In a typical summer, HPDE events and track days slow down in the hottest days of summer. However, with the cancellations and postponements early in the season due to COVID-19, many tracks have events planned through the hot days of July and August.
With increased temperatures in the car and on the blacktop, staying cool at the track and protected from the heat can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can be safe and more comfortable.
Invest in cool gear
While some professional gear like cool suit kits can cost thousands of dollars, many drivers opt for more 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.
Preparation 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. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are important too.
Actions 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.
- 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.
Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Though these tips will help you stay cool, you should also keep the symptoms of heat exhaustion in mind. Heat exhaustion is one of three heat-related syndromes, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time and can include:
- Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
- Heavy sweating
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure upon standing
- Muscle cramps
If you think you are experiencing heat exhaustion, stop all activity, rest and drink cool water. Untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to your brain and other vital organs.
We understand the importance of staying cool at the track and protecting everything at track days from your health to your car. This is especially true in hot months, when it is just as important to prepare for the heat as well as the track.