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Discussion Starter #1
All you track vets can say
right now, but this is such exciting news for me! Long story short, my husband who is a contractor did a tiny side job for his mom's friend. Ends up that her husband owns a pretty big Motorsports Complex here called BeaveRun. Hubby does job for free, I got a certificate today in the mail for my first open lapping day there--included in a thank you note to Doug. He invited me to bring my Z out to the track for the whole day and he is going to be my instructor. You have to have an instuctor on your first day in order to get a license to be on the track alone. Which is totally cool by me b/c I would feel a lot more confident with some schooling. I've never driven a vehicle on any track, my horse yes but not anything motorized at all. My dad begged me to race his flat track motorcycle, I have jumped out of an airplane but I'll be dammed if I'd go 180 mph around a track with nothing but a hockey puck btwn my knee and the pavement!
I will do it sometime this summer probably. So, I will def. take pics to share, and let all you vets laugh at me! HEEHEE But it will be fun!

Any pointers that you want to share with me I am totally open!
 

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You definitely want an instructor your first time out, as you already know. You need to learn the racing "line" (the part of the track you need to be on at all times to get the fastest lap time).

You might want to consider getting competition tires, but maybe you defer that decision until after your first track day. If you decide you want to do it again, then maybe get tires that are better for the track.

You will need a helmet. Check with the track to see what they require, but a DOT/Snell 90 is probably fine. I got an open face model at a motorcycle shop for $70. They may even rent them at the track, call to find out.

You will probably be out in the sun a lot, while you are off the track and others are driving, so bring some sun screen.

If you drive beyond your capabilities and start to spin, just let it happen. Hold the wheel straight, and depress both the clutch and the brake, until you come to a stop in the dirt. Do not try to save it. That's where novices really get in trouble. You don't want to be spinning back accross the track with another novice driver behind you. Being in the dirt is a little embarrassing (and dusty) but that's about all.

Most of all, have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Richard! I appreciate it, and anything that you guys might want to add. I think that they will provide me with the helmet for the first day. Def. a must--I am going to take it easy on the WOT's at first, since she has been banged up quite a bit lately
I have been researching the speeds thru the turns etc that they have in the brochure. It is really quite informative. It's all sooooo exciting for me! Next thing you know I am going to be letting hubby do the SC install like he wants......YIKES!
 

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Proxes is an excellent high performance tire on the street, and will perform well on the track. As long as you aren't drifting, you shouldn't get too much wear from one day at the track.
 

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Suggestions?

1) Leave the ego at home and listen to your instructor. Remember that a DE is not a race.

2) Take it easy and work your speed up. Better safe than sorry.

3) Don't lift on the throttle mid-turn. Throttle lift = bad!

4) Be smooth with your steering inputs, braking, and throttle application. You don't want a sudden change in your weight distribution that could cause you to lose control of the car.

5) Take notes on your car before and after each session. Note the tire pressure before and after, weather conditions, etc.

6) After each session, pop the hood to let the motor cool down faster, and don't keep your foot on the brakes. I suggest leaving the car in gear and turning off the car.

5) Have fun!

Be forewarned that this hobby is extremely addictive and expensive. We like to call our track cars "go-fast-crack-pipes."


That's all I can think of at the moment, hope this helps.
 

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Forgot to a few things. Between sessions you'll likely have a decent amount of downtime. I suggest going to different turns on the track (near the corner worker stations), and watching other cars' lines. You'll also notice other details about the track that you may not see, such as camber built into the track. When on-track, you want to look where you want to go, so look through the turns. Hopefully your instructor will cover this.
 

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John's suggestions are good. Here's one more. When you park after the end of a run session, as John says, turn off your engine, leave your car in gear and pop the hood. The one thing he didn't mention is DO NOT ENGAGE THE PARKING BRAKE. Leave the handbrake handle in the down position. Your brakes are very hot when you get off the track after a run session, and if you apply the parking brake, you could warp the rotors.
 

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On 99% of cars out there, you're right about the parking brake. The 350Z design is a bit different though, as the e-brake is somewhat of a drum design within the rotor. I don't think we have to worry about the warping issue as much, but just to be safe, don't use the e-brake...
 
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