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      07-17-2019, 11:27 AM   #1
aerostar
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Costs of Tracking Car

As title states I want to start taking my car to the track here in NJ.

Besides the track day + insurance costs, what else am I looking at?

Just going to be starting with beginner HPDE for now.
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      07-17-2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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No insurance needed. HPDE Track days are some of the safest events out there.

Typical event: $300-400 for weekends
You’ll need:
- brake fluid Motul RBF600 or better (2 bottles) $60
Flush the fluid before every event
- track brake pads (topbrakes.com is a good source. I run Ferodo DS1.11)
- oil change before every track event (I do it at least)
- dedicated track wheels and tires. You can start with oem 18inch is it pilot super sports. But possibilities are endless.
- helmet (must be SNELL rated)
- most track events require a car inspection form stamped by a shop
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      07-17-2019, 12:12 PM   #3
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Oh. I also made a few related videos over the years.
Hope they help















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      07-17-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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I'd start with a helmet purchase and some gloves. Swap the stock pads for Pagids etc... then brake fluid/lines and eventually dedicated track wheels and tires. Stock tires wont hold up after repeated track days.
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      07-17-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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flushing the brakes? Really? is this a very recommended thing?
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      07-17-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
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Track pads, fluid flush and camber plates, that's about it.

You can do your first event without the track pads or the camber plates

As you advance you can try something like the RE71R tire on your stock wheels. They're ok for the street and excellent on the track. This avoids you needing to buy a dedicated set of wheels
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      07-17-2019, 12:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
flushing the brakes? Really? is this a very recommended thing?
A must.
You will lose brakes after a few sessions.
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      07-17-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
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How long will stock tires last on the track at HPDE?
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      07-17-2019, 01:51 PM   #9
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Oil change before each event ? I do it every 5000 miles starting after the 1200 mile service.

the stock tires will melt away on hard cornering and start to give up grip - I do not advise using them for HPDE use routinely.
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      07-17-2019, 02:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy L Garage View Post
A must.
You will lose brakes after a few sessions.
ty
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      07-17-2019, 02:06 PM   #11
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do they need to be reflushed after a the day?
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      07-17-2019, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerostar View Post
How long will stock tires last on the track at HPDE?
Pilot super sports will last you a few track days.
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      07-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
do they need to be reflushed after a the day?
No. Just before the event. You'll never drive your car this hard on the street to experience fade due to fluid boiling.
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      07-17-2019, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerostar View Post
As title states I want to start taking my car to the track here in NJ.

Besides the track day + insurance costs, what else am I looking at?

Just going to be starting with beginner HPDE for now.
If it's your first time out, don't do anything, just go and have fun. You'll find the weak points of the car while you're out there. You could, of course, change your fluid and pads as a precaution, but you may not be anywhere near the speed required for either of those. Don't overthink it too much. Go and have fun, then see what your reality is and plan better for the second trip.
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      07-17-2019, 02:32 PM   #15
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100% dependent upon how you approach the day:

Option 1: You're relaxed about it, not intending to set lap times, just want to access more of the M's performance in a safe environment without getting arrested. You acknowledge your lack of experience (ignorance, really) and want get to know how the track scene works. You aren't fast, Senna reincarnate.

--> Show up with your stock M4, monitor and adjust tire pressures, take a cool down lap or two if you sense the tires and/or brakes getting hot.

Worst case scenario is you'll push the brakes a little too hard and end up with pad deposits on the rotors. You will unavoidably cut some life from your tires, but they will not be destroyed.

Option 2: You have an ego. You'd rather be being waved by than the opposite. You want to leave your inaugural track day feeling "fast." (Maybe you are Senna, who knows?) You're going to push the car and don't want to actively respond to components getting a bit too hot.

--> You'll want pads, fluid, tires, or plan on tire replacement.

I strongly recommend Option 1, and gradually increase pace. Upgrade components concurrently.

