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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

I am scheduled for my first track day in the Lotus.


Goals
  • Enjoy the Elise to the fullest! This sounds like a key step to doing that. I think I will target 1 track day (or weekend) per year. After event, insurance, hotel…etc it’s an expensive outing.

Plans(event/org)

Initial car prep
  • Purchased EBC Yellow. (not yet installed)
  • Purchased Tow Hook.
  • I had some recent servicing (steel braided lines, and RBF600 fluid swapped in).

Next steps…
  • Install pads, break in
  • Build tool list
  • Study track via video (I’ve been to Putnam on a motorcycle a few years back).

Stretch Goals (Semi-related)
  • Make a “spec sheet”. As I continue to change parts on the car, I want to have an improved record keeping method of brands/spec/parts installed on car. (For example the exact part numbers for the EBC yellow pads)
  • Develop some method or format to talk about driving impressions. It’ll be rough notes and commentary from my track day but I hope to turn it into something interesting to read (short snippets and takeaways of vehicle subtleties).
 

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He's on fire!
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Well if you wanted to see a lotus going round that track....

I would recommend writing down everything your instructor says, that way when you show up next year you'll remember where you left off.
 
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Remove the anti-rattle plates (or don't re-install them) on the front brakes. The contribute to "knock back" which is where the pads get knocked back into the calipers. It doesn't hurt anything except that when you hit the brakes going into a hair pin at 120mph your foot goes to the floor. (this happened to me) Sphincter factor 9.5. You pump them and they come back, but not confidence inspiring! Pull the anti-rattle plates out and it won't happen.
 

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EBC yellow - you'll notice the front wheels get dirty from yellow - in my Esprit I tend to think of my yellow as not that great as a performance pad - but then my comparison is the stopping of the brakes on my Formula Continental that weighs only about 1200 pounds with a full load of fuel and me in the seat and has a carefully set brake bias
 

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Remove the anti-rattle plates (or don't re-install them) on the front brakes. The contribute to "knock back" which is where the pads get knocked back into the calipers. It doesn't hurt anything except that when you hit the brakes going into a hair pin at 120mph your foot goes to the floor. (this happened to me) Sphincter factor 9.5. You pump them and they come back, but not confidence inspiring! Pull the anti-rattle plates out and it won't happen.
Are you talking about the anti rattle springs or the glued on buffer pad?
 
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@Narberry - first track day period, or just in the Lotus.

general nut and bolt of the car, (thanks @RapidLotus for https://www.rapidlotus.com/resources/ ) and top your fluids.
If your tanks aren't baffled - keep an eye on em, and keep fuel above 1/3 all day.
I see in the OP recent brake fluid flush, when was coolant done?
>>UPGRADE YOUR BATTERY TIE-DOWN<<

otherwise, the rest is just "taste" - I'd suggest driving it as it is, and adjusting after you reach a limit of the car. You can throw a lot of money into fast, and never learn to drive. I'm faster now, in my detuned Exige than I was when I was running higher hp...
 

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With a goal of 1 track day/weekend a year don't spend too much on the car and don't over think upgrades. Some good advice above. You don't mention tires, not that you need new tires but something still in good shape. Do you have to have the car inspected? If so do that as soon as you can within their requirements, if there is something that needs to be corrected you want time to do that. Notes are a great resource and so is video if you can get that, highly recommend at least keeping track of tire pressures and how the car feels to you at those pressures. If you can talk with your instructor before the event that is helpful as well, this isn't always possible but hopefully you can. Hope you have fun.
 

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Notes are a great resource and so is video if you can get that, highly recommend at least keeping track of tire pressures and how the car feels to you at those pressures. If you can talk with your instructor before the event that is helpful as well, this isn't always possible but hopefully you can. Hope you have fun.
Adding to that, if this is your first time out in the Lotus, I wouldn't run a timer. Later you can add that in, if you want, but you need to learn the car. That said, data can be a good way to debrief after sessions. What you recall, vs what data shows can tell different stories.

