I figured out that the question is well worth of it's own thread, so here we go
The quoted post was taken from this thread -
Just out of curiosity, what are the requirements for a car for this kind of event and how much money are you talking about? I have absolutely no knowledge of any kind of track event. I've never even been to a car race as a spectator. And my car reflects that - home built "book" style gas tank, no roll bar, etc. On the other hand, driving fast without having to watch for the CHP sounds like fun. Do they let guys like me on a track?
Hey John -
As Kurt mentioned in the original thread, you have to have a roll bar.
If your car doesn't have one at all, you can either weld one in or have one that is a bolt-on type that you can remove when you're not at the track.
The guide line with those is to have a roll bar that is SCCA solo 1 (time trial) legal.
This will point you to the kind of tubing that you need to use, thickness, diameter, structure, etc...
Follow this and you'll be good to run in 99% of the track days out here.
This is also a good time to define for you what a track day is exactly, it isn't 100% from your post if you are familiar with the concept or not.
A track day isn't a race, it is a High Peformance Driving Event or in short HPDE.
There are noramlly between 3 to 5 run groups that are divided according to the driver's level of experience in track driving.
This has nothing to do with how many years one has a driver's license or what kind of car they have, and in fact it isn't rare at all to see 55 year old guys driving in the same group as some 20 year old guys.
Same goes to cars, you can find a Lambo Gallardo and a beater civic going around the track at the same time and even turning the same lap times - especially if both drivers are in the beginners group.
Some drivers of fast cars find it a bit frustrating at their first time, as it may be that someone in a beater econobox will pass them, but it really all comes down to the amount of seat time that you have so no worries - speed comes with experiece.
Most local groups will offer you an instructor for the day to ride with you either for free or for a small fee like $20-30.
You definitely want to have an instructor in your car on your first day.
Of course each instructor takes a different approach but in general the instructor will be there to show you the driving line at the race track, give you basic pointers about your braking points and your turning points, slow you down a bit if you're a little too hot and bring you up to speed if you need to.
Normally when you do your registration at the track before the mandatory morning drivers meeting, you'll be able to talk to the organizers and at that point I advice you to ask for an instructor that drives a car that is at least a RWD car.
It isn't critical if you don't get it, but I find that having an instructor that understands your car's dynamics better gives the beginner sometimes an added bonus to the tune of extra pointers with driving technique from someone that understands a low power light RWD, maybe better than someone that normally drives an AWD mega HP monster.
But, if it can't happen don't sweat it, all instructors will have more to teach you than you can learn over a weekend anyway
The last note about instructors will bring us back to the car - the instructor (and later, the passenger) should have the same level of safety equipment that the driver has.
This means that if you have a racing seat - the instructor needs to have one too, if you have a harness - the instructor should have one too, etc...
An instructor may decline a ride in your car if he/she doesn't have the same level of safety that you have.
I know I would.
So, what do you need to do with your car?
Well, first, as we said - you have to have a good roll bar.
As I mentioned, the SCCA solo 1 rulebook is a good place to get the specs.
You'll probably run into what's called "the broomstick test" which calls for clearance of at least 2" between the driver's helmet to a line drawn between the top of the roll bar and the nose of your car, likely the top of the frame in the front.
I attached a diagram to show you the point of the test.
For HPDE you'll need a helmet with SA rating.
This means that motorcycle helmets are out of the question as they are M rated.
SA rated helmets are built for car racing and are made to absorb the types of impacts that are normal for this enviorment.
They also have fire retardent lining that is obviously something that a motorcycle helmet doesn't need.
Those helmets are sometimes
available for rental from the organizers but you should defiitely find out ahead of time about it and don't show up at the track without one hoping that you'll find one there.
If you did your first day on a loaner helmet and plan on doing more of them later (don't worry, you will
) prepare yourself to buy a good helmet before the next time.
Those helmets aren't cheap, but you only have one head.
Get yourself the best helmet that you can afford.
Last word about helmets - a helmet should NEVER be dropped
as it is made to sustain one crash only.
Dropping a helmet may result in damages that the naked eye connot see.
Beyond that, you don't have to have anything to enjoy a track day though I assure you that the more hooked you'll get on it the more track oriented equipment you'll find yourself purchasing
As for prep of the car before a track day, you'll want to be sure that everything is tightened down well and that there are no leaks.
You'll be surprised what kind of stuff rattles itself loose at the track
I'd go for a fresh oil change as you'll be putting the pedal to the metal quite a bit.
I will also make sure that the brakes are properly bled (as well as clutch hydraulics, if you have any) and that they have plenty of life left on them.
Make sure you adjust tire pressures (on cold tires of course) before you go on the track.
It is not a bad idea to set them a couple PSIs higher than your normal pressure all around, as a general guideline.
Last but not least, check your alignment - a misaligned car can throw some nasty surprises at you, combined with high speeds things can get hairy in a hurry.
Top off your gas tank before you get to the track as most tracks don't have a gas station around them for a few miles.
Some tracks offer race gas for sale but expect a very high cost (I've seen $7.50 a gallon before..) and the usage of it may not work well with whatever motor you have.
Pricing, as it was said in the original thread, runs between the low-mid $100s to north of $300, depending on the track, the day and the organizer.
Some local organizers like Speedventures, include lunch and water in the price which pretty nice.
Almost all organizers include the option of transponder rental and while I personally think that it is totally useless on the first, second and maybe even third track day, it is the best tool to gauge your improvement after that.
I might have missed something, it's getting a little late here..
I'll more later if I remember.
Ah, and don't forget the most important thing in track driving -