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Car Trackdays

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I've never tracked a car. I've thought about doing it and recently was thinking again about tracking my BMW e60 daily driver. It's in need of a suspension refresh beforehand but I'm thinking it would be lots of fun.


Anyone have any experience with car trackdays? How often do you get boneheads with more HP than skill crashing into others trying to get on the trackday podium? I'd want to do it if the risk were minimal and/or manageable.


My other question surrounds the portability of motorcycle principles: how much of what we learn, study and discuss here on the CSS forums applies to tracking a car? Where do you get on the gas? How do you brake? Do you Quickturn or bring it in gradually toward the apex? Outside-Inside-Outside? etc, etc?

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A reputable car track day organization should control the drive groups and also should require an intro course or having an instructor ride with you on your first day to discuss lines and basic car control and verify that you (or whoever) can safely be out there in a group, and which group would be appropriate. If you research the track providers you can likely find an organization that provides good instruction and maintains a safe and considerate environment.


We have a good group out here called NASA, not sure if they operate out your way or not.

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I have some experience with cars from riding at Atlanta Motorsports Park where we share the track with cars. We get exclusive access and the cars run a session as well.


Passing is a lot different with cars because of their width and the limitations of track sizes. Passing in cars is handled by a "wave by" the slower driver will see the faster car and give them the opportunity to pass.


I find that the car drivers are a lot more friendly than the motorcyclists but there occasionally are the bad apples. People tend to drive within their skill set as the car they are driving is also the transportation they used to get to the track. They also have a lot more money invested than the guy with the $2000 R6 that's zip tied together. :)


Braking points and lines are different from car to bike but the principals are very similar.


One thing to keep in mind about car trackdays is maintenance. Many passenger cars are not designed like motorcycles to handle the abuse that track use exposes them to. Areas such as brakes and suspension start to show their limitations quickly. Be sure to pay close attention to your car on the track especially to the brakes. Brakes fade a LOT more in a car than they do on a bike and even performance cars with performance brakes can quickly fade their brakes until you essentially have no brakes available. Suspension dampers will overheat and you suddenly may find the car all out of shape in a section it was rock solid in previously. As well different orgs have different tech requirements. Some of them requiring roll bars and tow points and other safety equipment. You may want to familiarize yourself with all of the requirements.


Most car track day orgs will send new drivers out with a coach who will help you in car while you drive. This is quite useful for learning the lines, braking points and other helpful hints along the way. I would provide some more advice here but I don't do a lot of driving so the questions you have your coach probably could answer for you on your first track day.


One of the biggest things I have noticed between bike and car is how they feel in fast turns. Bikes flow through fast turns without issues while cars the occupants feel the turning forces more. This is kind of neat to think about. On a car the suspension is trying to keep the vehicle flat so all of that energy that wants to pull the vehicle wide is acting directly on the occupants. On a bike the entire bike and the rider moves and that energy pushes us and the bike down towards the track surface.

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You might consider a school and uses someone else car, with the use the car gets, and its hard on tires (and the car overall).


But you'd expect me to say that :).



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the guy with the $2000 R6 that's zip tied together. :)



Hey now, Each one of those Zip ties gets me a extra HP at the rear wheel ......



Hey. No offense meant by that comment!


I know you are kidding but just in case someone else is reading. It does not matter to me how much your bike costs as long as you are a responsible rider. Too many bike snobs in the world and I'm not one of them. I do like nice bikes though.


I think it's just a subliminal thing. Whenever someone does something majorly stupid near me it's usually on a beat to heck R6 held together with duct tape or zip ties. I actually own an old R6 myself and until recently all of my bikes were old. :)

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