Jump to content
bjgolf

opinions on taking your daily driver?

Recommended Posts

jon dawes

yawp, i'll see you guys at summit in october!

 

from all i've seen, watch out once you get to groups 3 and 4!!! for whatever reason, the handful events i've attended have had cars with significant damage in those groups. i'm not blaming anybody, just watch your back [and your front, and your sides, etc.]!!!!!

 

woohoooo on the 95 GT! is it mostly stock? i don't know if my 94 will be ready by then. but either way it will be fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimgood

So far, my experience in group 3 has been good. The passing wasn't as difficult as it sounds and people seemed to have their heads screwed on straight. Of course, I may not have seen the stupid stuff.

 

Seems to me that the stigma attributed to group 3 as a whole might only be deserved by a few overly competitive individuals. But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel. You still have to control your car and drive your line. You need to set goals, work on skills and be your own instructor. If you find yourself thinking about trying to be faster than your buddy, your head is most certainly NOT screwed on straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
white_2kgt
But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel.

 

Imagine if HPDE3 were open passing .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimgood
But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel.

 

Imagine if HPDE3 were open passing .

Not sure I get your point. Open passing for HPDE would basically be racing without the $5.00 trophies and the 'burden' of hand signals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jon dawes
But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel.

 

Imagine if HPDE3 were open passing .

Not sure I get your point. Open passing for HPDE would basically be racing without the $5.00 trophies and the 'burden' of hand signals.

 

EXACTLY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cmchopeful

Running HPDE 3 at Mid-Ohio in my daily driver I have seen no car-to-car contact. A few cars off track and some spins but nothing major. We had some wicked fast cars last time in August and rain.

 

We did have somewhat of open passing in the last session on Sunday (we were good all weekend). We had passing anywhere with a point-by.

 

Watch your mirrors and if another car is faster point them by and drive your own line.

 

Mitch

2000 Z28

HPDE 3 #173

OH/IN Region

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jimgood
But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel.

 

Imagine if HPDE3 were open passing .

Not sure I get your point. Open passing for HPDE would basically be racing without the $5.00 trophies and the 'burden' of hand signals.

 

EXACTLY!

But....there isn't open passing and we do use hand signals......soooo....what am I missing?

 

I'm just trying to say it's not as chaotic or "crazy" as people make it sound. But I've only done 2 weekends in group 3 at two tracks. I'll keep an open mind.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
white_2kgt
But, yeah, you have to keep your head on a swivel.

 

Imagine if HPDE3 were open passing .

Not sure I get your point. Open passing for HPDE would basically be racing without the $5.00 trophies and the 'burden' of hand signals.

 

That's not true. Lots of clubs do HPDE + open passing, in fact several NASA regions do it. Loads of fun you just have to be REALLY aware of everything which you should be already prior to setting tire on track in HPDE3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gonz
yawp, i'll see you guys at summit in october!

 

 

woohoooo on the 95 GT! is it mostly stock? i don't know if my 94 will be ready by then. but either way it will be fun!

 

It's got a couple of suspension pieces on it. Springs/shocks/cc plates, and rear LCA's ( which I may need to swap out)

 

Drivetrain is stock and I need to replace the clutch. Down the road I hope to do rollbar, seats, harness, panhard bar, bigger brakes and of course flowmasters.

 

This is the kind of stuff (roll bar, seats, harness) that I couldn't do in my daily driver but really would like to have out on the track !

 

Another good reason for having a dedicated weekend/track car if it's at all possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jon dawes

ditto. my track-prep list is conservatively $3,500 strong and growing. . . although my girlfriend has been bristling lately at my hemorrhaging bank account, so some compromises are in my future. better compromise than throw in the towel!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Renntag

most of the car damage I see coming out of HPDE is just drivers getting over their head. Look at the speed differential in group 3. The drivers are performing at a much higher level so there are greater risks. Most of what you see is a driver making a mistake and then target fixating and hitting a wall or locking up the brakes and giving up control.

 

In an effort to get back on topic. There is no reason NOT to use your daily driver on track. HPDE is no different than driving on public roads. We all drive fast on public roads from time to time, how often do MOST of us crash? Do we stop and think about the risks?

 

On track you have a safety crew and a good guarantee that the surface will be clean and clear. Try making that assumtion on the street. Now your only obligation is to drive within your abilities and bring it home safely. You drive safely on the street. Its no different.

