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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, as some of you may know, I modded the heck out of a new WRX. I am willing/able to accept the consequences/costs if/when something goes wrong with the motor(or anything else, for that matter). I have caught a lot of strong hate for it here as I’m still a novice and a female. Haven’t been active lately, also due to the aforementioned. Also- have had a couple people here be very rude to me about the whole tracking experience in general. I feel like I need the instruction, but the overall attitude towards my situation has me terrified. Based on what I have just revealed, I don’t feel comfortable revealing the date/ time/ or location publicly at this point. Would really like to have someone local to be supportive with me but ugh. I need advice and some positive thoughts. Hoping for some love from club dub ILO the hate that seems to surround the discussion of me, personally, tracking my car at my comfort level and on my own timeframe.

The friendlier people I have talked to have said that I should do at least one track day. The place I am going to is advising that I do either one whole-day or two half-days with an instructor.... I have only signed up for one half-day thus far. Which leads me to my first couple questions. One full track day with an instructor seems like it’d be too exhausting. A half day seems perfect. Do I really need a whole day/ two half-days? Also, I received three maps when I tuned. The first map is more conservative, which is what I’ve been running (censoring the girly name of this map). The third map is the most aggressive (called the honey badger). I was going to try out the honey badger map this weekend before my track day. Not sure which map I should run during my lesson. My goal is really just to learn how to handle and drive the batmobile properly.

I bought my helmet about a month ago, recently found out it’s not up to par. First failure. I have all- season continentals on now with Rota grid wheels. I still have my stock wheels and tires(summers) that I plan on putting on beforehand. First win. Also plan on an oil change. I’ve heard (will tag the club dubber boys later if they allow it) it’s better to run 5w40. I don’t know enough, but trust their advice because they basically make love to their whips. Second win? I believe that everything that needs to be refreshed beforehand, has been taken care of. Third win. I have been receiving two emails a day about buying insurance and it is confusing the heck out of me. Feel like it’d be a rip off, but their emails are making me more nervous. Haven’t bought anything. Ugh. Fourth win or second fail?

I am just hoping for some first-timer pointers. N00b still, so cut me some slack. What should I know going into this? What questions should I ask? What should I technically be learning in a half-day, one-on-one instructional? What all should I bring, other than an approved helmet and water? What all do I need to do to make sure my car is ready? Their website has a list, but would like to hear from some of you first-hand. I don’t even know what other questions I should be asking, so that’s why I’m here. What should I expect? Anything helps. I’m nervous to pop my cherry. :pray:

I will post an update and pics afterwards.
 

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Well, you are on the right track. Pun intended

Honestly this is what I would do. I would find the appropriate helmet that meets all safety regulations. I personally ran 5w40 Rotella so I agree there. It’ll keep viscosity if the oil temp starts to climb. And you’ve got the right idea with tires although you’ll find the limit of even good summer tires pretty quickly on an actual track.

Personally, I would have chosen the single day however if you are worried about fatigue catching you there is no shame in only running half days although I can completely promise you, you will be exhausted and ready for more right away.

Don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Male, female, sentient androgynous sex doll if you want to have fun with your car and you enjoy what you are doing go do it. If anyone on the forum is harassing you and it’s not addressed by moderation right away report it and or pm one of us. There is no place for that here. Don’t let it build up over weeks and weeks.

Let us know how your day goes. Once you get comfortable and the anxiety bleeds into adrenaline fueled intensity you’ll be back to the track.
 

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First, I cant believe people here or otherwise would hate on you for wanting to race or mod your car. Youve done a LOT to it and maybe they are jealous but regardless, there is no reason for it. Next time someone tries to intimidate you stick their vape up their azz sideways. Its rediculous

Helmet: Did they tell you what rating they require? Im going to guess, Its prob DOT + SNELL certified and Id bet they want full face. Any motorcycle shop will have a decent selection. Scorpion and HJC are 2 that have pretty good ratings and wont break the bank. Make sure you get the correct size. People there can help, It should be snug it will wear in a bit, and you should NOT be able to turn it side to side at all when strapped.

