have "loaners" available at the event if you don't mind sharing. Take plenty of water, hat and sunscreen - you'll be outside all day to get in 4 minutes of seat time.

For high performance driving events, each track and sponsoring organization have their own rules/regs, so get the info from the folks you are considering running with. Most will require a technical inspection from a competent mechanic shortly before the event that will cover most of the basics like checking bearings, brakes, shocks, ball joints and tie rod ends, fresh brake fluid, etc. As far as personal safety, if your car is street legal, "all you need is a helmet." Loaners are usually not available, unless you can borrow from a friend. However, if you're going to progress much beyond the novice group, you're going to want to have a full-face helmet, roll bar, 5- or 6-point harnesses (for you and your instructor), and fire extinguisher. Driving shoes, gloves, and a neck roll are also pretty worthwhile early on.
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Old 03-22-04, 12:18 PM
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Like people have said before: sunblock, a hat, and lots of WATER! Even though it may look silly, I wear one of those asian hats (the kind that you see in Vietnam movies where people in the rice patties have the big pointy hats), those protect your entire head and neck from sunburn, and keep you very cool. You can get those hats from any local asian market.
Also, don't go all out crazy your first run. Ask people that have run the road course places to watch out for. Another thing, be careful of oversteer. If you feel the rear end coming around, DO NOT hit the brakes, or let all the way off the accelerator.
Main thing to know is to go eas your first few laps, and buy a GOOD helmet. Loaner helmets stink.
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Old 03-22-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by P'cola FD
Another thing, be careful of oversteer. If you feel the rear end coming around, DO NOT hit the brakes, or let all the way off the accelerator. .
Ya I have learned this the hard way =P
Lets say I "drifted accidently". I was going through a look on ramp going down. At about 60mph, I started to feel understeer (wanted to go foward and not turn). So I left of the gas a bit , weight transfered to the front and the car went into the turn deep. The back came out a bit and it was a half *** drift. Later my friends gave me props, **** if they would have only known it was an accident. LoL
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