Heading to a track day for the first time can feel overwhelming for many people. While it is natural to feel nervous, also remember to enjoy the experience. Likely, you have spent your life learning about cars, watching races, and working on improving your vehicle. In addition to having a fast car, learning to become an advanced driver makes a big difference. Still, the hardest part is usually getting started. At Response Motors, we are here to help. Get ready for your first time with these tips for track racing beginners.
Stay Composed While Driving
At your first track day, you will not drive perfectly. Even with plenty of on-road experience, track driving requires different techniques. Small mistakes will happen and that is no problem. Remember that you are there to get better and learn about driving theory. Like anything else, even professionals can always improve.
While in the car with your instructor, listen to them and take their advice to heart. During the drive, some instructors may raise their voices, but most will remain composed. If they point out an error or suggest an improvement, remember that is constructive criticism. With the help of a professional, your skill behind the wheel will quickly increase.
Understand the Track
The principles of driving will remain the same, but the actual track you drive on always changes. Before getting on the track, study the course. During the morning, instructors will go over everything important you need to know. Knowing the distance and corners of the course will pay dividends while driving.
Although you should always focus on the present, it is also good to remain aware of what lies ahead. It is helpful to focus slightly down the track instead of remaining glued to the next corner. This way, you can anticipate the next turn and position yourself correctly. Again, this will become easier with time.
Find the Track Day for You
Your first time, it is especially important to find a track day where you feel comfortable. This means doing some research. Find the track days that receive good feedback in your area. Search for local groups to join and consider the input from driving experts. Also, make sure the track is suitable for beginners.
Online, there are multiple sources where you can find events in your area. Sites like MotorsportReg will have a calendar of events in your area. With this, you can find events that fit your skill level and vehicle. You can also use social media to find groups for like-minded drivers and resources to help novices.
Research the Costs and Insurance
Like many other events, there are additional costs to just that of registration. On a track day, depending on the location, you may choose to pay for covered parking, fuel, and other services. Instead, you may want to minimize costs and prepare your vehicle beforehand. That will impact the total cost of the day.
Another important tip for track racing beginners is to consider track insurance. Regular car insurance will very likely not cover your vehicle on the track. Therefore, you will be fully liable for any damages or accidents that occur. Since these can become costly, it is recommended to find track insurance, specifically for these occasions.
Learn to Corner Properly
When driving on the tack, cornering is often the most challenging skill for beginners. Again, the strategy can become complex. The goal of track driving is to take the best possible line. This takes years of practice and will always come with unique challenges. When cornering, remember to position yourself correctly for the next straightaway.
Speed management is another difficult technique while cornering. There is plenty of trial and error necessary to find the proper usage for the brake. At first, you will want to take it slow. However, remember to break smoothly without laying on it for too long. Then, accelerate quickly out of the turn.
Remain Aware of Conditions on the Track
In addition to knowing the track’s layout, drivers should always remember that conditions can change. Track days will continue even in the rain, so learn how to adjust if conditions become slippery. Instructors can give advice and help work with you while driving to help judge the conditions.
Furthermore, paying attention to other drivers is crucial. Once again, the instructor and course spotters will help you as a beginner. Manage your distance and let others pass when necessary. Stay ready to adjust your driving at a moment’s notice. Safety always comes first on the track.
Prepare Mentally and Physically for Track Racing
Before a track day, get your mind and body in shape. This tip for track racing beginners is too often overlooked. A day at the track can feel long for first-timers. As such, you should make sure to sleep well the night before. Eat a good meal and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Driving on a track does in fact require plenty of physical energy.
If at any time you feel fatigued, it is alright to take a break. Let your instructor know if you are having trouble focusing. To remain safe, they will help develop a solution. Also, if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any point, make others aware of your situation.
Get Your Car Ready
Obviously, your vehicle should also be in the best possible shape before it heads out on the track. Your first time, you should have your vehicle inspected. Fill it with fresh oil and other fluids. Also, check your tires and wheels. Another good idea is to find a safe stretch of road where you can test your car and see how it responds.
While your car should come to the track-ready, so should you. Find a helmet that feels comfortable and some good racing gloves and shoes. Test these accessories beforehand, as you will not want to notice any issues at the track.
Come to the Track Racing Experts at Response Motors
Located in Mountain View, CA, our service department at Response Motors can have your car ready for its first track day. Our service technicians have track experience themselves. With unmatched expertise, they know how to service popular track racing models like the Porsche 911. We also have a great inventory of capable cars that will suit you perfectly. Come to us for the Bay Area’s passionate track driving experts. You can even consult us about more tips for track racing beginners. To receive personalized, specialized servicing for your first track day, contact Response Motors today.