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Old 05-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
marshallpre1
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Doing my first HPDE in two weeks... TST pros- some questions!

So my wife and a few friends bought me an HPDE at NJMP in two weeks (May 27) as a gift for graduating with my MBA . Anyways, I wasn't really expecting this so my G35 needs to be ready ASAP (was planning going later). I'm planning to do typical maintenance- fluids, spark plugs, and brakes. There's my question, brakes- should I get new rotors too? I was already planning on some Hawk HPS pads. If I get rotors, should brands that are the most bang for your buck?

Secondly, tech inspections. Can I just do it at the track or should I get it done beforehand? Is this the right form?

http://www.nasaproracing.com/forms/form_hpde_tech.pdf

Thanks

Jeremy
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Jeremy,
That's the right form if it's a NASA event. As far as the rotors you have, if they're still good enough for the street they'll be just fine for your first track day...even the second track day. Since this is your first HPDE you'll be in the novice group and no way in hell you'll be taxing your brakes to anywhere near the car's capabilities. This first time is to get you familiar with handling the car on this track and learning basics. Even as far as pads, a good street pad or stock pads is all you'll need. Don't worry, you'll have a blast anyway and want to do it again.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick 95 6sp View Post
Jeremy,
That's the right form if it's a NASA event. As far as the rotors you have, if they're still good enough for the street they'll be just fine for your first track day...even the second track day. Since this is your first HPDE you'll be in the novice group and no way in hell you'll be taxing your brakes to anywhere near the car's capabilities. This first time is to get you familiar with handling the car on this track and learning basics. Even as far as pads, a good street pad or stock pads is all you'll need. Don't worry, you'll have a blast anyway and want to do it again.
Thanks Nick. I'm just going to confirm that the rotors are within spec and I should be good! I can't wait to go! Also Nick, if my wife is coming down with me, will she not be bored? As in are there a lot of cars running all day? Can she bring a cooler of food and drinks and stuff?

Thanks

Jeremy
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Yes, bring drinks and food, a comfy folding chair or two is also good; an umbrella or some kind of shade is awesome if it's sunny. Depending on the venue the food concession is likely to not be open so you'd have to drive 10 or 15 minutes off site to get food and drink. They sell gasoline at the track so no problem with that. There are cars running all day so if she's into cars she'll like that but it is still likely to be a long day for her just watching ..unless she loves you more than a fat kid loves cake and then all will be fine. If my wife ever attended one of these she'd freak out watching me drive "too fast" and then she'd get bored and then divorce me. I keep wishing she'd come but no luck yet but it's only been 10 years trying.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marshallpre1 View Post
Thanks Nick. I'm just going to confirm that the rotors are within spec and I should be good! I can't wait to go! Also Nick, if my wife is coming down with me, will she not be bored? As in are there a lot of cars running all day? Can she bring a cooler of food and drinks and stuff?

Thanks

Jeremy
i would invest in good pads, but they need to match the tire you are using.

I was happy to have carbotech xp10s on when I was doing 130+ in the straight trying to turn into turn 1.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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If this is your first event, the HPS pads will be adequate (but only _just_). HP+ would not be a bad way to go on a heavy/powerful car like the G35 especially if you have decently sticky tires (StarSpecs or other equally good street tire). If your rotors are newish, they will be fine (check them for any fine cracking--if present, replace them). If you _really_ do the full inspection, you can do it yourself, but DO NOT skip anything. I advise you to take the car to a shop that knows how to do a pre-HPDE inspection (I can suggest one to you if you let me know where you live). Do not skimp on this.

If your wife goes, she needs to know in advance that it is a very early start and a very long day. You will be overwhelmed (if not overwhelmed, at least completely and totally otherwise occupied) all day with class/track time and will have very little time/energy to help her get food/find something to keep her entertained. I suggest having her drive down separately so she can watch for an hour or so then head out. The less you have to worry about/be distracted by, the better. My wife goes to many of my events (both HPDEs and races) but knows I will only talk to her when I have the time...she is cool about it because she knows I am preoccupied with my safety/event progress/car maintenance.

A canopy, chairs, cooler with plenty of water, sunscreen, rain gear, and food to snack on are essential for you--I don't eat a meal at track days, but snack on fruit/veggies/granola in between sessions.

Have fun!
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice guys. The tires I'm running are literally street tires- Hankook Ventus V12s. I'll try the HPS for now and then see how it is. I'm a complete newbie so this should be interesting
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #8
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Also, what about theft and keeping spare parts and stuff? Odds of getting stolen, vandalized, etc? Do you get a spot to leave your stuff at?

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
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For the V12s the HPS should be fine, just check pad life after each session (especially after later sessions). Also swap in ATE Superblue or Motul RBF600 brake fluid; you will need it.

