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      04-26-2019, 12:37 AM   #1
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First track day

Hey guys,

I am finally doing my first ever track day on May 17th (Pacific Northwest), super exited for it however a little bit worried from reading other threads regarding MPSS tires. My car has about 29k miles and tires were put on like 4k miles ago if not less so they have some meat left. Is there anything special i should know to not destroy my tires because i kind of want to make it through the summer on them? Am i going to be fine for my first ever track day?
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      04-26-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by aswy6 View Post
Hey guys,

I am finally doing my first ever track day on May 17th (Pacific Northwest), super exited for it however a little bit worried from reading other threads regarding MPSS tires. My car has about 29k miles and tires were put on like 4k miles ago if not less so they have some meat left. Is there anything special i should know to not destroy my tires because i kind of want to make it through the summer on them? Am i going to be fine for my first ever track day?
You'll be fine for your first track event, just be mindful that they dont like to be over-driven and have accelerated wear in a track environment. Listen to the tires (literally) and they will tell you when you're over doing it and need to back off a bit. Dont have aggresive entey or exit speeds. Depending on your skill level and advancement through the weekend you may have to drive less than your ability to preserve the tires and brakes. I would recommend running a higher PSI so you dont destroy the outside edges of the tires too. Dont forget to have fun!
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      04-26-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by OhioRiderAaron View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswy6 View Post
Hey guys,

I am finally doing my first ever track day on May 17th (Pacific Northwest), super exited for it however a little bit worried from reading other threads regarding MPSS tires. My car has about 29k miles and tires were put on like 4k miles ago if not less so they have some meat left. Is there anything special i should know to not destroy my tires because i kind of want to make it through the summer on them? Am i going to be fine for my first ever track day?
You'll be fine for your first track event, just be mindful that they dont like to be over-driven and have accelerated wear in a track environment. Listen to the tires (literally) and they will tell you when you're over doing it and need to back off a bit. Dont have aggresive entey or exit speeds. Depending on your skill level and advancement through the weekend you may have to drive less than your ability to preserve the tires and brakes. I would recommend running a higher PSI so you dont destroy the outside edges of the tires too. Dont forget to have fun!
Thank you for the advice! My main goal is to learn as much as i can, but i was thinking to do like 2 hot laps per session. how much PSI would you recommend running to not destroy outer edge of the tire?
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      04-26-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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Start at 32 all around. Measure all of your tire pressures at the end of every session and bleed air to 38 psi (you don’t want them running over 40 psi when hot on the track). PSS go up quite a bit with tracking (I used them a couple weekends when first learning the car) and they would increase 8-10 psi with 20 minute sessions at an ambient outdoor temp of 60s-70s.
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      04-26-2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wsccsw13 View Post
Start at 32 all around. Measure all of your tire pressures at the end of every session and bleed air to 38 psi (you don’t want them running over 40 psi when hot on the track). PSS go up quite a bit with tracking (I used them a couple weekends when first learning the car) and they would increase 8-10 psi with 20 minute sessions at an ambient outdoor temp of 60s-70s.
I have PSI and temperature measurements in the iDrive. Are those accurate?
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      04-26-2019, 10:47 AM   #6
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Those are pretty good and generally close, but I’d still buy and use a nice tire pressure gauge with an actually dial and bleeder valve. Then you can check and adjust on the spot.

Last edited by wsccsw13; 04-26-2019 at 11:07 AM..
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      04-27-2019, 07:10 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice! My main goal is to learn as much as i can, but i was thinking to do like 2 hot laps per session. how much PSI would you recommend running to not destroy outer edge of the tire?
38-42ish PSI HOT. All around. First session of the day will build the pressure up and as the day goes on you will slower keep breeding a few PSI until you get to sweet spot.

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I have PSI and temperature measurements in the iDrive. Are those accurate?
The PSI measurement isn't too bad, but the temperature must be AIR temp and not actual tire rubber temp (which is what you want). Do not use the temperature reading on the display for anything. I normally turn on the vehicle status so I can watch the pressures throughout the session which allows you to understand what the car is doing (front endpushing, rolling over on the sidewalls, etc.).
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      05-04-2019, 05:24 PM   #8
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Thank you for the advice! My main goal is to learn as much as i can, but i was thinking to do like 2 hot laps per session. how much PSI would you recommend running to not destroy outer edge of the tire?
Most HPDEs have a format with 20-25 minute sessions, two in the morning, two in the afternoon. Usually you have the first lap of each session run under yellow (slower speeds, no passing) to get the tires up to temperature. The first session may have two laps under yellow. Some clubs have the instructor drive your car for the first lap or two of the first session, especially in the least experienced classes (D for BMW CCA, A for Audi Club). There is usually one lap after the checkered flag with speeds slow enough that you shouldn't need your brakes, which allows the engine/brakes/tires to cool down. This means that you will have way more than two hot laps/session. If you only do two hot laps per session, it will be very hard to learn anything.

