If you love motorsport and you enjoy driving, then taking your car out on a race track for a track day is the ultimate way to spend the day. Not only do you get to soak up the atmosphere, but you get to release your inner racing driver around the circuit. Although you can take your regular car around the track, there isn’t much fun in that. There are ways that you can make your car go faster and look amazing.
Before You Start
Before you go spending lots of money on changing your car, you need to know what needs to be improved. Racing on track days isn’t about how fast you can go, it’s more about being able to race around the track in a safe environment. For that reason, the modifications that you make to your car are to do with making it lighter and giving it the tools to work well on the track. You should race your car around before you modify it at all. It will give you a better understanding of where the money will best be spent, and it will help you to see where the improvements are.
First Things First
Taking your car out to a track day places a lot of strain on the car. Not only on the engine and brakes but almost every component. Before you go, you should have your car fully serviced to make sure it’s in the best condition. You should ensure that you go to the best BMW mechanic you can find or the one specific to your car model. You don’t just want them to do a full service; you also need them to make sure all the nuts and bolts are as tight as possible. That includes things such as the driveshaft, breaks, and suspension. As well as all of this, you also need to make sure that all the interior is screwed down tight. There is nothing worse than having something fly off inside when you’re concentrating on a tight corner. It is also a good idea to have some duct tape and some cable ties with you just in case something does come loose. It will help you to make temporary repairs until you can get it fixed.
Checking Your Tires
Your tires are hugely important when it comes to track days. They will get a lot of wear going around the circuit, so they must be in the best condition they can be before you start. However, starting with brand new tires can also cause a few problems because they won’t be at top performance until they have worn down a little. If you are traveling a long distance to the location, then this should be enough to wear them in, but if not, there are other options available. Some companies offer a tire shaving service that takes the top layer off the tire. It helps to get the best performance out of them before you start to race. When you have finished on the track, it is vital that you check your tires to make sure they are in good condition. Driving hard around the track can wear them down a lot, so you need to make sure your tires are road legal. Always have a tire gauge with you so you can test the thickness of them before you go home. When you have a few track days under your belt, you may want to invest in some track day tires. These are specially designed to give you amazing amounts of grip in dry weather; they also have the bonus of being legal to drive on the road.
Your Engine Oil
Running your car around a circuit on a race day is going to put your engine under a tremendous amount of strain. To protect it the best you can, it is essential that you get a superior quality performance oil. Lower quality oil won’t be able to do the job, and you may well damage your engine quickly. If you are unsure what type of oil will be the best for your car, check out some racing forums. They will often help you with the best parts and fluids to use in your car. It is also a good idea to check your oil after you race as your engine will use more oil when you are keeping it at high revs. Even a high-quality oil will need to be changed after every few track days, just to make sure you are getting the best out of it.
Another fluid that you will need to replace is the brake fluid. When using your brakes at the kind of speed, you will be going; your brake fluid will get extremely hot. When this happens, you can lose brake performance, and they can even stop working altogether. That is something you need to avoid, so bleed the fluid out of your car and use a performance fluid instead. While you are doing this, you can also change your brake lines for a stronger set; this will also help to stop overheating. When you start to get serious about your track racing, you can think about replacing your brakes with some high-performance ones. These not only look good but they also vastly improve braking.
So far, many of these upgrades and modifications have not affected the interior of the car. That means you can still use the car for everyday use. However, if you have a car that you just want to use for racing on track days, then you can get a lot of benefit from removing some of the interiors. The rear seats and upholstery, in particular, can amount to a lot of weight, so removing them will make your car more responsive on the track.
By doing these and other mods such as replacing the front seats with lighter racing seats, you can start to get the best performance out of your car.