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Old 01-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
Dr Jekyll on the street, Mr Hyde on the track
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Open Track Requirements for On Track Events

Please feel free to post any questions concerning the upcoming 2011 SVT Superfest Event at Virginia International Raceway.

Some basics about how these events are run....

Our first and foremost priority is your safety and the safety of others. That means if you are new to the hobby you should have an open mind when it comes to learning how to drive on a road course. You should listen to your instructor as he/she will know best on how to prepare you for running on the track and can coach and guide you around the track.

Participants will be allowed to perform their own tech inspection on their car. If you are not qualified to do your own tech inspection then we highly recommend you take your vehicle to a qualified professional mechanic. Nothing is more disappointing than to have something fail on an ill-prepared car, ending your weekend early or costing yourself and others valuable track time. Be sure your car is safe and mechanically sound before you bring it to the track. Remember to take the pre-event technical inspection form with you. It is MANDATORY that either you or a mechanic signs/stamps your tech form. In addition to the pre-event inspection, your driving instructor will perform a safety inspection before going on track. Any car not passing inspection will not be allowed on the track.
You must have a SA05 or better helmet that is approved for road course driving. No motorcycle helmets are allowed at this event unless they are SA approved! Someone may be willing to share, but do not count on it. Besides, sharing sweaty helmets isn't very pleasant. Without exception your helmet must meet or exceed SNELL '05 or newer standards. Note to new drivers: the SNELL rating is inside your helmet under the lining and should start with an SA. The track does have loaner helmets.

Both driver and instructor must be equally restrained to participate in the school. Be sure that you have the same restraint system for your instructor as for yourself. This pertains to belt configuration, not seats.

Here are some recommendations on how to prepare yourself for a track event:

1. Protect your body - it is required that you have long sleeve shirts and long sleeve pants when driving your vehicle around the track. In the case of high temperatures, we occasionally use short sleeve shirts.

2. Protect you head -While you can use a stock vehicle for open tracking, you cannot go out there without the proper head gear. You should have a proper rated helmet to wear while going out on track. Your helmet must be a SA 2005 or better rated helmet. You can learn more about Snell Rated helmets by visiting their website at To purchase a helmet, go to and call Darius for a reasonable price.

3. Shoes - You will want to wear comfortable shoes as you'll be on track for 30 minutes at a time. Tennis shoes or sneakers are acceptable but you can also buy some track shoes when you really get into the hobby.

Here are some recommendations on how to prepare your vehicle for the track.

1. Good running vehicle - It is recommended that your car has had a recent tune-up so that it is running at its best. You'll certainly enjoy it more.

2. Brakes - The reason brakes are first is because going fast is easy, it's slowing down that requires the most attention. You should have a qualified mechanic check your brake pads and do a complete brake flush. Brake fluid absorbs water (from the humidity in the air), which reduces the boiling point of the fluid. When people "lose their brakes" at an event like this, it is more often than not the result of boiling the brake fluid. The brake pads should have at least one-half thickness. If they don't, replace them in time to bed them in adequately before the event. We recommend you bring an extra set of pads and rotors just in case.

3. Rotors - What good is having plenty of pad if your rotors are cracked or worn down? Be sure you have plenty of rotor surface left. Again, if your car is new or low mileage, you probably have plenty of rotor left. However, if you've a high mileage car, you might want to get some new rotors.

4. Tires - • Tires must have at least 1/16” of tread depth, with no blisters, bald spots, or other imperfections. Also, tires that have been patched or plugged are not allowed. You should have some additional tire pressure when you arrive at the track. Generally, for street tires, 36-38 psi is a good starting point

5. Loose Items - If applicable, you should remove sunroof wind deflectors. At high speeds, some of these will vibrate and may make a very disconcerting noise. Also, if your car has removable wheel centers, trim rings, etc., these should also be removed to ensure they don't fall off during the event.

All loose objects must be removed from the passenger compartment and trunk of your car. This includes all items from the center console, glove box and side pockets. It is unnerving and potentially dangerous to have loose objects flying around you during hard braking and cornering. Radar detectors (if removable) and garage door openers often get left on sun visors. Don’t forget the spare change in the ashtray. Double-check your car before your first session that day.

6. Cooling - You should make sure that you have adequate cooling for your car. If your car is new, then you will probably be all right. If it has quite a number of miles on it then you may want to change coolant and add "water wetter" to help keep your temps in check. Water wetter can be purchase at Autozone.

Be sure to check these items when inspecting your vehicle:

Engine Compartment / Interior
___ Battery securely fastened
___ Brake lights: all working
___ Brake fluid: level, system bled, fresh fluid -
Date of last fluid change: _______________
(must be within 6 weeks to date of event)
___ Brake pedal: firm
___ No visible fluid leaks (gas, oil, coolant, hydraulics)
___ Throttle linkage: no sticking/ sloppiness
___ Coolant system: level, condition of hoses, no leaks,
hose clamps are tight
___ Windshield wipers: working and good condition
___ Pressure test radiator cap
___ Mirrors: left-hand exterior and interior
___ All V-belts properly tightened; inspect for wear, cracks, fraying.
___ Condition of tires, both sidewall and tread. Minimum of 2/32" tread. H, V, or Z speed rating recommended. This requirement may be waived for special open track tires.
___ Check wheel bearings for excessive play
___ Brake pads & calipers: Adequate pad thickness (at least 1/2 pad left). Rotors within factory specs.
Calipers working properly. Hoses, lines, calipers clean and dry.
___ Steering linkage and suspension: No excessive play. Suspension mounting: no cracks or excessive rust.
___ Braided or stainless steel lines for 1996-1998 Cobras.
___ Check rear engine & transmission seals for excessive seepage
___ Check for hydraulic leaks at wheels and clutch slave cylinder
___ Check half-shaft bolts for looseness
___ Wheels straight, no cracks
___ Check transmission and differential fluid levels
___ Exhaust: no under car leaks
___ Windshield free of cracks
___ Seat belts: both front seat belts are properly operable and in good condition. If you have aftermarket harnesses then they should be anchored as close to horizontal from the seat back in order to prevent spine compression. Essentially, floor mounted harnesses are not advisable to use in this event.
___ If roll bar equipped: adequate padding required on a roll bar/cage installation at any possible contact with driver or passenger

Extra Items to bring with you:

• Helmet (SNELL SA05, or newer required*** NO Motorcycle Helmets are allowed unless SA approved!)
• Long pants and long sleeved shirts are required, preferably cotton material.
• Extra quart (or two) of oil
• Beverages to replace the water you will lose at the track.
• Glass cleaner and paper towels
• Gas - fill up before arriving at the track
• Fire extinguisher
• Other tools and parts as desired. Examples: extra brake fluid, coolant, air compressor, hoses, belts
• Extra brake pads, and rotors. Pads with half thickness may be gone by the end of the day.
• A tarp or two to protect your gear from the elements in the event of rain.
• Sunscreen, a hat, lawn chair and a canopy for shade.

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