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New drive wanting to race


Scubasteve
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Hello everyone,

 

I am brand new to track racing and need to get some info. I have done many auto x events and love every minute of it but I've always wanted more. I currently drive a 2012 Subaru wrx hatchback. The car is bone stock besides a short shifter. I have a dot approved helmet and am just trying to get as much info before I take the first jump.

 

My first event will be Sebring next month. Anyone have suggestions or ideas for anything I need to do for my car. The car has 12000 miles on it will a fresh oil change.

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Welcome!

 

Make sure you have good tread on your tires, that you have plenty of brake pad left, and that the brake fluid looks good. All that should be fine for such a new car, but you should double check, or have someone do so - when you get your pre-tech inspection done, if not sooner.

 

DOT helmets don't necessarily pass. Check for the Snell sticker inside, under the liner. That's what the tech inspectors and instructors look for.

 

HPDE isn't racing. Go into it with an open mind, relax, listen carefully to your instructor and don't be afraid to ask questions.

 

All the articles at the bottom of the page here are great: http://www.drivenasafl.com/driving/hpde/

 

Hope it helps, and see you at Sebring,

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I assume your taking HPDE1 since you've never been on track (other than autoX). I too started going in my street car and found there are some things you need to change for open tracking your car......brakes, brakes, brakes!!! My stock Brembo's (SRT8) just couldn't handle the stress. Get GOOD brake fluid (one example: wilwood EXP), spare rotors for racing, and good pads. Everything else about a street car will do fine when you get started. I nearly lost the car my first weekend when the vrakes got soft and a buddy came a year later and tore the passenger side of his car up when his failed.

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DOT doesn't mean much, and even just having a Snell rating doesn't either. You need to Snell SA rating, not M rating. I think SA2005 is still OK, but double-check with your local group.

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The answer to this question is in the CCR. Although the latest and greatest SA rating is great, it is not absolutely required for HPDE...

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Hey ScubaSteve, welcome and get ready for some fun.

 

I did my first HPDE in January and will be doing my third in Sebring (June 15-16). Its a lot of fun.

 

A couple of pointers that you may have read somewhere or missed.

 

I was wandering around my first morning not knowing what to do looking for direction. First thing is you need to report to the Drivers Meeting. From there you will be taken to the HPDE-1&2 classroom session. After the session there will be a short wait till your first track session. Your instructor will tech your car, with you, at this time; no need to go through the general tech inspection. They will probably expect to find you staged with the other HPDE cars (not sure of Sebring's pit arrangements; I have not participated at an event there yet) so just look for where they are hanging out.

 

Once you get out on the track take it easy the first session. Slowly build up speed. There is no need to impress your instructor with how fast you think you can drive. He wont be impressed anyway. I said to myself I would do this and then first session out did the exact opposite. Had to get spoken too even. Second session I went out, slowed down, and then began to learn.

 

Bring plenty of water.

 

Miguel - e30 - #30 (I expect)

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On your first track day just go out there and have fun, get to know the track and your car. The car is going to feel much different than it does during autoX. Make sure you have good tread, good pads, brake fluid and you might have to drain the coolant out and run water and water wetter. Remember get comfortable with the track and car.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did my first track day last year in a stock 2012 WRX with 3000 miles. I ended up hitting 4 different tracks over 10 track days that season. Take it easy and expect sensory overload (what flag stand?). Don't try to impress anyone including yourself. Speed comes. Recommendations you have so far for the car are good and the stock Dunlop's are ok to start with so don't sweat them. Keep the traction control ON. In your car it's not as obtrusive as other manufacturers. When it activates youwill know. Otherwise it's probably your imagination. Once it gets in the way consider turning it off. Once you find some speed your brakes will be the first things you'll notice going. It's a heavy car and they get soft quickly due to heat. I swapped fluid for ATE Super Blue before I saw my first track day due to this concern. Pads too. If it rains consider it a bonus as the WRX likes rainy days. Your car is stable, predictable and a hell of a lot of fun.

 

Have fun. Don't be afraid to talk with people especially in your run group. Keep hydrated. Pay attention to your driving before considering upgrades to your car.

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