As for security: You have nothing to worry about at a NASA event at NJMP. Just don't take a fancy laptop or camera...though even if you do you probably have little to be concerned about. I leave my keys in the car, windows down, all day long (this is a habit from being in tight paddock ares on race days where someone might need to move the car while I am instructing/racing). Track day events have a very tight knit community atmosphere. People watch out for each other and their stuff...they will offer help/parts/tools to do repairs, guys with haulers/trailers will offer shelter from the elements as warranted. I would bring a large Rubbermaid tub or garbage bags to put stuff in you want to ensure stays dry (if you do not have a canopy or garage space) if there is any chance of rain.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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^thanks!

I already have a SA2010 full face helmet, I should be good to go in that front. What about clothes? I hear just long sleeves, long pants, and sneakers work. Any suggestions for that?

Jeremy
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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NASA says you need to wear long sleeves and long pants, but they sometimes will not enforce either depending on weather, so take shorts and a t-shirt. Besides Nomex, I will not wear manufactured fibers while on track no matter what car I am in (I wear a full racing suit when in a full-on race car). A cotton tee shirt with a long sleeve cotton button down or long sleeve cotton tee and denim jeans/cotton cargo pants are my norm for HPDEs in street cars.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:25 PM   #12
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Back from NJMP Thunderbolt, and it was awesome. I'm hooked. I feel kinda annoyed at myself for buying all these mods my street car (Supra) when I could have spent all that money going to the track... I loved every minute of it and will definitely be going to the next event at Pocono. I drove a total of 80 minutes and the last (4th session) was definitely getting to me as I was exhausted. It was just one day (Sunday), but will try for a Sat/Sun event next time. I just gotta sign up early!
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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Thats it, my RX-8 is headed to the track. Which specific event did you sign up for? Do you do it on NASA's site?
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickeo View Post
Thats it, my RX-8 is headed to the track. Which specific event did you sign up for? Do you do it on NASA's site?
Yep. I signed up on NASA's website. For first timers, you need to sign up for HPDE 1. You get an instructor and they teach you the whole day. It's amazing how much more capable the cars are than the drivers especially for us beginners. Here is a GoPro of the 3rd session out for me. Let me know if it works for you guys. My instructor recommends me to do HPDE 2 next time at Thunderbolt, but says I should be at 1 at other places. No complaints here as he complimented me for being patient and not like the other people who think they're racecar drivers from the start. Anyways, I'm here to learn and become a better driver.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=2&theater
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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Awesome, Jeremy. Watching the video now. Do you know who your instructor was?

rickeo, come to this event
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #16
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Thanks oneday, I've been scouring car ads for 240sx's lol. I miss my old one, but getting a very clean stockish S14 this time.

I hope you enjoy the vid.... I'm still learning! The "octopus" is one tricky turn. I was trapping about 105-110 at the end of that front straight.

My instructor was Morris, and he was awesome
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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Nice driving, Jeremy. Your driving looked quite smooth for a first timer and I could see your patience and restraint in action, which is the best way to learn.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #18
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Thanks Nick. I'm eager to learn and take criticisms to get better. I know I need to let the car track out and use more of the track. It really blew me away how truly capable the car was. The car needs more driver mods. LOL I have never pushed any car that hard before. Truly an eye-opening experience
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #19
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Hah...knew I recognized the voice. He is excellent--does he still have the Monster Miata?

As Nick said, you were patient and did a decent job driving the line Morris was directing you to--which is hard, especially in the Devil's Elbow when the car in front of you is driving a different (wrong) line. There are a couple of spots I'd have had you doing some different things, but that is a another discussion.

Next time place the camera so you can also see your hands (if possible so you can see your head too) as you can learn a lot about what you are doing from that--right now we only know you are on/close to the correct line, but no idea how you are getting there. There are a couple times you can hear the tires starting to squeal but I am not sure why (is it too much input? if so is that b/c you aren't looking ahead enough?) seeing steering inputs and your head would be very telling.
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #20
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That is awesome. My first track day was 1 week before yours at Thunderbolt. I am also hooked and I am sad that I am hooked because it is an expensive sport.
Here is my second session. No instructor-They did not have enough for everyone so we shared instructors between sessions. My goPro ran out of memory so I did not record 3rd and 4th sessions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHGHDFmS_Lg

I shaved off at least 33 seconds from my first lap in the 1st session to the last recorded lap in my 2nd session. The instructors instructions made a huge difference. I had normal street tires and oem brakes. Just exhaust system, intake, and eibach lowering springs.

I was also trapping 105-115mph at the end of the straight and that octopus was annoying. Always messes me up. Almost went offroad at one point from understeer.

Let me know when you go to more events. I will come along. And like you said, it is an eye-opening experience. I was so surprised by what my car was capable of and I know it can do so much better in the hands of the stig. haha.
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