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Old 06-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gravter View Post
Here is the deal,

I've been a car nut for ever and had my share of fast cars.
I've been drag racing since 1994. I've always wanted to try out a lapping event but never made it to one.
Well, this year, my wife decided to register me for a lapping day @ Calabogie Motorsports Park so I can my racing fix!
This is a fairly new track (3 years I think) and is very close to home.
I was very excited when she gave me the news but now I'm a bit hesitant.
I'm sure I can handle my Focus ST on that track, but it mught be overwhelming.
I have not done much to my car except Steeda SRI and Focus Sport upper front stress bar.
I will be getting the "Track Orientation" which is an extra 50$. They also suggest I get an instructor since I have very limited experience, but at an extra 150$!!!
This is starting to be quite expensive. I'm just not sure anymore. I know I won't be going nuts, but don't want to hold back other attendees on the track.

Any suggestions for a first timer? My car has about 37K miles on its brakes... should I change them before track day? Do I run with full tank of gas, half, 1/4?

Thanks for all your input
Great wife, but that is a pricey day at the track for your first time. What have you actually paid so far, I only see the $525 option listed on their site with instruction, etc?
Is there any way to cancel or postpone the date?
I instruct with Track Guys and we will be on the Gran Prix course at Mosport at the end of August. For $315 you would get two days of classroom and in car instruction.
That way the wife can come as well and make a holiday of it. We even offer a taste of the track where she could partake in the classroom instruction with you and get to drive one session on track with an instructor for only $40. We started this for the folks who want to see what being on track is like without making a large investment. We also have a limited number of loaner helmets available.
Track Guys are the folks who put on the SVTOA On Track events for the past five or six years and we travel all over the US and sometimes Canada infecting drivers with the on track sickness.

As for the car a Focus ST will do fine at the track. I had student in one a couple of years ago at Putnam Park and he was nearly as quick as the SVT Focusís but the ST just didnít have the top end the SVTís do.
As was stated in a post above, fresh brake fluid is a must, nothing fancy or expensive, just fresh. For your first time the existing pads may work fine depending on the amount of pad left. However, the second half of the pad wears more quickly than the first half.
For a one day event you may want to swap in a new set before arriving as you will not have a whole lot of time to do it at the event. It will also keep you from bringing a lot of tools, jacks etc. You will want to drive while at the track, not work on the car at the track. Besides most schools keep the novices pretty busy between classroom and the track.
For events when need to rent a car, I will pick up a set of inexpensive pads at the local parts store before arriving at the track just in case, then return them if not needed. Hertz has received a number of free brake jobs from me over the years.
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