Agree with 5/40 oil.

Nothing wrong with 1/2 day being nervous but Im betting that nervous will turn to glee and you will wish you did the whole day. Regardless, maybe do the 1/2 now then do a whole day next time?

Maps:

If you are wanting to get comfy with the car at the track and are just learning, maybe leave the regular tune in it. It is what you are used to driving daily. Get used to the track, the turns, what the car is doing suspension wise etc. you dont need massive boost and HP to do that.

Next time out when you are happy with where you are, put the HB map in and look to improve your times.
If you do switch maps, Id put some miles on the car with good Top Tier gas (93 if you can get it) so the car can settle in. I wouldnt want to switch maps and then immediately hammer the hell out of the car. Just my opinion.

Use good gas regardless and ask your tuner what gas you should be using and if you could take advantage of race gas with HB tune. Some tracks have various race gas availabe. (I dont know about road race courses but drag strips always do) Caution on race gas, make sure its UNLEADED or it will uin your cat. If you are catless it wont matter.

Insurance: If you crash, your auto policy likely will NOT cover your damage or any damage you do to other cars or the track. Read what theirs covers and if its worth it to you. Since you are out there learning with an instructor, the likelihood of something going awry is probably pretty low. I dont know who covers what if someone else runs into you. Or if thats a possibility. Will you be out there alone with an instructor?

How are your brakes? A lot of times guys will upgrade pads. NOt saying you have to but ensure yours arent worn out before going.

Take it as slow or as fast as you need to, listen to the instructor before during and after and have a blast. Looking forward to pics.
 

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I'm new to this forum and have been looking into tracking my WRX. The one thing I would suggest is looking into High Performance Driving Event (HPDE) insurance. Should cover any oopsies on the track.
 

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Good Luck!

I'm heading out to Denver and CO Springs next at the end of the month, so if you see an ISM WRX with some Big 10 stickers on the butt waving at you, you'll know who it was.
 
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All I can offer, which isn't much, is I'm going to my first time at the track next month. I'm excited, but nervous I'll forget something in prep. I'm a dude, but most of the driving scene is an equal opportunity hater, so I expect it.

Anyway, there are a lot of narcissists in this world. Part of their "equation" is being overly critical of others. Each of us only get one shot at life. Don't let others deter you from living it the way you want. When someone attempts to be critical simply interrupt and say, "I'm sorry you feel so unloved. I'll pray for you."

Smile, drive, and have a great time. Best of luck!
 

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I've done the full day Skip Barber School of racing here in Lyme CT. A full day was 4 hours of teaching how to track a car, and then 4 hours of doing it. Both 4 hour sessions went fast so I personally would go with the full day and believe me, you wont lose interest or enough adrenaline to keep you going....

You really have the right outlook on this. Do what makes you feel good and do what you want to do your car. Watch out for Performance shops that tell you "It will be fine" and are setting you up. DO YOUR RESEARCH. If in the end, it all goes to ****, well, you will know what not to do next time. I guess what I am trying to say is that you are getting the most bang for your buck here-- so go for it! It's not a Ferrari.... Its just a WRX and when you put some love into it it will love you back and not kill your pocketbook at the same time. Worse case scenario is that you blow the motor. Not that big of a deal and they are very easy to replace yourself. I did it recently and was into it for about 4K. Your mileage may vary :)
I also agreed on the oil. I use the 5W-30, but also use the Lucas full synthetic additive now. Basically it is 5W-40 :)

Learn how to drive on a track, get the car tuned properly and DONT beat on it too much. Watch any knocks/DAM movement while tracking. If anything pops out of the ordinary and you start to get some knock or DAM movement, back out of the exercise. These stock engines(no forged internals) are not worthy of hard track running so take that advice for what you will. You will throw a rod while popping your cherry at the track (if you are not careful) :)
 

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When you signed up for a half-day, is that date set in stone or is there flexibility on when you go?

