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Old 07-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
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Any tips for my first HPDE ?

Doing my first HPDE at NJMP Thunderbolt 8/22-23/2012.Looking for advice & tips from those who have experience.Car is stock except for Pedders pace car kit with FE4/5 sway bar & lowered 33mm.Planing brake fluid flush(Motul RBF600)& tech 2 weeks prior to event. Tire pressures?Damping settings?Anything?
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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For stock tires/rims, set the cold pressures to 30psi for the fronts and the rears to 28psi. Recheck them each time you go back on the track, you may have to adjust them during the day, your instructor will help you with this.
Flush the brake fluid, including the clutch line before you go.
Call Pedders and ask what settings they recommend for you.
Tech inspection will happen at the track before you go on, you don't necessarily need to do it beforehand, unless your group requires it.
Bring a cooler with ice water, gatorade, etc....

At your first event it will feel like everything is happening very quickly, so try and relax and go with the flow. Go to the driver's meeting so you can learn where to go on grid, where to enter the track, and where to exit the track. Drive carefully in the paddock. Listen to your instructor.

When you are on track, the best lessons to learn early on are to keep your eyes up so you can see as far ahead of you as possible, and to gently squeeze and release the throttle and brake pedals. Think of a dimmer switch with infinite settings, rather than an on-off switch. Make your steering inputs small, careful, and smooth. If you can do those things, you will have a successful first day at the track.

Specific to Thunderbolt: Park on the asphalt, the grassy area is pretty sandy and the sand will get everywhere. The building with the bathrooms has showers, if it is hot, bring a towel and change of clothes with you for the end of the day. The Millville Queen Diner serves excellent food quickly for lunch when you get a break.

Enjoy your 1st track day!
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Last edited by ericedelman; 07-17-2012 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Biggest Rule - Be safe.

Second Biggest Rule - Have a fantastic time! Don't get caught up in trying to out drive that Spec Miata you're likely to give a pass by too. Remember that driving a skill and there are VERY few that are just born with it, you have to work at it to get faster. Having a great time is the best way to make sure you're going to come back, and get better.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #4
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Rokrau, thanks for asking this. This is good info for many of us here!

Thanks Eric and Phadt. Us newbs really appreciate it. The more 5th gens on the road courses the better, for data!!!!
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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Learn the track lines first before trying to go fast. Once you learn the lines and braking points, speed will come. You will find a rhythm on the track. DO NOT worry about what is behind you. Focus on the track, your entry point, apex, and exit points. You find SMOOTH throttle imputs work best, not "ON" "OFF"

Like the other guys said, HAVE FUN

Don't set your parking brake unless you absolutely HAVE to.

Do you mind if I ask how much it is and how did you sign up for it? I was on there web page and didn't see a place.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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Don't forget a hat and sunblock. Check the dress code. Some groups are liberal and require only closed toe shoes and a helmet others require at least long jeans, long sleeve cotton shirt, and an SA approved helmet (no M ratings). You might also want to ride along the first couple laps with your instructor in your car to get a view of the track which also lets the instructor get a feel for how safe your car is. If you think about it thats a pretty tough job to jump into some strangers car and trust them and their car not to kill them at some serious speeds. And have fun.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericedelman View Post
For stock tires/rims, set the cold pressures to 30psi for the fronts and the rears to 28psi. Recheck them each time you go back on the track, you may have to adjust them during the day, your instructor will help you with this.
Flush the brake fluid, including the clutch line before you go.
Call Pedders and ask what settings they recommend for you.
Tech inspection will happen at the track before you go on, you don't necessarily need to do it beforehand, unless your group requires it.
Bring a cooler with ice water, gatorade, etc....

At your first event it will feel like everything is happening very quickly, so try and relax and go with the flow. Go to the driver's meeting so you can learn where to go on grid, where to enter the track, and where to exit the track. Drive carefully in the paddock. Listen to your instructor.

When you are on track, the best lessons to learn early on are to keep your eyes up so you can see as far ahead of you as possible, and to gently squeeze and release the throttle and brake pedals. Think of a dimmer switch with infinite settings, rather than an on-off switch. Make your steering inputs small, careful, and smooth. If you can do those things, you will have a successful first day at the track.

Specific to Thunderbolt: Park on the asphalt, the grassy area is pretty sandy and the sand will get everywhere. The building with the bathrooms has showers, if it is hot, bring a towel and change of clothes with you for the end of the day. The Millville Queen Diner serves excellent food quickly for lunch when you get a break.

Enjoy your 1st track day!
Excellent tips!!
Eric you should join our performance group.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/group.php?groupid=244

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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TLSTWIN; http://jsrpca.com/ Guys thanks for the info.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Anyone have XA damping setting recommendations?
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #10
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Anyone have XA damping setting recommendations?
As this is your first HPDE keep it conservative 15 in the front and 15 in the rear. The harder you set the rear damping the looser / faster it will be.
  • You have the brake fluid flush planned. Stainless lines are a plus.
  • Check your pads and replace them if you don't have 60% of the pad to use.
  • I am a maintenance fanatic and would replace the dif, tranny and PS fluids. Fluids are cheap compared to repairs.
  • Double check your belts and tensioner.
  • Lay a wrench on every nut and bolt in the suspension and drive line to verify they are tight.
  • Empty your car of everything including floor mats. You don't need the trunk mat. Your don't need a spare tire in a can / inflator on track. Is your battery secure?
  • Pull your engine cover, coil covers or any other dress up stuff that holds heat.
  • Get a http://www.cg-lock.com/how.html Rob Anderson Info@PeddersUSA.com has them in stock. Staying in your seat will make you faster.
  • Check you lug nut torque.
  • Hydrate. This stuff is intense.

