Originally published July 14, 2020. Last updated June 17, 2024.

As you schedule track days this summer, don’t forget to keep the forecast in mind. High summer temps and humidity paired with increased temperatures in the car and on the blacktop can quickly turn an otherwise enjoyable day dangerous.

Yet, with the right gear and preparation, you can stay safe in the heat.

Tips for Staying Cool at the Track

Invest in cool gear

While some professional gear like cool suit kits can cost thousands of dollars, many drivers opt to keep their track day costs lower with affordable options like cool shirts and vests, frozen towels or helmet ventilation blowers.

Some drivers also outfit their cars with built-in ventilation, paint their car roofs white or add heat shielding.

Prepare before the event

Months leading up to HPDE season, you should exercise regularly to improve how your body reacts to heat. If you regularly attend events where the temps are high, consider biking or running in the heat, too. Other preparations can be made in the week leading up to the event:

  • Hydrate well
  • Eat healthy, nutritious meals
  • Pack a cooler with water, sports drinks with electrolytes and fruits and vegetables
  • Pack breathable clothing to wear leading up to your event

Stay smart during the event

  • Hydrate throughout the event. For longer races, keep a water bottle with a long tube straw and bite valve mounted in your car.
  • Find shade and a cool place to rest throughout the day, before and after your track times.
  • If the event is multiple days, make repairs and adjustments at night and avoid working on your car in the afternoon when the temperature is the hottest.

Stay alert for signs of heat-related illnesses

Be aware of these symptoms for yourself and others at the track.

  • Heat cramps can include muscle pain or spasms in the arms, legs or abdomen. Move to a cool location, remove excess clothing and take sips of sports drinks with salt and sugar. Seek medical attention if cramps persist for more than an hour.
  • Heat exhaustion can include heavy sweating, paleness, cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting. Seek shelter in an air-conditioned area. Loosen or remove excess clothing, take sips of cool drinks with salt and sugar. Seek medical attention if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
  • Heat stroke can include high body temperature, flushed skin, lack of sweating, rapid and strong pulse, confusion or unconsciousness. Call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room and try to cool the person down until help arrives.

Staying Cool at the Track

At Lockton Motorsports, we understand the importance of protecting everything at track days from your health to your car.

That’s why we offer helpful risk management resources and HPDE Insurance to protect your car from damage when you’re participating in HPDE, track day or time trial events. Coverage is specifically designed to protect your car from physical damage while you’re participating in an event and it includes:

  • Street-legal cars and non-licensed track cars.
  • Modifications you’ve made to your car.
  • Two drivers at each event at no additional cost.
  • Any demonstration laps your instructor drives.

Along with Track Day Insurance, we also offer Off-Track Insurance to protect your track car when it’s not on the track, Auto-Cross with Off-Track Insurance for autocross enthusiasts and more.

You can purchase track day coverage conveniently, either ahead of time or the day of an event, online at LocktonMotorsports.com. Have more track day questions? We’re happy to help! Give us a call at (866) 582-4957 to speak to our motorsports insurance experts.