Personally, before doing an HPDE event, having an Auto-X day or two under your belt would probably prove handy. The whole purpose of track days is to get to know the handling at the limit in a safe / controlled environment (HPDE allows for higher speeds). The reason I suggest Auto-X is that those courses are generally lower-speeds, but you're still dealing with the car at the limits. Getting a little more comfortable there might help you in the HPDE event and might make the experience better overall. I only say that because a day of Auto-X is significantly cheaper than HPDEs.
 
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A few pointers, if I may, Change all your fluids, including brake fluid (full flush). A higher viscosity oil is a good call. I run Motul 5X40W XClean Dexos II certified oil. Brake fluid should be DOT 4 high temp fluid. I run Motul RBF600. Tires must be good - go to summer performance tires. I suggest you lower the pressure by 2PSI before you start and monitor the pressure as the day goes along. You may need to drop another 2PSI or more. Track use heats up the tires and raises the pressure. Too much pressure and you can damage your tires and hurt your handling.

Dress Code: Natural fiber long pants and long sleeve shirt. An exception may be issued for high temperatures. Check with the track and sanctioning body. SNELL 2015 Certified helmet. Open face or closed face, depending on what is allowed. Check with the track and sanctioning body for their requirements.

The Sanctioning Bodies: NASA, HOD, Chin, PCA are ALL top flight sanctioning bodies. All put on great events. They are well organized and safety is always first.

Instructor in Car: The very best way to learn. The instructor will be a very advanced driver with hundreds of laps on the course. They are HPDE IV or Time Attack or Race Group (or all of these) drivers. They get reduced fees for being an instructor. They have all been through rigorous testing and certifications.

Class Room: Pay attention. Get to know your flags. Study the track layout. Listen to the instructor. Racing lines and vehicle dynamics are advanced classes.

BUY TRACK INSURANCE!!

https://www.rlicorp.com/hpde-insurance

https://ontrackinsurance.com/

I have used both. Yes it can be somewhat expensive. However, it is per event. If it is a 3 day event, same cost as for a half day event. I get it that it is also a 10% stated value deductible. You have mods. You can include those in your stated value. I'll trade costs with you, any day.

Fair Warning: Charging down the straight at triple digit speeds, tossing out the anchor to scrub off 75MPH to make a 50MPH right hander, feathering through turn 2 left hander, to climb up to triple digit speed and tossing out the anchor for turn 3 can be addicting. It is an expensive addiction. Much cheaper to be a junkie on a $200 a day habit (OK I am kidding some ;) ). Tires, brakes and rotors are consumables. Fluid changes are every 2-4 hours of track time.

Relax and enjoy. This makes you a better driver. There is no substitution for understanding vehicle dynamics than driving near one's personal limits.

Relax and enjoy!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0amO_lJks8 -- Not Me!! I can't access my account while at work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Alright, I really appreciate all the input. I have spent a lot of time researching and talking to a guy that works at the track I am going to. I have found an approved helmet, but still insanely nervous. These responses helped a lot.

Once you get comfortable and the anxiety bleeds into adrenaline fueled intensity you’ll be back to the track.
Everyone keeps saying this, but really don’t think this will happen to me. We will see.




Helmet: Did they tell you what rating they require
I’m all set here




Nothing wrong with 1/2 day being nervous but Im betting that nervous will turn to glee and you will wish you did the whole day. Regardless, maybe do the 1/2 now then do a whole day next time?
Please see: response to XJ  :)  Pretty sure this will be a “one and done” deal(or ½ and done in my case…?).




Maps:
If you are wanting to get comfy with the car at the track and are just learning, maybe leave the regular tune in it.
You are the second person to tell me this. The first being my tuner. If I do partake in another ½ day, perhaps I will bust out the HB. Just don’t see that happening, though. I did run the HB for an extended drive this past weekend, and it was pretty intense. Think I answered my own question when running it.




