Getting Ready

Every event, we see new members joining our ranks and old friends coming back. Whether this is your first advanced driving school ever or the first one in a long time, you probably have many questions about getting ready and about the logistics of the event.

 

Some questions we often get are:

  • What should I do to be ready?

  • What should I wear ?

  • What should I bring?

 

This article is designed to answer these common questions.

 

What should I do to be ready?

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with Club rules.  Every club has its rules and these are in place to ensure everyone enjoys their day and returns home safely.  You should also obtain a copy of the Technical Inspection Form, which provides a checklist to help ensure your vehicle is safe and ready to be presented for Technical Inspection on the day of the event.  Keep in mind that this is intended as a guideline, not a comprehensive technical manual.

The technical requirements for a Driving School are just common sense checks to make sure your vehicle is in good, safe working order. It is important to ensure that all checks are carried out diligently because your enjoyment, your safety and that of others depend on it.  Remember that during a track session, your car will experience physical and thermal stresses much higher than those of regular daily use.  Always keep in mind that mechanical failures will jeopardize your safety as well as that of your instructor and other participants.

Preparation starts a few weeks before the event with a thorough technical inspection, preferably carried out by a qualified mechanic.  Doing this two to three weeks before an event allows you the time to schedule and perform any necessary repairs and avoid unnecessary stress.  If your car fails inspection at the track, you will forfeit the event. (Fees will NOT be refunded.)

A few days before the event, you should spend some time reading through the student manual.  If anything doesn’t make sense to you, make a note of it and remember to ask about it in the classroom.  Do not be shy:  If you are confused about something, chances are others will be too and they will appreciate your taking the initiative to get it clarified.

 

On the day before the event, try to get the car ready and packed early in the day.  You don’t want to be up half the night scrounging for your tire gauge, your lucky hat or clean underwear when you should be resting up for the big day.  Running around at the last minute when you should be hitting the road is a sure-fire way to forget something important.

 

As you are preparing the car, take the opportunity to do a final check of your fluids, wheel nut torque and tire pressures.  It is a good idea to set your tires about 4 to 6 psi over the recommendation on the driver’s door then, let them cool overnight and drop them to 2 psi above the recommendation just before leaving in the morning.  This helps ensure that you have a correct baseline for your cold inflation pressures.   These numbers will vary depending on your car setup and your tires.  Tire pressure is a key component to getting the most out of your tires when subjected to the high lateral forces experienced on the track.  At this time, it is also a good idea to clean your windshield and apply a coat of RainX or AquaPel to help it stay clear on rainy days.

 

What should I wear?

 

Clothing is a very personal choice and you dress as you please in the paddock.  However, to be accepted on track, you should wear:

  • Long pants

  • Sleeved, cotton, top (Shirt, T-Short, Sweatshirt)

  • Closed, flat-heeled shoes 

 

What should I bring?

 

Some people travel light and others bring the kitchen sink.  Make sure you bring along the things that will help make your experience more enjoyable. 

 

The following items are ESSENTIAL:

  • Completed Technical Inspection Form

  • Helmet SA-2010 or better

  • Driver’s license

  • Proof of insurance

  • Vehicle registration

 

The following should be adjusted for the weather and your willingness to carry:

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Battery operated air compressor

  • Glass cleaner

  • Roll of paper towels

  • Liter of engine oil

  • Sunscreen

  • Bug spray

  • Hat

  • Tarp or large plastic storage box to protect your stuff from the elements

  • Tire marking chalk pencil or white shoe polish bottle

  • Cooler full of water

  • Light snacks

  • Assortment of tools depending on your comfort level:  This can include a torque wrench, a floor jack and an assortment of sockets and wrenches.  Make sure you cover the basics you are comfortable with and remember that there will be plenty of people around who can lend tools or help if something goes wrong.

  • Appropriate clothing depending on the weather:  Remember that the weather can change progressively throughout the day and that your comfort will depend on appropriate clothing whether this is rain gear or a parasol.  At a minimum, you should wear snug fitting, low-cut, lace-up shoes and comfortable, loose fitting clothing cotton clothing.  Bring a few extras ...

  • Some people go as far as bringing a folding canopy and some folding chairs …