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Re: Open Track Day Primer

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:34 pm
by Clutch
How your Winter Driving skills can make you GREAT!

I know...we can't wait for spring to blast the slippery white stuff away with more tolerable temperatures. While you're driving the rest of the winter, I want you all to keep mental notes on how your driving behavior changes on a snow day.

Being a great driver includes knowing how to react to changing conditions. One of these less-than-ideal conditions is a loss of traction. In my driver's safety speech I always talk about the difference in traction between paved surfaces and grass and dirt. Basically, that once you leave the paved surfaces you have the same traction on grass and dirt as you have on snow and ice.

As a veteran winter driver you already know how you should react when you lose traction. Not panicking is the key to recovery. And why should you panic? You already know how this works. Slamming on the brakes or jerking the wheel on the grass and dirt results in the same thing that happens when you do it in ice and snow lose control. Resisting panic reactions is what your winter driving experience tells you to do.

Gradual responses with the brakes and steering might have you cutting the lawn a little longer, but doing so gives you greater control of your car. Granted, it's not as cool looking on your GoPro video, but I think you'll be happier with the results!

So do me a favor this spring...bring your winter driving skills to the track! Most people will never use them, but if you do wind up in the green stuff, you'll already know what to do because of the white stuff!

Re: Open Track Day Primer

Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:42 am
by Clutch
Novices and New to Waterford Drivers - What to expect...

It can be intimidating if you've never done a track day
. There's a flurry of activity after the gates open; finding paddock spots, clearing out cars, long haired freaky people running amok… Take a breath and relax because it's all pretty simple… everyone here is just excited and anticipating a great day at the track!

The first thing you come up on is the guard shack at the paddock gate. You and any guests will have to park and see the attendant to sign a waiver and get a wristband to enter the facility. Guests will be charged $2.00 to come in . (Please bring singles!)

After that you will drive up to the paddock. Note the speed signs - it is 5mph and it is enforced. Go slow and watch for kids and pets.

Your next mission is to find a paddock space. This is a spot where you will unload your car and hang out while you aren't on track. Paddock spaces are anywhere on the grass. Bring a folding chair or something to mark your spot while you are on track.

Go to Registration. Registration is on the second floor of the tower. This is where you get your tech form and driver identification.

Tech your own car. We are only checking your vehicle. You are responsible for everything on your tech sheet. Make sure you pull all loose items out of the car and are ready for inspection. Mark the sheet for the driver inspection as you check each item on your equipment. Don't be afraid to ask a neighbor or any of the staff if you have questions. Track people are Awesome!

Drive to Tech - now is when you drive over and get in line for Tech. Have your paperwork and helmet ready for the inspector. Don't forget to wear long pants and closed toe shoes! The inspector will double check your inspection and if you pass, they will mark your vehicle for the track. Once you are in the tech line make sure you stay with your car.

If you are renting a helmet you will do this once your vehicle passes tech. Helmet rentals are done at the end of the Tech line. They will not rent a helmet to you unless your vehicle has already passed tech.

Return to your vehicle to it's paddock spot. Hopefully you arrived early and you have a little time to wander around. Feel free to do so! If you have enough time before the 9:00am meetings start, feel free to go out and walk the track or go to the top of the tower to take a look at the facility. Introduce yourself to others and ask questions if you have them.

9:00am Novice/New to Waterford meeting
. That building you went to for Tech inspection has a stairway that leads to an observation deck. Go up to the deck! There will be a worker that explains where the driver meeting will be, what you are going to do after the driver's meeting to do a low speed drive of the track, and how you will get paired with instructors. The worker will also answer any other questions you have.

9:15am - Driver's meeting! Don't miss it! This is your chance to watch me squirm and wrestle with public speaking. Turn off your phones and listen up. There is a LOT of information we will be giving you in a very short period of time. Pick up as much as you can, and don't be afraid to ask me or anyone else at the track if you need clarification or have a question. Most of the flags and procedures are basic and follow patterns you already know.

9:50am - Novice/New to Waterford low speed drive. This is intended for novices and anyone new to Waterford. This is your chance to go out and drive on the track at low speed so you are familiar with it when you go out on for your sessions. No helmet is required for this run, and you are allowed to bring passengers. Speed is limited to 40mph and there is no passing allowed. Don't be shy - ask an experienced Waterford driver to ride with you. Most people will be happy to show you around.

10:15am - Instructor assignments. Go back to the observation deck on top of the boutique. We will pair you up with available volunteer instructors.

Your first session!
  • You'll be watching the tower and listening for your color group to be called to grid. This is usually 5 minutes before the current session ends.
  • Get your helmet on! Check that the strap is not lose by giving it a downward tug.
  • Make sure you've cleared out any loose items.
  • Put your seat belt on and line up for grid. (If this is your first time out, let a few people get in line first so you can see what they do)
  • Check your gas! Make sure you have enough fuel to complete the session
  • A grid worker will check your helmet and see if you are ready to go on track.
  • The workers will guide you from here. Don't be afraid to ask questions!