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Old 06-08-2009, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MSC View Post
Just do it! And you should check to see how much brake pad life is left before going.
Yes, YES! Just do it!

Most clubs will cater to first timers to make sure you get proper instruction and guidance at the event so everything will be fun and safe with minimum risk.

Although every club and track will have specific rules to be followed, below would be a "typical" checklist for a track day.

Checklist: (OP - FYI these are generic details for all readers, some of these points may not apply in your case, if you car is new and in decent repair.)

Clothes: Usually they want long sleeves and full socks etc, no bare skin on track. Helmets usually need to be "modern vintage" SNELL 2005 or later. You can check these requirements with the club before the track day so you have it all ready in advance.

Seats/Belts: Stock 3pt lap/shoulder belts minimum. Custom "Racing" belts need to be installed as per the sanctioning club rules.

Tires: - no safety related issues like tire plugs, low tread, or sidewall damage from previous low pressure situations etc. Proper lugnuts and studs etc. Make sure you get a torque wrench and torque them down before AND after the first session. (not too unusual to have them settle and loosen up 1/8- 1/4 turn after a hard run on the track)

Brakes: - Usually they like to see 50% or more pad life remaining, and definitely at least as much pad as backing plate. Rotors must look good.

Also, it's a good idea to have fresh brake fluid, DOT 4 helps avoid boiling and pedal problems, but you can survive with DOT 3 in most cases. If DOT 3 then I suggest it MUST be freshly bled out with completely new fluid, just before the event for the best margin of safety. Any mositure will be a problem.

I understand that Calabogie is a nice big track with lots of turns, this can be hard on the brakes as opposed to let's say an oval like Indy where you get time for brakes to cool off between turns.

I would not worry about it excessively, just go there with fresh fluid. If it does goet hot, and boils the fluid, having a spongy pedal is not the end of the world.

It's happened to me a few times, and you just have to mash your foot to the floor, you go into the turn a little fast and you just scrub off alot of speed as the front end pushes alot due to higher entry speeds. Just dont panic and you's be OK. (really)

MISC: No loose body work or items to come loose on track, no fluid leaks, battery must be secure and a quick underhood inspection should not reveal anything "unusual" like a coat hanger where a motor mount should be!

The interior and cargo areas must be emptied of loose items, if it's not bolted down it comes out. Some tech inspectors are more strict than others, so they may or may not care about some "clip-on" or "velcro" items, others have a "0 tolerance" policy.

Now the WARNING:

I did my first track event with my fully loaded 05 ZX3 SES in MArch of 2007 with 20K miles on her at the East infeld course @ Pocono International.

With 65K miles on her, It's now been comepltely gutted with approx 10K in mods. I'm on my second motor, a custom roll cage is welded in and I am now racing her in SCCA club races wheel to wheel.

It's addicitive and expensive, so don't blame me if you get hooked!

BTW - I have had some drivers from Canada give me flyers to come to Calabogie when they were running with me at Watkins Glen. Now that I have towing arrangements for my racer, I might come to this track some time in the future.

It looks like a great european style road course right in your backyard, so go have FUN!

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