Alfa Romeo 4C Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm signed up for my first track day at NJMP later this month for the Lightning II PCA event, two days in the beginner group with an instructor with five 25 minute sessions each day. I've been reading all through the wealth of info here and believe I'm well informed for what to expect and how to be prepared. I'm bringing my all stock 2016 coupe which is optioned with the track pack, I'm bringing a portable air compressor and wheel chocks. I have the factory wrap so I'm not planning on using too much blue painters tape, maybe the leading edge of the front bumper, the mirror caps and the lower sill ahead of the rear wheels. I'm planning on monitoring my tire pressure and after they warm up in the first session will probably bleed them down to 26/29 hot. After each session, I'll park the car without using parking brake, use the chocks, and raise the hood to allow then engine to cool. I'm guessing I'll keep it in Dynamic and automatic for the first day, then try manual shifting on the second day. Other than bringing my vintage Benatton F1 team shirt and my new Alfa Romeo F1 Team Shirt, I think I'm set! Any last minute tips would be appreciated!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,828 Posts
So I'm signed up for my first track day at NJMP later this month for the Lightning II PCA event, two days in the beginner group with an instructor with five 25 minute sessions each day. I've been reading all through the wealth of info here and believe I'm well informed for what to expect and how to be prepared. I'm bringing my all stock 2016 coupe which is optioned with the track pack, I'm bringing a portable air compressor and wheel chocks. I have the factory wrap so I'm not planning on using too much blue painters tape, maybe the leading edge of the front bumper, the mirror caps and the lower sill ahead of the rear wheels. I'm planning on monitoring my tire pressure and after they warm up in the first session will probably bleed them down to 26/29 hot. After each session, I'll park the car without using parking brake, use the chocks, and raise the hood to allow then engine to cool. I'm guessing I'll keep it in Dynamic and automatic for the first day, then try manual shifting on the second day. Other than bringing my vintage Benatton F1 team shirt and my new Alfa Romeo F1 Team Shirt, I think I'm set! Any last minute tips would be appreciated!
Cotton or other natural fabric clothes. Will they provide a helmet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
NJMP lightning is a lovely track, has a great flow to it, you're gonna love it.

Not sure how heavy you are, but since the tub is supposed to be rated for 330 lbs, I would contact the organizers ahead of time and asked to be paired with the smallest and lightest instructor they have available. I'm sure there's a lot of tolerance at 330lbs but I'd ask anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
A few suggestions:

  • Verify if you need to have numbers on your car. Most of the time, you can just use painter's tape to make the number.
  • Try to get the weekend schedule as soon as you can. Arrive the first day early to make sure to attend the morning intro meeting.
  • If the track is quite a distance away from home, consider staying overnight the first night at a hotel near the track. 20-25 minute session don't sound like much, but they will wear you out when you are just getting started.
  • Plan for the weather. Most racing organizations will run rain or shine. They will typically only stop if the track has dangerous water pooling or there is lightning.
  • If you can fit a lawn chair, bring one.
  • Bring a torque wrench to make sure you don't have any wheel lugs getting loose.
  • Stay hydrated even if it's not 100 degrees out. You might bring a small cooler (track food and beverages are usually stupidly expensive).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,015 Posts
Some excellent suggestions from our forum members, but I would like to add a few more...

  1. RELAX. Your first track day can be stressful and enjoyable at the same time. This is about learning, so don't worry if that 90 HP miata passes you, just keep an open mind, learn from your instructor, and learn at your own pace.
  2. BREATH. I know this might sound funny, but trust me you might have to remind yourself to breath when you are blasting into a corner at speeds you don't think are possible to go around at. It will also help you be smoother and drive better.
  3. Brakes. Be sure to change your brake fluid and check your pads prior to the event. You would like at least 50% of the pad life left before starting your track day.
  4. Tires. Be sure your tires are in good shape and have plenty of tread life left. Many organizations now want the tire date code to be less than 4 years...
  5. Things to bring...
    1. Chair
    2. Water & snacks, LOTS of Water!!
    3. Torque Wrench - 17mm socket
    4. Air pump & tire Pressure gauge - You don't need a full compressor, a simple full sized bike pump will due since our tires are small. You will let pressure out all day long, but need to air up at the end of the day to drive home.
    5. Full set of spare clothing - Not that you will have a code brown moment, it is just nice to drive home in a clean, dry, and better smelling clothing after a LONG HARD day driving!
 

