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Track/Race Car basic preperation



Hi guys. Having had a scout through the forums, I haven’t come across a thread which offers advice and information in regards to Prep and planning for trackdays and sprinting. I thought I would take the opportunity to share the routine I carry out along with what I take with me on the day of the event or trackday. By no means what im sharing is perfect which is why I encourage you all to add with your opinions and routines. More minds and ideas are better than 1!!!

Right, first thing to highlight IMO is something that I was told which I think is very relevant to what we love and do. Its something referred to as the 7 P’s or PPPPPPP. Its stands for:

PROPER PLANNING and PREPERATION PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE

I think it speaks for itself. The key to enjoying the day is obviously to make your trackday or event as issue and fault free as possible. This is done with good car preparation and of course going prepared for any potential issues. It doesn’t cost a fortune to do this, just a bit of time and effort.

BRAKES

Check the life left in BOTH your discs & pads. You’ll be surprised how much of a battering these will take. I’ve witnessed a set of brand new pads being destroyed in morning session, so depend on your driving style, you may want to consider replacing them even if you think they is plenty of life left in them. As a rule, I always take spare set of pads with me on the day as these are a relatively straight forward repair if you have the correct tools. Also check your brake line condition for leaks or signs of wear which could become a leak. If in doubt, replace to avoid your day being cut short. Another process I carry out is to bleed each of the callipers to ensure no air bubbles have formed. Its a 10 minute job and costs nothing. Check brake fluid level too. Finally after all this, the most obvious check....make sure everything is bolted to the hubs/car as it should. A lost calliper bolt means game over unless you have spares to hand.

SUSPENSION/CHASSIS

When its comes to suspension, there are many parts which make up the complete system so you should look to carry out a methodical check of each part. Just about every part will consist of a bush so checking these for excessive play or splitting. Whilst a slack bush wont necessarily end your day, it will affect your cars performance. Some bushes are not a simple repair but others such as roll bar or even drop links are simple repairs. In terms of your shocks/ springs, check for leaks and fractures on your springs. Make sure everything is tight. In terms of geometry, I personally recommend it if budget allows. As part of this making sure the car sits planted and the ride height is equal along axles. If you have adjustable dampening, rebound etc. available, these can be altered on the day. Whilst checking in this particular area of the car, a check of your tyres would be advisable if your running on your road tyres. The track is very harsh as will your driving so plenty of tread is a must.

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

A lot of the things to check for here are pretty straight forward although its easy to get carried away. For me, an oil and filter change is a must. I personally use an OEM filter and put a good quality oil in. Usually Millers. Whilst changing fluids, fresh coolant is a good idea and if the car hasn’t been done in the last year, some coolant flush to remove as much gunk from the rad as possible with the increase engine temperatures it will become subject to. Gearbox oil isn’t essential, but dropping it will give you an idea of its condition and fresh good quality oil will give piece of mind. I also like to change my plugs. A fresh set gapped correctly isn’t essential again, but for the modest outlay, worth it for piece of mind. Check the condition of all your electrical connections. Injectors, coil packs, cam sensors, Map Sensors etc. etc. Squirt of break cleaner in each if you have to hand and ensure they snap together as they should. An electrical gremlin is probably the most frustrating to put a premature end to your day so doing all you can to reduce its risk is a no brainer for me. Check all your engine and gearbox mount points for wear.
Finally clean any gunk and oil off of the sump and gearbox. Put a piece of white paper under the engine and start your car and leave to run up to temperature and idle for 10 -15 minutes. Once done, switch off and pull out the paper and see if their are any leaks.

ON THE DAY

Taking some basic tools and parts is a good idea. In terms of parts I’ll take some oil, spare pads, exhaust rubbers and clamps, plugs, tie wraps, electrical tape and wire. Tool wise, the usual trolley jack, axle stands, breaker bar and wheel nut socket, screwdrivers and spanners and a socket set. A pump and tyre pressure gauge can also come in handy
 
Cheers. What ive written is gospal, and its rather brief, but it i hope it gives people a good insight into what to check. I do check much more than ive actually posted like compression, leak down test etc but that can be seen as being OTT.

As i put, if people have something they do which may differ from me, please post as more opinions are far better than one
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
I take a plastic tub with a Kettle, 4 cups, Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Sweetener, and 3 packs of biscuits. You should always take food with you and eat regularly to keep energy levels high. Bananas are a good way of doing so and keep to your regular routines, brew in the morning etc.

Get to the track nice and early, the earlier the better as it allows time for preparation and signing on including the briefing.

EDIT: Even take a note pad and pen with you to jot down things like tyre temps and mechanical niggles during the day etc.
 

eon172

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 (CUP)
I take a plastic tub with a Kettle, 4 cups, Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Sweetener, and 3 packs of biscuits. You should always take food with you and eat regularly to keep energy levels high. Bananas are a good way of doing so and keep to your regular routines, brew in the morning etc.

Get to the track nice and early, the earlier the better as it allows time for preparation and signing on including the briefing.

EDIT: Even take a note pad and pen with you to jot down things like tyre temps and mechanical niggles during the day etc.
Good call, maybe I'm getting old but based on my visits to brands, a foldable chair too.
 

eon172

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 (CUP)
What would be good is a sticky post which is maintained and saves having to read the whole thread (after it grows with contributions), that includes a good pre-check + inventory tick list based on people's valuable knowledge and experience.

Good start BTW, you certainly check more than I do ;)
 

eon172

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 (CUP)
I'd add a torque wrench to the list of tools personally (unless I missed it earlier), keep wheel bolts/nuts torqued up during the day
Me too, I have a dedicated one with the right socket always attached and setting pre-set and I never change it. Makes things quick and easy and I'm more likely to do it. Plus I sometimes give the job to my guests on the day
 

Ads29

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Merc ML55
As you said bud many heads are better than one, whilst being far from essential my Mrs picked me up a big plastic wheelie tub that's lockable (b&q jobbie I believe) to keep everything in, I find it comes in really handy

EDIT
Same as this
Screenshot_2016-04-15-16-56-27.png
 
Deffo. I take a small tool box normally with spares kept in boot of my car. Im fortunate to own a trailer so taking a spare set of wheels is no biggy. Not everybody in same boat so tried to keep what i wrote relevant to those who drive to the days in their cars. Big plastic tub a good idea mate
 

Ads29

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Merc ML55
Deffo. I take a small tool box normally with spares kept in boot of my car. Im fortunate to own a trailer so taking a spare set of wheels is no biggy. Not everybody in same boat so tried to keep what i wrote relevant to those who drive to the days in their cars. Big plastic tub a good idea mate
I drive mine but usually have either the mrs or best mate with a 4x4 as back up carrying everything for me, and to do minion jobs during the day ;)
 
  Titanium Ph1 172
Me too, I have a dedicated one with the right socket always attached and setting pre-set and I never change it. Makes things quick and easy and I'm more likely to do it. Plus I sometimes give the job to my guests on the day
You shouldn't really keep a torque wrench preloaded. Over time it will ruin the workings inside and render the tool less accurate. As an aircraft engineer we're told never to do this, always zero the tool after use!
 
I thought zero'ing a torque wrench was common practice?! Im guessing thats not the case.

You should also have your torque wrench calibrated to ensure its accuracy.
 


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