Check your tires immediately after each session to check your hottest temps, but also check immediately prior to each session and bleed off any excess PSI to ensure that you're not going out on over-inflated tires. This is why you need a good "racing gauge" for accurate readings and a bleed-off button. (Search Amazon for Longacre, they make a good gauge for less than $30.)

Hydration is very important. Drink at least one liter bottle of water between sessions and pee before you go out on track.
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      05-04-2019, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswy6 View Post
Thank you for the advice! My main goal is to learn as much as i can, but i was thinking to do like 2 hot laps per session. how much PSI would you recommend running to not destroy outer edge of the tire?
Most HPDEs have a format with 20-25 minute sessions, two in the morning, two in the afternoon. Usually you have the first lap of each session run under yellow (slower speeds, no passing) to get the tires up to temperature. The first session may have two laps under yellow. Some clubs have the instructor drive your car for the first lap or two of the first session, especially in the least experienced classes (D for BMW CCA, A for Audi Club). There is usually one lap after the checkered flag with speeds slow enough that you shouldn't need your brakes, which allows the engine/brakes/tires to cool down. This means that you will have way more than two hot laps/session. If you only do two hot laps per session, it will be very hard to learn anything.

Check your tires immediately after each session to check your hottest temps, but also check immediately prior to each session and bleed off any excess PSI to ensure that you're not going out on over-inflated tires. This is why you need a good "racing gauge" for accurate readings and a bleed-off button. (Search Amazon for Longacre, they make a good gauge for less than $30.)

Hydration is very important. Drink at least one liter bottle of water between sessions and pee before you go out on track.
oh wow, only 4 sessions in a day. Sounds pretty low, i was hoping for more than that, like 6 I am doing it through Hooked On Driving by the way
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      05-05-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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oh wow, only 4 sessions in a day. Sounds pretty low, i was hoping for more than that, like 6 I am doing it through Hooked On Driving by the way
Trust me, if this is your first time, you will be exhausted at the end of the last session. I've never run with Hooked on Driving, so I don't know what their format is, but you have to realize that there probably be at least 60-80 cars and they don't let everyone on track at the same time. Run groups are usually split up by experience with 3-4 run groups, ranging from complete novice to advanced. Many times there are also classroom sessions between track sessions. Most clubs run this way.

I assume that you've read and viewed everything on this page: https://www.hookedondriving.com/first-timers
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      05-06-2019, 05:04 PM   #11
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My $0,02 if it’s your first ever track day, ask around for a ride with someone in an f80, try to follow someone who is fast in a spec Miata or spec e30, and try to get comfortable with using dsc off and working up the pace once you are consistently able to drive “the line”. Have fun!
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      05-06-2019, 05:41 PM   #12
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OP,
HOD is a solid group, been to quite a few of their track days. they run a really safe program.

SD///M4,
Still a few spots open for Laguna Seca on May 30, also waitlisted for May 31 HOD
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      05-06-2019, 11:13 PM   #13
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OP,
HOD is a solid group, been to quite a few of their track days. they run a really safe program.

SD///M4,
Still a few spots open for Laguna Seca on May 30, also waitlisted for May 31 HOD
Yeah i heard about their safety record and everything but still debating whether or not i should get track insurance? leaning towards a yes right now
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      05-07-2019, 12:19 PM   #14
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Yeah i heard about their safety record and everything but still debating whether or not i should get track insurance? leaning towards a yes right now
I think track insurance just gives you total peace of mind on your first few track days. Taking a $80k car to a track for the first time..whilst is TONS OF FUN in the F80, I had some comfort in knowing that my maximum exposure was $6k.

Track insurance is probably less important in HPDE events as they don't allow "racing" or passing without permission and I'm sure as you get more comfortable with other drivers and your car that you can probably think twice about track insurance. But for your first time? Bite the bullet, get your mind into "fun mode" rather than "shit, I have to take this turn a lot slower than I'd like because I'm worried about going off course and causing damage."

I ended up choosing Hagerty because their 10% deductible rate was a few dollars cheaper than Lockton's 15% deductible rate.
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      05-07-2019, 01:49 PM   #15
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Yeah i heard about their safety record and everything but still debating whether or not i should get track insurance? leaning towards a yes right now
In your first event you should never get to the point of being out of control. Your instructor should ensure you drive within your abilities and that is normally way below the incident threshold. I'd say most of the on-track incidents I've seen over the last 4 years have been in the instructor or advanced level groups, not the noob groups.

I would hold off on insurance until you get 1-2 events under your belt and have a better idea of what confidence level you have.
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      05-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #16
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I did my first ever HPDE session this weekend with BMW CCA. It was a blast and I learned so much from my instructor.

