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First HPDE planned for August in NorCal - mentors?

John of the North

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Hello all,

Found out about NASA and HPDEs and am really looking forward to taking my 2017 Challenger Scat Pack manual to a road course.  Not looking to set the track on fire, just understand what this car is capable of...

A couple newbie questions.

- I have 2 set of wheels (a set of 20x9 w/ 275/40r20s,  and a staggered set of 20x9.5 and 20x10.5, with 275s in front and 305s in the back).  Which would be better to run at Thunderhead or a road course in general?

- Since I am a first timer, how can I sign up for a mentor or instructor?

- Checked out the safety checklist and everything sounds/looks good.  Anything else needed for car prep?  I saw something about numbers?

- Anything else I should know? 

Thunderhead is about an hour away so I will probably drive the car there.  Not sure if I'll drive both days yet.



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If you've never driven on track, then you will automatically be assigned to HPDE-1 where you'll have an instructor ride along with you, and they'll have a headset so they can talk with you during the on track sessions.  Don't be in a huge hurry to get signed off from HPDE-1 to HPDE-2, as the instructors may spot something you're doing wrong, so good to identify and fix those if you keep driving on track and start going faster.  As far as wheels/tires, either set should be fine as long as they have sufficient tread, and haven't been plugged.  When you just start out in HPDE-1, then the instructors will keep the speed fairly low, and slowly build up the speed.  For car numbers, just bring a roll of blue painters tape, and use that.  Also, bring a torque wrench, and check the torque of the wheel nuts before every session.  If the brake fluid is over a year or two old, it can absorb moisture and lower the boiling point, so might not hurt to do a full flush and refill - like Motul RBF600.  Some of the instructors drive in the HPDE-4 sessions, so if you have time, then hang out where they park with your helmet say 10' before the session, and they might let you ride along as a passenger, so you'll get a feel for the track at high speed.  Also, you mentioned 'Thunderhead' - I think you mean Thunderhill.  ;)  - Jim

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Might want to consider changing out the brake pads.  Even in DE-1, you'll do some wear & tear on the pads, enough at times that they'll begin to fade.  Changing brake fluid has already been mentioned.  Those are probably the 2 most important for 1st day trackers, IMO.

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Hi John,

If you have not already, please sign up for an annual NASA membership at nasaproracing.com, then you can register for HPDE 1 at the next event here: https://www.nasaproracing.com/events/3060

The NASA website has TONS of useful info so I recommend getting familiar with the site and spend some time reading. Looking forward to seeing you out there with us!


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