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Thread: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

  1. #1

    FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    :mitsu:



    Driving Techniques For HPDE Beginners and Amateurs - WHAT TO DO & NOT TO DO



    DON'T:

    -Do NOT be a "thumb-hooker". I know this sounds weird, but I have noticed that sometimes it is comfortable to "hook" your thumb through the steering wheel while driving instead of holding the wheel at 10 and 2. This may be fine and dandy, but if something should jolt your wheel (burm, rock, debris) it will be harder to react with your hands not on the wheel properly.

    -Do NOT drive as if this is competitive racing. There is a difference between wheel-to-wheel racing and HPDE. Please be mindful that even if you are a hot shoe, that doesn't mean that everyone around you knows what is going on.

    -Do NOT run race harnesses without a roll bar w/ a proper harness bar. There are some harnesses deemed okay with just harness bars, but I think there is only one and its the Schroth ones. Sparco/Takata/Sabelt etc are all designed with use of a roll bar. (You can get more info off the NASA web site.) I am not talking about Cusco/safety 21 here either because honestly that's an appearance item. I know you see folks running them to their back seats and using them with only a harness bar and it's not safe.

    **Most harnesses are also street illegal, due to the fact that if you have them on properly you won't be able to see behind you because your shoulder will be strapped down to the seat back.**

    -Do NOT run fixed back seats without a roll bar - Again this is not deemed safe. You can get this info straight off the Nasa website.

    -Do NOT run a cage with any bars forward of the B-pillar for a street car. Yes cages look cool, but they are meant for use with a helmet. Even padding the bar won't help you if your noggin hits it.

    -Do NOT admire the scenery while on the track.

    -Do NOT lift mid apex

    -Do NOT lift don't lift and don't lift

    -Do NOT feel the need to heel-toe shift (yet) - When you first start out there are so many other things to pay attention to than this. Just try and take a smooth line even if it was in a higher gear. More important things to remember were where the apexes are (find a landmark shrub, mark on the floor etc) and to try and get a feel for the track and the corner entry speeds.

    -Do NOT feel bad about yourself when you get passed by seemingly slow cars. It will happen and that is inevitable. Even though your car can beat these slower cars, that doesn't mean your driving skill is good enough to do it yet. Don't worry about it so much. Think of it as motivation to get more seat time because that is the only thing that will get you to go faster.

    -Do NOT follow other people's lines - If you are a beginner, then more than likely so is the guy in front of you. So following somebody else's line probably isn't a good idea.

    -Do NOT get caught in "Chase" mode - Yah when somebody passes you, your instinct is to overtake them. Do not "chase" people, because once again this is NOT racing and more than likely will land you off the track or in a tire wall.

    -Do NOT lift-throttle-oversteer unless it's intentional

    -Do NOT try and "save" the car when you already have a wheel or two off.

    -If you put two wheels off, DO NOT yank it back onto the track. Continue to drive the car straight and do not lift off abruptly. If you do yank it back on, once those two wheels get tarmac traction again the car will shoot off whatever way you are yanking the car.

    -Do NOT drive on R-comps until you have out driven good street tires. If you are fast enough to overheat Azenis and feel that the tires are limiting you, then by all means go for it if you feel ready. But do not go to a track day on R-comps early in your first year or so of HPDE because just like a good handling car can hide mistakes, so do good tires. R-comps save you from bad lines and will mask bad driving techniques. Although you will be faster than on street tires, you will be limiting your driver progression. Street tires expose driver error and that's how you should learn. Not to mention for the most part R-comps don't squeal and don't give as much warning when they are breaking loose.

    -Do NOT go to the track with stock brakes, fluid or pads - they will overheat fade and possibly drop to the floor when you need them most.

    -Do NOT pull up the ebrake when you pull into the hotpits to park your car. The brakes gets really really hot even after the cool down lap. So make sure you bring a piece or wood, brick, or some sort of tire choke to prevent car from moving.

    -Do NOT race drunk or high. You are not only endangering yourself, but you are endangering the lives of others!
    Porsche vs Mustang NEMESIS!!!!! LQ | HQ


    -Do NOT underestimate sleep the night before.

    -Do NOT overdrive car. Keep it safe. Never 10/10ths

    -Do NOT attempt in a late pass if given a late point by. It can make it a hairy situation as speeds will increase, less time for braking, tighter turning. All bad for beginners.

    -Do NOT bring any work, personal, family problems to the track. We need everyone to have a clear mind.

    -Do NOT try and learn how to left foot brake for the first time at the track!!!!

    -Do NOT hesitate to ask fellow track enthusiast for tips or help on anything. We are all here to learn and help one another.



