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Discussion Starter #1
Hey track experts, I am going to my first DE with the PCA at Fontana in a couple of months!! :clap::nanner: based on what I am seeing on the board it is a good idea to get the Moroso oil pan with the baffles. Where did you guys buy yours?? Is it easy to install yourself?

I also need to get a fire extingusher mounted. I assume there is a standard issue for the elise from some vendor? It seems the porsche guys get a mount that uses the 2 front bolts of the passenger seats with a fabricated steel bracket.

Any other advice for mods that should be done for DE's would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

Monte
 

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While you should certainly feel free to get a Moroso oil pan, I wouldn't consider it necessary for someone who is at their first DE.

Make sure you have enough oil in the car before each session and you should be fine.

A first time DE participant is going to have a hard time generating enough sustained G loads to need a new oil pan.

Check out Welcome to Sector 111, home of Lotus Elise Aftermarket Performance Parts and Exhaust Accessories. for an extinguisher and bracket.

The only mod that I would recommend as a first time DE participant is a harness system (4 point ASM or better). It will allow you to focus on controlling the car instead of trying to brace yourself in the car. It is the best subjective handling improvement you can make for your car.

After that: Better wheels/tires (15/16 instead of 16/17 with RA1s or R888s).

Remember to bring your tow hook.
 

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I don't think you need to upgrade anything for your first track day. I've been to several track days, and the stock Elise is holding up great so far. I've had some sluggish throttle response due to fuel starvation, but for now, I'm just taking it a little easier through those long left handers. I haven't had any problems with oil starvation.

Here are some mistakes I made on my first track day, so that you can avoid them.

1) Drink enough liquids. Track driving wears you out a lot more than you think and if you don't drink enough you get tired and can't focus in the later sessions.

2) Long sleeves and/or sunscreen. Sunburn sucks.

3) Bring some snacks, low blood sugar doesn't help you drive.

4) The Elise rewards smoothness. Don't jab the gas, don't jab the brakes, turn in smoothly. Never lift in a turn.

Enjoy! It should be a fun experience. I don't know anything about Fontana, but you'll find that you can do better than most cars in the turns if you drive well, but they'll catch and pass you on the straights :D
 

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Drink enough liquids. Track driving wears you out a lot more than you think and if you don't drink enough you get tired and can't focus in the later sessions.
This ^ is excellent advice. If this is a 2 day event, if you have even the slightest headache during or after the first day's driving, you did not drink enough. Rehydrate and drink more the next day.

I also agree that you really don't need to do any modifications to your car for a first track day. Just get it tech'd to ensure your and other's safety.

A CG lock can help keep you locked in your seat somewhat like a harness and doesn't involve bars, etc. CG-Lock
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. Glad to know the oil starvation issue wont be an issue for a newbie. I do want to get the R888 tires anyway since the street tires are not the best at autoX. So the oil pan sounds like something to add after sticky tires and improved driving technique. The harness sounds like a good idea as well.

this little car is proving to be a slippery slope to an empty bank account and angry wifey! :wallbang::shift:
 

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If you are going the harness route, you may want to check with the organization that you are driving with to see what their harness requirements are before purchasing anything. Some, at least around here, do not allow less than 5 point harnesses, 4 point ASM included (stock three points are fine).
 

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ummm, bring a healthy sense of curiosity and humility... you'll need no performance mods done, just the safety mods.

It's more important that you're clear on passing rules, appropriate run group, and point by protocols, stuff like that...dont be the guy who misses the flags but has the neato oil pan with baffles!!

I dont mean any disrespect, just having been around enough of these, I see a lot of firsttimers worrying about equipment when they should be listening to their instructor and safety workers. Have a great time.

EDIT: u got plenty of blue painters tape? not to state the obvious, but it wasnt mentioned yet. Get two or 3 rolls, bc someone else will forget and you can make friends real quick for about $3.00 worth of tape.
 

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Hey track experts, I am going to my first DE with the PCA at Fontana in a couple of months!! :clap::nanner: based on what I am seeing on the board it is a good idea to get the Moroso oil pan with the baffles. Where did you guys buy yours?? Is it easy to install yourself?

I also need to get a fire extingusher mounted. I assume there is a standard issue for the elise from some vendor? It seems the porsche guys get a mount that uses the 2 front bolts of the passenger seats with a fabricated steel bracket.

Any other advice for mods that should be done for DE's would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

Monte
I think it's more important to get (or do) an inspection on your car before the track day. Make sure you have more than 5mm on all your brake pads, make sure your tires are not at the wear bars, check your toe link bolts, check all fluid levels, check for play in joints/bushings...

It's never a bad idea to change your oil and filter too.

EDIT: Whenever I do a track day, I spend almost an entire day teching the car... including checking/resetting corner balance, ride height, and wheel alignment. That might be overkill for most people, but don't skip checking the safety stuff above...
 

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Other than the basics - Tire Pressure, fluids etc.... I always recommend to my students to relax and have fun and remember it isn't a race and there is no trophy at the end of the day! If you get a chance I highly recommend watching some videos of the track on Youtube to get a basic idea of the track layout and make mental notes of such things as corner workers, Turn in-track out points, That kind of stuff :) Have fun it is very addicting. Remember Smoothness = Speed Be mindful of your inputs at the wheel and the shifter! Smooth and easy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
haha advice well taken. I was more worried about blowing up the engine vs performance. The instructors will have my full attn believe me. I am under no illusions that I know how drive on the track.

