Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Track day.

So, my dad, my uncle and I all signed up for a drivers education/skills day at bremerton raceway. It's basically a one day autocross/training course, where they train you how to drive safely in a high performance vehicle. The first half of the day is classroom training and car control exercises- they wet down the pavement and have an instructor sit with you in the car and walk you through how to get out of an uncontrolled slide, how to emergency brake, how to run a slalom, and so on. The second half of the day is tuning your skills with an autocross course.

So I've been wanting to track my car like this for a long while- ever since I bought it, really. I've even tastefully modded it for light track duty. Stage 2 brake kit, mild power modifications, suspension upgrades, and so on, for a balanced car. Not a car with 300 horsepower on stock suspension and brakes, not an underpowered highly manueverable honda.

The problem is, it's been so long since I prepped the car for this kind of duty, that it needs some TLC before it'll be ready to go. It's been 40k miles since I put my stage 2 brake kit on, so it's extremely close to needing new high performance brake pads and rotors. It needs another oil change here soon, and I had a nail in my right rear tire. Well, I got the nail fixed this morning, I've inspected the brakes several times, and I just don't know if I need to replace them before the track day. The alfa club is pretty firm about wanting the cars to have lots of pad life before a track day, and are serious about making the event safe for everyone. Dad and I already went out and bought a helmet for the event, even- a cheapie 100 dollar M2005 snell helmet, but it looks cool. painted in a neat silver design. That'll work for the occasional track day.

So I'm kind of torn on what I need to do now. The track day is less than two weeks away, and if I need to do my brakes before the track day, I need to order the parts right now. I decided to take the car to my mechanic on thursday for the oil change and for him to inspect the brakes and advise me on what needs to be done, but I still fear for my ability to get the parts in time to get it done before saturday 6am. Even then I'd haveto bed in the new brakes on the way to the track, heh.

But, I am very excited to finally be using the car for what it was designed for. It's an extremely capable machine, and I am looking forward to spinning it out and drifting around cones in it.

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