Insurance: Will you be out there alone with an instructor?
With an instructor. Still need to do more research before I decide what to do here.




How are your brakes? A lot of times guys will upgrade pads. NOt saying you have to but ensure yours arent worn out before going.
I recently upgraded my brake lines, pads and fluid. I have noticed a drastic difference thus far. I do believe I'm all set here.





Good Luck!

I'm heading out to Denver and CO Springs next at the end of the month, so if you see an ISM WRX with some Big 10 stickers on the butt waving at you, you'll know who it was.
Thank you. Be prepared to sit in traffic and smell marijuana everywhere in Denver  We have some great eateries and breweries here (...and dispensaries...). Do some experimenting.  I really hope you enjoy your visit. You'll meet mostly transplants I suspect, but hopefully you encounter a native or two :)





You really have the right outlook on this. Do what makes you feel good and do what you want to do your car.
Thank you for saying this, much appreciated.




Worse case scenario is that you blow the motor.
You will throw a rod while popping your cherry at the track (if you are not careful) :)
I have worked hard to have what I have. I’ve been well aware of the risks of modding/ tracking. If/when I blow my engine, it’s 100% on me. I love my car, but at the end of the day, it is just a car. My hopes are that I can gain a proper knowledge base on my current setup prior to something like this happening.




When you signed up for a half-day, is that date set in stone or is there flexibility on when you go?

Personally, before doing an HPDE event, having an Auto-X day or two under your belt would probably prove handy. The whole purpose of track days is to get to know the handling at the limit in a safe / controlled environment (HPDE allows for higher speeds). The reason I suggest Auto-X is that those courses are generally lower-speeds, but you're still dealing with the car at the limits. Getting a little more comfortable there might help you in the HPDE event and might make the experience better overall. I only say that because a day of Auto-X is significantly cheaper than HPDEs.
I’ve signed up for a specific date, but can move it with enough notice. I need to do more research on what you’ve just told me before I proceed. This is why I’m asking. Thank you




Tires must be good - go to summer performance tires. I suggest you lower the pressure by 2PSI before you start and monitor the pressure as the day goes along. You may need to drop another 2PSI or more. Track use heats up the tires and raises the pressure. Too much pressure and you can damage your tires and hurt your handling.
Well, I plan on just putting on the stock wheels/tires. I prefer to damage these tires ILO what I am currently running. My stock tires are probably a year old and have less than 2k miles on them.




BUY TRACK INSURANCE!!

https://www.rlicorp.com/hpde-insurance

https://ontrackinsurance.com/

I have used both. Yes it can be somewhat expensive. However, it is per event. If it is a 3 day event, same cost as for a half day event. I get it that it is also a 10% stated value deductible. You have mods. You can include those in your stated value. I'll trade costs with you, any day.
Okay, this was slightly confusing and overwhelming. I've been getting emails almost daily from another company about track insurance. ugggghhhhh





Fair Warning: Charging down the straight at triple digit speeds, tossing out the anchor to scrub off 75MPH to make a 50MPH right hander, feathering through turn 2 left hander, to climb up to triple digit speed and tossing out the anchor for turn 3 can be addicting. It is an expensive addiction. Much cheaper to be a junkie on a $200 a day habit (OK I am kidding some ;) ). Tires, brakes and rotors are consumables. Fluid changes are every 2-4 hours of track time.
Okay, this was slightly confusing and overwhelming x 2. UGH.





