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Track Night Preparation

ChitownStang

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Hey all, looking for some advice and opinions.
I'm headed out for a track night Aug 9th. Looks like I will get 3- 20 min segments on the track. Not racing side by side just making laps.
The track is about 1 hour 20 away all highway.
This is my 3rd time out, did another track night 2 years ago and did the Fr]ord Performance Mach 1 experience.
Questions I have-
-I do not have a spare tire, should I bring 1 of my winter all-season tires and a jack just in case I blow a tire? and do they usually let you put it somewhere when out on track. Do tracks usually have jacks you can borrow?
-I have 3500 miles on this oil, only since mid-March. Oil meter on app says 8% but when I look at the dip stick it's super clean and full. Should I change the oil before or after?
Note- I have been running E70 on Flex tune so does this affect oil?
I will be switching to 93 octane a tank before I go since they don't have E85 on track.
-I bought a closed helmet, head sock and driving gloves, do you normally wear pants or shorts are ok?
Any other tips for before I go?
I don't plan on beating the crap out of the car since this is only for fun maybe couple times a year.
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MAGS1

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I’ve only got a couple times under my belt so I’m far from experienced. I always went with fresh oil and changed brake fluid to Motul 600. I had a spare in the trunk with the scissor jack, I didn’t really push my car too hard as I was just trying to get seat time and some experience. This was in my S550 v6 and the standard brake pads did fine, if I was pushing the car harder I would want better pads too (may not be an issue with the Mach). I saw a guy boil his brake fluid and wreck his C6 because he had stock fluid and thought he could get away with it, he was pushing his car a lot harder than I was.

Plenty of folks with way more experience than me that can chime in as well.
 

Ballistica

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Hey all, looking for some advice and opinions.
I'm headed out for a track night Aug 9th. Looks like I will get 3- 20 min segments on the track. Not racing side by side just making laps.
The track is about 1 hour 20 away all highway.
This is my 3rd time out, did another track night 2 years ago and did the Fr]ord Performance Mach 1 experience.
Questions I have-
-I do not have a spare tire, should I bring 1 of my winter all-season tires and a jack just in case I blow a tire? and do they usually let you put it somewhere when out on track. Do tracks usually have jacks you can borrow?
-I have 3500 miles on this oil, only since mid-March. Oil meter on app says 8% but when I look at the dip stick it's super clean and full. Should I change the oil before or after?
Note- I have been running E70 on Flex tune so does this affect oil?
I will be switching to 93 octane a tank before I go since they don't have E85 on track.
-I bought a closed helmet, head sock and driving gloves, do you normally wear pants or shorts are ok?
Any other tips for before I go?
I don't plan on beating the crap out of the car since this is only for fun maybe couple times a year.
I’ve done the last two TrackNight events at Blackhawk with my Mustang. They’re a lot of fun and very low pressure, especially in the novice group. In the novice group, you’ll actually get an extra 20 min session at the start of the event with the paced laps. It’s low speed with no passing but you follow an advanced driver who shows you the lines to attack the corners, etc. You’re gonna have a blast. It’s common practice for guys to empty their cars and leave a pile next to where they park. No one messes with your stuff. I brought a bin to keep it all organized plus a tarp isn’t a bad idea if there’s rain in the forecast.

I’d recommend bringing a spare tire plus a jack, just in case. You never know what’ll happen with your tires and I liked the peace of mind of having one available. I THINK they have jacks available but you might have to rely on a Good Samaritan if you don’t have one. Could be tough to find at the end of the night when everyones going home.

With the oil, my opinion is to run the event if it looks good on the dip stick then change it afterwards. Tear up what you have then replace it after your all done and back to normal driving. But others will have more experience in this area and can offer better advice.

The instructions for SCCA state pants and long sleeves are required but it looks like it’s not enforced at these events. I’d absolutely recommend pants but lots of guys wear short sleeve shirts. I also bought a helmet sock but only wore it a couple times before ditching it. Got in the way of my sunglasses to often.

Here’s a list I have of items I bring for the events. Might help you.
Helmet
Gloves
Tire Gauge
Air Pump
Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench
Lug Nut Socket
Water/Snacks in a Cooler
Chair in a Bag
Tire Chock (remember to NOT set your parking brake when done with a session)
Tech Sheet (you can fill these out ahead of time)
Change of Clothes
GoPro

Theres a great starter thread in the HPDE forum created by @Ewheels that helped me out a ton. I’d recommend reading through that.
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/first-track-day-prep-and-expectations.156490/

Heres a video I took of the third session at the event earlier this month. Can help give you an idea of what to expect (disclaimer: I’m also new to tracking and I know I made a lot of mistakes 😂)


Good luck and have fun!
 
