Need track advice (please)!

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JAC
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Need track advice (please)!

Postby JAC » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:16 pm

I wasn't sure where to post this, so I guessed Puma Area is as good as any.

I am in search of a little advice as for taking the Puma on a track in a couple of months.

I have been promising my son for years that I would take him on a track one day, and we never really got around to doing it. He's 15 and still wants to go as much as ever. The funny thing is that he is not interested in driving in the slightest, at his age I had been driving anything and everything anyone would let me (Spain was a little more relaxed back then :D ).

To be honest, there isn't much around my area for cars, most tracks have bike days regularly, but never seem to do car days very often. However, a few people that I know through a car club I am part of, organize track days every couple of months. The track is 400km away from where I live, but it is the only regular event that I know of.

The track is pretty simple, but seems to be decent enough for some fun:

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Anyhow... It's been years since I was last on a track, and back in the days when I did go, I always had a good friend who came with me and was (is) an excellent mechanic. Due to life circumstances, we no longer see each other much, which is why I have had to start turning "theory" into "practice" mechanical wise :'(

I am wondering what you would suggest having or doing to the Puma for a one off track day?

Please consider that I will also need to do a 4 hour trip each way in the car, so it has to be road legal (which basically means stock).

I am thinking about trying to find a spare set of wheels to fit tyres on and carry them in the boot to the track, this way I am guaranteed to have decent wheels to travel home on ;) Maybe a set of brake pads would be a good idea also, just in case.

What other spares do you think I should carry, considering the fact that I am not an experienced mechanic at least hands on wise?
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Need track advice (please)!

Postby PumaJay » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:48 am

That looks quite a complex track with some pretty quick sections.

In terms of readying your car for the day I would get it up on axle stands and give all the suspensions bushes a quick once over, if there they appear to be badly perished then replace them with some powerflex or similar, same goes for your drop links and struts. If you can make a couple of modifications to the suspension like bushes, strut braces and lowering your Puma will be 100% better on track then stock.

Tyres, if you can pick some second hand semi slicks up for cheap and mount then on a set of wheels then that's the way to go, if not taking a couple of spare tyres is advisable, you might chew through the fronts quite quickly if they are normal road tyres. The rears should be ok to last the day and do both legs of the journey.

Basic tools will be required but you don't need to carry an entire garage with you, when I do track days a socket set, jack and a few spanners is all I take along with me.

Brake pads... depends how hard on the brakes you are but I've never needed to carry a spare set with me.
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Need track advice (please)!

Postby JAC » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:22 am

Thanks PumaJay!

My intention was just to pick up a set of 4 wheels and put some track tyres on them to take with me.

I will check suspension and bushes.

The track itself is not that bad, the worst part seems to be uneven surfaces between a few of the quick left rights. I have the track on Assetto Corsa and I am told that they surface is pretty close to the actual track (by those that have driven both).

My reference to brakes is because I am running the stock brakes, so I wasn't sure how 3x 30min stints would affect them.
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Need track advice (please)!

Postby yippeekiay » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:04 pm

As you're contemplating getting track tyres I have to assume you're not going to be simply going round to take in the view so brakes are as much a priority as those tyres.Check the condition of your pads & discs (and fluid!). If they are worn & you may need new ones soon anyway I would buy them & take them with you or simply fit them before you go. Possibly change all your brake fluid for dot 5.1 too as it has a higher boiling point thus less like to cause brake fade. Won't harm for the time & cost. You can get DOT 4 fluid with higher temps but they'll generally cost you a more than a generic 5.1

Track surface is an unknown quantity until you get there but this can have a huge impact on tyres & brakes. On the Nordshliefe I could do laps to my hearts content with no brake fade & minimal wear, but throw in the GP circuit within that lap & it made a difference, much grippier & much later braking was possibly meaning higher temps which could have cause brake fade had I not changed out my fluid.

I didn't bother anymore when they incorporated both together since I did those few laps & just held out for the Nordschliefe alone. For one, it didn't appeal to me & two, I had to drive back to the UK afterwards & needed my brakes & tyres to be fit for purpose :lol:

Either way, enjoy yourself & be safe. :ok:
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JAC
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Need track advice (please)!

Postby JAC » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:49 pm

Thanks yippeekiay!

My brake pads are less than 500 miles old (front and rear), with new disks also, so I guess that they should be ok, but I may put some "stickier" ones on the front before I go.

I don't think I will catch the October track day, as I travel back from a project the day before, but hopefully the November/December days should be ok. That means air temp will be around 20-25ºC (70-80ºF) which should be a nice temperature to not overheat stuff too much. As I said before, I am only going to do the 3x 30min stints (rather than 6), which shouldn't put much more stress on the car than my usual Sunday morning mountain runs. However, I think the 5.1 may be a good idea, as I can be known to be heavy on the brakes at times ;)

I have been talking to a few people that drive the track regularly, and they say that tyre wear is not as bad as I had immagined. They say that a decent set of sport tyres (without being semi slicks) can usually last them at least 3 track days (doing the 6 stints). Obviously each car is different, and each driver more so, but I may be able to get away with just a new set of tyres before I go.

For those of you that are interested, or just really bored, this is the track:

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