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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!

I've been reading and getting as much info as I can into my head before getting ready for track season. I'll be attempting my first lesson and runs this year but wanted more insight from Porsche owners. My goal is to have information here which isn't necessarily an overview of autocross or track days, but what equipment, tips and or common things for Porsche owners to look for. With the 718 being new I'm sure there isn't a plethora of information, but this would hopefully be a good start!
 

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I do tons of track days in my 987 with the PCA. (the 718 is the daily driver). So here is my advice for a first time driver - in no particular order.
1) Don't time your laps.
2) Don't do anything to the car - just show up with it all stock - you'll be fine - the brakes won't die, the tires won't explode.
3) Don't push the car much - just get use to driving the correct line and hitting your marks. This is far more important than going quickly.
4) Be aware of everything around the car and in the car. Give point bys when appropriate, make sure you take a moment to relax at least once a lap and check the various gauges on the car to ensure all is fine - do this on the longest straight.
5) Don't let anyone else (even an instructor) drive your car. If they want to show you something they can do so in their car.
6) Have a plan of what you expect to achieve in each session. Go over this plan in your mind and with your instructor before each session.
7) The most important goal - you want to drive the car home afterwards.

I may have missed some points, but I'm sure others will chime in too.
 

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I've tracked my 718 S with stock tires and brakes about 5 times, and an additional 10 times with R compounds and Pagid yellows (Pagids are hard on rotors, going to try Ferodo DS1.11's this year) . The car runs great stock (brake pads and stock Advans are really pretty good)! If you track a lot you will want to change the camber. The reason is that you will wear down the outside corners of the tires rather quickly as you progress in your driving ability. My camber now is -2.5 front and -1.8 rear.

Do everything RussellHodgson stated plus prepare to work up your corner entrance speed gradually by learning how and when to brake (there's lots of info on this, look it up). You can apply braking much harder than you think or are used to. Remember if you enter a corner too slow you can always apply throttle thru the turn. Go in too fast and your options become extremely limited as well as the results can be a bit unfavorable.
Good for you to track your 718. The car is an incredible joy to drive in such a manner. Most people who own one will never experience this. You'll know what I mean after your first track day. Good luck!
 

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I tracked my 987.2 Boxster for 5 years about 8 times a year. Before that I tracked a 2004 MX-5 MazdaSpeed for 4 years. I agree with all the previous suggestions but would add one more. Don't try to keep up with another car. You don't know the other car's capability or the driver's skill.
 

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all excellent points so far. here are some random thoughts off the top of my head.

bring a comfortable chair and plenty of stuff to drink - gatorade, powerade, juice, water. i usually go through 3-4 bottles of powerade a day. best to put all your stuff in a plastic bin if possible, because it always rains at least once during a track weekend. i think it's a rule or something. a large tarp will do if you have to, and not a bad item to bring anyway. (make friends with someone who has a garage early just in case it rains for a while)

get a good, easy to operate air gauge. the handheld kind with a big display works nicely. keep track of your tire temps regularly, noting the time of day and air temp.

a good torque wrench.

be friendly :) as silly as it sounds don't be afraid to walk up to someone and start talking about cars. it's why you are all there. i've met some really great people at the track. some i only see a few times a year at events but it's enough :)

sunscreen. good stuff.
 

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I have done a lot of car and bike track days. I typically see newer guys/gals overcomplicating it. For the car, follow what nineball said - do the pre-track day tech inspection that practically every organization requires and show up with your car, your helmet, your wallet (gas costs $$), water and a tire pressure gauge. Drive, push yourself as far as you are comfortable, have fun, come back again. Whether or not you want to get more serious about it is up to you. Staying casual and just having fun (ie. not being competitive) at every track day you do for the remainder of your driving life is of course perfectly fine. Other than tires, don’t modify anything on your car - its totally unnecessary. These cars are champs right off the dealer floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, this is good information. My PCA region has info but it's always great to have the simple or small tips from people who track more than once or twice a year to share. I'm hoping I can learn the in and outs of changing brake pads, seems like one common item people discuss being able to do on the track quickly.
 

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Thanks, this is good information. My PCA region has info but it's always great to have the simple or small tips from people who track more than once or twice a year to share. I'm hoping I can learn the in and outs of changing brake pads, seems like one common item people discuss being able to do on the track quickly.
What is your local PCA region?
 

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I'm hoping I can learn the in and outs of changing brake pads, seems like one common item people discuss being able to do on the track quickly.
as a beginner i would not worry too much about brake pads, you will not come close to going through them your first few track events. well most people won't, i know i didn't. it's never a bad skill to possess though.

once you have an event under your belt and find you want more, and you will, head over to clubregistration.net and you can search for track events, both single days and weeks, anywhere you want to. our local chapter uses it and i have done many events with other clubs via that site.

some other random thoughts...

you will probably get scared long before the car does, so keep that in mind :) well at least in the beginning.

it's not a race, no need to pretend you are in the fast and furious 14. if you have pdk you don't need to look at your speedo or tach. if you have a manual look at your tach. track is more about flowing and being smooth than going as fast as you think you can. you will find the smoother you get the faster you are going, and using less effort to do so.

at max while on the track you want to be at 7/10th or so, meaning you are not going all out. it's for fun and learning your car.

get some gloves of some sort. you don't necessarily have to go out and buy "racing gloves" but having something will be good. my first few years i used a pair of brand new crafstman mechanic gloves that were on sale at sears one day for $20.

read the packet you get from your event. learn the flags. watch some videos of the track you will be on before you go there. find out where the closest gas stations with good fuel are, you will be visiting them, possibly often. i was at daytona in december for a 3 day event and i filled up 2-4 times per day, but i was getting like 7mpg or something ridiculous like that on the track. it was so worth it to see that speedo over 160...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Finally got a track day under the belt. It was amazing to say the least!

