day preparation is very important. You will be driving your car
harder and faster for much longer on a track
day than you would be able to on public roads.
that in mind you should make sure that your car is working properly
and all set up for the extra strains it will be put under. You will
be revving higher, driving quicker and braking much harder continuously
and the last thing you want is there to be any problems that could
affect your enjoyment of the day or even cut the day short.
is worth checking your car over fully a week before you plan on
going on your track day, this gives you time to sort out any problems
that may spot.
Things to check are the tyres, brakes, oil and water.
Also worth a read is our section on Track
Day Insurance just in case you do have any problems!
in any doubt on anything then it is worth visiting a garage and
getting an expert to take a look, there is nothing wrong with not
knowing all the ins and outs of the car and asking advice is fine.
On track days some people change the pressure in their tyres to
either help with grip or to help reduce the wear on the tyre, many
increase the pressure by around 10%. It is worth searching the internet
for forums specific to your car and see what others suggest you
should have your tyre pressure for on a track day.
Obviously the only thing that is in contact with the race track
is the tyres so you should make sure that they are up to the job
and also that you will be OK to drive home in them at the end of
the track day.
Some drivers actually have a different set of wheels and tyres that
they put on their car for track days, again this is just choice
and not a necessity.
A vehicles brakes will be put under much greater pressure on a track
day. You will be braking hard from high speeds continuously as you
go around the circuit. This will make the brakes and disks run at
very high temperatures and also add wear to the brakes. It is very
important to make sure that your brakes are up to the job of a full
track day as it is not going to be ideal to be having to change
brake pads at the circuit (that is even if you have spare brake
pads with you which many won't). If you wear your brake pads out
and continue with the track day you could well ruin your brake disks
too that will cost even more to replace.
It could be worth looking at getting some different brake pads fitted
to the car, one's designed to run in conditions like those that
the car will be put through on a track day. They may cost slightly
more than your standard set of brakes but they should offer better
braking capability (meaning you can brake faster) and also offer
a better life span, and they will be fine to use on the public roads
Another important tip to remember with regards to the brakes is
when you come in for a break, before you do so have a cool down
lap where you are not pushing the car as fast, this gives the brakes
time to cool down slightly with some air flowing through them. Also,
when you get back into the pits or parking area DO NOT put your
handbrake on. Leave the brakes to cool down for a bit. If you put
the handbrake straight on you could find that the brake pads stick
to the disk when you come to remove the handbrake.
If you are staying by your car and you are on a flat surface then
you could possibly not need to put the handbrake on.
If you do replace your brake pads before your track day then you
should give them on average 200 miles of standard road use to bed
in before you use them for hard braking.
Also with relating to brakes is the brake fluid, on track days as
we have said the brakes run at higher temperatures, you might find
that you get better effect from changing the brake fluid to one
that runs at a higher boiling point, but be warned though that this
does not mean it will work as good on public roads under standard
The oil in the engine is what keeps it running smoothly, if you
don't have any oil in your engine then you are going to be in trouble
and likely to cause the engine some serious damage!
You should check the oil is at the correct levels in the car because
as the engine is going to be working much harder it could use up
more oil. It is also worth taking a spare bottle with more oil in
just in case you find that the oil does drop during the day.
oil should be checked before you set out on your track day too and
throughout the day.
Obviously every car is different and some may need more oil and
some may not. A good time to check would be after your first session
out on track and then at intervals throughout the day. Make sure
to leave the car to settle before checking the oil level and make
sure you are parked on level ground.
Also, make sure you do not overfill the oil, keep it between the
min & max levels.
The engine is what powers the car so is basically what is doing
all the work. Although you don't need to, if you have been out on
a session the engine will be very warm when you come back into the
pits. You could pop open the bonnet and allow the air to help cool
it down instead of keeping the bonnet closed and all the heat in.
You may be required when going on a track day to tape your lights
up, this is just a safety measure in case there are any accidents
and helps to keep the lights intact and avoid dropping any glass/plastic
from the lights onto the circuit that could puncture tyres.
Obviously you need fuel in your car for it to go. On a track day
though you are going to use fuel up at a faster rate than you will
do on the road as your engine is going to be revving much higher
and working harder. It is unlikely you are going to reach your top
gear and be cruising along no the track day, you are going to mainly
driving the car near it's limits which means changing gears later
which means revving higher meaning the engine is turning over much
more than on a standard run out on public roads.
Fuel is available at many tracks and if it isn't then you have the
option to bring a petrol can with some spare in or even drive out
to a local petrol station if there is one close. What you do not
want to do is run out, especially on the track as you will then
have to leave your car and could possibly not get to do any more
Also worth noting with the fuel available at the track is that the
cost may be higher than what you would usually pay and also you
may be limited on choice, for example they may not supply high RON
value fuel (such as a super unleaded, Optimax etc.) which many cars
You should make sure you have enough fuel in your car for at least
20 minutes of hard driving and then enough to comfortably get you
back to the pits or where ever you are going to fill up.
Anything inside the car that is not fixed down should be removed
as potentially they could become missiles in the car or obstruct
you. So anything, such as pens, air freshener, cans, maps, CD's
& cases etc. should be removed from the car before you get out
on track. Even the smallest of things could put you off and take
your concentration away from your driving which you don't want!
It is worth considering removing the spare wheel and tools. You
will probably find there is a safe place to store things at the
Race tracks have sound levels that they must abide to, this is because
residents may live near to the circuit and sound restrictions will
Most standard car exhausts will be fine but if you have an after
market exhaust that is much louder it is worth getting it's sound
level checked before going on your track day. If your exhaust exceeds
the sound decibels permitted you will not be allowed to go on track.
All cars get checked at the start of the day to measure their sound
It is worth bringing a small tool kit just in case you find you
have any things that you need to fix or adjust.
It is worth also bringing a tyre pressure gauge and also a pump
for the tyres too. A rag or cloth is worth bringing along to in
case you do need to do anything, such as checking oil levels.