 

For 5 years I used my daily driver on track. No damage, no problems.

I kept my head on straight and stayed safe.

 

Remember you dont get faster with your car in a tire wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jon dawes
your only obligation is to drive within your abilities

 

and i readily admit I could use a good dose of this. each time i get faster in one section of the track [either literally faster or driving a better line] the NEXT section is DIFFERENT and I have to change the way i used to drive it cause now i'm entering it at a different speed or from a different location.

 

did you do HPDE for 5 years???? wowzers. . . and i mean that like "wowzers it takes a long time to get good" and not "man it took him a long time to get good"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shotgunslade

The reason I'm going to move on from my daily driver for track days is not because of fear of damaging it on course, it's because of fear of mechanical failure leaving me stranded 4 hours from home. I intend to trailer so that my ride home is mechanically reliable. Driving home with a wounded car on Sunday night is no fun. Even if we don't hit anything or leave the track, HPDE is very hard on 100,000 mi+ cars. Even if your engine is bullet-proof, there are any number of hoses, ancillary parts, pumps, connections, etc. that can decide they have given enough and don't have to put up with that kind of abuse. In which case, you're screwed until you can get that widget delivered from subaruparts.com.

 

I absolutely think that using your DD for the first part of your motorsports career is a good idea. You have no idea whether you're going to like it enough to make it a significant part of the rest of your life. But, at some point, many people want to regularize their track lives and avoid as much stress as possible. It's also good to know that if I hit the wall with my new tube frame Super 7 clone, I'll probably just wipe off some suspension members, replacement of which will cost a lot less than than putting my spanking new Porsche Caymen S (dream on) onto a chassis jig and rebuilding the entire right side sheet metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gonz
The reason I'm going to move on from my daily driver for track days is not because of fear of damaging it on course, it's because of fear of mechanical failure leaving me stranded 4 hours from home. I intend to trailer so that my ride home is mechanically reliable. Driving home with a wounded car on Sunday night is no fun. Even if we don't hit anything or leave the track, HPDE is very hard on 100,000 mi+ cars. Even if your engine is bullet-proof, there are any number of hoses, ancillary parts, pumps, connections, etc. that can decide they have given enough and don't have to put up with that kind of abuse. In which case, you're screwed until you can get that widget delivered from subaruparts.com.

 

been there. WHen my WRX wheel bearing failed at VIR, nobody had anything in stock (pep boys, advance, autozone etc.)

 

Then when I started calling salvage yards to get an entire knuck/hub/bearing assembly the usualy answer was " We ain't got nuthin like that, bubba."

 

no joke. I finally got lucky and tracked down a part in North Carolina, not too far away, and saved myself a 250 mile TOW back home.

 

Now if I blow TFI module (or whatever goes bad on Mustangs), the parts guy will probably say " yep, I got TWENTY of those in stock. 50 cents each. Come on over."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Renntag
...did you do HPDE for 5 years???? ...

 

Yeah, as starving college student working part time to get financial aid and part time for myself on the side....there was no time for HPDE. I did 1-2 events/year early on. Once I was out of school and had a short period where I had a little time and more money....I did a bunch more.

 

The difference here being that I had already raced motorcycles and new "the line" through a turn. What I had to learn and still am learning....is how to drive in order maximize what you have. Driving hard and driving efficiently are 2 different things. Both will net a fast lap time, only one nets a victory.

 

 

 

 

...because of fear of mechanical failure leaving me stranded 4 hours from home. ...

 

That still makes NO SENSE. by that same reasoning....perhaps I shouldnt use my daily driver to go away for the weekend, because I might break down and not make it home. You drive the thing everyday, what about not making it to work? How about being stuck on the freeway late at night after a company meeting or a late dinner?

 

If you stay on top of your maintenance there is no reason why a daily driver cant be dead nuts reliable. I tracked my GTi and my Porsches and never had a failure. I spent alot of time and effort ensuring they were reliable. It can be done. Driving a car hard on the track is not much worse than driving it hard on the street. At the track you can overdrive the car and more easily put it into failure.....but you can easily put yourself into failure as well. Even successful racers have to drive within the limits of their equipment in order to go full race distance.

 

The guy above who lost a wheel bearing, you didn't mention that you went through everything on the car prior to heading to the track and the wheel bearings were perfect. Pre-tech at home 2-3 weeks prior to an event is important.