Small tips from today I think extreme newbies like myself will appreciate:

1. The tow hook is opposite, clockwise to loosen to counter clockwise to tighten. This took me a couple of minutes but still...

2. Like others have stated, lines first. I followed as much as possible those really performing well. Even getting to follow them for one or two corners helped tremendously.

3. ABS means you’re braking way too late, it’s good to know when that happens in order to know your braking potential.

4. Stock tires are great, but it is nothing like track tires. Not even remotely close in my opinion.
 

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Finally got a track day under the belt. It was amazing to say the least!

Small tips from today I think extreme newbies like myself will appreciate:

1. The tow hook is opposite, clockwise to loosen to counter clockwise to tighten. This took me a couple of minutes but still...

2. Like others have stated, lines first. I followed as much as possible those really performing well. Even getting to follow them for one or two corners helped tremendously.

3. ABS means you’re braking way too late, it’s good to know when that happens in order to know your braking potential.

4. Stock tires are great, but it is nothing like track tires. Not even remotely close in my opinion.


So your going to make a comment like number one above and not elaborate? Did they make you install the tow hook just to drive around? Or did you need it? We are looking for a story to think about here in our chairs. While we crawl through our brake in miles and spring pot holes.

cant wait to get on a track.
ssmv650
 

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So your going to make a comment like number one above and not elaborate? Did they make you install the tow hook just to drive around? Or did you need it? We are looking for a story to think about here in our chairs. While we crawl through our brake in miles and spring pot holes.

cant wait to get on a track.
ssmv650

i'm going to guess it was just for safety reasons, not out of necessity, or the post would have been much more different. i've done some events with various clubs who require a towhook be in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tracks rules for safety. They require all vehicles with tow hook mounts to have them put in place. Some of the other drivers there put aftermarket ones versus the oem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
5) Don't let anyone else (even an instructor) drive your car. If they want to show you something they can do so in their car.
I just saw a schedule and one section states the instructor drives two laps. I’d assume they’d want to use my car. Hopefully they’ll be considerate and use their own vehicle. Or else they may not like me deferring.
 

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I just saw a schedule and one section states the instructor drives two laps. I’d assume they’d want to use my car. Hopefully they’ll be considerate and use their own vehicle. Or else they may not like me deferring.
I've had some instructors who don't know what they are doing, especially in a manual car, and did things like bounce off the rev limiter because they forgot to upshift at the right time, or downshift way too early, getting the revs higher than they should be going into the over-rev range 2, or go into a corner too fast and mess up the line.

So based on that experience I wouldn't let anyone drive my car on track ever.

They may ask if you'd like them to drive it, but you can politely decline.
 

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I just saw a schedule and one section states the instructor drives two laps. I’d assume they’d want to use my car. Hopefully they’ll be considerate and use their own vehicle. Or else they may not like me deferring.
usually they do drive their own car, and the two laps are to let you ride along and see how the track lines are ran.
 

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Hello All!

I've been reading and getting as much info as I can into my head before getting ready for track season. I'll be attempting my first lesson and runs this year but wanted more insight from Porsche owners. My goal is to have information here which isn't necessarily an overview of autocross or track days, but what equipment, tips and or common things for Porsche owners to look for. With the 718 being new I'm sure there isn't a plethora of information, but this would hopefully be a good start!

1) Don't time your laps. Agree.
2) Don't do anything to the car - just show up with it all stock - you'll be fine - the brakes won't die, the tires won't explode. (Disagree. Check pressures, fluid levels, torque the wheels, remove everything that is not secured or bolted down from the interior. You can apply painters tape if you do not have a PPT if you want to avoid paint chips. Wax the car, it makes removing rubber, bugs and oil marks easier. Let the engine, and other mechanical components come up to temperature slowly )
3) Don't push the car much - just get use to driving the correct line and hitting your marks. Agree. This will make you quicker than trying to muscle the car.
4) Be aware of everything around the car and in the car. Give point bys when appropriate, check the various gauges on the car to ensure all is fine - do this on the longest straight. Agree. Check you mirrors often and give pointbys. Don't hold up a Honda or Miata because you are faster down the straight. If they are in your mirror its because they caught you.
5) Don't let anyone else (even an instructor) drive your car. If they want to show you something they can do so in their car. Disagree. A good or real instructor will not thrash your car. He will be able to drive 7/10ths smoothly and show you how and where to be without scaring the **** out of you or hurting your car. Most people need to see this, experienced or not.
6) Have a plan of what you expect to achieve in each session. Go over this plan in your mind and with your instructor before each session. Great advice. This could mean hitting the same brake marks or turn in points. Being smooth and reducing number of steering inputs in a corner.
7) The most important goal - you want to drive the car home afterwards. 100%. Don't be a hero and live to come back.
 
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