Running stock Elise at GPS Tracktime HPDE? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Running stock Elise at GPS Tracktime HPDE?

I am considering doing an HPDE through GPD track time. They suggest changing brake pads and fluids prior to the event. If I showed up with my Elise in good condition but bone stock, would they turn me away from the event?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 09:37 AM
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They should have a requirements list available to you. Check and see if there are any restrictions regarding convertibles. Some say no convertibles without a roll hope and then specifically list the Elise as an example of a convertible with a built in hoop, so it is fine.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 09:45 AM
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Check the pads and as long as they have "a good amount" of pad left, you should be ok. Lotus is easy on brakes. I would flush out the old brake fluid and replace it with 600 degree fluid (and don't forget to flush the clutch at the same time). As fun as it is to go fast, not being able to stop like you want will take away all of that fun. That said, if your current fluid is relatively fresh, you might not need to change it.

I have not had anyone question the Lotus as a convertible but you probably should double check with your club.

Have fun!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SS Lotus Elise View Post
Check the pads and as long as they have "a good amount" of pad left, you should be ok. Lotus is easy on brakes. I would flush out the old brake fluid and replace it with 600 degree fluid (and don't forget to flush the clutch at the same time). As fun as it is to go fast, not being able to stop like you want will take away all of that fun. That said, if your current fluid is relatively fresh, you might not need to change it.

I have not had anyone question the Lotus as a convertible but you probably should double check with your club.

Have fun!
I've only done one track day, and their restrictions called it out like I mentioned. For all I know, that is the only club to have ever done that, but it made sense, so I assumed it was common practice

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 10:09 AM
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While its true Lotus is "easy on brakes" new people on track may not be. Beginners application is usually not hard enough, but over a much longer than optimal time frame.

If its been more than a few months since you've flushed your brake fluid, I would absolutely suggest to have it changed. As previously mentioned, being able to stop is a fairly big deal.

As far as pads go, I would say it depends on the amount of material you have left. Most advocate having at least 50% pad left before an event. I can't remember eaxactly, but that might be about 4mm up front and 3mm in the rear. An easy way to check would be to remove the wheels and get a couple allen wrenches of the above thicknesses, and see if you can fit them between the rotor and the pad's backing plate- remember to check both sides at each corner.

You should check with GPS to see if they will require you to run with a hardtop or have any rules associated with your head's proximity to the rollbar (typically known as the broomstick test).

This weekend Lotus Corps is having a test and tune event, it would be pretty easy to show up there and get this stuff done, learn about the car, get to talk to other lotus owners. @Sanj could provide more details

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
I am considering doing an HPDE through GPD track time. They suggest changing brake pads and fluids prior to the event. If I showed up with my Elise in good condition but bone stock, would they turn me away from the event?

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cyow5 View Post
I've only done one track day, and their restrictions called it out like I mentioned. For all I know, that is the only club to have ever done that, but it made sense, so I assumed it was common practice
As long as the pads have enough life in them and the fluid isn't too old, the car will be fine (tires should be in good nick too). I would also have a tech inspection done by a qualified mechanic (which would include checking the brakes, and the condition of the suspension bushings, and tightening everything to spec). It's good peace of mind and most HPDEs require it.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:09 AM
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Check toe link nuts that they are properly torqued even if you have a double sheer brace. Also lug bolts. I agree with all about the brake fluid. Have fun! Tommy
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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cool, thanks guys!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 05:42 PM
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Some organizations require arm restraints is you do not have a hardtop. Check with GPS.

This is the first year for a new helmet standard. Check GPS as to what the minimum SNELL standard is.

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Last edited by hroundy; 04-27-2016 at 05:45 PM. Reason: forgot about helmet
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 08:17 AM
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Local PCA out here state that if you're running without your hardtop, you need to pass the broomstick test, if your helmet hits, you can't run without it. Plus, the PCA HPDE require that you have an independent inspection done before you get to the track. Oh and in NJ, you need to have a closed face helmet, they won't let you run open face no matter what the rating.

Other than that, have fun.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Definitely going with the hardtop on and a full face SNELL SA2015 helmet.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 11:49 AM
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The group hosting the event probably has a checklist online for you to follow.

You should not have a difficult time passing tech with a modern car providing your car is maintained.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 02:31 PM
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Definitely going with the hardtop on and a full face SNELL SA2015 helmet.
I have one issue with running with the hard top on: your helmet won't fit through the window. If something should happen such that you can't open your door, you'll need to take your hat off to egress the car.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Verichai View Post
I am considering doing an HPDE through GPD track time. They suggest changing brake pads and fluids prior to the event. If I showed up with my Elise in good condition but bone stock, would they turn me away from the event?
Not sure of your experience level, but I'm assuming you're just getting into it given the nature of your question. Good to see you're thinking safe!

If the pads have over 50% of their original thickness, don't worry about it. The Elise/Exige is very easy on brake rotors and pads. Most fat pig cars will plow through half the pads on a track weekend. Not an issue on our cars.

If in doubt on your brake fluid life, flush it with any good DOT4 fluid. Make the conservative decision. Peace of mind is everything out there. I've boiled fluid in a different track car and a sinking pedal is one of the worst feelings!

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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I have one issue with running with the hard top on: your helmet won't fit through the window. If something should happen such that you can't open your door, you'll need to take your hat off to egress the car.
Wow, didn't even consider that...good to know!
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by countryboyshane View Post
Not sure of your experience level, but I'm assuming you're just getting into it given the nature of your question. Good to see you're thinking safe!

If the pads have over 50% of their original thickness, don't worry about it. The Elise/Exige is very easy on brake rotors and pads. Most fat pig cars will plow through half the pads on a track weekend. Not an issue on our cars.

If in doubt on your brake fluid life, flush it with any good DOT4 fluid. Make the conservative decision. Peace of mind is everything out there. I've boiled fluid in a different track car and a sinking pedal is one of the worst feelings!
Absolutely. Think I am going to go with fresh oil and fluids all around. Pads are good and I have spares.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 03:45 PM
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Age of the pads is important also. My first track day, I had what were probably the original pads on my car. At 10k mi, they looked basically brand new, despite being 5 or 6 years old. I ended up having to cut the day short though, because the pads were practically disintegrating. It was probably the first time they'd ever been used aggressively. I had to drive the 40 miles home using only the parking brake, because the fronts were through to the backing plate.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 06:26 PM
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I'm going to guess you're talking about the upcoming GPS event at BlackhawkFarms? Jimmy is supercasual and his group runs a very welcoming, easy event. I'm sure you could shoot him a note if you have any specific questions and he would be happy to answer.
Lots of good feedback already but one note with regard specifically to Blackhawk. I've run a lot of tracks and I can easily say it is harder on brakes than any track I've ever driven. Be sure to get fresh high temp fluid and have pretty plenty of pad. Last thing you want to be worried about as you're out on the track lapping at speed is to be concerned that your brakes are going to go away. Also, turn 3d is notorious for ice mode. If you don't already know what that is you will by the end of the day.
Glad to hear you're looking to get the Lotus out on the track. It's a wonderful machine, go out and have fun exploring its capabilities!
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