Going out for a day out on track usually entails leaving the house during the wee hours of the morning. If you’re spending a full day there, chances are you’ll make it back home late in the evening as well. Given this long day out, suffice to say you will need to prepare a lot of things to keep yourself on the go – you will be driving for the most part of the day after all.
Often planning to go out on a track day would involve fixing the car and getting all the bits and bobs sorted, but then there’s more to it than just preparing that thing with four wheels. Safety, vehicle maintenance, and hygiene also come into play to ensure you get home in one piece. Here we show you a quick list of things to prep before going out on track:
Motorsport is indeed a dangerous sport – which is why our local circuits will not allow you to run the track without your own safety equipment. Paramount among these is a proper helmet to protect your noggin. In the interest of hygiene, make sure to have a head sock as well to avoid trapping all that sweat inside your helmet. A pair of driving shoes to aid footwork and driving gloves would come in handy as well especially if your hands easily get sweaty. While it is technically okay to wear shorts to a track day, it’s best if you wear pants and close-toed shoes for extra protection. Some events will actually require the wearing of pants, so double check the event’s dress code before you set out for the track.
Tools and emergency kits
Whether or not you’re attending a track day, it’s very handy to have a set of tools in your car’s trunk to fix minor kinks or make adjustments. While a decent set of tools may be cumbersome to lug around, it will certainly increase your chances of being able to bring your car home from the track. Apart from the usual wrenches, screwdrivers, and ratchets, a flashlight or a similar light source may also come in handy if you need to get a good look underneath the car. Considering that your car will be subjected to much more strenuous conditions at the circuit compared to normal city driving, it would also be best to include things like a spray bottle to spray water onto your radiator after every run.
Zipties and Duct Tape
‘Shouldn’t these items count as tools as well? You’re being redundant.’
I can’t stress enough just how important these items are when going out on a trackday – hence these items ought to be mentioned separately. Any track junkie will tell you that they’ve been saved by zipties and duct tape at one point or another. Using these items to secure any loose or damaged panels is your best bet at a quick fix on track. While they may be unsightly and NOT A PERMANENT FIX, this adhesive and fastener combo will pretty much hold anything you stick it to.
Sunblock and Hats
Yes, yes. I get how the car’s running hot and you need better cooling. As much as your car’s the focus of improvement out on track, don’t forget that your body also needs protection from the sun as well. Consider if your local track has any shade to stay in, because if you’ll be out all day you’re going to need to wear long-sleeved shirts and a cap to avoid getting burnt. Nowadays you may find that applying sunblock outside of the beach may save you from a bad sunburn the next day as well.
Food and Hydration
This goes without saying as this is a basic necessity for survival, but in the rush of preparing for a track day you might forget the two things that will keep yourself going on the track: food* and water. Stock up on a jug of water and a pack lunch or better yet a large cooler filled to the brim with beverages, snacks, and ice before setting out on the long day out. Sodas might taste good on a hot day, but they won’t do much to keep you hydrated. Stick to cold water or a bottle of Gatorade for good measure.
*Should you wish to eat out, Clark has several options a good ten minutes away from the circuit while Batangas will have a few options for fast food in the town right before the circuit. Go do your own research on that, we're not Kainindustriya.
Spare clothing, Towels, and Toiletries
By the end of the day for sure you’ll be drenched in sweat and possibly even have chunks of loose rubber stuck to your body. While you can probably save it till you get home for a nice cold shower, do remember that our local circuits are at least a good couple hours away from the city. Freshen up a bit before you set out for the trip back home.
While our local circuits can technically lend you a paddock for the day at extra cost, these garages will not come with one very important thing – chairs. A decent folding camping chair will do wonders to relieve fatigue after every session out on track. If there’s any equipment you need to properly invest in, this is it. While space and size may be of consideration, you will want a chair that can not only seat you comfortably but also be cozy enough for a quick power nap.
All these items we’ve mentioned may or may not fit into your car so perhaps it’s best to join a group of friends when attending a track day. Everyone can split assignments on who brings what so everyone will have everything they need. Besides, the more the merrier right?
While these items cannot begin to account for everything you’ll probably need out on track in the long run, they’re more than enough to ensure that you can experience circuit racing safely with relative comfort. Perhaps it’s high time you try out the thrills of racing out on track for yourself!