I sometimes run my data collection "blind" meaning I don't leave it up and visible during session. But can go back and say "oh, I was braking super early here" or "I guess I wasn't mid-track there"
 

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Sweet, I’m planning to be there in September as well (and August)! It’s a fun track, and a good one to learn on.

Toe link mod is a good idea too, or check the bolt torque at a minimum, since those have been known to let go suddenly. But yeah, decent tires, fresh brake fluid, and decent pads, you’ll be all set.

If you’ll be nearby feel free to come check it out in August (I’ll be there Sunday Aug 28, after Lotus Palooza, but there will be 2 or 3 other Lotus there both days) and get some ride-alongs. Looking forward to meeting you.
 

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I laid my race bike down at Putman in 08. Was dragging knee on a turn and the guy in front of me slowed down and I tapped the front brake and it was all over. Went off into the grass and practiced some gymnastics. That split second decision to tap the brake ended my riding days.
 

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I am sure you'll have a blast. I have an Elise and have been going to the track (HPDE, Time Trials, Instructing, and Racing) with a variety of cars for close to 20 years. Some things to think about.

Prep
  • Make sure the battery tie down is good, very good.
  • Nut & Bolt: Use a jack or jack stands (refer to the manual for the right jack and jack stand spots) and just put a wrench in each suspension and brake nut & bolt to ensure they are snug. Especially the rear toe links. I don't break out the torque wrench crank down on anything. I just make sure nothing is loose. Should take 30 mins tops.
  • Make sure fluids (brake, oil, trans, coolant) are all within service spec
  • Make sure tires and brake pads have at least 50% left on them. They are light cars even 30% is fine for your first track day.
  • Clear out anything not attached to the car. Maybe bring a duffel bag to put the items in while you are on track
  • I have found dropping the rear tire pressure to 26PSI makes the car more balanced and less tail happy on track

Bring
-Water/powerade and snacks. Stay hydrated.
-Shade. We don't have a lot of options with the limited storage space, but there are smaller sized pop-up canopies that can fit. Some tracks have garages for rent, and I usually do that if I am bringing the Elise.
-Torque wrench and socket for the lug nuts, shop towels, window cleaner, air pump and pressure gauge, maybe a small tool box, extra qt of oil
- OPTIONAL: painter's tape. These cars are low and catch every bit of debris. You will get tiny chips on your front and melted rubber streaks on the front and side. I have used a whole roll on the front and sides to protect the car, even with a clear paint shield.

Do
-Forget about lap time and focus on technique
-Have a blast
-Watch out when following too close. I had a Camaro throw a pebble that landed right in the middle of my windshield and chipped it. I used an epoxy and kit and it looks fine now, but don't get too close until it is time to pass.
-Keep it shiny side up
-Post back how it went

Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Keep it stock till you are faster than the car. You will fry EBC yellows in no time........
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well if you wanted to see a lotus going round that track....

I would recommend writing down everything your instructor says, that way when you show up next year you'll remember where you left off.
Hey this is awesome!! thanks for sharing! Wow, much faster than I remember. Definitely because I was on a CBR250R when I went to Putnam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Get a track alignment from a competent shop. It’s worth every penny.
Here's Inokinetics Tech section with alignments specs, checklists and all links of track day necessities.
Check out our Youtube channel for some good videos for your prep. This one is worth a watch: HERE
My favourite is to check the wishbone bushings. Some sloppy bushings will cost you a set of tires in a day...

Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk
Remove the anti-rattle plates (or don't re-install them) on the front brakes. The contribute to "knock back" which is where the pads get knocked back into the calipers. It doesn't hurt anything except that when you hit the brakes going into a hair pin at 120mph your foot goes to the floor. (this happened to me) Sphincter factor 9.5. You pump them and they come back, but not confidence inspiring! Pull the anti-rattle plates out and it won't happen.
re: car setup. I appreciate all this info. That Inokinetic reference PDFs are so great!
I won't be getting any special alignment prior to this. I would have liked to get one, but I also want to get some track time in the car "as is" (to some extent) before considering changing other kinematic attributes. I changed tires and wheels in 2020, got a "factory" alignment (as best they can, you know how it is as bushings and things age). Since 2020, i've not done more than a few thousand miles (mostly highway and some fun winding roads sprinkled in there).