    DO'S:

    -Do plan to go SLOW. In addition to the comments above about not racing, focus on feel and smoothness. If you go out to the track for the first few times and keep telling yourself that you're going to go smooth and sow, you'll find yourself being very safe...and actually very fast without realizing!

    -Do make sure you do ALL your braking and downshifting in a straight line before you turn in.

    -Do be smooth with Braking and Throttle (including releasing brake to apply throttle), tires are sensitive to abrupt changes and this smoothness will reward you in faster/predictible cornering.

    -Do keep your calm as a driver when you get passed and running your own race seems important.

    -Do put your ego aside ... There's always someone faster

    -Do look waaaay ahead, not right in front of the car

    -Do look where you want to go: the car will follow where your eyes are focused. This sounds obvious but it helps tremendously.

    -Do try to always be smooth with steering inputs/gas/brakes. Nothing abrupt, but firm.

    -Do look for all of the flagmen and acknowledge them on the first lap during the first session and last lap of last session.

    -Do get Motul and race pads. It will make your experience much better and you wont regret doing the upgrade first.

    -Do learn the car with street tires. It will give you the building blocks and the experience for when you end up going to stickier tires. Many people jump right into R compounds and experience the higher cornering speeds they can offer, however, if you don't have the experience to know what to do when bad things happen, they will happen at a MUCH faster rate and you will run out of talent very quickly, and possibly learn an expensive lesson or worse yet, hurt yourself.

    -Do check rotor thickness before going out

    -Do check pad thickness before going out.

    -Do drink lots of fluids as you will dehydrate throughout the day. Bring 1gal + fluids.

    -Do be open to feedback and listen to your instructors/coaches.

    -Do take in car video of yourself (if possible) so you can review when you get home. GREAT LEARNING TOOL. Learn from what you did wrong and continue doing what you did right.

    -Do make sure you have a good nights sleep, as the tiredness in later session will get you, causing you to make mistakes.

    -Do acknowledge the faster car behind you and point them by the next possible passing zone.

    -Do make the point by EARLY.

    -Do make your presence known to car in front that you are intending to pass.

    -Do show gratitude for the car in front that let you passed (hand raise, thumbs up). They would probably give you the point by again if you are nice and not a dick.

    -Do hold steering wheel at the 9 and 3 o' clock and both hands on steering wheel as much as you can.

    -Do make sure your seating position is correct and comfortable and not gangsta lean .

    -Do get off the racing line if you are spilling fluid ASAP.

    -Do use your judgment and common sense on and off the track.

    -Do HAVE FUN!!!

    -Do thoroughly inspect your car both before and after the event (tires, brakes, fluids, etc)

    -Do make sure you retorque lug nuts after every session when you get to the paddock. It will come loose due to heat.

    -Do check tire pressures after each session. Make sure you bleed off to the correct hot pressures.

    -Do make sure you have the chin strap secured before going onto the track. Helmet does you no good if it flies off during impact.

    -Do make sure you have at least above 1/3 fuel before going onto the track.

    -Do make sure your tires (r comps) are warmed up by taking 1/2 lap to do so.

    -Do make sure your race pads are warmed up by taking 1/2 the lap to do so.

    -Do make sure you use the full width of the track, you paid for it.

    -Do make sure you have the basic tools like torque wrenches, wrenches, screw drivers, etc.. just in case something came loose or pops off.



    enjoy...



    -Matt

    -MattDennison

    2009 REDLINE TIME ATTACK CHAMPION
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  2. #2
    Evo Specialist AlphaKennyBody's Avatar
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    Re: Driving Techniques For HPDE Beginners and Amateurs

    Good write up O0
    NO! My name is NOT KENNY... It's RALPHY...... ALPHAKENNYBODY = I'll F*** ANYBODY. 5150 RACING

  3. #3

    Re: Driving Techniques For HPDE Beginners and Amateurs

    If only they remember this on the track. Nice write up

  4. #4

    Re: Driving Techniques For HPDE Beginners and Amateurs

    They should print it and stick it on the wind shield while they are driving hahah, now that would be funny.
    Go Fast Bits: Agency power 3.5 intercooler, Nisei upper and lower intercooler piping, Aem cold air intake, Kelford 272 Cams and springs, Ultimate racing o2 housing/downpipe, RRE 3 inch test pipe and sideways stealth exhaust, Walbro 255 fuel pump, JIC Magic FL TAR hard version coilovers, Enkeis Nto3 18x10.5+30 Nitto Nto1's 275/40/18, RRE tuned to 351 hp/353 tq @ 25 psi, Corner balanced and aligned by Darin at West End Alignment.