·
Registered
gtv6 3.0, Stelvio Ti
Joined
·
119 Posts
Not sure I can get there in April but I will try, I have not been on track in a while and just got the 4c would be fun to do it together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
On top of the great suggestions, here are my 4cents:

  • Install your tow hook
  • Clean your car, make sure nothing will be bouncing around
  • Get a basic track app, such as Harry's Performance Pack
  • Find out if the track will be run CW or CWW, then go to YT and check out videos to get familiar with the lines, etc

Have fun! See if you can do a few laps without braking. It's harder than it sounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
Where ya coming from and what is the exact date? Message me if you need support etc. I live in Willow Grove, PA; I lived near NJMP for a while, and I generally cover the whole Philly-South Jersey area plus beaches.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,415 Posts
Enjoy yourself. There are no trophies for a track day, but tons on things to learn and plenty of fun to be had. I hope that you can safely socialize with the other drivers, as that’s a big part of the experience.

It goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway ;) ) be sure you have an accurate tire gauge. And continue to check your pressures through the weekend. And, as suggested above, your wheel lug bolt torques.

Hydration, as mentioned above many times, is really important for your comfort and concentration.

I’d suggest not using a lap timer app for your first day. You will have enough to think of, and pay attention to, without being distracted by that. You’ll smoke your times in a few more days experience anyway.

When you are on track (and really any time behind the wheel), keep looking up! If your gaze falls below about the bottom 40% of the windshield, you aren’t looking far enough ahead to guide the car where it needs to go, and brake at the right points.

Speaking of looking, always look where you want the car to go. ESPECIALLY if things get pear shaped and you start to lose the back end. And check your mirrors as you get on the straight, to let faster cars by.

Be sure to tell us how it went!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to everybody who chimed in with tips and suggestions, this site is truly a great collection of fellow enthusiasts!

This is a PCA event over the weekend of 4/24 and 4/25, I’ll be driving down from Sea Girt at the shore and bringing my own helmet. I’m going down with a buddy who will be driving his 2020 718 Boxster, and his friend, who I’ve met only a couple of times, and his trailered, track dedicated, Cayman. My buddy and I will be in the novice class and the Cayman Driver is in the top class, he is even bringing two crew members! We are all staying at a local hotel for the weekend. I believe the event is sold out, but if anyone wants to join the event and can register, the first round of beers is on me!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4Canada

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Leave the engine cover at home..
Taking the engine cover off makes a lot of sense, I’ll look into how easy that is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
NJMP lightning is a lovely track, has a great flow to it, you're gonna love it.

Not sure how heavy you are, but since the tub is supposed to be rated for 330 lbs, I would contact the organizers ahead of time and asked to be paired with the smallest and lightest instructor they have available. I'm sure there's a lot of tolerance at 330lbs but I'd ask anyway.
I had no idea the CF tub was only rated to 330lbs! I better lay off the Kane IPA as I’m probably at 170 myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
A few suggestions:

  • Verify if you need to have numbers on your car. Most of the time, you can just use painter's tape to make the number.
  • Try to get the weekend schedule as soon as you can. Arrive the first day early to make sure to attend the morning intro meeting.
  • If the track is quite a distance away from home, consider staying overnight the first night at a hotel near the track. 20-25 minute session don't sound like much, but they will wear you out when you are just getting started.
  • Plan for the weather. Most racing organizations will run rain or shine. They will typically only stop if the track has dangerous water pooling or there is lightning.
  • If you can fit a lawn chair, bring one.
  • Bring a torque wrench to make sure you don't have any wheel lugs getting loose.
  • Stay hydrated even if it's not 100 degrees out. You might bring a small cooler (track food and beverages are usually stupidly expensive).
Numbers are required on all sides, blue tape will have to do. I’ll bring some bottled water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Some excellent suggestions from our forum members, but I would like to add a few more...

