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X64v

Track Etiquette

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My advice here is to check with the track marshal. In almost 20 years of DEs I've never been told it was OK to use hazard lights for anything on track, and I've done track test days... Maybe that's ok where you run, but I've just never experienced it. And even in your logic, the Left Arm "fist" raised and being offline to pit in is all the signal you should give, while driving off the line.

 

Mike

 

Again, "In a mixed Group..i.e. test day" not everyone is on the same schedule as you, people are on and off on their own schedule, no run groups." So, what I mean by this is if you are on a cool down lap, others may not be. There are tracks here that have test runs all morning with no flagging whatsoever.

 

Also, if on a cool down lap, stay off line. Seems logical, but it happens a lot. Actually got Hamilton penalized in F1 a few weeks ago.

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Now that is too true!!

 

Try finding a hazard light switch in a Spec Racer Ford... :D

 

 

Where we run there are NO MARSHALLS, no DE, no classes, just a track and time. I do understand what you are saying and it is totally correct. The original poster, X64V was coming out to run with us and I posted with him in mind.

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stuff i do for hdpe's.

  • thorough tech of your car before heading to the track
  • bring spares-alt belt, brake pads, etc.
  • tools-that you commonly use in your car
  • torque wrench-torque before each day begins
  • snacks & drinks-leave the caffinated products at home-a sports drink or water work fine. minimize alcohol the evening before-it dulls the brains ability to efficiently process the stuff you need to drive safely
  • end a session early if you are fatigued [i've done this before-better safe than sorry]. even had an instructor ask why, told him i didn't want to get 'behind' the car and was tired
  • ride with another instructor, ask an instructor to ride with you [if solo/advanced] to gain a different perspective on varying apexes, braking & entry points, etc. always the student!
  • i have a list of items i pack for each event [simply created a word document], that way i hopefully don't forget anything
  • develop and maintain a good scan [pilot stuff from my military days]. scan between gauges, mirrors, far in front & behind your car and closer to your car. this will help you to avoid potential problems and give greater reaction to others-also will help you be safer on the street
  • earlier someone said-'leave the ego home'. this is very important, you are there to learn and improve your skills-NOT to race [yes, i've been guilty of this-so this finger is pointed as well].
  • patience, if there is too much traffic-pull into the pits for a minute to let the 'train' go by. you're only going to become less patient and more prone to an incident if you don't.
  • practice 'off-line' turns. the perfect apex doesn't always present itself and learning an alternate way around the corner will come in handy some day [advice from a great instructor i had]
  • when lapping, i always keep in mind that i want to drive my little z home in the relative same condition i arrived there in [helps me to reign myself in when needed]
  • even if you think you know [whatever it is they're going over] the content of the drivers meeting-pay attention as if your life depends on it-IT DOES [i gaffed this once and learned the hard way...]

hope this helps!:burnout:

re-read this sticky before you head to the track each time. we all forget and this is a great thread to help.

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I retorque my lug studs/nuts (depending on what Im' driving) before EVERY run session and I've been caught by surprise more than once to find a lug much looser than you'd expect... The joys of track abuse, brake/tire heat/ and cooling down...

 

Mike

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Which is exactly why I stand by my earlier statement. I doubt there's a track marshal anywhere that would say "Yes, use your OEM emergency flashers instead of your nationally recognized pit in signal"...

 

We had a guy kicked out of an event last year for flashing his lights. At that event we were all dressed down pretty well about using any lights on our cars other than the brake lights...

 

Mike

 

Try finding a hazard light switch in a Spec Racer Ford... :D

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My advice here is to check with the track marshal. In almost 20 years of DEs I've never been told it was OK to use hazard lights for anything on track, and I've done track test days... Maybe that's ok where you run, but I've just never experienced it. And even in your logic, the Left Arm "fist" raised and being offline to pit in is all the signal you should give, while driving off the line.

 

Mike

 

The BMW club went to VIR earlier this year I was told - and they used lights to signal. One BMW purist was very much turned off - but at the end of the first day -- fell in love with it and asked us if we'd do it. We won't - it was discussed with our DE team and it was shot down.

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Guest GaryZ

...nice thread.

 

Couple of thoughts I had:

--when letting a faster car around you, don't get off the racing line or make any sudden movements, simply slow down a bit and motion the other driver where to pass - remember it's his job to make the pass safety.

 

--concentrate on making each and every apex, if you can't seem to take the line your instructor showed you, slow down, speed will come later.

 

--a really big pet peeve of mine (and mentioned above): the car that's come up behind you is faster than you, the fact you may have the more powerful engine and can smoke him on the straights is no reason to block him everywhere else.

 

--concentrate on looking ahead, as you pass the current apex, begin to visualize how you will drive the next one. It will also keep you from being surprised by much slower traffic ahead.

 

--a slower but smoother driver will always receive more praise than a jerky one who over accelerates out of a corner generating needless wheelspin.

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...nice thread.

 

--a really big pet peeve of mine (and mentioned above): the car that's come up behind you is faster than you, the fact you may have the more powerful engine and can smoke him on the straights is no reason to block him everywhere else.

 

X3.....Drives me nutso!

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Since this is a sticky, I assume it's ok to add to it years later, so here goes:

 

I agree X4 with the above. To put a slightly different slant on it, whether you have a faster car in a straight line or not, that car behind you that you can't lose is faster around the whole track. So when you give the point by, remember to lift off enough so that he can safely get by in the designated passing zone. If he's in a slower straight line car and you don't lift enough, you end up with a drag race through the passing zone and an unsafe late pass. You can and will get black-flagged for this.

 

Also remember to BLINK! Johnc mentioned breathing, but if it's your first time out on the track, you can honestly forget to blink. Up to a point. And when your brain says "OK, this is enough I have to blink," it may take a few blinks to clear up your eyes. This is where you're kind of driving with reduced vision, which is never a good thing.

 

Empty (and I mean empty) your car before you get to the track. Look under the seats too. You don't want a water bottle rolling from under the seat and later fouling the pedals. Don't forget the sun visors. Make sure they don't contain your CD collection. I would even empty the glove box and trunk. Glove box doors have been known to open. The trunk contents mainly add weight, but can also make noises as they bounce around. So, if you hear a noise coming from the rear of the car, you don't want to be guessing whether it's your golf clubs or a mechanical/body issue. Also remove the floor mats, since they can also move and get in the way.

 

Of course you need to bring a few things to the track, so it's a very good idea to bring a big plastic bin and/or a tarp to keep them in/protect them from weather when you're on track.

Edited by bradyzq

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--when letting a faster car around you, don't get off the racing line or make any sudden movements, simply slow down a bit and motion the other driver where to pass - remember it's his job to make the pass safety

 

I meant to update this with a subtle variation.

 

Signal the other driver to pass and stay on the racing line. Do not slow down until you see him move out from behind you and start the pass. Even the Formula 1 guys get that wrong:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIAG8DvUc9c

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Death Grip on the Wheel ... one lesson I learned is to not grip the wheel so hard. The stock 240Z-280Z is just too darn skinny for my hands. I ended up with a Momo wheel and adapter. Made a huge difference in terms of my hands cramping up. I suspect driving gloves would have helped.

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