Lessons learned:
1. Learn the line
2. Don't try to get the best lap time. Focus on being smooth.
3. Make sure you fill up your gas tank when you get halfway. As you get more comfortable you will start pushing it more and your gas will go pretty quick. If you don't fill up, you might end up stalling out or starving your car from fuel on corners.
4. Keep an eye on your tire pressure. I kept my pressure around 34-38 PSI.
5. Get a ride with your instructor

Pic of tires after event attached. The PSS did better then I expected and have plenty of tread left.
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      05-08-2019, 11:58 AM   #17
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I did my first ever HPDE session this weekend with BMW CCA. It was a blast and I learned so much from my instructor.

Lessons learned:
1. Learn the line
2. Don't try to get the best lap time. Focus on being smooth.
3. Make sure you fill up your gas tank when you get halfway. As you get more comfortable you will start pushing it more and your gas will go pretty quick. If you don't fill up, you might end up stalling out or starving your car from fuel on corners.
4. Keep an eye on your tire pressure. I kept my pressure around 34-38 PSI.
5. Get a ride with your instructor

Pic of tires after event attached. The PSS did better then I expected and have plenty of tread left.
Did you run on stock brakes?
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      05-08-2019, 07:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswy6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by r00ktard View Post
I did my first ever HPDE session this weekend with BMW CCA. It was a blast and I learned so much from my instructor.

Lessons learned:
1. Learn the line
2. Don't try to get the best lap time. Focus on being smooth.
3. Make sure you fill up your gas tank when you get halfway. As you get more comfortable you will start pushing it more and your gas will go pretty quick. If you don't fill up, you might end up stalling out or starving your car from fuel on corners.
4. Keep an eye on your tire pressure. I kept my pressure around 34-38 PSI.
5. Get a ride with your instructor

Pic of tires after event attached. The PSS did better then I expected and have plenty of tread left.
Did you run on stock brakes?
No, I have pads that I use for autocross (Carbotech AX6). I was actually worried about the AX6 pads but they worked great, never faded. There were others on stock pads and were fine, just had to brake sooner. Make sure you flush your brake fluid with a high temp brake fluid like Motul RBF 600.
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      05-09-2019, 10:16 AM   #19
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No, I have pads that I use for autocross (Carbotech AX6). I was actually worried about the AX6 pads but they worked great, never faded. There were others on stock pads and were fine, just had to brake sooner. Make sure you flush your brake fluid with a high temp brake fluid like Motul RBF 600.
You do not need to change fluid to RBF, the OEM fluid is quite good and is DOT4. It's more important to make sure it's relatively "fresh" but even that I believe is over-blown by forum members.
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      05-09-2019, 01:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by OhioRiderAaron View Post
In your first event you should never get to the point of being out of control. Your instructor should ensure you drive within your abilities and that is normally way below the incident threshold. I'd say most of the on-track incidents I've seen over the last 4 years have been in the instructor or advanced level groups, not the noob groups.

I would hold off on insurance until you get 1-2 events under your belt and have a better idea of what confidence level you have.
I disagree on that advice re the insurance. I think if you aren't ready to eat the replacement cash cost of totaling the car you should get insurance for the car or not use it for the track.

Really random stuff can happen (e.g. car doesn't have brakes going into a corner and rear ends another car, coolant line (yours or someone else's) or oil line bursts during your corner entry, etc etc) and someone can get taken out through no fault of their own

Quote:
Originally Posted by richf80 View Post
I did my first ever HPDE session this weekend with BMW CCA. It was a blast and I learned so much from my instructor.

Pic of tires after event attached. The PSS did better then I expected and have plenty of tread left.
Congrats on achieving your first HPDE. you'll soon be toasting PSS tires quickly like everyone else
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      05-09-2019, 08:36 PM   #21
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I disagree on that advice re the insurance. I think if you aren't ready to eat the replacement cash cost of totaling the car you should get insurance for the car or not use it for the track.

Really random stuff can happen (e.g. car doesn't have brakes going into a corner and rear ends another car, coolant line (yours or someone else's) or oil line bursts during your corner entry, etc etc) and someone can get taken out through no fault of their own

Congrats on achieving your first HPDE. you'll soon be toasting PSS tires quickly like everyone else
Those are valid points, I probably should have worded my comment differently anyway. I just meant that typically the lowest run groups are focusing on technique and less on going "fast," so the risks aren't as great for incidents to arise. But as you say weird stuff can and will happen. Specific tracks may offer more allowance for "accidents" than others too. Either way, my bad.
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      05-10-2019, 08:56 AM   #22
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Those are valid points, I probably should have worded my comment differently anyway. I just meant that typically the lowest run groups are focusing on technique and less on going "fast," so the risks aren't as great for incidents to arise. But as you say weird stuff can and will happen. Specific tracks may offer more allowance for "accidents" than others too. Either way, my bad.
I also think I’m overly sensitive to this topic since I was recently at Sonoma and 6 cars got taken out on flatbeds, some for the super random and unexpected reasons I mentioned in my post.

I definitely agree with you, it’s a controlled environment in the beginner school groups at good organizations. So the risk “should” be very low.
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