Best ways to prepare to release your inner Lewis Hamilton…
There’s nothing more fun than taking your car onto a race track for some hot laps, but preparation is the key to a great experience.
The team at car radiator supplier Advanced Radiators love a good track day as much as anyone and to help out they’ve put together this nifty guide on how best to get you and your car ready for an awesome track day:
Getting the car ready
You’ll need to carry out some checks on your car ahead of your track day – this is almost like a mini service.
Start with your tyres – make sure the pressure matches the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
Tyre pressures can be a cause for debate when it comes to track days — run them too low and damage can be caused to the sidewalls (due to them flexing when putting them through sustained cornering), while too high a pressure runs the risk of increased wear.
In addition, ensure your tyres are in good condition with no damage, and follow the recommended thread depth.
Under the bonnet, you’ll have to make sure that all fluids are topped up to their maximum marks.
Cornering force on a track can result in fluids building up on one side of the vehicle’s reservoir, causing the potential of fluid starvation.
The inside of your car will also require some safety checks – especially on the safety equipment in the cabin.
Seatbelts must be in good condition with no tears or issues with them clipping into their holds, while you need to ensure there are no loose objects that could fly around and cause damage or injury once you’re at high speed.
Taking out unnecessary items will make the vehicle lighter too.
Another way to keep the weight low is to ensure your car has just enough fuel to get through the day instead of filling the tank all the way to the top – and causing the vehicle to be unnecessarily heavy.
Higher octane fuel is advised, as it tends to aid performance significantly more than the standard alternatives.
Getting the driver ready
Don’t forget to prepare yourself and first up is clothing. Fire-retardant clothing made using natural fibres are recommended to ensure the highest level of protection.
In fact, many circuits have policies in place which state that arms and legs must be covered while you’re on track.
Clothing considerations go right the way down to your shoes – closed toe footwear is the minimum requirement at most tracks, though you should also be sure to opt for a shoe, boot or trainer with thin soles and no overhang so that they achieve good pedal feel lap after lap.
It’s also important to check your car insurance policy – most policies do not cover experience track days as standard.
However, fear not, as usually you can just add this on the day of the event for a small premium by contacting your provider.
If this isn’t an option for you, seek out specific track day cover so that in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim from your day out you’re covered.