8 Things Youíll Need for Your First Track Day
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  1. #1
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    8 Things Youíll Need for Your First Track Day

    The Wise Guide team writes about things we think youíll like, introducing you to great products, services and special deals. We do have affiliate partnerships, so we may earn revenue from the products and services you buy.

    We love the idea of people taking their car out to a track day: Itís a great way to learn about handling dynamics and the limits of your car (and your own nerves).

    However, going to a track day isnít just a matter of taking your car as-is ó there are things you and your car are going to need. From auto parts, to accessories, to tools, here are some of the basics.

    A Helmet

    Most track events require head protection, and while it may be possible to borrow a helmet, itís nicer to squish around in your own head-sweat rather than someone elseís. Check your venue see if they have requirements for helmets; most will require a standard such as Snell SA2010 or 2015. Helmets can get very expensive ó you can spend a grand or more if you are so inclined ó but there are lots of good helmets in the $150 to $500 range. Donít skimp: Remember, if it all goes horribly wrong, your helmet is your last line of defense.

    Find your helmet for sale here.

    A Set of Track Tires

    Track use is harder on tires than you can imagine. Not only will you burn through the tread, but youíre going to be putting a hurt on the sidewalls. Instead of racing on your street tires, consider buying a dedicated set of tires on their own wheels that you bolt on when you get to the track. That way you can pick rubber that is best suited for racing, and not have to worry about wearing down your track-specific tread on your commute. And when you do drive home from the track, youíre doing so on tires that have not been subjected to the abuse of racing. (Remember, a tire failure in a closed racing environment is much safer than a blowout on a crowded freeway.)

    Find your track tires for sale here.

    A Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

    Tire pressure is critical to giving your car maximum grip and fine-tuned handling. Your carís tire pressures will change throughout the day, rising as the tires heat and dropping as they cool, so itís important to keep an eye on those pressures. By monitoring pressures between runs, youíll know which tires heat up faster, and that will help you choose pre-run cold pressures to fine-tune your carís performance.

    Shop for a digital tire pressure gauge here.

    Better Brake Pads

    Track driving is just as hard on your brakes as it is on your tires. For the moment, forget about fancy slotted and cross-drilled rotors and concentrate on the pads; theyíre doing all the work. Donít just buy the highest-performance pad you can find, either. Some racing pads are as useless as blocks of wood when cold, and you may not generate enough heat in a few laps for them to be effective. Study up on how different compounds work and consider bringing a couple different types so you can find what works best. Take the time to become proficient at brake-pad changes so you can quickly swap out pads at the track.

    Shop for brake pads for sale here.

    A Tool Set

    With wheels and brake pads (at the very least) going on and off the car, a tool set is an important (and obvious) thing to have along. Racing teams bring along truck-loads of tools, but most weekend racers donít have that luxury, so bring the basics: A good-quality socket set, open and box-end wrenches, screwdrivers, a breaker bar, cutters, pliers, and a rubber mallet.

    Shop for a tool set for sale here.

    Lightweight Jack and Jackstands

    Obviously, itís impossible to change tires and brake pads or do any work on the underside of the car while its tires are sitting on the ground. Donít even think of relying on the spare tire jack; leave it home and get a good lightweight aluminum floor jack thatís strong and (relatively) easy to carry. While this should go without saying, weíll say it anyway: Donít even think about going underneath your car unless its secured on jackstands. Bring at least one pair so you can work on your car safely.

    Shop for aluminum car jack and stands for sale here.

    A Torque Wrench

    Tightening bolts to their proper torque value is important any time you work on your car, and you want to be especially careful with the torque of your lug nuts, especially when racing. Too tight, and you can warp rotors or weaken studs; too loose and you may find one of your wheels taking an entirely different line than the rest of the car. Bring a nice big torque wrench (digital or the ďclickĒ type for the best precision) and check the torque on your wheels before every track session.

    Shop for a torque wrench for sale here.

    Zip Ties and Duct Tape

    Attend enough track days, and sooner or later youíre going to do things wrong ó and thereís a good chance youíre going to need to drive your car home afterwards. Zip ties and duct tape are great for improvised repairs, and theyíll let you secure damaged bodywork to the car so you can get back home home and cry in private.

    Shop for zip ties and duct tape here.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator†† Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Southeastern PA
    I Support ClubWRX
    Fresh DOT 4 brake fluid is a must.

    The tire pictured is a M + S tire. ??
    Moderator for all public forums
    ScoobyDMC #003 Blobeye Syndicate #10
    2004 WRX Sedan PSM 5MT Tactrix Stage 2+ Blouch TD04 19T @ 21 psi
    Mods & Pics

  4. #3
    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    I Support ClubWRX
    A Car.

    Bags of Ice for your I/C or Supercharger.

    Local Tow company in case you break.
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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  6. #4
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    Jun 2016
    These are all common basic necessities which are often overlooked. Hence, this list would really come in handy especially for those newcomers without family members or friends who have had prior experience in this field to advise them with the dos and don'ts.

  7. #5
    Registered User
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    Jun 2016
    I'd add an air compressor to the list, and since the list seems to be geared at selling items, why not throw in fresh oil and a filter as well?

  8. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Spare Underwear.

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