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So you want to find out what your car runs in the ¼ mile or the 1/8 mile, But you have never been to a track before and you are not totally sure what to do. Well that’s fine. Just remember that everyone was a newbie at one time. Nobody popped out of the womb heal toeing and two steppin’
The first thing to is to visually inspect your car. Make sure nothing is broken, the oil isn’t black, your brakes work, ECT.
This is spit up into six sections. Pre Arrival, Arrival, Pre Race, Staging, Race, Post Race.
I recommend cleaning your car inside and out but mostly the inside. Get rid of anything that will roll around and is not necessary. Now I don’t mean rear seats and carpets. I mean loose change, anything in the center console and the glove box (MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR INSURANCE AND REGISTRATION CARDS) If your going with someone else and they are bringing their own car throw your spare tire and jack in their car just in case. Otherwise I would keep it in.
Depending on how far the track is will determine how much fuel you need. Just remember anything below a quarter tank when racing will actually hurt you as it will slosh back and forth as you shift. Also remember, that you need to get to make it home, or to the nearest gas station that is still open.
If you can find a helmet (Snell 95) then find one and bring it you will need it. Also you will probably need long pants (NO nylon) and possibly a long sleeved shirt, and full toed sneakers. (NO sandals)
As you drive to the track try not to beat on the car as you really want it as cool as possible.
Check the tracks website for specific regulations.
When you arrive you will probably wait in a line to pay your entrance fee. When you get to the booth pay your fee and get your tech card. Make sure you tell them you are racing. If you have any questions on where to go ASK NOW!!!! ASK NOW!!! ASK NOW!!! That is what these people are paid to do, they will point you in the correct direction.
Once you enter the pits keep in mind the speed limit is most likely 5MPH, do not break that, you will look dumb and get thrown out. Park your car and fill out your tech card. Again if you have any questions just find someone. 99% of the people are nice and will be more then willing to help you out. Also ask where the tech inspections are held. And where you can rent a helmet (if applicable)
Once your tech card is filled out and you have your helmet. Take your car to the tech inspection. This is where they will give you your wrist band or other official driver/racer identification. They will ask you what mods you have done to your car. Answer them truthfully, but mostly, they are just trying to find out if you are going to A: Blow up B: run faster then 10 second. If all you have is basic upgrades (intake exhaust) tell them that. Don’t lie. When they are happy they will chalk your windows with your race numbers.
If you want to run “NO TIME” tell them and they will also put N/T on your windshield. That way when you run your time will not be shown on the boards. There are reasons people do this 99% don’t need to do this. Once the tech inspection is done drive back to the pit and shut your car off. Go watch a couple runs, go to the bathroom, let your car cool. Watch the cars, make mental notes of what they do, where they go, where they came from.
Pre Race: Your almost there
Once you feel comfortable, go back to your car and get into the staging lanes. These are usually split up into categories. Such as street tires or slicks, grudge matches, ECT Just go where you belong. OK now this is where people get annoyed at you… STAY WITH YOUR CAR. It is ok to get out if nothing is moving but do not wander, If you want to know what the guy 5 cars behind you is running wait for him in the pits. Some people will shut off their cars, I just run my heat on full blast unless we are not moving at all (Temporary track closing) Move up as needed, and stay in YOUR lane. Once your in the staging lane, unless your car breaks, it is a one way road.
When you get close put your helmet on and roll the windows UP. Keep your eyes on spotter. When you are waved to come up do just that. Keep your eye on the track officials as they are going to be waving you forward. Be sure you have your helmet on, windows up, seat belt on, and at least your Parking lights on. (Even if its light out sometimes they cant see if you break down and if they send a pro drag car down your lane… it is going to hurt.)
Go around the water box, If you want you can do a burn out to dust off your tires and warm them up. Just stay out of the water. The water is there for the guys with the slicks.
You are now getting really really close to racing, the only thing left to do is stage wait and go!!!
Staging: This is where it get interesting!
When you are motioned to do so move your car forward towards the staging beams.
