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My first track day!

13 September 2000
Tulsa, OK
Hi all,
Like the subject states, my first track day is March 24th at Hallet Motor Speedway. It's their "High Speed Touring" class which is basically a time trial group. I'm really looking forward to it! I've got one of my buddies with a MR2 Spyder coming as well as 10-12 friends that just want to watch. Since I'm new to this I haven't the foggest about what I should be bringing. I have made a list of possible items and would like to get your feedback on if they are necessary or frivilous(sp?). Here goes:

General track items
1. tents - 3 of them. 2 large and 1 small. Mainly to shield "fans" from the sun and to provide shelter if it rains.
2. chairs - fold up and bag variety. Jeez, they are comfortable and some even have a cup holder. Fans will be encouraged to bring their own seat.
3. water - self explanatory.
4. food - self explanatory.
5. blankets - for wifey if she gets cold or something to lay down on in the grass if Shawney gets "sleepy."
6. table - folding variety. Put my tool chest on and to eat off of.
7. bike - for the long walk to bathroom or to get more to drink or eat.
8. radio - to listen for oncoming tornados, rain, and Britney Spears.

NSX Specific
1. oil - I use Mobil 1 synthetic
2. brake pads - in case I learn that I'm way heavy on the brakes. Hey, I've never been to Hallett before! I've got Dali's on now. Been on for about 3,000 miles.
3. tool kit - self explanatory
4. helmet - they require SA90 or above. Bringing one for passengers too.
5. extras - long sleeve shirt, long cotton pants (jeans good enough?), and cotton socks. Sure as hell not going to wear wool socks anyway.
6. coolant - Redline water wetter
7. car jacks and jack - for jacking the car up.
8. timer - proof that I'm faster than my buddy in the MR2 Spyder.
9. air pressure gauge - self explanatory. Gonna try and get some valuable race data for later tuning and experimenting.
10. gas can - to be filled there so that I can extract it from the gas tank, store it, and then put 5 gallons back in. This should save on weight and if I blow up it should also keep the explosion to a minimum.
11. pyrometer - data gathering to determine what camber settings I should be at.
12. jumper cables - Don't leave home with out them.
13. extension cords - see above explanation.
14. carpet or tarp - I'd like to park the car over this to see if I'm leaking oil or if I'm working on it and a nut or bolt drops I can easily see it.
15. wd-40 or prolong lubricant - yeah, I succumbed to insomnia and late night infomercial lust. So sue me. I don't know if I'll need this but thought I'd bring it just in case.
16. simple green - see last sentence of above explanation.
17. A STOOL - I'll sit on this while I'm inspecting the front clips rock and chip damage.

NSX preparations
1. oil change
2. brake fluid
3. transmission fluid
4. a twice around by my mechanic to see if anything could use tightening down.
5. a 15 around my me to make sure everything is safe and sound. Checking my seatbelts for sure.

Bonus question
I've planned on changing my suspension setup sometime this summer - for now I'd just like to learn how to drive my car or so I thought - but I've got the itch to go coilover AND get the OEM Yoks. Should I succumb (I feel so easy) and get the parts or should I abstain and wait?

FYI - my mechanic and a few of the guys at 4 Star, the shop for my NSX, will be attending also. I plan on making sure they are well fed - they're great people. Everybody coming is bringing a camera, some digital and some not, video and still, to the event and we're even thinking about getting some T-shirts made to commemorate(sp?) it too.

Your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.

Shawn Sejera

PS - I've just checked the FAQ and will make sure to bring sunscreen and extra brake fluid, etc. ss

Before I respond, tell me a little about your track experience. Is this your first track event in an NSX, or first time at the track period??

It will help me to have a perspective to work from.

Umm... you're on the right course, but if this is your first time at the track, you're not going to be very hard on your car. Trust me. If your car is in good condition, and you've taken care to prep fluids and such, you'll likely NOT break anything or require any maintenance while at the track.

Also, I think you'll have a much better experience if you don't worry about all the mechanicals and how to make this "race day".

It's a good idea to bring a quart of oil and some brake fluid, but don't go overboard. I don't take a jack/jackstands with me to the track, because I'll probably never use them. For the first time, I needed to bleed my brakes on my Porsche at the track, and just found someone with a floor jack and did it one tire at a time. I'm just trying to save you some hassle, that's all.

Take my advice on this one: Fill your tank with gas and run all day. Don't try to save weight by adjusting how much gas in in the car... this is a BAD idea. First of all, with 1/4 to 1/2 a tank, you've got this big ballast basically shifting its weight around as you drive. You're better off FULL or EMPTY. BUT - I don't recommend trying to run on 1/8 a tank and "timing it just right". If you run out of fuel in a corner, it's just like lifting off the throttle... you'll spin. And make things worse, you'll have less control over the car, because you'll have no power steering, ABS, etc. because the engine has quit. FILL your tank and keep it above 1/2.

Just my thoughts. Have fun, but be careful. Taking your car to the track can be VERY addictive.

91 Black/Ivory #3012
Larry brings up a very important point, and with further information we can help you alot more. I hope that you have a support vehicle to carry all the crap you are bringing. I've been there and done that! Now all I bring are the bare essentials for myself, and appropriate tools, spare parts and wheels for the weekend. I would leave the timer at home.
If this a non-competitive event, don't try driving to beat someone else's time, you'll only get in trouble. Just go out, have fun, drive the car home, wash it, and praise it for giving you the biggest smile on your face.
If this is your first track event ever, go ahead and bring all the picnic stuff for your friends, but I'd pare the stuff for you down to:

1. Appropriate clothing (inc. helmet)
2. Extra quart of oil just in case
3. Air pressure gauge
4. Tarp (you can always use a tarp!)

and the car prep to:
1. Oil change if you are reasonably close to needing one (if not, just change it after)
2. Flush brake fluid
3. Check wheel bolt torque
4. Normal tech inspection items

Forget about timing, trying to beat someone else's time, jack stands, adjusting car weight with fuel, etc. You will only frustrate yourself.

Just enjoy driving the car. Put someone else in charge of food prep, etc. for your guests. You will be busy. Add all the other stuff in after you get more experience and decide you are ready to go to that level.
Good point. I have no experience whatsoever.

I'm bringing a truck and potentially a buddies RV. The truck will hold all the stuff I'm bringing and the RV will hold all the people.

I think I'll go ahead on run on a full tank - that was some good advice. Everyone. Thanks!

You mentioned brake pads. How about a set of rotors? You might be pretty hard on them if it's your first event.

I wouldn't bother because (a) I doubt that you'll be all that hard (sorry, Ken, just gotta disagree with you on that), and (b) it's pretty darn tough to toast a set of NSX rotors in a weekend. I'm REALLY hard on my car and have a lot of track experience, and I've gotten at least four track weekends on every set of rotors I've ever used except for the defective ones Comptech sent me.

At this point you have gotten good advise from some very fast drivers. FORGET THE TIMER, etc. Remember one thing: If it takes 10 parts to be fast 1 part is the car and 9 parts is the driver.

The first time I went to the track I recieved a comment from the driving instructors: All of you guys who are new in your NSX's, don't be embarrassed when the guy in the Honda CRX blows your doors off. Well the guy in the CRX passed most of us newbies like we were standing still.

Forget about the MR2 also, learn to drive smooth, have fun. Fast will come later, much later.