My first track day - any advice?

essentialatom

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I got a new car in April - well, a 2003 Renault Clio, but to me it's new, it has possibly-functioning air conditioning - and for my birthday, my mate bought me a track day to take it to at Bedford Autodrome.

I'm excited as anything, but having never been on a track day before, what sort of things should I know or expect? Should I do anything in particular to prepare?

I would ask more specifically but so far all I've got to go on is that I'll need a helmet. And they provide those. My friend also got me a 20-minute instruction session so that I know which way to go round.
 
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M_Bolc

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Check your brakes, put in some good brake fluid, make sure your brake lines are in top shape. Take it easy, ease into it, don't try and break a track record on your first outing.?
Slow in, fast out. "Read" what your car is telling you. If you summon the ABS, you're going too hard.
 

Cavi Mike

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Bleed your brakes. Thoroughly. Clear fluid coming out every bleeder. Just a couple long hard stops on a track and any water that's in those lines will boil and your pedal will go straight to the floor. It's a very scary feeling.
 

That American Girl

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Just remember:

You are not Michael Schumacher or the Stig. Don't try to be them. Don't drive like a dick, or get too cocky. Other than that...have fun.
 

DaBoom

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One thing you can practice even before getting to the track. Paying closer attention to your mirrors. When you get used to routinely scout what's happening behind you, overtakes won't come as a surprise and that gives more time to relax and think about your own driving. And you will get overtaken often at the start.
 
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essentialatom

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Thanks for the tips. I'll try to get used to paying more attention to my car and surroundings. And it's due a service in a few weeks, or at least its MOT, so I'll talk to my mechanic about the brakes then.
 

MWF

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Get him to check the cam belt and all fluids, the amount of wear in the pads, the tracking and wheel balance and of course bleed the brakes.

Other than that don't try to be a hero as the others have said. Or as my mum would say "never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly".

And of course have fun.
 

Hbriz

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I got a new car in April - well, a 2003 Renault Clio, but to me it's new, it has possibly-functioning air conditioning - and for my birthday, my mate bought me a track day to take it to at Bedford Autodrome.

I'm excited as anything, but having never been on a track day before, what sort of things should I know or expect? Should I do anything in particular to prepare?

I would ask more specifically but so far all I've got to go on is that I'll need a helmet. And they provide those. My friend also got me a 20-minute instruction session so that I know which way to go round.
I did my first track day back when I had a Clio Sport, too. From the car perspective, good brake fluid like others said (my pedal went squishy pretty early), and I also managed to boil my power steering fluid.

Otherwise just go out and have fun, let faster people pass and just basically be aware of where you are on the track and where others are at all times. If you don't put yourself into dangerous situations (e.g. deliberately cutting people off on corners to keep ahead and stuff reserved for actual racing) you and the car will be fine. I short shifted the whole time, took it pretty easily and generally tried not to push myself or the car beyond what I knew, and I still had loads of fun.
 
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essentialatom

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Nah, I'm only kidding. I just have to make sure to get my brakes bled and put good quality brake fluid in and know where I am and everybody else is at all times and not hit curbs too hard and have fun. ;)

The car's going into the garage tomorrow and my mechanic's up to speed on what I need so we should be good. He fixed it up when I first got it, and told me that the only optional improvement I could make beyond what he did to get it into shape was replacing the dephaser pulley. I didn't do it at the time because it was expensive. I am doing it now. When in Rome.
 
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Momentum57

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Lil extra air in the tires. Also go really mind blowingly slow first lap. Breathing helps and your hands don't need to be that tight
 

Hemily

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Having spent last saturday at a trackday as a flagger, my tip would be, pay attention to flags, if they keep waving blue at ya, let the cars behind ya get past, was a problem at our track day, people wouldn't let faster cars past.
 

Der Stig

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Also don't just immediately exit the track when you're done, do a couple cool down laps. This will allow your brakes, pads, and engine to cool. Bring some extra oil in case you need to top off.
 
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