Last first timer I worked with was #2, leaning on TC all day, worked his way through basically an entire set of rear pads. Probably learned next to nothing, but hey, made some passes in the novice group
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      07-17-2019, 02:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Continental02 View Post
If it's your first time out, don't do anything, just go and have fun. You'll find the weak points of the car while you're out there. You could, of course, change your fluid and pads as a precaution, but you may not be anywhere near the speed required for either of those. Don't overthink it too much. Go and have fun, then see what your reality is and plan better for the second trip.
I would agree but assuming he wants to have at least some fun, he will most definitely:
- damage his daily driven tires (outer edges)
- risk running out of brakes
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      07-17-2019, 03:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy L Garage View Post
I would agree but assuming he wants to have at least some fun, he will most definitely:
- damage his daily driven tires (outer edges)
- risk running out of brakes
Only if he continues to push past the limits being communicated by those components. You can have plenty of fun up to those limits.

Remember most first timers spend at least the first 1/2 of the day overwhelmed and stupefied, trying to consistently find the racing line for a portion of a lap.

In order to leave with an undamaged car, it's up to you, your pace, how you choose to drive during the sessions.

Argument could be made that a true first timer should not be pushing past the stock limitations of the M4, and that pads, fluids, tires will allow him to go faster than prudent, cover for errors. Novices have no business pushing the car when they're not even tracking out yet...

Just an alt perspective.
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      07-17-2019, 03:29 PM   #18
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Some of the replies in this thread are ridiculous. OP, don't go crazy you're not running DTM:


1. You absolutely do not need to flush your fluids before every track day, that's ridiculous. HPDE isn't F1 racing.
a. You should flush your brake fluid only if it has boiled otherwise, it's completely unnecessary. It's a simple hydraulic system and you're not doing yourself any favors by flushing it every single time.
b. You should flush your oil every couple of track days, depending on which oil you run, as preventative maintenance. Do it earlier if your engine is still young/low-mileage. People, including myself, have sent their oil to labs after multiple track days and lets just say that you're blatantly wasting your money if you're flushing it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I try to do it around 3-5 track days and I top off whatever oil I burn in between.

2. You should run your first event with your stock tires and pads so that you can determine what you need YOURSELF. I've ran track days with my super sports/stock pads and while they weren't amazing, they were ABSOLUTELY FINE for the entire event.

3. Your main costs will be tires + track fees + gasoline.
a. If you're running stock alignment, you'll be spending quite a bit more on tires than others due to premature wear on the outside shoulders of your front tires.
b. Get a tire gauge and keep your tire pressures ~36 or under with most tires. You'll need to check them after every session as they will get extremely hot and the ideal gas law exists. If you set them higher than 36, you'll get a bit less shoulder wear but on a hot day, most tires will chunk up really badly.

4. You can rent a helmet on your first day with almost every organization but you should probably buy one because no matter how well they clean them, they're disgusting.

5. Get a set of driving gloves.

6. Get some simple track data logging setup going so that you can review and learn what you were doing right/wrong.


-


Your stock car is absolutely safe. Go enjoy a track day. You won't be in any danger.
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      07-17-2019, 03:40 PM   #19
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Consumables (brakes, tires, fluids) are the obvious one, however I find other costs really add up. In my E90 when pushing on in the dry will burn 1/3 of a tank of fuel in a 20-25 minute session. With 4-5 sessions per day across a 2 day weekend thats 3-4 tanks of fuel just on the circuit. From NYC most circuits are 2HR's drive minimum, so I'm easily in $200 on fuel in a weekend. Then factor in hotel for two nights, food, a few beers in the evening and it can really add up. Insurance is optional but thats another $300. I'm comfortably in the $1k+ range for a weekend. I'm not even including all the mod's you will then want to buy as you improve! Even little things like GoPro's, timing devices etc. are an investment.

Its certainly pay to play, but man is it addictive and the buzz is like nothing else.

