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Old 09-25-2006, 08:32 AM   #1
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Reflections on my first track day

Sunday was the SVTOA Performance Driving Clinic held at the Oklahoma Sherriff's training facility in OKC.



The site is set up to train for high speed pursuits and is a mini road course with some nice long straights. We started at the skidpad area and drove clockwise, heading north east in that map. In the morning we had some exercises like controlled braking and emergency manuvers for the new drivers out there, but then thse cones were taken down and we had free reign. Apex cones were kept up and some chicanes were left near the end of the straights to help the noobs not get into trouble.

Here's a video from last year's event:

http://jason.hodges.cc/SVTOA/svtoa.wmv

This is what we ran minus the chicane coming out of the skidpad.

What did I learn?

1) Driving on the track is a WHOLE different experience than auto-x.

2) I can actually heel and toe downshift at speed!

3) A tire like this:


can turn into a tire like this:



after one day on the track.

4) Including a 120 mile highway drive to the event, my car averaged 18mpg when I gassed up after the event.

5) Cones hit at 75mph leave bigger, and harder to remove marks than cones hit at 30 mph

6) Painting my hubs before Jetfest last year cleaned up the look of my wheel wells, but said paint can't withstand the high temperatures of the track:


7) The Auto-X-ZTS rear sway bar really helps my car rotate at speed.

8) 87,000 miles with the factory brake fluid is TOO long to run. Mushy brakes afterwards atest to that.

9) Taking a sweeper at 75+ mph is a COMPLETE RUSH!

10) Plastic hubcentric rings do NOT work on wheels when used on the track as now I have one fused on my driver's rear hub.

11) I NEED a dedicated set of wheels and tires JUST for auto-x/track days now!

12) Hallett is next on my list.




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Old 09-25-2006, 08:55 AM   #2
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NICE!!Are those Kuhmo MX tires?
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Reflections on my first track day

Quote:
1) Driving on the track is a WHOLE different experience than auto-x. Addicting, no?

3) A tire like this:
can turn into a tire like this:
after one day on the track. Yes. Yes it can. Get ready to buy more

8) 87,000 miles with the factory brake fluid is TOO long to run. Mushy brakes afterwards atest to that. Indeed! Bleed before every event, and flush with new fluid every couple events.

11) I NEED a dedicated set of wheels and tires JUST for auto-x/track days now! That's a big bonus. After my first two autocrosses years ago, I knew I would need separate tires. Can use better rubber for the track, and better tires for the street. Its win win
Sounds like you had a good time. I'm going through track withdrawl right now. But I think now that you had a taste, you'll find more of your time and money going to track events instead of autox. ;)
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:08 PM   #4
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I just LOVE a big track!!!! I'm glad to hear to enjoyed yourself.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:18 PM   #5
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sounds like a blast! I have been giving serious thought to trying to get my car on a big track vs. auto-x

A bit more pricey, but I think it would be well worth the money.

Overall, how much driving time did you get when they let you loose?
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:52 PM   #6
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nice. i so want to go to a track like that. although i think im not ready at all for that
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by ..:: sleestak ::..
sounds like a blast! I have been giving serious thought to trying to get my car on a big track vs. auto-x

A bit more pricey, but I think it would be well worth the money.

Overall, how much driving time did you get when they let you loose?
After noon, we had either four or five driving sessions at 15 minutes each. Before noon, we did some practice exercises and such at free will and probably drove between 20-30 minutes (maybe more) in the car I would guess.

For the seat time that you get, a track day is usually the best value. However, it can be a large sum of money at one time whereas autocross is less expensive per event even though the seat time is significantly less (usually an hour or so at a track versus eight to ten minutes for a Solo II event).

While this course isn't the most pretigious or technical, you just can't beat $30 for the time and experience you can get from this event.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:14 PM   #8
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looks like a great time, can't wait for my first track event!
that last pic. is a great shot.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Reflections on my first track day

Quote:
Originally posted by Egz
Sounds like you had a good time. I'm going through track withdrawl right now. But I think now that you had a taste, you'll find more of your time and money going to track events instead of autox. ;)
I don't know about that. I want to do both.

I love the speeds and rush you get on the track. It's quite an experience. Pushing yourself harder, trying to get that one corner JUST right. That is what I was doing on the track. Working on this one difficult corner until I could get the entry speed and point just right so I could come out of it as fast as possible onto the straight......and not overdo it and go off.

However, I still love the challenge of auto-x. Walking the course and having limited time to get your lines down and improve your times. The competition of auto-x makes it a blast as well.

I see the good in both and will try and do both in the future so I can improve my skill all around.
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
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We race a few times a year at a local Kart track (.6 mile) with the Mustang Club and the neighboring region. (Our Safety Steward has banned that track after a newbie rolled his Integra) Love that track, and I am usually just 2-3 seconds off the fastest group of slick tired & modified Mustangs on a near 1.5 minute track. It's a completely different game, where you get a lot more chance to set up and think about the next turn. At those speeds though, you almost have to re-learn your lines and driving style because the cars acts so differently. Also, it's fun to be able to try the same track over and over again and see how you are improving, something that's impossible with the ever-changing AutoX courses.

My wife and I have an agreement that I can't go out on a big road-course in a car the bank still owns, but hopefully I will be able to start doing open track days in the next couple years...
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