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HDPE with Daily Driver?

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LearningCurves

How many people are tracking their Daily Drivers? The reason why I ask is that I am looking into maybe doing some HDPE events with my 2014 Chevy Sonic LTZ turbo... The only mods that I have yet to install is a Trifecta Tune... everything else is stock including tires... is it an absolute must to go out and buy a set of sticky tires? The car is an auto or manu-matic... Would I need to run a transmission cooler?? and do I need to go out and buy track approved pads for my first event?

 

I have driven one other track day with a 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5Rs in 2006... Is it a completely different driving style for a front-wheel drive car over the all-wheel drive?

 

Elijah

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jimbow

Your Daily will be fine for HPDE, buy the HPDE insurance and drive the wheels off it.

I was instructing at Road Atlanta last weekend and was running 1:57s with a STOCK v6 Camaro with street tires and alignment.

you won't be that quick when you start.

 

Eventually you'll find better tires, alignment or brake pads are a must.

 

One more thing - does it have the CVT or plain old auto? There was a Spark with the cvt out at the event and they were overheating the trans after a couple of laps.

So if your Sonic has the cvt - get a trans cooler ASAP. It was cold out last weekend.

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427R

When I got started in NASA-HPDE in 2008, I was using my DD, 2008 Mustang. I'd drive to the weekend events, do my thing and drive home. I learned in my 1st event at Waterford Hils to get better track pads for the brakes. The stock street ones will get overheated-overused quickly even in HPDE 1 & 2 events. I began using Hawks HP+ pads both front & rear for the track and the street, saved having to change them out at the track events. Used them all the way up to DE 3. Once in DE 3 the brake pads needed to be upgraded and after talking to some Hawk Tech's, ended up going with track dedicated pads, DTC's. After that, is when I began making more track specific changes to the car. Till then, it stayed my DD and pretty much stock.

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brkntrxn

I think DE'ing your daily driver your first couple of events is the best thing you can do. You already know the car, you are familiar with how it drives and behaves. It is one less variable to overcome during an event.

 

Swap to better brake pads before/at the event and drive it.

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SDunlap

I'd recommend reading through this as you're preparing: https://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/preparing.html

 

I've been using my street car for HPDEs for a few years now. I upgraded my brake pads and fluid before my first time out, and asks added brake cooling ducts. As others have said, I'd at least replace the brake fluid with high temp stuff - I've had good luck with ATE Typ 200.

 

You'll do fine on street tires, they won't be what's holding you back your first weekend, plus street tires make plenty of noise to let you know what they're doing.

 

Eventually you'll want to upgrade, but your first few times out it won't be the car that's holding you back. You'll probably be passed by a few Miatas - it happens to all of us.

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getfast
HDPE events

 

HPDE is the activity in question: https://www.nasaproracing.com/hpde/

 

HDPE is a type of plastic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-density_polyethylene

 

Back on topic, we see many many many people in their daily drivers for HPDE - dare I say that's the most true intent of the program, giving people a much safer outlet than the street. Just make sure it'll pass tech and that the tires & brakes are good to go. You'll learn a lot, and have a blast!

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t500hps

I race now but ran my first 8-10 events in my daily driver SRT8 charger. Killed the brakes the first day. Buy front pads and rotors and put much better brake fluid in the car. Swap the pads the day before and drive the car to the track (they will squeal). Regular street tires are actually better for learning in HPDE 1-2. My race tires don't make a sound so you can't hear them getting ready to loose grip.

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LearningCurves

The car is a plain automatic with Manual mode... So I should be able to downshift and upshift whenever I need it...

 

I was hoping to get away with just running hotter brake fluid for the first one or two track days... So it sounds like Pads are a must along with the hotter fluid...

 

My local track is Mid-Ohio, which I know eats brake pads (Ate my Axxis Ultimate pads)... So maybe I should wait a year until I am able to afford new pads.

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Fr3AkAzOiD
... So maybe I should wait a year until I am able to afford new pads.

 

Don't want to sound like the bad guy, but....

If you can't afford a set of better brake pads then you probably shouldn't be taking the car to a track.

 

 

This is coming from someone who may or may not have his automatic transmission die on him the next time I take my car on the track.

I set a budget for myself each year. If I keep everything together I might do 5 or 6 weekends a year.

When things break (and they will) I'm left with less. Only had 1 weekend plus a single day last year.

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LearningCurves

You are not sounding like a bad guy... It is the plain truth... I was only thinking about running one event this year, I should be able to purchase a set of Hawk HP Plus pads if I decide to run more events next year... maybe I should consider running a trans cooler to keep transmission temps on the low side...

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Fr3AkAzOiD

A trans cooler is a good idea, I have been lucky to not have mine blow up without one.

However I will be having one installed if the trans doesn't blow up at VIR later this month.

 

You may want to reach out to the B-Spec guys as the Sonic is run in that race group. They may have some info on what the weak points in that car are.

 

Thing with underpowered cars is you have to run them at 8/10 just to keep from getting run over and at that point stuff will wear out.

Unlike the people running Corvettes at 6/10 passing you whose stuff will never break.

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n80

I think good brake fluid and better pads are a must. A track weekend registration costs around $300-$400. For those that don't camp, figure in food and lodging too. So you spend around $500 and go to the track and have brake fade or even worse, boil your fluid and as far as I am concerned the weekend is shot. It is hard, and no fun at all, to approach the next turn properly wondering if your brakes are going to work.

 

So get the pads, learn to replace them yourself which is super easy on most cars. Get a shop to flush and fill brake fluid with Motul or ATE or whatever if you don't know how to do that. That way, brakes never become a barrier to learning the track and having fun.

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