A day on the track is great fun – but with the right preparation, it can be even better.The fun, excitement and sheer exhilaration of a day speeding around a track is something most racers live for. However, no matter how many times you’ve headed off for a day of burning rubber, the key to a great day out is proper preparation.
Each track and race will require an inspection to make sure your vehicle is safe and in good working order. Be sure you know what the specific requirements are and do a pre-inspection check a few days before the event to ensure that everything on your car is good to go. After all, you want to have plenty of time to make any necessary repairs.
Wheels and tyres
The wheels of your car should be round and free from dents or damage to the mounting surface. Your wheels should be properly balanced to ensure accurate steering.
The tyres should also be in good condition, with tread above the wear bars. However, avoid using brand-new tyres, as the deep treads could cause them to overheat.
No cords or belts should show and flat tires repaired with plugs should not be used, as they could fail under track conditions. Remove hubcaps and beauty rings, as they could fall off and create a hazard on the track.
Your brakes need to be in good condition and there should be no leaks or cracks in the system. Check that brake fluid is clear and at the maximum level and that the pads are not too worn. Also check that your brake lights are working properly.
The engine needs to be from leaks, which could allow liquids to fall onto the track and create hazards.
Make sure the battery is properly secured – with two bolts – and the battery terminals must be covered to prevent arcs in case of accidental contact.
The car’s seatbelts need to be in good condition and if the vehicle does not have a fixed room, there should be a roll bar installed.
You should also consider your own clothing for safety purposes. Natural fibres are recommended and you should wear at least jeans, a T-shirt and closed-toe shoes at a minimum – although more protective clothing is recommended. You’ll also need a helmet and eye protection that meet relevant safety standards.
As well as your vehicle, you’ll need to bring some supplies to track day, which will help you keep your car running well and looking great. Extra oil, glass cleaner, was, rags, an air compressor and tyre gauge are all recommended. Basic tools and a ground cloth are also a must.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Bring a change of clothes, so you can freshen up before the journey home. Sunscreen, sun glasses, drinks and food are also a good idea. You might also want to bring along some folding chairs, a sun canopy and a camera, so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings between races.
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