High Performance Drivers Education is a program to address the needs of our members who want to drive their cars at higher speed in a safe and controlled environment. It is not racing but the race track environment and it's safety features make it a very safe way to improve one's driving skills.
You must have gone over your car carefully, checking all safety points on the Technical Inspection sheet carefully and signing off on each one. If you do not feel you are qualified to do this, take the car to a trusted technician and have the inspection carried out there. You are solely responsible for bringing a safe car to the track.
Remove all the stuff from your passenger compartment and trunk- spare tire, jack, tools, personal gear, loose mats- anything that will blow, slide or roll about at high g-forces. Check under the seats- you don't want to find that missing socket or golf ball under your feet in a Turn! Decorative hub caps off. Lug nuts tight. Battery firmly secured. Hot battery terminal insulated. No leaks. Brake lights working. Closed sunroof, t-tops, targa. Ragtop down and secured. Fluids checked and caps tight on gas, oil, water, brake, PS, AT.
Get through Tech Inspection early. Remember your helmet. You should have already filled out the tech form. If you're in the tech line when the drivers' meeting is called, you must attend. Have your crew stay with the car, or pull it aside.
Air tires to about 4-6 PSI over manufacturer recommendations. Tune pressures up or down from there as you learn. Courtesy: Don't fine tune your tire pressures at the air stand if there's a line. Over fill, pull away, then adjust down. (A $20 12V air pump saves waiting in the air line.)
All drivers must attend the drivers' meeting. Following the 20-minute general meeting, the experienced driver groups will head for the track. First timers will stay for a 30-minute ground school on the fast and safe way around the course. All are welcome to stay.
Driver's suit, or long sleeves and long pants of natural fibers. Closed shoes. Helmet on and buckled. Face shield or goggles for open cars (good idea for all). Belts, seat, steering wheel and mirrors adjusted. Traction control off. Overdrive off.
Go to the pit lane making sure both side windows are down. Officials will help direct you to the false grid. No passengers, except authorized Midwestern Council Instructors, are allowed any time except during track touring sessions.
Watch for the official to signal you onto the track. Do not lollygag after his signal. He is probably fitting you into a slot in traffic and is counting on you to move out.
The first novice session is a tail chase.Stay close to the car ahead so you can follow the proper line of the lead instructor car. Leave the car in second or third gear so you can concentrate on hitting turn-in points and apexes perfectly during these low speed sessions.
Continue driving a perfect line. It's hard when you first start out. Outside, inside, outside. Use all the track. Don't try for the lap record yet.
This is not a race! There can be no side-by-side or nose-to-tail dicing! Doing so will result in a Black Flag and possible expulsion from the event.
Passing is allowed only on the straights. Cooperate to make passing smooth and safe. Passed cars stay left and point. Passers go right after signal.
Just remember you cannot learn the whole track at once!
Brake early until you are hitting the turn-in points perfectly every time. Then start moving your braking point later and later until you are reaching the perfect turn-in point at the highest speed at which you can still make the corner. If you are headed off-course, do not try to wrench the car back onto the track. You may start sliding sideways and that is when cars roll over. Steer the car off the track, stop and re-enter the course when signaled to do so by a corner worker.
If you have engine problems on the track, immediately check your mirrors to see if you are smoking or spilling anything. If so, pull off the track immediately, wherever you are. Do not drive around to the pits. An oiled track kills an hour of everyone's track time for clean-up.
When you get a checker, do a 3/4 lap cool-off, avoiding hard braking and acceleration. Give a wave or thumbs up to the corner workers.
Take advice from instructors and experienced racers. They want to help you be safe and go fast.
Keep records. Jot down weather, tire pressures, best times, set-up changes, fuel usage, anything else that affects your performance. Also anything you forgot to bring.
Drink lots of water, even if you don't feel thirsty. We don't want you collapsing on us! Eat light meals.Try to relax whenever you can through the day. This can be a busy, exhausting day.
Take advantage of the track touring sessions. At moderate speed, practice the perfect line you wish you were running at top speed. This will prove a valuable learning session.
Torque your wheel lugs at the start of the day and several times through the day. Check your car's fluids frequently. Watch your fuel level- racing uses 3-4 times as much as street driving.
Follow a perfect line every time you're on track- cool-off laps, touring laps, every lap. Seat time is the best way to get faster. Take every lap you can get. Race often. Attend more schools.
Be Safe. Learn Lots. Have Fun!