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ChitownStang

ChitownStang

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I’ve done the last two TrackNight events at Blackhawk with my Mustang. They’re a lot of fun and very low pressure, especially in the novice group. In the novice group, you’ll actually get an extra 20 min session at the start of the event with the paced laps. It’s low speed with no passing but you follow an advanced driver who shows you the lines to attack the corners, etc. You’re gonna have a blast. It’s common practice for guys to empty their cars and leave a pile next to where they park. No one messes with your stuff. I brought a bin to keep it all organized plus a tarp isn’t a bad idea if there’s rain in the forecast.

I’d recommend bringing a spare tire plus a jack, just in case. You never know what’ll happen with your tires and I liked the peace of mind of having one available. I THINK they have jacks available but you might have to rely on a Good Samaritan if you don’t have one. Could be tough to find at the end of the night when everyones going home.

With the oil, my opinion is to run the event if it looks good on the dip stick then change it afterwards. Tear up what you have then replace it after your all done and back to normal driving. But others will have more experience in this area and can offer better advice.

The instructions for SCCA state pants and long sleeves are required but it looks like it’s not enforced at these events. I’d absolutely recommend pants but lots of guys wear short sleeve shirts. I also bought a helmet sock but only wore it a couple times before ditching it. Got in the way of my sunglasses to often.

Here’s a list I have of items I bring for the events. Might help you.
Helmet
Gloves
Tire Gauge
Air Pump
Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench
Lug Nut Socket
Water/Snacks in a Cooler
Chair in a Bag
Tire Chock (remember to NOT set your parking brake when done with a session)
Tech Sheet (you can fill these out ahead of time)
Change of Clothes
GoPro

Theres a great starter thread in the HPDE forum created by @Ewheels that helped me out a ton. I’d recommend reading through that.
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/first-track-day-prep-and-expectations.156490/

Heres a video I took of the third session at the event earlier this month. Can help give you an idea of what to expect (disclaimer: I’m also new to tracking and I know I made a lot of mistakes 😂)


Good luck and have fun!
Thanks Scott! This is exactly what I was looking for.
You looked really good out there!
Where did you have the GoPro Mounted? I bought a suction cup mount with an arm.
 

boB

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Ballistica's list looks good, mine was shorter as I was not going to run my AA spare if I had a flat. ;) I ran Daytona in the summer so it was short sleeves/short pants/AC and seat coolers. And LOTS of water.
Two GoPros: one suctioned to the windshield (and a lanyard if it comes loose) and one mounted to a bar clamped to the headrest rails.
The paced laps were good to get the layout of the track but not much use figuring out the high banking at such low speeds.

https://youtu.be/1nzcP5fXVZc
 

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Ballistica

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Thanks Scott! This is exactly what I was looking for.
You looked really good out there!
Where did you have the GoPro Mounted? I bought a suction cup mount with an arm.
Thanks, I appreciate that! I’m glad the info helped.

I’ll have to get you a pic of my setup for the GoPro (don’t have one handy) but I wanted to view the shifter, steering wheel and some of the dash along with out the windshield so I did what @boB suggested and mounted it to the headrest on the passenger seat.

Here’s a link to the mount:
Tackform Headrest Mount for GoPro and Other Action Cameras,10.75 Inch https://a.co/d/85GiIaT

I‘ll get you a pic later today.
 
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ChitownStang

ChitownStang

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Thanks, I appreciate that! I’m glad the info helped.

I’ll have to get you a pic of my setup for the GoPro (don’t have one handy) but I wanted to view the shifter, steering wheel and some of the dash along with out the windshield so I did what @boB suggested and mounted it to the headrest on the passenger seat.

Here’s a link to the mount:
Tackform Headrest Mount for GoPro and Other Action Cameras,10.75 Inch https://a.co/d/85GiIaT

I‘ll get you a pic later today.
Thanks Scott, I'll check this link out. It's a great perspective from that view.
 

NightmareMoon

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Unless you're bringing a completely separate set of track tires, I wouldn't worry about the jack, chances are someone will have one you can borrow in the unlikely event you need one for a couple minutes. I would bring a spare, but mainly because you're an hour from home.

Check your pad and tire wear. if the pads are <50% then you really should replace them. Flush the brake fluid.

