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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Booked to go on my first trackday at the end of August at Croft circuit. Anyone taken theirs on track? Any tips?
 

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Booked to go on my first trackday at the end of August at Croft circuit. Anyone taken theirs on track? Any tips?
I have tracked an E82 and my current F22 at Anglesey a number of times. Start at fast roads speeds, make sure you know the correct cornering lines, (surprising how few seem aware of this obvious need), You soon discover that, with an unmodified setup, brakes and tyres suffer badly after about 5 laps and you need to let everything cool down for a few minutes. Minimum requirements are GG rated brake pads, normal road tyres such as Mich PS5 or 5, (4s better still), or Goodyear Assym 5 will do. Don't worry about rain. My son and I actually prefer it wet - these cars grip wet enough in the rain.

Enjoy it. Beware of falling into the feeling of a need to spend on too many modifications. You don't have to be the fastest out there - although I do admit to a bit of spending on the E82. Others of this forum could have you spending thousands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, booked tuition first thing as don't fancy binning it first time out, and insurance too! Looked into a few upgrades but am tempted to run it stock for the first time out and if all goes well then look to spend. My local dealer said the M Performance brakes would be fine but appreciate that trackday pads would improve things a lot.
 

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Some decent brake pads (Ferodo DS2500) and a fluid change to something like Motul RBF660 will see you through a 20 minute session with no worries about fade

My tips

Put your hands at quarter to 3 on the wheel and leave them there. Very few corners on UK circuits require more than a 180 degree turn of the wheel in either direction from this position. Use as little steering input as possible, the idea is to be as smooth as possible,

If it's your first time on track avoid the first 30 mins after the sighting laps. This gives everyone else the chance to get their red mist out of their system and you will generally find driving standards improve after the first manic half hour.

Keep an eye on your mirrors, if a car wasn't behind you two corners ago that means it's faster than you so indicate right, and pull over on a straight. A lift off the power is good etiquette and assists underpowered cars (like my Mini) get past safely before the next braking zone. However, with that said - OWN YOUR CORNER. Do not drift offline in the braking zone, mid corner, or exit. Overtaking on trackdays should be by consent only. IT IS NOT A RACE and everyone has paid the same money to be there. People get impatient but thats their problem, don't get intimidated by faster cars trying to muscle through in inappropriate places. Also with that said, do not hassle slower cars by driving right up their chuff through the corners, its best to back off a little and wait for a safe passing location than try and force someone into making a mistake or compromising their corner just to gain a second or two on your untimed lap.

Brake in a straight line. Try and avoid putting on more power until the steering wheel is straightened up. You will just end up bleeding power and understeering in most cars

Take a tyre pressure gauge and a small compressor or foot pump. Go out and do your first session, then come in and check pressures and bleed accordingly. Do not let pressure out before the tyres have warmed up or you risk a blowout on track if the side of the alloy slices through the sidewall during hard cornering with tyres under-pressurized. Aim to keep the same cold pressure when the tyre is hot. Eg if you start with 38 front and 36 rear on cold, aim to bleed the air so they remain that after a session. After lunch or any extended breaks from the track, put some air back in before going out again and repeat the bleeding when you come back in. Don't forget to refill the air before going home

Look through the corner where you want to go, not where the car is heading. Doing the latter is a sure way of ending up on the grass facing backwards, in a gravel trap or embedded in a tyre wall

Take a thin long sleeve top and long trousers. Most tracks allow tin top car drivers with short sleeves but some don't. Best to have it with you and not need it than go home without taking part.

Fill up with fuel before going on track, any fuel available onsite will be expensive. Getting recovered off the circuit if you run out during a session will make all the other drivers hate you

Make sure you keep hydrated and fed, chocolate or similar sweets are good to keep your energy levels up. Driving on track is way more tiring than most people imagine

Keep your arms relaxed through the corners, use the straights to loosen your grip on the wheel and relax your hands. Don't end up with a death grip or arm pump from tensing up. Try and steer with your fingertips if you see what I mean

Keep an eye on the marshall posts, they are there for your safety as well as everyone elses

Have fun!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much rossm for this very useful information. I have decided to go with the stock brakes for my first time out as I want to see how the car does and whether track days are for me before making changes and will report back. I am planning to do regular breaks from fast driving to let myself and the car cool down so hopefully won't get too much fade. Car is going for an oil change though as it is about 20mths from new and due in the next few months anyway.
 
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Cool, just make sure you have plenty of brake pad remaining, and be aware that the stock pads may crumble and disintegrate quickly if they get too hot, so stick to short sessions

Oil change beforehand is a good idea, take a small amount of oil with you to top up if necessary. My Mini goes through about 500ml on a busy day with 9 or 10 sessions :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just thought I would post an update for those interested.

Had a great day at Croft on Monday managed to get in 38 laps of the circuit during the day (about 80 miles on track!). The car performed flawlessly, fast of the straights, very stable, flat in corners with loads of grip. I was running Michelin PS4 tyres all round and they worked well and as far as I can tell I haven't taken more than a couple of mm from them. I say "as far as I can tell" as they are covered in pick-up which seems mostly not to be my rubber as gently peeling it off reveals reasonably healthly looking tyres. They did get quite hot (TPMS had them at about 50oC and 3.1 bar) and I think that the rubber from the cars running trackday tyres fused to mine. Brakes also did well with minimal evidence of any fade at all and no sign yet of any warning lights telling me the pads need changing.

But... was I fast? Well no, but it was my first track day and my trackday preparations (in addition to getting rid of the Turanzas and having the oil changed) involved taking out 2 child seats :). The other cars were mostly much faster (Porsche 911 GTs, Atoms, Radicals), track prepared (GR Yaris' spitting fire and running on semi-slicks) or stripped out race prepped cars (Clios, Civics and a Citroen C1!). They also mostly seemed to be driven by people who knew what they were doing (quick but courteous). Anyway from what I understand a trackday is about fun rather than laptimes and I certaintly had a lot of fun and look forward to doing another one soon!

I think that if I was to get more serious I might get a set of trackday tyres but for the time being I am pretty sure that I have a lot more to learn about racecraft before I can get anywhere near the limits of the car.

Hope this helps others who are tempted to give it a go on track. :)

Car Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Wheel Tire
 
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Glad you enjoyed your track day and all went well, having fun and getting home safely in one piece is the main thing. Good to see you weren't worried about speed and times, as long as you are courteous it always goes well on track as no one gets frustrated and dives down the inside. ;)
 
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