A few tips to help you get ready
Who, what, when, where of an event or track day
Usually new members and competitors ask similar questions when preparing for their first track day with NSW Road Racing Club. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a rough outline for you to refer to with things that you will need to do and what to do when you arrive at the track as well as preparing your car
After you have down loaded the entry forms and read the supplementary
regulations, you have then decide on the class that best fits you and your car, Then sent in the relevant entry forms etc or used the Motorsport Australia (previously CAMS) online entry system and applied for a MA (Motorsport Australia) licence (We recommend a MA licence as the AASA licence is not accepted at some events around the state/ country).
Print out all paperwork that you may need and bring it to the tack with you.
Information Sheet – tells you what you need to know for an enjoyable day
Disclaimer Form – required for registration at the track
Copy of your entry form
List of entrants (when available) – tells you who else will be there
Grid Sheet – explaining which group and order you will run in
When you get to the track and have settled into your garage or carport area, you will need to grab your Licence and Club membership card and head off to sign on for the day.
Once you have signed on, you will receive:
Scrutineering Sheet – required for you to get through scrutineering
Video Camera Form – you will need this if you intend to carry a video camera or lap timing device in your car
Before attending an event, you need to ensure that your car is ready, to have an enormous amount of fun with you. This means that you must check all the basics normally done when your car is serviced, plus a couple of track requirements depending on whether you’re running at Wakefield Park or Sydney Motorsport Park.
Oils aint oils
If your car hasn’t had an engine oil & filter change in the last 2,000 kilometres, do it now before the event. Don’t use budget oils or filters when competing in motorsport events. A semi synthetic or full synthetic oil is cheap insurance against engine failure, provided the engine is in good condition to start with. A standard Ryco oil, air and fuel filter are good quality products to use.
Next, make sure that all your FLUIDS are topped up such as coolant, brake fluid, power steer, gearbox and diff oil. If your brake fluid hasn’t been changed in the last 12 months, change it. DO NOT use a silicone based fluid unless its in your cars specifications. A DOT 4 rated fluid is all you’ll need. Check your brake pads still have plenty of material on them. If less than 3 to 4mm, change them to a performance pad.
Your tyres should be in roadworthy condition. Before you get to the track, pump your road tyres up to 37psi. Air is not available at Sydney Motorsport Park and the pump at Wakefield Park is temperamental sometimes and the queue can be long when it does work. Take your pressure gauge with you to the track and check the pressures immediately after each run. As the tyres get hot, the pressure increases. You should aim for a maximum pressure of 40 psi hot in street tyres. Any higher than this and they lose grip.
Make sure your battery is secured by the proper bracket and doesn’t move around. Cable ties etc will be rejected at scrutineering.
Fire extinguishers and blue triangles
Both are required under a CAMS permit. When you buy a 1kg fire extinguisher, the bracket must be made of metal.
Blue triangles are used to indicate the position of the battery, and are required. They are easily made with vinyl blue contact bought from a newsagent or similar. Each side is to be 150mm long.
OK, so now the car is ready, what do you do on the day of the event?
Make sure you’re wearing PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, as per the supp. regs and have plenty of FUEL as you can’t buy fuel at the track.
Low KW cars can easily do a track day if you have a tank at the start. With more experience, you’ll carry spare fuel and run with less in the tank on the track but for now, you won’t be breaking any records, so turn up with plenty of fuel.
Once you head off to the track, do not be tempted to speed down the Hume Highway – save it for the track! The roads are heavily policed and landing a speeding fine is a perfect way to ruin your day at the track.
Arriving at Pheasant Wood
As you head into Pheasant Wood you will see limited carport space on the right and the general paddock area on the left. If your early enough grab a carport otherwise join the crowd in the paddock area. Clear everything out of your car and then head down to the office to sign in.
Arriving at Wakefield Park
Drive in and find a spare carport in the two rows on the left. Take everything out of your car. Empty the glove box, pockets, and boot (including the spare tyre if you have one, tools and jack, etc). After everything is out of the car, head to scrutineering, take your paperwork, helmet and be fully dressed in the clothing you intend to drive in. Take your paperwork in for checking off, pick up your numbers and fix them to the car, taping the top and leading edge with tape supplied by the Club. Once the car is scrutineered, head back to your carport and wait for the call to the drivers meeting.
Arriving at Sydney Motorsport Park
The circuit is entered from the south side, off Ferrers Road. Turn left at the guard’s shed, head down the hill. The South circuit is just on your right and the North and Brabham circuit is through the tunnel. set yourself up as you would at Wakefield.
When you get to the track and have settled into your garage or carport area, you will need to grab your Licence and Club membership card and head off to sign on for the day. Once you have signed on, you will receive:
1) Scrutineering Sheet – required for you to get through scrutineering
2) Video Camera Form – you will need this if you intend to carry a video camera or lap timing device in your car
At the drivers briefing
As a first timer, you will hear a lot of instructions from the Clerk of the Course, please listen carefully. You will then get to do a few familiarisation laps in your car. It’s advisable to track down a more experienced person who will drive with you and explain the driving lines, apexes and braking points, etc., to get you around the circuit safely. Listen carefully.
That’s it. Apart from saying “have fun”, which you will, remember that it’s the nut behind the wheel that’s the biggest performance improvement to lap times, not the bits bolted on. Dicing with someone in your class whose times are within half a second of yours is more exciting than winning by three seconds. Remember its not a race!!
Secrets to going quick
Car set up: Alignment, good maintenance and proper equipment
Seat time: Can’t go fast if you don’t practice.
Attitude: Your attitude to your driving and to other competitors will affect how quick you are. A little driver courtesy will go a long way!
Coaching: Find someone who’s quick in their own car and ask for help! Remember that a low horsepower car has high handling characteristics so get your braking done before the corner and get on the power early to go fast out of the corners.