I tape up for autoX, but several people did tell me that at the track there is not near as much debris/crappy as at autoX and the tape is not really necessary.

perhaps I will tape up anyway.
 

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haha advice well taken. I was more worried about blowing up the engine vs performance. The instructors will have my full attn believe me. I am under no illusions that I know how drive on the track.

I tape up for autoX, but several people did tell me that at the track there is not near as much debris/crappy as at autoX and the tape is not really necessary.

perhaps I will tape up anyway.
You'll get lots of rubber marks on your nose, even more on your rocker panels. It comes off easily with bug & tar remover, but it's still a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
on the car prep I had it in at Symbolic about 1 month ago for the full oil change service. I had them check the toe link bolts and try really hard to find anything that could be fixed under warranty as it expires next week! They could not find anything wrong.

The car has 8k miles, the brake pads are good and all fluids are good. I check that stuff b4 autoX, but I know the track will put more stress on things than autocross.

My rear tires are almost at the wearbars tho. Hummmmm. perhaps its better to just get 2 new AD07's for the rear for now vs going with 4 new R888's.
 

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on the car prep I had it in at Symbolic about 1 month ago for the full oil change service. I had them check the toe link bolts and try really hard to find anything that could be fixed under warranty as it expires next week! They could not find anything wrong.

The car has 8k miles, the brake pads are good and all fluids are good. I check that stuff b4 autoX, but I know the track will put more stress on things than autocross.

My rear tires are almost at the wearbars tho. Hummmmm. perhaps its better to just get 2 new AD07's for the rear for now vs going with 4 new R888's.
Get the AD07s and put as many miles as possible on them in the month or two before your track event. AD07s are more than adequate track tires. They are outstanding performance, predictable, forgiving, and wear passably well for 'ultra high performance' tires. Having the same tires front and rear is critical, and your fronts are probably close to new compared to the well-worn rears.

I've used AD07s for eleven of twelve track days in four years. My second set of fronts is no more worn than my third set of rears on this car. Car remains balanced throughout the wear cycle.

Yoko engineers at the LOG track days in Dallas told us to stick with the factory recommended cold settings for the tires -- 26 F, 29 R -- (do not bleed pressure when they're hot!) and that has proven to be very sound advice.

The best general advice to be given is to listen and act on experienced instructors' advice, and go for smooth. Smooth inevitaby equates to fast, but even more importantly will keep you and your car intact and you'll find yourself enjoying everything about HPDE.
 

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Agree with the others. For your first track day, I don't think you need any mods. Just get the car in optimal stock shape, take advantage of instruction, and drive at your own pace. Sounds like you've got it covered.

BTW, in the past I have picked up a set of new AD07s from Sector111, driven to Willow Springs the next day and tracked without problem. I was careful the first session to make sure everything was okay, but they seemed to wear in quickly...
 

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Don't lift in the turns!

You will also most likely need to get tech inspected before the event. Usually there are places that do this for free. If you don't have one, check the event host's website.
 

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Long sleeve, long pants made from cotton (synthetic clothes become shrink wrap in the event of a fire), good tech inspection of the car, make sure the brake pads have at least 1/2 the material left (thin pads that would still work on the street often fail catastrophically due to the higher brake temps seen at the track), snacks, plenty of drinks, lots of tread left, good helmet, and good fire fire resistant gloves.

Optional stuff which depends on your level of comfort with risk will be 6 point harness, head and neck restraint, full fire suit/shoes. There are H&N restraints which will work with the stock seat belts, such as the R3 device (I own one).
Personally I won't go on the track in a car without all of the above, but I'm self employed so I tend to be more cautious.

Last thing is understanding the financial consequences of tracking a car. Either get track day insurance or be ready to walk away and throw the keys in the trash if the worst happens. Many people do track their Lotus and that is great, just don't be naive about what could happen. You can be driving well within your limits and have a driver in front of you miss a shift, ventilating the engine block and oiling the track. You drive through that at a turn with a wall nearby and your going to be left picking up the pieces even though you did nothing wrong. Last track day I was at, 3 different cars blew their engines. One was really nasty with multiple new holes in the block. I was a mile away at the other end of the track and could see the huge smoke cloud. Only thing that saved the track was that car (race prepped M3) had a full belly pan installed and the driver immediately drove straight off the track so he didn't ruin the session for the rest of us. If he didn't have a belly pan the track would have been a mess.

Expect the best but be prepared for the worst.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
really appreciate the advice guys.

Last thing is understanding the financial consequences of tracking a car. Either get track day insurance or be ready to walk away and throw the keys in the trash if the worst happens. Many people do track their Lotus and that is great, just don't be naive about what could happen. You can be driving well within your limits and have a driver in front of you miss a shift, ventilating the engine block and oiling the track. You drive through that at a turn with a wall nearby and your going to be left picking up the pieces even though you did nothing wrong. Last track day I was at, 3 different cars blew their engines
haha this was always lurking in the back of my head but reading it brought it just a bit closer....of course it is a personal decision but sounds like obtaining track insurance may be a smart thing.....Where do you gents get yours and what should I expect to pay?

TIA
 
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