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      09-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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Tips for my first HDPE-equipment or advice

Other than helmet that is mandatory, does anyone recommend any other equipment? This is a rookie class so no passing or anything. Headlamp stickers for chip/breakage protection? Helmet type? Looking to not spend a mint on helmet. Advice for a first timer(rookie). Gateway Motorsports Park November 3rd and 4th.
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      09-05-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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If it truly is your first time, make sure you go with an organization that mandates instructors in your passenger seat.

As far as helmet is concerned, buy the MOST COMFORTABLE and LIGHTEST helmet you can afford. It makes a huge difference.

In nearly 12 years of doing "this," I have never seen a cracked headlight from rocks kicked up on track in the beginner's group. When they used to tape headlights, it's as a courtesy to other drivers in racing back when the headlight covers were made of glass. When it cracks and shatters it makes a huge mess. So they tape it up so that if and when it does break, it won't shatter and leave a bunch of nasty glass shards all over the track (to potentially slice up rubber with).

Relax, get a good night sleep prior, go with an open mind and check your ego at the door, and you'll have the time of your life.

And buying your instructor a cold one at the end of the day is MANDATORY.
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      09-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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^WHS. It's all there. (And I like the cold one suggestion.)

I'd add that if you haven't taken a car control clinic, and can find one prior to your track day, it can be a plus. Practicing threshold braking, skidpad work, slalom, etc. are good have under the belt. Certainly not a "must do" but a "nice to have" for a first day.
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      09-05-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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There will be in-car instructors with radios. Negative on the car control clinic
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      09-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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One thing that most forget is to keep well hydrated. Your concentration can wavier if you become a little dehydrated, and you might not realize it.

I go through a case of bottled water during a two day event.
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      09-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Case of water is a must, it's amazing how much energy you can spend during a day.

Go try helmets on at a local place before ordering online. I have a M2005 helmet because it was mostly for autocross. You SHOULD NOT be able to take the helmet off with 1 hand, it needs to be snug, and of course comfortable. I can wear my helmet all day.

Check with the organization you're going to track with. Some people require SA only (which is come with more money).


I'd flush your brake fluid and replace it with Super Blue or like. I run HP+ pads, but in my video I took during my first HPDE (which I just completed in August) my brakes were working...alot.

As long as it's a dry day, turn DSC off. You'll learn the car w/out stupid electronics that will hide your mistakes.

You can blue tape your front end if you want.
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      09-05-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Check with the organization you're going to be running with (and any that you MIGHT run with--you're going to get hooked!) as to whether they require SA-rated (auto racing) helmets or if M-rated (motorcycle) helmets are acceptable. Most organizations do allow M-rated helmets for track days. (SA helmets are constructed with fire-resistant materials whereas M-rateds are not, and SAs also meet different impact criteria--rollbars, multiple impacts, etc.) Further, the ratings are updated every five years and many track organizations allow only the current and one previous spec, so you want a helmet with a 2010 Snell rating to get the longest life from it. You do not want a 2000-spec helmet, no matter how good the deal. Best bet for maximum eligibility/life across multiple organizations is a SA-2010 helmet.

Fit is critical. Here's a good guide (make sure to scroll down past the size tables): http://www.racinghelmetguide.com/aut...et-sizing.html. Ideally, find somewhere local you can go to try on multiple helmets. Different brands fit differently... I went through two brands in two sizes each beofre finding the right one, and spent a lot on shipping sending them back.
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      09-05-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for the awesome advice everyone! Will start looking for a helmet right away. Also have some super blue (unopened liter) left over from the vert. Will bleed before I go.
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      09-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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Looking at a Bell M4 helmet. Not a bad price. Anyone use this helmet?
Bell M4 SA2010 Auto Racing Helmet

Also looking at the Simpson Voyager. Looks to have high visibility.
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      09-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #10
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I always pack a small cooler filled with water and gatorade. I only tape up the sides, (in front and behind the wheel arches) and parts of the front bumper but not necessary. Just makes life easier when you don't have to worry about cleaning off rubber compound. The only damage I've ever incurred on track was windshield chips but nothing you can really do about that.

Make your life easy and empty out your car before you leave home. Things like ez pass and radar detector can go with you, but non-essentials like cupholders, loose change, floor mats, etc should be removed. Anything else like tools will have to be removed once you get there. I always bring a small tarp in case it rains and I need to cover up the things I just mentioned.

Other things I pack are bug spray and sunblock. Be sure to torque your wheels before each day!
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      09-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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ohhh man.. just got back from an all day track session.... let me tell you... its exhausting!!
get lots of rest before hand.
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