 

I am currently trailering a car to all the HPDE events I do. Next year I wont be doing that for every event and plan to drive my street car when ever possible. I have no concern about making it home since the car is in good mechanical condition and is kept that way.

 

I am not trying to suggest that NOTHING can happen, we'd be in a perfect world if that were the case. What I am saying is prepare for the worst, have a contingency plan and work with what you have.

 

Don't limit yourself because "what if...."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jon dawes

i don't disagree with any of you, but if i had the choice of a decent rig and trailer vs. driving the track car to and from the track, i'd pick the latter, for this, that, and the other reasons listed all over the place. but for now the trick is just what Colin said, making the track car reliable and safe enough to get to the track, on the track, and home from the track. sort of a challenge, but worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jon dawes

for those interested, here's an update on the latest i've heard about DE insurance:

 

Jon,

 

We were asked by Snellings Walters Insurance Agency, to contact you regarding our DE program. Unfortunately, their program is not running at this time. WSIB has a DE program that will work for you. We have attached the application for you to review. If you are still interested in a DE Program, please complete the attached application and email back to us. If you have any questions regarding this email or the application, please feel free to contact us at the number below or via email.

 

Thank you,

 

Service Team

WSIB Motorsports Insurance

950 W. Monroe Suite G200

Jackson, MI 49202

PH (866) 904-9742 x2510

Fax (866) 974-2329

 

*i don't work for WSIB or any insurance agency so take the info for what it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shotgunslade

Even with appropriate maintenance, high mileage cars are prone to unexpected failures, as obscure parts reach the end of their lives. I don't take my DD/track car/train car on any long distance trips except to the track. When I do long distance driving trips, I take my wife's car, which has less than half of the mileage. I think it is much less likely to experience trip-ruining mechanical problems. But, I wouldn't want to take it on the track. So, we agree to disagree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
soundguydave
...because of fear of mechanical failure leaving me stranded 4 hours from home. ...

 

That still makes NO SENSE. by that same reasoning....perhaps I shouldnt use my daily driver to go away for the weekend, because I might break down and not make it home. You drive the thing everyday, what about not making it to work? How about being stuck on the freeway late at night after a company meeting or a late dinner?

 

I kind of have to disagree with you here... While I admit that I have only one HPDE event under my belt (Autobahn: full course 3.5mi), I went there with a 2006 Mustang GT (complete suspension rebuild, some motor mods) that has always been a strong running car, and true to form, walked away from everything in HPDE 1-2 except for a pair of Z06 vettes and a Ferrari. By the end of the third session, though, I was pushing the coolant temps well into the red, and cut that session short. Same thing happened on the fourth session. This is with a car in impeccable mechanical condition, and fewer than 14,000 miles on the clock... If I pushed the car a little harder, or wasn't so focused on bringing it home in one piece, I could easily have cooked the motor.

 

The truth to it is that HPDE is mechanically much more abusive than street driving, and for a much longer period. I spent 20 minutes with the engine revs hanging between 4500-6400, which I would never do on the street. Right now, I need to make decisions for next season.

 

Option 1 would be to upgrade the cooling system (radiator, electric water pump), buy DE insurance, and continue to track my DD.

 

Option 2 would be to buy something like a Focus (to build into a SF ride) and trailer it in.

 

I'm honestly leaning towards option two, since it would eliminate the "worry" factor of piling my DD into a tire wall while learning to drive competitively, plus, it would gain me valuable seat time in a car that I could afford to compete in. My DD is too heavily modded for CMC, not modded enough for AI, and far too expensive in my financial position to be able to just walk away from, even if I was willing to gut the interior and add a cage, fire bottle, fuel cell and cutoffs, which I'm not necessarily willing to do. A $10,000 spec Focus, on the other hand, I would be able to wreck and walk away from without ending up in the poor house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Renntag
...because of fear of mechanical failure leaving me stranded 4 hours from home. ...

 

That still makes NO SENSE. by that same reasoning....perhaps I shouldnt use my daily driver to go away for the weekend, because I might break down and not make it home. You drive the thing everyday, what about not making it to work? How about being stuck on the freeway late at night after a company meeting or a late dinner?

 

I kind of have to disagree with you here... While I admit that I have only one HPDE event under my belt ..... I was pushing the coolant temps well into the red,..... Same thing happened on the fourth session. ...... If I pushed the car a little harder,.... I could easily have cooked the motor.

