Race track driving days are avenues for drivers to explore the limits of their cars in a legal and safe space. If you’ve ever wondered what your souped-up car is capable of when it’s not being bogged down by traffic, or want to enhance your driving skills, then a day at the tracks is the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
That being said, driving a motorsports race track is a different beast from daily road driving. Before track day, you’ll want to make a few preparations to make the most of your time. Here are three helpful tips in preparing for your first race track driving day.
1. Choose the right track
As a first-timer on the race track, it’s crucial to choose a circuit suited for your abilities. Remember that race track driving is different from driving on public roads. Track events are a way for drivers to legally and safely push your car and driving ability to the limits, making it crucial for you to choose something that gives you just enough of a challenge without compromising on safety.
If you’re looking for a race track in Utah, Utah Motorsports Campus offers one of the safest in the world. Our facility has a major road course that follows international standards, and can be used in four configurations including the 4.486-mile Full Course, 3.05-mile Outer Course and two 2.2-mile sub-courses.
The track is also conveniently located just 25 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.
2. Do a thorough tune-up of your car
Race track driving is very hard on your car’s components, necessitating that you prepare your vehicle in every way possible. Here are four main components to check for track day.
Ensure that before race track driving day, your engine oil, brake fluids, transmission, steering, differentials, and radiator fluids are at optimum levels. While we’re on the subject of fluids, choose high octane fuel rated for racing to ensure optimum burn at wide throttles.
Brake Pads and Discs
Don’t forget to check the wear on your brake pads and discs. For a race track driving day, you will need a fresh pair of heavy duty pads on your wheels and a few extra pads on backup. Track driving speeds have been known to ignite brake pads, so ensure that you are using high-quality ones rated for tracks.
Check your tires—they’re the only part of your car that comes in direct contact with the road, and having enough tread depth will help ensure a fun and safe race track driving experience.
Bolts and Nuts
Bolts and nuts can get loose over time even in daily driving scenarios. This is accelerated in race track driving due to the vibrations of an engine being pushed to its limits. It’s good mechanic practice to tighten your bolts and nuts before track day.
3. Know and follow the rules
Every road has its rules, even the race track. While track events do let you drive faster and throttle your engine harder, rules still have to be established to ensure safety. This also ensures that you don’t miss the mandatory drivers’ briefing.
Every race track event will have its set of rules, but one usually universal thing is rules in overtaking. In general, you want to overtake on the left-hand side of the track and avoid overtaking in braking zones. Try to keep your eye out for cars speeding from behind and let them pass you safely. Remember that race track driving day is not a race day―you want to ensure that you’re not having fun at the expense of others.
One final piece of advice: be early. It makes sense to arrive early when race track driving to get a lay of the track. If you’re early, you might be given access to the track, which you can use to walk around it. Try to figure its shape before stepping into the actual car. Most events won’t let you participate in the event if you’re late. You will have missed orientation for the event.
If you’re looking for a race track in Salt Lake City, then Utah Motorsports Campus has you covered. Our facility includes 23 acres of paved paddock, 26 pit lane garages, and an international-standard course. Contact us today to learn more.
Check out our previous Mirror Check Blog article here: Outdoor Go-Kart Racing – 6 Tips and Tricks to Win Your Next Race