FAQ – Track Day Preparation
How do I prepare for a track day?
Although modern cars are built to withstand stresses above those that they will experience on the road, standard production cars are not built with track work in mind. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help ensure the car will cope with the extra stresses and go home in the same condition it arrived: First off we would recommend you read Lotus own recommendations:
Ensure you get a good nights sleep before you leave for the track day. They can be quite tiring as you will need to concentrate more than you do with normal driving. The social side to our days are keenly encouraged so expect to be busy all day chatting to fellow enthusiasts. So being relaxed and alert will help you to have a safer and more enjoyable day. You must cover your arms and legs so please bring suitable clothing, don’t wear anything that’s going to flap about too much.
What to bring to a track day
The most important thing is the right attitude. There will be a set of simple rules designed to keep you and others safe, if you come prepared to follow those rules, you will be fine, break them and you’ll be going home early. Other than that, a suitable & safe car and the correct clothing.
Helmets are compulsory for all people intending to drive or passenger.
All drivers and passengers must wear a crash helmet that is suitable for driving a car on circuit. ANY open vehicle will require a driver to wear a full face helmet or fit a full fixed roof (not soft top). At some circuits we require drivers to wear a helmet that complies with current FIA/MSA/FFSA/RACB standards, this will be advertised on the relevant booking page. Drivers are responsible for ensuring helmets are fitted correctly. Jet style helmets will be classed as open face. It should be noted that a cheap scooter helmet is not suitable for driving a car on circuit.
Helmet cameras are not permitted. Helmets should be as light as possible, the lower the helmet weight the lower the risk of neck injuries.
Attaching a camera to a helmet may also lead to a concentrated impact load in the event of an incident. Additionally, the rounded profile of a helmet helps to deflect any impacting objects and a camera must not be allowed to interfere with this.
Remove everything from the car that is not firmly fixed down. Pens and soft drink cans can become lethal projectiles. Make sure you remove everything from the boot of the car too, in some cases this means the spare wheel also, there is always somewhere to keep things at an event, while you are on the track (remember that neither the circuit or Lotus-on-Track can take responsibility for belongings so please leave anything expensive at home)
The actual part of the car making contact with the track needs to be in very good condition and set at the right pressures. There is no hard and fast rule here, as it will be determined by the make of car and the make of tyre, also the track conditions and your own personal preference. Check that pressures are even and check them when they are at track temperatures. However, please be sure to make any adjustments at the track and return the tyres to normal road pressures before you leave.
Check that your brake disks and pads are in good condition. Make sure if you need to change the pads that you have time to bed them in well before taking to the track. Many regular track day enthusiasts upgrade the disks, pads and brake fluid they use which on top of improving track performance, will also make your car safer for the road.
Your engine will spend more time at high revs than ever before, check that all the filters and belts are in good order and pay particular attention to the oil level. Bring some oil with you, as it is normal for an engine to “burn” some during a track day. Keep an eye on the level during the day keeping it close to or at the max. Be careful not to overfill though. Upgrading the oil to one that can handle higher temperatures is a good idea.
Suspension and steering parts will help define how well your car handles, and hence how comfortable you will feel out on the track. Make sure these parts are in good working order and don’t be tempted to take to the track (or road for that matter) with faulty or worn parts.
Bodywork should be in good order, as we don’t want boot lids, wheel covers, spoilers leaving your car while you are driving.
Fire extinguishers are not compulsory. However, it’s recommended that you purchase an in-car fire extinguisher to keep in the cabin of the car. Make sure it is secure and will stay firmly fixed in the event of an accident.
This sounds obvious, but it’s very important. Be sure to have at least half a tank of fuel in your car before each session as if you run out on the track your car will be pushed by the marshals to a safe place and may be left there until the end of the day. Under NO circumstances will you be allowed back on the track, it’s a silly mistake and risks stopping track activity for others.