Also to some of the other posters, not all novices are created equal. If you have any karting, autocross, or really a lot of fast road driving you will progress pretty quickly. I think you should do pads and fluid as a minimum if you know you are going to get into it, but its really up to you. A bottle of SRF is more expensive, but it only needs to be flushed once per year. Similarly track pads on street tires will last a very long time so its worth investing. When I was on PS4S I ran SRF with a hybrid pad (PFC Z-Rated) and it was perfect. Once you move up to something stickier (Get RE-71 as SYT_Shadow suggested, they are amazing) you can progress to a harder track pad such as a PFC 11.
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      07-17-2019, 04:19 PM   #20
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OP, there’s a lot of advice (some a bit questionable?!) but few actual costs. Here is my break down when I use a gas street car for DE weekend.

Hotel $120 (2x$59)
Fuel $200 (25mpg street, 8mpg track)
Food $30
Tires $200 (assumes 10 track days of life at $1200 / set, such as using Dunlop zII 200tw tires)
Maintenance $40 (assumes an oil change every 3 weekends and brake fluid flush)

Total excluding de entry free and track insurance: ~$600

For startup costs, honestly, buy yourself a helmet and headstock, get your alignment checked (my f80 came with almost zero rear toe from factory and that made it a bit “looser” than I wanted) and just go for it.

All of these other costs people mention are not needed, especially if you are using dsc off (also as to not overwork rear pads and brake fluid unnecessarily) and working up the pace

Good luck and have fun.
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      07-17-2019, 05:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYG View Post
Some of the replies in this thread are ridiculous. OP, don't go crazy you're not running DTM:


1. You absolutely do not need to flush your fluids before every track day, that's ridiculous. HPDE isn't F1 racing.
a. You should flush your brake fluid only if it has boiled otherwise, it's completely unnecessary. It's a simple hydraulic system and you're not doing yourself any favors by flushing it every single time.
b. You should flush your oil every couple of track days, depending on which oil you run, as preventative maintenance. Do it earlier if your engine is still young/low-mileage. People, including myself, have sent their oil to labs after multiple track days and lets just say that you're blatantly wasting your money if you're flushing it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I try to do it around 3-5 track days and I top off whatever oil I burn in between.

2. You should run your first event with your stock tires and pads so that you can determine what you need YOURSELF. I've ran track days with my super sports/stock pads and while they weren't amazing, they were ABSOLUTELY FINE for the entire event.

3. Your main costs will be tires + track fees + gasoline.
a. If you're running stock alignment, you'll be spending quite a bit more on tires than others due to premature wear on the outside shoulders of your front tires.
b. Get a tire gauge and keep your tire pressures ~36 or under with most tires. You'll need to check them after every session as they will get extremely hot and the ideal gas law exists. If you set them higher than 36, you'll get a bit less shoulder wear but on a hot day, most tires will chunk up really badly.

4. You can rent a helmet on your first day with almost every organization but you should probably buy one because no matter how well they clean them, they're disgusting.

5. Get a set of driving gloves.

6. Get some simple track data logging setup going so that you can review and learn what you were doing right/wrong.


-


Your stock car is absolutely safe. Go enjoy a track day. You won't be in any danger.
Do this. It's a HPDE, so have fun and learn. This car stock is way more capable than you are right now, so you won't come near the limits of the car or components. Save your money to spend on a beer on the way home so you can sit there and reflect on how awesome the day was. You've got plenty of time to learn what you need as you get more serious, and do more track days.
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      07-17-2019, 05:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerostar View Post
How long will stock tires last on the track at HPDE?
It depends. If you overdrive the tires, you will chuck them and quite possibly eat them up in a day.

I've done 70+ 2.5mi laps on an HPDE on MP4S's and still had enough tread to keep them on. However, some beginners can thrash their tires in a day because they overdrive them. They think going fast into a corner, tires screaming, hair on fire is preferable to going fast out of a corner. Slow in, fast out. It saves your tires and it's actually faster.
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