in 2020 i also did spend the time to put a wrench on every major sus component hard point on the front of the vehicle. I will spend the time to do this again, and do the rear of car.

re: brakes and anti-rattle plates. I am very cautious to remove components to the braking system. I appreciate your input and I will consider more deeply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Adding to that, if this is your first time out in the Lotus, I wouldn't run a timer. Later you can add that in, if you want, but you need to learn the car. That said, data can be a good way to debrief after sessions. What you recall, vs what data shows can tell different stories.

I sometimes run my data collection "blind" meaning I don't leave it up and visible during session. But can go back and say "oh, I was braking super early here" or "I guess I wasn't mid-track there"
With a goal of 1 track day/weekend a year don't spend too much on the car and don't over think upgrades. Some good advice above. You don't mention tires, not that you need new tires but something still in good shape. Do you have to have the car inspected? If so do that as soon as you can within their requirements, if there is something that needs to be corrected you want time to do that. Notes are a great resource and so is video if you can get that, highly recommend at least keeping track of tire pressures and how the car feels to you at those pressures. If you can talk with your instructor before the event that is helpful as well, this isn't always possible but hopefully you can. Hope you have fun.
I agree with your mindset - I want to keep the car as is. the track day is an add-on to my overall enjoyment of Elise ownership.

This year, I took the car in for some service. While they had it, they did a multi-point check up as well as replacing brake fluid (RBF600) and the coolant. Tires are also good to go!

Yes, tire pressure notes are a great idea. I won't be running any data acquisition; However, I'd like to get a gopro car mount to put inside the car. I've been considering getting one for a while in general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am sure you'll have a blast. I have an Elise and have been going to the track (HPDE, Time Trials, Instructing, and Racing) with a variety of cars for close to 20 years. Some things to think about.

Prep
  • Make sure the battery tie down is good, very good.
  • Nut & Bolt: Use a jack or jack stands (refer to the manual for the right jack and jack stand spots) and just put a wrench in each suspension and brake nut & bolt to ensure they are snug. Especially the rear toe links. I don't break out the torque wrench crank down on anything. I just make sure nothing is loose. Should take 30 mins tops.
  • Make sure fluids (brake, oil, trans, coolant) are all within service spec
  • Make sure tires and brake pads have at least 50% left on them. They are light cars even 30% is fine for your first track day.
  • Clear out anything not attached to the car. Maybe bring a duffel bag to put the items in while you are on track
  • I have found dropping the rear tire pressure to 26PSI makes the car more balanced and less tail happy on track

Bring
-Water/powerade and snacks. Stay hydrated.
-Shade. We don't have a lot of options with the limited storage space, but there are smaller sized pop-up canopies that can fit. Some tracks have garages for rent, and I usually do that if I am bringing the Elise.
-Torque wrench and socket for the lug nuts, shop towels, window cleaner, air pump and pressure gauge, maybe a small tool box, extra qt of oil
- OPTIONAL: painter's tape. These cars are low and catch every bit of debris. You will get tiny chips on your front and melted rubber streaks on the front and side. I have used a whole roll on the front and sides to protect the car, even with a clear paint shield.

Do
-Forget about lap time and focus on technique
-Have a blast
-Watch out when following too close. I had a Camaro throw a pebble that landed right in the middle of my windshield and chipped it. I used an epoxy and kit and it looks fine now, but don't get too close until it is time to pass.
-Keep it shiny side up
-Post back how it went

View attachment 1321564
I really appreciate your input!
your DOs & DONTs list matches closely with what I was planning.
I have yet to decide about painters tape...I know I SHOULD.

I have a friend coming with me (in a porsche), and between the two of us we will try and pack appropriately with tools/supplies. I think it will be a big help to split that burden between the two cars.

And great input about tire pressure. I'll keep that as a reference as I go about my prep.

Thanks again! and I'll definitely report back afterwards!
 
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