Have fun.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:06 AM   #11
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NJMP requires an SA helmet for automotive use, and even though an open-face helmet may be OK for cars with airbags it's still better to have the closed face.

Bring some kind of portable shade to go with your cooler and water/juice. Also some weights to keep loose stuff from blowing away. It can get windy there.

Don't get carried away with tuning the car. There's something to be said for leaving it somewhere near what you're already accustomed to. You're about to start learning a new skill, and trying to learn the car being different at the same time can get in the way of that. The fun part is in the driving (and maybe realizing that you're starting to find that rhythm), anyway.


Track maps of NJMP are available, as are aerial pictures via Mapquest and plenty of videos. I think it would be worth a little time beforehand getting an idea of the layout, where the flag stations are, etc.


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Old 07-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
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Thanks guys,especially Pete! I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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Angel Pads are a bit more expensive than CG locks, but they do a better job of keeping your butt planted in the seat. They're made by Angelwings Tech.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:44 AM   #14
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Angel Pads are a bit more expensive than CG locks, but they do a better job of keeping your butt planted in the seat. They're made by Angelwings Tech.
I have a set and they work well.

http://angelwingstech.com/featured-product-3/

Also, Craig wrote a good article about track day prep for Corvette Online. Check it out here:

http://www.corvetteonline.com/other-...r-first-event/
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #15
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Thanks again guys,I am taking notes.Hoping to tech next Wednesday.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #16
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TC?

What about the traction control button ?
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #17
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For stock tires/rims, set the cold pressures to 30psi for the fronts and the rears to 28psi. Recheck them each time you go back on the track, you may have to adjust them during the day, your instructor will help you with this.
I was told the opposite by my HSAX club and experienced racers I know. Both had told me to add more air to avoid sidewall roll. You can easily check this by chalking the sidewalls of the tire in various points around the tire. If you have too little pressure the sidewall will roll on hard turning and the chalk rubs off.

Good advice everyone gave. Pete laid out a good punch list to use. Just try and check the lugs for torque when the wheels are cool.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #18
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What about the traction control button ?
Leave the nannies on until you a feel for the track. You want to learn the lines to follow initially. It's not about the speed, it's about knowing where to drive on the track to get the best times. As you become confident where you need to be, increase the speed and follow those lines. Then try it without the nannies. You'll be amazed at how much they were holding you back when you really push it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #19
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What about the traction control button ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bannonm View Post
Leave the nannies on until you a feel for the track. You want to learn the lines to follow initially. It's not about the speed, it's about knowing where to drive on the track to get the best times. As you become confident where you need to be, increase the speed and follow those lines. Then try it without the nannies. You'll be amazed at how much they were holding you back when you really push it.
I agree, once you feel you are ready to loosen the restrictions of the TC, do it in stages. Hit the button once and run it like that for a while, then if you feel you need to, shut it all off.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #20
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What about the traction control button ?
How much experience do you have in enthusiastically driving cars that do not have this or other nannies, or at least with them turned off?


I'm going to take a different view on specifically TC. In part, this system works by applying the brakes to any wheel that has been determined to be spinning too fast. The downside here is that the rear brakes will tend to run hotter than necessary and the pads will wear more rapidly as well. In the beginning, whatever throttle reduction also takes place won't have adverse consequences (it probably won't let you get back into the throttle quite as soon as you might wish).

I do understand that the younger drivers among us probably haven't been exposed to driving "barefoot" (IOW, without any nannies at all). Keep in mind that the intent of all these systems absolutely is NOT to let you get better at driving harder. They're there to help keep all the lowest-common-denominator moron drivers out of trouble and let them get away with all manner of clumsiness and driver error. The specific downside when it comes to open-tracking is that they can let you learn bad habits and can even get in the way of making the car do what you know that it can do. Don't ever forget that it is possible to exceed their corrective capabilities.



Although I despise all these nannies (and except for occasionally forgetting to do so, I shut them off in all of my driving) I can't in good conscience advise anybody who is accustomed to driving with them active to disable them all for their first couple of sessions.

But I will suggest if you can shut only the TC off that you do so. Dialing out the rest is probably best left to you and your instructor in real time, based partly on how quickly you get "smooth" and partly on how infrequently you get any of the nannies to activate as you build up a little speed.


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Old 08-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #21
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Passed Tech!

Front brake pads are on the low side,ordered some from Carbotech $252 shiped(ouch) 15,000mi. Should have them by Wednesday.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #22
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Front brake pads are on the low side,ordered some from Carbotech $252 shiped(ouch) 15,000mi. Should have them by Wednesday.
Which pad compound did you buy?
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #23
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The Carbotech pads are RP2.Directions say to cut the rotors (fine cut).So I guess I'm cutting them Saturday morning.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:31 PM   #24
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With a temp rating of 1650 you'll be on the edge of the pads without some type of brake duct. This is your first HPDE, so it may not matter. As you ramp up your speeds and depth in the corner before braking you'll want to switch to 2,000 pad.

How many miles are on your rotors?
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #25
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15,500 miles
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