 

 

I spent about 5 years using one of my cars as a street car and a track car. I drove it to the track and back home again, never with a problem. I drove the car HARD on the street. I maintained it religiously. I still fail to see the difference. Why would you knowingly push your car into failure? If you were driving home and it was over heating....would you keep driving until it died? That is the mindset I am reading here. I know many many people that track their street cars. They push the car as hard as it can go without going into the near danger area. The people that I talk to at the track that are most worried about breaking their cars are often the ones that dont maintain them properly or fail to pay attention to the gauges and warning signs.

 

I am not trying to be argumentative, but I'm simply stating that there is no reason to deny yourself some track time in the car you are most intimate with (because you think you may break it). If you feel you cannot excersize the restraint to stay with in the limits of the car, then perhaps it is best to leave it at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honda-Junky

For what its worth, I trailer my car to all the HPDE's I go to. I decided that I wanted to make my civic a designated track car before the first HPDE I went to and have trailered it ever since. You would think that since I trailer my car to the track, I would have no worries about getting to or from the track, but multiple things still go through my mind...

 

1. What if I lose a bearing on the trailer or the brakes seize?

2. What if I crash at the track....how do I get the car on the trailer?

3. What if I break down 250 miles away from my house on sunday night after I leave the track...will a tow truck tow my trailer home?

 

There are more things that could go wrong with a Car/Trailer/Truck Combination because there is more opportunity.

 

All I am trying to point out is that there will always be certain risks involved with driving your car...or your trailer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Renntag

I agree 100%. Anything can go wrong at anytime. Its how you prepare that helps to alleviate potential problems.

 

Having a dedicated track car doesnt always make life easier. Now you have another mouth to feed so to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
STRINGER

Story number 1

 

I bought a Miata to track it. Because I live in an apartment, I have to keep it "street legal" as far as inspection, tags and registration. A friend of mine offered me the use of his car trailer to use at no charge. It is not the prettiest thing to look at and rattles, squeaks and shakes a lot. Its too big for my car but has a neat feature of a tire rack. Most all of the lights are busted off except for the essentials. But I will say it has treated me well.

 

On the other hand, my team mate has a brand new trailer under a year old and on the way home from Roebling, the brake hardware on the right side literally shattered into little pieces. We pulled into a T/A truck stop and one of the mechanics told us of a guy that might be able to get us home. After gutting the brakes and several trips back and forth the parts store we were able to continue.

 

Story number 2:

 

One the way home from VIR. Another team mate was still driving his track car to and from. Half way home in the middle of nowhere, the engine lost oil pressure. On the side of 58 we gathered as much oil as we had and filled her back up hoping that it was a small leak and able to get it back home. 1/2 mile later...no pressure. We managed to get lucky and stop on a side road. I unloaded my car and scrambled to find the plates for it. We loaded his car onto my trailer and drove the rest of the way home uneventful.

 

I would highly suggest traveling in groups if at all possible. There is no substitute to having fellow racers around you to help out if something goes wrong.

 

This winter I plan on working on a 24' enclosed trailer I have access to as my main trailer. I plan on the open trailer as a spare if desperately needed. I am just hoping my truck will have what it takes to haul it around. Need to redo the floor and upgrade the lighting in it. The brake system has never been used so I am a bit worried at the condition. It is only about 3 years old, but has only moved 6 times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MustGoFaster

I don't track my DD car. 03 Grand Am. Not really a track type car IMHO. The cars that I have tracked have been my weekend/fun cars. My Conquest has seen BIR twice now, and my second Stealth made it to MAM and RA. It didn't make it home from RA under it's own power. It broke a rod, maybe two. At the time I was more pissed that I only got 5 laps in. Now, I still wish I got more than 5 laps in, and don't really want to spend the time to fix it, but will be working on that soon. Anything can happen on the track, and same goes for the street. If I hadn't tracked the car I'm sure it would be blowing up on me some time next spring. Old parts wear out. They can be worn out quicker by using them harder. Tracking your DD is something you should do with that in mind. I don't say that to discourge anybody from tracking their DD, but take a second and consider if you can handle the situation IF it happens. If you think about it and say well I can get the car home in XXX way and get a ride to work from X, your good to go. If you look at it and say I'd be f-d, maybe you should skip it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...