Make sure the wheels are properly torqued and bring an air inflator and good quality air pressure gauge are a good idea. There will probably be an inflator you can use at the track somewhere (but not always) - this is mostly for going home, as you'll probably be bleeding air out as the tires heat up at the track.

Be prepared for a full day outside in august. (water, sunscreen, snacks, etc).
 

TonyNJ

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I just did a similar event Tuesday. Don't wear shorts. They might not allow you to drive. Bring both if you must. Some guy had to borrow a pair if pants.

Try to fill up your tank just before entering the track. I went in on ½ a tank and paid $12 a gallon for 10 gallons at the track.

As for jacks, tires, tools, they'll probably be some guys with trailers there that may be generous enough to help you out if need be, but it's a gamble. Figure, if you want it, bring it. They'll definitely be a safe spot to set up camp with your gear. Bring a pop up tent, chair, cooler, water, snacks. Better to have and not need.

I'd change the oil before. You're going to be revving the shit out of your car for an hour.

Expect your tires to get worn out...but you probably won't blow one.

Yea, pressure Guage, like nightmare said.

20230731_110410.jpg
 
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ChitownStang

ChitownStang

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Unless you're bringing a completely separate set of track tires, I wouldn't worry about the jack, chances are someone will have one you can borrow in the unlikely event you need one for a couple minutes. I would bring a spare, but mainly because you're an hour from home.

Check your pad and tire wear. if the pads are <50% then you really should replace them. Flush the brake fluid.

Make sure the wheels are properly torqued and bring an air inflator and good quality air pressure gauge are a good idea. There will probably be an inflator you can use at the track somewhere (but not always) - this is mostly for going home, as you'll probably be bleeding air out as the tires heat up at the track.

Be prepared for a full day outside in august. (water, sunscreen, snacks, etc).
Thanks for the advice! Floor Jack and Full tire is going to be a lot of weight! LOL
Sorry for my ignorance but what's what's the easiest way to check my pads and how do I know what 50% is?
Also what do most people run for PSI cold on the track?
 

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Ballistica

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I just did a similar event Tuesday. Don't wear shorts. They might not allow you to drive. Bring both if you must. Some guy had to borrow a pair if pants.

Try to fill up your tank just before entering the track. I went in on ½ a tank and paid $12 a gallon for 10 gallons at the track.

As for jacks, tires, tools, they'll probably be some guys with trailers there that may be generous enough to help you out if need be, but it's a gamble. Figure, if you want it, bring it. They'll definitely be a safe spot to set up camp with your gear. Bring a pop up tent, chair, cooler, water, snacks. Better to have and not need.

I'd change the oil before. You're going to be revving the shit out of your car for an hour.

Expect your tires to get worn out...but you probably won't blow one.

Yea, pressure Guage, like nightmare said.

20230731_110410.jpg
Good call on the gas. There’s a station down the road from the track in Rockton that has 93. I usually top off my tank there before going into the track.

When you pull in, there’s a little building to the right side of the gate. You’ll need to bring them your tech sheet and helmet. They’ll inspect the helmet and give you a sticker for that and for your car. Once you have those and your wrist band, you’re good to go.
 
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ChitownStang

ChitownStang

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Good call on the gas. There’s a station down the road from the track in Rockton that has 93. I usually top off my tank there before going into the track.

When you pull in, there’s a little building to the right side of the gate. You’ll need to bring them your tech sheet and helmet. They’ll inspect the helmet and give you a sticker for that and for your car. Once you have those and your wrist band, you’re good to go.
Ok, I will have to look into this tech sheet as this was not brought up on SCCA website for track night
 

NightmareMoon

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I don't remember offhand, maybe someone else knows or you can do some research. They're in the 10-12mm range for the fronts IIRC, so if they're less than 5mm of pad material left (not including the backing plate), then time to replace for track use.

For street use you can run them down lower w/o issue. Its not just that you don't want to run out of material during the session or drive home, its that very thin pads tend to transfer more heat to the fluid, so it boils faster, which can be a bad. That's also why you flush the fluid, to get fresh clean brake fluid into the caliper and resist boiling.

You can check them by taking a front and rear wheel off and looking at them with a ruler or caliper.
 

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Any other tips for before I go?
I don't plan on beating the crap out of the car since this is only for fun maybe couple times a year.
I didn't plan on beating the crap out of mine either. As soon as some Nissan GTR or Camaro is on your tail or in your sights, things change. 😁
 

NightmareMoon

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The tech sheet is definitely mentioned in the materials, and you really should go over it.
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