I appreciate everyone’s input. Still have a lot more research to do. Don't feel mentally ready quite yet. Thank you guys
 

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Well, I plan on just putting on the stock wheels/tires. I prefer to damage these tires ILO what I am currently running. My stock tires are probably a year old and have less than 2k miles on them.
Still look into lowering your starting air pressure. Your stock tires will recommend 3X (32 /34 /36 PSI) when cold. When you get to the track, lower each tire by 2 PSI. For instance, if your tire pressure is 36PSI when you get to check it at the track, then lower all 4 tires to 34PSI before you start. Monitor your air pressure as the day goes along. If your tire pressure gets more than 5-6 PSI above recommended, cold tire pressure, release another 2 PSI from each tire. Tires heat up during track use and that leads to higher tire pressures. Too high and you damage the tire (tread separation / belt separation) and / or you hurt you handling characteristics.

This means bring a tire pump. You will need to refill the tires to normal PSI levels before you start home.

EDIT ADD

This needs a Subie person's input! Check your lug nuts. They should be torqued down to recommended pound feet of torque. This must be done while the wheels are cold.

This translates that each lug nut should be torqued down to XXX?? pound feet of torque on each wheel, before leaving your house. When your wheels cool, at the event, re-check the lug nuts again.

A torque wrench and proper lug socket runs around $100. There will be plenty of them at the track. It is just finding the proper socket to fit your lug nuts.

See your speed shop and they should be able to help you with this item.
 

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Originally Posted by Camaromjr View Post

BUY TRACK INSURANCE!!

https://www.rlicorp.com/hpde-insurance

https://ontrackinsurance.com/

I have used both. Yes it can be somewhat expensive. However, it is per event. If it is a 3 day event, same cost as for a half day event. I get it that it is also a 10% stated value deductible. You have mods. You can include those in your stated value. I'll trade costs with you, any day.

Okay, this was slightly confusing and overwhelming. I've been getting emails almost daily from another company about track insurance. ugggghhhhh
To explain this better. Buy track insurance. I have given two companies that I use.

You declare the value of your car. You say my car, plus mods, is worth $40K. The company will sell you insurance for the event, based on your $40K declared value. The insurance is for the entire event. It can be a 1/2 day event or a 3 day event. The insurance is for the event. You pay the same amount to insure for a 1/2 day event as you do for a 3 day event. The insurance will pay out 90% of your declared value, in case of a total loss accident, while on the track. That is a 10% declared value deductible.

I said I would trade this cost with you anytime as a joke. Yes, it is more likely that my cars are more expensive to insure for track events than yours. It was a throw away joke line.
 

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Originally Posted by Camaromjr View Post

Fair Warning: Charging down the straight at triple digit speeds, tossing out the anchor to scrub off 75MPH to make a 50MPH right hander, feathering through turn 2 left hander, to climb up to triple digit speed and tossing out the anchor for turn 3 can be addicting. It is an expensive addiction. Much cheaper to be a junkie on a $200 a day habit (OK I am kidding some ). Tires, brakes and rotors are consumables. Fluid changes are every 2-4 hours of track time.
Okay, this was slightly confusing and overwhelming x 2. UGH.
Running your car in HPDE events can be addicting. In 2017, I signed up for an event just to see how much I had lost in ~35 years. On car 1, I went through 3 sets of tires and a complete set of brake pads and rotors all around (an upgrade to Hawk slotted / drilled rotors and street / race pads -- yes they squealed when used on the street). A few months ago, I upgraded the car. That is an expensive addiction.

You will go through tires, brakes and brake rotors very quickly if you track your car. You will need to bleed the brakes after each event. You will need complete fluid changes every 4-6 hours of track time.
 

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I waved at you Lynn--why didn't you wave back?? On 470?

LOL...

Long drive but loving CO for the most part except Denver traffic. And this heat. At least it's a dry heat--30% humidity vs 65% in Omaha.

My kids and I went on a GREAT drive down CR 67 from Sedalia (near Castle Rock) to the South Platte River (great fly-fishing river). Lots of twisty/turnies. Part of the road was gravel with a 15% grade (!), single lane. A little hairy, but I never doubted my little WRX. The clutch got a workout. I tried not to go to far above the speed limit, but still had a good time.
 

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Looking forward to pictures and/or video from your track day!
 
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