  5. #5

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Yep.* Most of the suggestions were from me and few other evo members over at evoempire.org.* Glad it made it over here.
    http://evoempire.org/index.php?/topi...-and-amateurs/
    Zhong Cheung | Angry Panda Racing
    2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 | 470whp/410wtq on E85 | 2.3L RPM Buschur Racing | Hankook 285 TDs | KW V3s
    Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at WSIR (Big Willow) - 1:25.562
    2nd Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at BRP 13CW - 1:47.425

  6. #6
    BudLightMike
    Guest

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    bas ass write up matt

  7. #7

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Awesome write up, it will be helpful when I go to the track for the first time, one thing though, in the donts about the thumb holding the wheel, u mention that thumb hooking is not good and that people tend to do that instead of holding the wheel at 10 and 2. But on the do's, you say to hold it at 9 and 3. Which way to hold the steering wheel is better for the newbie? Or is it either or. I've never been at the track that's why I ask.

  8. #8

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Hold at 9 and 3. Just dont thumb hook. You have way more control because you can turn the wheel more without doing a shuffle or hand over hand. Wider degree of control over steering wheel.
    Zhong Cheung | Angry Panda Racing
    2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 | 470whp/410wtq on E85 | 2.3L RPM Buschur Racing | Hankook 285 TDs | KW V3s
    Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at WSIR (Big Willow) - 1:25.562
    2nd Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at BRP 13CW - 1:47.425

  9. #9

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    how much power do you recommend a beginner should learn with? less hp the better or does it matter?
    <br /><br />volks for sale: http://www.socalevo.net/index.php?option=com_smf&amp;Itemid=37&amp;topic=1 01502.msg8000697;topicseen#msg8000697

  10. #10

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    less hp the better. I think 300whp (Mustang Dyno) is wayyy more than enough for beginners. If i were to do it again, i would go stock. Each power mod you do after alot of seat time and driver mod will show more on the track imho. Get more bang for buck after you get a ton of seat time, then modify for more power.
    Zhong Cheung | Angry Panda Racing
    2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 | 470whp/410wtq on E85 | 2.3L RPM Buschur Racing | Hankook 285 TDs | KW V3s
    Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at WSIR (Big Willow) - 1:25.562
    2nd Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at BRP 13CW - 1:47.425

  11. #11
    Evolved jbenosa's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    very informative, thanks!
    2.3 Manley 10.5:1 Pistons, Manley Turbo Tuff Rods, ID 2000, BR dbl pumper, AMS IC, FP black, Muellerized/GF Suspension.

  12. #12

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    What do you mean by do not lift apex? and what kind of brakes do you recommend?

  13. #13

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    i think it goes like this:

    letting off gas shifts weight to front wheels--->less traction on rear wheels--->mad drift king / donut into runoff

  14. #14

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Thanks Matt.

  15. #15
    Evo Specialist AlphaKennyBody's Avatar
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    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Oddly Enough.... The techniques used for racing the evo is EXACTLY the same when racing on a Motorcycle.... Good Shit Son!
    NO! My name is NOT KENNY... It's RALPHY...... ALPHAKENNYBODY = I'll F*** ANYBODY. 5150 RACING

  16. #16

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    gonna throw another question haha, why is it important to run a few gallons of race fuel mixed with 91 octane? How does it protect the motor? Just wanted to gather more info before I head out this Saturday :D My tuner told me to make sure I threw in some race fuel, so did a friend so it must be important.

  17. #17

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Quote Originally Posted by drifthobo
    why is it important to run a few gallons of race fuel mixed with 91 octane?
    Not a bad idea, though not always strictly necessary, depending on how aggressive your tune is. The problem is that, when tuning a car, it's not always easy to try and simulate the high heat, constantly high load conditions that a car may experience during an extended track session. Adding a couple of gallons of race fuel effectively increases your overall octane rating, thereby gaining you some protection against detonation.
    &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.socalevo.net/index.php?option=com_smf&amp;Itemid=37&amp;topic=6 3620.0&quot;&gt;<br />&lt;/a&gt;<br /><br />-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Rally - I don&#039;t need no stinkin&#039; epi pen to get my adrenalin rush !!!

  18. #18

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Wow just saw this Matt very nice write up.

  19. #19

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Awesome write up bro!
    <br /><br />Alex: Anyway, I was wondering if maybe I could crash here for a while. <br />Dante: Whoa, I don&#039;t know, man. I got a business to run. This is like my office as well as my home. Plus, the lion comes in a couple days. <br />Alex: You&#039;re getting a lion? <br />Dante: Yeah. <br />Alex: Why? <br />Dante: To protect my shit. <br />Alex: Never heard of a dog? <br />Dante: Dude, you can get past a dog. Nobody fucks with a lion. <br />Alex: Yeah, that&#039;s true.

  20. #20

    Re: FAQ/Driving Techniques For HPDE (Track Day) Beginners and Amateurs

    Hell of a list bro.
    &quot;Use your fuckin turn signals pendejos. They where made for a reason.&quot;

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