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Tracking / Autocross / HPDE / Drifting What these cars were built for!


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Old 09-09-2019, 03:52 PM   #15
Shark_Bait88
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Everyone here has pretty much covered everything, but I'll make two points.

1. I will echo the track insurance. If this is your only car and you can't afford to just write it off, absolutely get track insurance. You still need to accept that it'll be a notable expense if the worst is to happen, but track insurance makes it much easier to manage. The slightly higher entry cost (figure ball park $120-150/event) is well worth the piece of mind.

2. Like others have said, autocross is a great way to get into grassroots motorsports with what is probably the lowest barriers for both cost and risk. But I wouldn't let that scare you away from tracking, feeling like you need to autocross first. I did autocross first, and naturally most people do, but it isn't necessary. Though I wouldn't advise against it either. I will also add the caveat that autocross is not without its risk too. I have seen several accidents/totaled cars in autocross over the last several years, just within my region. The instances are far less than track days, but they exist. Don't let that scare you away at all, but it's important to understand that there is a real element of risk still.

You shouldn't need an oil cooler for your first track day. I'd get an OBD II dongle and the Torque app to monitor temps and just be cognizant of them for the first event. If you enjoy tracking, I have a hard time imaging that you won't , then I'd recommend investing in an oil cooler.

The best thing is that you have the right attitude to begin with. Go with a focus on having fun and learning. Stay humble, listen to your instructors, and keep an eye on your mirrors.

Also, join the Midwest 86 Cup group on FB. We are focused on learning, having fun, and continuing to grow a strong/close knit track community in the Midwest. We love answering questions and helping people get into/feel comfortable tracking.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark_Bait88 View Post
1. I will echo the track insurance.The slightly higher entry cost (figure ball park $120-150/event) is well worth the piece of mind.

You shouldn't need an oil cooler for your first track day. I'd get an OBD II dongle and the Torque app to monitor temps and just be cognizant of them for the first event.
I guess depending on what region you're in track day insurance may vary quite a bit. Last time I looked into it it would have cost me $350 for a lapping day.

Is oil temp available only if you get the paid version of the torque app? I have Torque Lite for now and I don't see it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:39 AM   #17
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Easy to get online track insurance quotes.

Tracking a car is highly educational in your progression as a driver. As long as you operate your vehicle within it's design limits you shouldn't have any concerns about mechanical failure.

Definitely use instructors. Most Car Club events include instructors for novice groups. I run the majority of my HPDEs with various regions of the Porsche Club of America. You don't need a Porsche to participate (used to track my S2000 with them all the time). Very friendly, knowledgeable and affordable events).
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Tristor (09-10-2019)
Old 09-10-2019, 10:10 AM   #18
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Most have been covered but I'll add a few pieces of data as I started tracking my car about two years ago.

1) Tracking and autox is pretty different. Yes, autox is cheaper and safer, primarily b/c it's lower speeds and there are rarely barriers or cars you could hit, but you also have significantly less time behind the wheel. I did a few and found that working the cones for 5 hours for 10 minutes of time behind the wheel was not the right ratio for me. I barely have time to enjoy the car due to work, so if I'm going to spend a weekend free day I better be having a ball behind the wheel rather than running after cones. Again, personal call, as HPDE is more expensive.

2) Certain tracks are safer than others. Gingerman in MI, for example, is a very safe track. There's barely anything to hit, so even if there's a mechanical failure or you lost the car, it'll mostly likely be ok. I've had my share of "offs" on that track and the worst that's happened is a need for a new alignment.

3) I've also sampled my share of various clubs in the Great Lakes region, and they run all over the place. My first time at Gingerman the club told me that they were short on instructors so if I wasn't going to kill myself I was on my own... It wasn't my first time on track, to be fair - it was my second. On the other end of the spectrum, and the one that I run with the most consistently, is NASA Great Lakes. The entire program is structured around how to make someone the best driver possible (fast and aware with understanding of theory and practice). In DE1 you have ~5 hours of in classroom a day along with ~2 hours of track time, with the same instructor for the weekend. In contrast, most clubs do little if any classroom time (for novices), and if you're lucky you might get the same instructor more than once a weekend. I know this may not mean much to someone who's never done this before, but it's a huge deal. My first time at Road America I had three instructors tell me three different lines for the same corner... It's really helpful to have the same person work with you all weekend on a list of things to improve. Lastly, the instructors at NASA are almost all racers (NASA weekends are a combination of HPDE & wheel to wheel & time trial races), so you know it's not some random dude who just wanted a reduced fee HPDE weekend (and I've had some random dudes...).

Hope this is helpful. PM me if you have any specific questions on NASA or any other clubs in the region (I've been to a few, but certainly not all). Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #19
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If you're in Southern Cal there's a monthly event called Pure Track. It runs at Anaheim stadium. It's a road course set up in the parking lot. It's chalked out with cones at the chalk lines all around the track and has curbing at all the insides of corners. No cone language, so it's simple. Mini road course. Most times the runs are around 45 sec. You sign up for a 1 hour, 8 run stint. Show up, drive and go home. No work detail. I don't like autocross but this is a blast.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CrowsFeast View Post
I guess depending on what region you're in track day insurance may vary quite a bit. Last time I looked into it it would have cost me $350 for a lapping day.

Is oil temp available only if you get the paid version of the torque app? I have Torque Lite for now and I don't see it.
How much were you valuing your car at including mods? Also, which insurance company and track? I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if certain tracks increase coverage cost more than others based on risk. I wonder if organization factors in too, if you happen to run with a group that statistically has more incidents than others.

My first track day, with my car valued at $20.5k w/ mods, was at Road America and cost $192.46 after all the fees ($172 premium).

A later event, with my car valued at $14.3k w/ mods, at Autobahn Country Club was $169.50 after all the fees ($145 premium).

I also purchased a 6 event multi-pack, with the car valued at $23k w/ mods, that worked out to $139.77 per event.

If you know you're going to be doing a lot of events, the multi-pack is definitely the way to go. Also, do as many multi-day events as possible. The policies are based per event, not per day. So a 2-3 day event is getting you a lot more coverage for your money.

(All of my policies were through Lockton. I'd now shop around with Hagerty and others for the best deal)


It's available on Torque Lite. You have to add a new measurement, select the type of dial/graph you want to use, and then select Engine Oil Temperature.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:06 AM   #21
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How much were you valuing your car at including mods? Also, which insurance company and track?

It's available on Torque Lite. You have to add a new measurement, select the type of dial/graph you want to use, and then select Engine Oil Temperature.
I don't recall the company and I don't think they even needed to have the track specified (I talked to them at their booth at the Toronto International Auto Show years back). I don't recall whether I was driving my Golf or E46 at the time but either way it was less than $10k.

I see engine coolant temp, but no oil temp on mine.
Torque Lite, Veepeak OBDCheck BLE bluetooth (compatible with RaceChrono), 2013 BRZ.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #22
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I don't recall the company and I don't think they even needed to have the track specified (I talked to them at their booth at the Toronto International Auto Show years back). I don't recall whether I was driving my Golf or E46 at the time but either way it was less than $10k.

I see engine coolant temp, but no oil temp on mine.
Torque Lite, Veepeak OBDCheck BLE bluetooth (compatible with RaceChrono), 2013 BRZ.
My bad, just realized I spent the $5 for torque pro. haha
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