  1. RELAX. Your first track day can be stressful and enjoyable at the same time. This is about learning, so don't worry if that 90 HP miata passes you, just keep an open mind, learn from your instructor, and learn at your own pace.
  2. BREATH. I know this might sound funny, but trust me you might have to remind yourself to breath when you are blasting into a corner at speeds you don't think are possible to go around at. It will also help you be smoother and drive better.
  3. Brakes. Be sure to change your brake fluid and check your pads prior to the event. You would like at least 50% of the pad life left before starting your track day.
  4. Tires. Be sure your tires are in good shape and have plenty of tread life left. Many organizations now want the tire date code to be less than 4 years...
  5. Things to bring...
    1. Chair
    2. Water & snacks, LOTS of Water!!
    3. Torque Wrench - 17mm socket
    4. Air pump & tire Pressure gauge - You don't need a full compressor, a simple full sized bike pump will due since our tires are small. You will let pressure out all day long, but need to air up at the end of the day to drive home.
    5. Full set of spare clothing - Not that you will have a code brown moment, it is just nice to drive home in a clean, dry, and better smelling clothing after a LONG HARD day driving!
Although I am a little nervous, not embarrassed to say it, so staying relaxed is my number one goal. My car is very low mileage, tires and brakes are in like new condition, not sure I’ll need to change brake fluid, doesn’t the front hood have to come off for that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Not sure I can get there in April but I will try, I have not been on track in a while and just got the 4c would be fun to do it together.
Where are you located? Any good roads around you? I’m always looking for a good road trip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
On top of the great suggestions, here are my 4cents:

  • Install your tow hook
  • Clean your car, make sure nothing will be bouncing around
  • Get a basic track app, such as Harry's Performance Pack
  • Find out if the track will be run CW or CWW, then go to YT and check out videos to get familiar with the lines, etc

Have fun! See if you can do a few laps without braking. It's harder than it sounds.
Jersey requires a front plate, which is attached to the tow hook socket, but I’ll keep the tow hook handy. Will check out the track app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Where ya coming from and what is the exact date? Message me if you need support etc. I live in Willow Grove, PA; I lived near NJMP for a while, and I generally cover the whole Philly-South Jersey area plus beaches.
Phil, that is a very generous offer! I think I’m good without the extra support. My daughter lives in Philly and I have a good buddy with a cool collection of cars who has a place in the Poconos. I’ve always wanted to check some roads in eastern PA (Jersey roads suck), would be cool to meet up sometime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Philster

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Enjoy yourself. There are no trophies for a track day, but tons on things to learn and plenty of fun to be had. I hope that you can safely socialize with the other drivers, as that’s a big part of the experience.

It goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway ;) ) be sure you have an accurate tire gauge. And continue to check your pressures through the weekend. And, as suggested above, your wheel lug bolt torques.

Hydration, as mentioned above many times, is really important for your comfort and concentration.

I’d suggest not using a lap timer app for your first day. You will have enough to think of, and pay attention to, without being distracted by that. You’ll smoke your times in a few more days experience anyway.

When you are on track (and really any time behind the wheel), keep looking up! If your gaze falls below about the bottom 40% of the windshield, you aren’t looking far enough ahead to guide the car where it needs to go, and brake at the right points.

Speaking of looking, always look where you want the car to go. ESPECIALLY if things get pear shaped and you start to lose the back end. And check your mirrors as you get on the straight, to let faster cars by.

Be sure to tell us how it went!
Tire Pressure seems to come up in every track day post, will make sure I pay attention I did a PCA event last fall where I got to drive a new 911 following behind an instructor, he was saying the same thing about looking ahead. I’ll try and give a full report so other track novices can benefit!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4Canada

·
Registered
gtv6 3.0, Stelvio Ti
Joined
·
119 Posts
Like a motorcycle, head and eyes up, you’ll go in the direction you are looking...for better or worse. Get that man/machine connection! Will be following behind you as a 4c track novice soon.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top