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A journey into track days


BatMobile

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Guys,

I am about to do my first track day at Brands and have hired BTCC driver Jack Goff to give me a full days tuition.

Aside from a good fitting helmet (am looking at this if anyone has any experience with them https://www.hawkemotorsport.co.uk/Store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=102) I am thinking a decent set of racing boots should help me finesse the throttle/brakes and hopefully improve a lot over the day. Any recommendations on good footwear?

Now on the Scott Mansell track advice he says to take:

Your checklist should include:

  • spanners
  • sockets
  • screwdrivers
  • torque wrench and wheel nut socket
  • jack
  • tank tape
  • jubilee clips
  • cable ties
  • engine oil
  • funnels (for oil and water)
  • tyre pressure gauge
  • foot pump

Is that really all needed? Do people rock up with huge bags? If so where do you typically store them? I was thinking a large bottle of water and some cash for food outside of a tyre pressure gauge! :)

Keen to ensure i don't miss anything but also don't want to rock up with overkill and be "that bloke" with all "that stuff" that ends up sat in the corner and not used. My car is a MY17 so would be mightily annoyed if anything went wrong mechanically. 

Tow eyes seems to vary massively in cost - https://www.seriouslylotus.com/miscellaneous/exige-v6-front-tow-eye - is the cheapest i have found by a country mile - is it any good or should i spend another £80 on hangar111's version (which looks the same from the pics).

Lastly is there anything you guys have started taking that you wish you had done at the beginning?

Thanks

Al

 

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Tyre gauge and footpump are essential to ensure you're at the right hot pressures. Lots of water to keep hydrated & don't forget long trousers/sleeves too. 

Most trackdays you end up with a garage at Brands so anything else you want to take you can just leave in there. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Thanks Bibs, thats great to know you have an area to store everything. 

Did you bother with race boots or are trainers good enough - i guess my query is, for £100-£140 does it make a big difference in terms of car control on the track?

Will buy a foot pump. 

Answered my own query on the tow hook, Dave @ seriously lotus advised me he makes them locally hence the lower price - exactly the same as the others in dimensions/materials. 

 

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I use one of these...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/?iid=252252138292

I wear Geox Snake trainers and the soles and nice and thin so I'm happy with them on track. A lot of people swear by Puma Speedcats, the rounded heels are nice and comfy...

http://uk.puma.com/uk/en/pd/speed-cat-trainers/4029934449088.html

I still have my Piloti Prototipo shoes (we used to sell them in our online shop) but am happy enough in my Geox, but Piloti are nice and you can wear them in public too! 

http://piloti.uk.com/product-category/mens-footwear/

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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What Bibs says. Check pressures each time you come off track. Some chocolate - it is remarkable how much energy you use on track.

For the tow eye on the V6 you can just take the front grill off, they can loop around the strut in the (which the tow eye fits to) if needed.

I tend to take oil (never used it) and coolant just in case of a small leak and I can get home (stone whent through the rad at Spa once). 

Make sure you have sufficient brake pads before you go - I generally take a spare set now having been caught out and the tools to change (been caught out with that too).

What day are you going?

Lotus Register - https://www.lotusregister.com

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Damn it bibs, I had cheaper options and the piloti competizione red/white are I think too nice to ignore!

thanks for the link to the pump, that looks perfect.

 

thanks for the tips LF1 - this is all very helpful to limit my deer in headlights look! 

 

Just trying to sort a date at the moment - jack is racing so need to find a non race date that works.

i will message up on here when it's sorted as would be good to meet some of you if you are also going.

 

 

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If you can't work it out with him, David Pittard of Bell & Colvill is a very competent racer and an excellent instructor. He was up at Brands on Tuesday with a Cup 220 owner whose feedback was excellent. Let me know if you need his contact details. 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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  • Gold FFM

Apart from the torque wrench that's pretty much the standard toolkit I carry in all my cars. You never know when it might come in handy, usually to help out someone else. B-)

Instead of a footpump you can buy a cheap 12V compressor. But I wouldn't trust the pressure gauge on those, so verify and/or bring a good one to the track.

Most importantly, have fun!

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I'm relatively new to track days.  I think it is a great idea having a days coaching/instruction you will learn so much and it will give you confidence when approaching a new track after Brands....you will be hooked on them after Brands.  I'm hoping to book a day with David Pittard this year in between his racing.

I bought helmet, gloves and boots (from demon tweeks) last year at the start of the season and I'm pleased I did.  They all were Sparco and not the cheapest but by no means the most expensive options.  You can of course get away with a pair of decent, low profile, trainers but racing boots are really very good and your coach will be encouraged to see you wearing them.  It is surprising how much feel you get with them, I've also found them to be really comfortable on a full day.  Gloves are also much more beneficial than you first think, they provide a confident grip and they help if your hands get a bit sweaty; which is normal when your addrenilin is pumping.  I know it all starts to add up getting this kit but probably worth investing now as they will last several years.  Friends I go with also now have race suits, I'm not ready to take that plunge yet!