You should have noticed the traffic light looking type thing by now. This is called the tree. It should look like this
o o Amber 1 o o Amber 2 o Yellow 1 o Yellow 2 o Yellow 3 OOO GREEN!
Right now you are concerned with Amber 1 and Amber 2. Staging is getting your car in line with the timer. Move up until the first amber light turns on. Then slowly move forward till the second one goes on. If either one goes out, you went to far and back up.
As soon as both Amber lights are lit be ready to race. Blip your gas to clear the intake and hold a steady RPM for your launch. Now keep your eyes on the yellow lights. Some tracks have all three lights at once and then green, some have Yellow 1 Yellow 2 Yellow 3 then Green. Remember how I said to go watch the races for a while. This is one of the things you are looking for.
If it is the first way, where all three light up at the same time, just wait for them to light think, and then go. If you wait for the green your reaction time will be horrible. If it is the second one where each one goes one by one then once the last one lights, do a half think then go.
Your reaction time is the time it takes you to move your car off of the line after the green lights. Some places start the timer when the green lights up and then a .000 would be a perfect reaction time. Other tracks start from when the last yellow light dies and then the when the green lights, and then it still measures you on how fast you move the car off the line after the green lights but a perfect reaction time is .500 because it is a half second between the last yellow and the green.
Go!!! You are actually doing it. If it is your first time take it easy, learn the track. Don’t worry you will do more runs. Also be careful because the track is a lot more slippery then normal roads. So you can probably launch lower. Just be aware and careful. BE SURE TO STAY IN YOUR LANE!!!
Stay on the gas until the end. You don’t want to be coasting that last 100 feet.
Leaving the track, this is important. If you are in the left lane, and the track turn off's are on the right, then the other car has the right of way. Do not turn in front of the other car. At one race track, a guy in a street car was racing a 6 second car. The 6 second car had trouble on the line, and the street car got to the finish line first, but the 6 second car was now on the way. The street car went for the first turn off, and turned in front of the other car that hit him running around 110 miles per hour. Enough said. Don’t be stupid!
Ok so now proceed off the track and stop at the booth and pick up your time slip. Get it put it down and drive away. Do not look at it as the pit area is usually crowded and you do not want to hit that guys 6 year old daughter. Once you are parked take a look at your time slip, and then repeat!
Another year of exciting track action awaits for 2014. MVP Track Time (www.MVPTrackTime.com) is pleased to introduce our expanded 2014 track event schedule. I hope you’ll join us for some on-track fun.
We have some exciting events for 2014, including two weekends at Road Atlanta, an expanded event at Road America with the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America, our first visit to Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan and our inaugural track weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Visit our web site for schedule updates as 2014 progresses.
MVP’s goal remains the same since we started in 2006, offering you great value with more actual track time at each event for less money then most organizations. Our three run group (Novice, Intermediate and Advanced) format give the drivers maximize time driving on the track instead of standing around the paddock.
Below you will find our initial 2014 schedule, again subject to possible revisions as the year progresses. We HOPE to confirm two more events for 2014 soon.
June 9: Autobahn Country Club (Joliet, IL) [Full 3.56 Mile Track] – ”Monday at The Bahn”
June 28 – 29 : Road Atlanta (Braselton, GA) – 2nd Annual ”Blue & Grey Track Days”
August 4: Autobahn Country Club II (Joliet, IL) [Full 3.56 Mile Track] – ”First Monday In August”
September 6 - 7: Gingerman Raceway (South Haven, MI) – NO CATCHY TITLE YET
October 10 - 12: Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) – 5th Annual ”Cheese Heads On Track” [Three Days]
October 31 – November 2: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Lexington, OH) – ”Let’s Go Play At Mid-Ohio” [Three Days]
November 22 – 23: Road Atlanta (Braselton, GA) – 6th Annual “Flyin’ Turkey Trot”
Registration is available on line with Pay Pal (or a credit card through the Pay Pal system) or a mail-in registration for all our track events at: