Trying new things at the next track day is a great way to stimulate your mind and step out of your comfort zone. It’s so easy to fall into a routine and get stuck. Or worse, to get bored. But there’s always something new to learn on and off the track.
Many HPDE drivers want to know what they can do to get the most out of an event day or how they can get past their current plateau. Sometimes those “a-ha” moments come when you’re looking at the track from a different perspective. Here are some track day ideas you can try at your next HPDE event to get more out of your day.
- Check in Early—Plan ahead and check in early so that you can have an even better track day. Often you can check in the night before, or, if not, get a good night’s sleep with all your gear ready to go. Being onsite early means you won’t be rushed, will know where to go and have time to get settled and meet some new people.
- Go to a Class—HPDE isn’t just about the time behind the wheel. A lot of valuable information is shared in the classroom sessions that happen before you get on the track and even throughout the day. Even if you’re a seasoned driver who’s familiar with the track, a class can help you learn something new and get more out of your experience.
- Ask Questions—At a track day, the only bad question is the one you didn’t ask. Try asking a few questions, and you’ll be surprised how much you learn. Attend the driver’s meeting and classroom sessions to ask questions, ask your in-car instructor to explain new jargon or techniques, or ask long-time drivers about the track.
- Try a Track Walk—Pro drivers always do a track walk before a race because there’s always something new to learn. If you’ve driven this track before, a walk will jog your memory and let you view the track from a new perspective. If the track is new to you, you’ll get the benefit of learning the track without having to drive it.
- Draw on the Track Map—By your track day, you’ve likely already learned the twists and turns of the track map by heart. You may even bring along a copy the day of the event. But driving the line can be a whole new ballgame. Make notes on a copy of the map, especially at points where the line isn’t as obvious.
- Get Better at Flags—Knowing your flags is critically important even before you arrive at the track, but you’ll continue to improve the longer you do motorsports. Attend the driver’s meeting and classroom sessions to learn the nuance of flag rules for this event. Work on noting the flags at each corner without relying as much on your instructor to watch them.
- Spend Time Observing—Driving time and sessions will be limited for your group of drivers, but there’s plenty to learn from observing others during your breaks. Watch more advanced driver sessions for tips and tricks you could use next time and think how you’d help coach the less experienced drivers in the novice session.
- Practice Passing Etiquette—There are rules for passing in time trials and novice HPDE sessions, but there’s also etiquette to it. Whether you’re the one passing or being passed, it’s a good time to practice safety, awareness and good sportsmanship, and to remember some of the best drivers started out as “slow” drivers.
- Review What You Learned—Jot down some notes in a journal for yourself at the end of the day while everything is fresh. Include tips your instructor gave you, things you learned about the track or your car, and what you want to work on next time. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
- Socialize with Other Drivers—Drivers go to an HPDE track day to drive but it’s hard to leave a motorsports event without making a new friend. Take time throughout the day and after the event to talk to people. You can compare notes, ask questions, exchange tips and generally talk shop about HPDE.
Trying new things at a track day is a great way to break out of your routine, make some new friends and get more out of your car and HPDE experience. Everything you learn can be applied to your next event where you’ll improve even more.
As you think about how you’ll spend your next track day, don’t forget to make sure your car is covered on the track. Most auto insurance policies limit coverage for HPDE and track day events.
If your policy has exclusions for your car on the track, don’t worry. We offer HPDE Insurance to protect your car from damage when you’re participating in HPDE, track day, or time trial events.