Like others have said, keep hydrated and eating regularly, last thing you want is for your energy levels to drop and being with an instructor will make it a more intense day too.  Shorter sessions on track work well to begin with, I find I get too confident if I stay out too long :)

In terms of other bits, I travel light.  Decent tyre pressure gauge is important and an electric pump is handy to inflate for the journey home.  I've taken some screen wipes as well to get bug smears off if they get bad.

I'd recommend you get the towing eye and strap, it is a requirement of tracks and the last thing you want if you do need towing is not to have one because they will not waste much time and look for whatever is strong enough to get you off the track.  I did have to wait quite a long time last year when an Audi went off at Bedford and they had to find something to fit in the tow eye; you tend not to be very popular with others if that happens.  I was also advised to opt for a tow on the rear strap if possible rather than the front should it be needed.

If you have not already done so I would recommend reading the Lotus DPM guide on the forum and also there is a thread about tyre pressures, you will need to drop the pressures a lot as the heat builds in the tyres.  You'll probably want to run at 30 psi front and rear (dependent on tyre type), quite a drop from normal cold pressures.

You'll enjoy it, let us know how you get on.

 

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Bibs, I would appreciate his number as I am keen to get different tuition. My view is that like most things, different people bring different views and ideas, some of which will work for me. 

Mark, great advice. I know I will be hooked and keen to get as involved as i can. I have the helmet and shoes, was umming and ahhing over gloves but will add those now. Any advice on gloves? I have the Koden carbon helmet and piloti competizione shoes so not fussed on make.

have read on the traction page and watched the videos, for me race will be my go to as it is on the road. 

I have the front tow eye, will add the rear  as well. Why tow from the back?

Looking forward to meeting you guys and learning a lot about both myself and the car on track! 

Edited by BatMobile
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I was advised by the dealer that the rear is a much stronger fixing, the front should work fine but if you were dug in gravel, for example, it could put a lot of pressure on the strut at the front.  I'm sure it is fine, dealer was probably being over cautious. 

Regarding gloves, I went for a mid price pair.  I didn't try any different ones as it was online order so I can't really comment but they had a couple of positive reviews so I went for those.

Enjoy!

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Guys I have just been told that my helmet won't be available until July due to a manufacturer delay. As a result I need an alternative. What would you guys recommend? Budget is a max of £400 and I would like something future proof in case I find myself getting to a standard that I feel happy to enter a 750 motor club event. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Any new motorsport helmet will be ok for 750. I've raced in a £250 bell helmet - a Mag Sport 5 if I remember correctly. However if you do go budget invest in a double glazed visor. 

That said it's worth paying as much as you can on a helmet. I currently use a Bell RS7 Carbon, a little more than your budget at about £800 but it really is excellent and as a premium model has a double glazed visor. 

Consider a helmet that comes with Hans posts if you are planning on competing as they are manditory. They can usually be added afterwards for about £50, the helmet must have provision for the posts though. 

Hans are around £300 entry, again I went mid range for about £600. 

Different helmets suit different people. Worth going somewhere to try them on. I highly recommend talking to Dave Kimberly at Demon Tweaks. He genuinely will help you get the right kit, not spend the most money. 

Gloves - I found that the better have what feels like webbing on the inside of the glove in you palm. This really aod grip so for me with spending a bit more. I've been using OMP One Evo:

http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk/motorsport/race-gloves/omp-one-evo-race-gloves-2

If you are thinking racing be warned the kit will be a couple of £k to meet regulations. 

Also noticed you have gone for driving shoes - you can't race in those - you have to have boots. Race shoes last about 5 minutes so I would not spend a fortune there on the off chance of racing.

If you're really serious about racing, consider the Caterham Academy if you don't currently have a licence :)

Lotus Register - https://www.lotusregister.com

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Thanks lf1, have taken your advice and will wait to try on the omp gp8 carbon as that looks a good mid point for me. Does the double glazed version make a big difference? Is that more for open top situations?

anywhere you recommend for trying on? 

like the gloves, thanks for the link.

caterham academy looks very good - will see how I fair and which way I go. 

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The list of equipment above is pretty exhaustive and I would only really be thinking along those lines if I had either an older track car or a racing car. A decent tyre pressure gauge is a must though. A multitool, a few zip ties and a roll of gaffer tape will cover most of your other eventualities. (I don't even bother with a tyre pump. The tyres will retain plenty of heat (and pressure) to allow you to top up the air at a service station on the way home, if needed).

As for buying a carbon helmet, gloves and racing boots for your first time out? Wow. That sounds to me like you've just spent several trackdays worth of money on kit that you might not actually end up in the long run. £3-400 on a half decent helmet is all that you need at this stage. Then work out down the road if you need all the other bits of gear. (FWIW, I don't bother with gloves and prefer the feel of thin soled trainers to the thicker soles of dedicated driving shoes).

 

(PS If you do find that you need a torque wrench or something similar on the day, plenty of other people there will have one. They will invariably be happy to lend it to you and, ironically, can be a good way to meet other drivers on the day).

 

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Hi Bravo, thanks for the reply and good to know it's a friendly bunch that attend.

the reason for the initial uptake is I have every intention of trying to get to a level I can race as a hobby. Nothing too serious but nicely competitive, I have wanted to get back into motorsport (did a lot of karting in my younger years) for a while and am now in a position to do it; reason for the tuition. 

Hope to meet you at a track at some point.

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Depends where you are based to try them on. I took the effort to go to DT showroom and has an appointment with Dave there. It was quite a trip for me - I tied it in with a track day up there!

Lotus Register - https://www.lotusregister.com

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I am in Haslemere so surrey/west sussex/hamps border, although i used to live Ascot/Windsor way so still visit mates in that part of the world. 

DT are a good 4-4.5 hours away so with the best will in the world that is very unlikely to happen. Will try and find an OMP stockist to visit more locally when it is released and just hire the helmet on the track days before.

My tow eye arrived today, i would like to either spray it black to blend in or yellow to match the calipers etc - is this a simple over the top spray or would you guys recommend a rough sand, base coat and then top coat. Also any idea what the exact colour is called for the yellow calipers as this is probably my preferred option?

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Thanks Bibs for the Piloti recommendation, super happy with them.

Really comfortable, well stitched with the right parts reinforced and the extra feel is noticeable. 

My feet are a little wider than average but these feel snug rather than constrictive. Compared to numerous i tried these are just in a different league - free next day delivery at the moment as well. 

Anyone here repainted their front tow hook? If so, could you let me know the process you went through. 

 

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:thumbsup:

Glad you like them :)

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • Bibs changed the title to A journey into track days and hopefully......motorsport

Thank you Bibs for changing the title.

I thought i would document my journey into this crazy world of Lotus' and track days for those who haven't done it before. Having watched videos from people like LF1, the pits, GF Wiliams and others, the driving skills they show are just inspirational and show how much potential the car actually has. I really admire the way you can drive the car so close to the edge especially knowing this is your car! 

Now i consider myself of solid ability, comfortably up there on karting days and a very aware road driver that is smooth on the brakes and accelerator but can i even get close to the level some of the guys here are at; especially as this is a totally different ball game with all the extra power! At 38 the cautious part of me doubts it, the other part is eager to find out and telling me to have a little faith. The thought of doing a track day leaves me extremely nervous about potential pitfalls (mainly a loss of concentration and an off) but also very excited to build my learning curve slowly lap by lap and (hopefully) develop as a track driver......and fingers crossed capable to enter the caterham academy or similar without embarrassing myself.  

I am fortunate that I am in a position to go on this sort of adventure and intend to utilise tuition from David Pittard and Jack Goff to improve as well as looking forward to meeting the guys on here and learning a lot from them. I will post my experiences and costs etc as i go through; most pro tuition bring a go pro to document your day so i will post up those as well.

My car has had to go back to the dealer to get some early teething issues sorted and then its time to push to 1000 miles and run in service! 

At the moment I have the Piloti shoes as above, and have just bought a tyre pressure gauge and pump (pics below) - both tested and work superbly. 

I will stick here until i have managed to get out and try some helmets on, most likely to buy one after the first few track days when i should be able to gauge where i can get to and then buy an appropriate helmet. 

I was advised to steer clear of goodwood as a track novice, which is annoying as i only live about 35 minutes away and was told Silverstone, Snetterton and Brands were the best 3 to start; brands is only an hour away so that will be where my adventure begins.

Anyway thats enough rambling from me! 

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You could try Merlin Motorsport at Castle Combe for a helmet, that might be a bit nearer you. Or GPRacewear at Silverstone. I bought a cheap (under £200) SNELL 2005 one from GPR about 7/8 years ago and it's been fine for trackdays. Would have been replaced a while ago if I was going racing though! After one day I decided to buy one because hire helmets are pretty disgusting, frankly. 

For a starter day, I would try Snetterton or Bedford. For Brands you will in all likelihood be doing the Indy circuit and, while Paddock Hill is an event every lap, the rest of it is a samey in my opinion. 

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I use a Sparco balaclava under my helmet, much easier to pop in the wash after a trackday than take the helmet to pieces to clean. 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • Bibs changed the title to A journey into track days
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