Does a track day destroy the car?

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ugly_bloke
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Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by ugly_bloke » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:27 pm

Hi all,

I’ve been offered the chance to attend a Brands Hatch track day in a few weeks. I’d love to do it but I’m worried about potential wear and damage to the car especially as I’ve only done 9k miles so tyres and brakes quite new.

From experience, will a track day totally destroy the tyres and brakes to the point they’d need replacement straight away or just add a load of wear?

I’ve read the FAQ on this site does doesn’t go too much into this.

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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by A1DEYB » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:25 pm

Budget to replace the brakes and tyres after you've come back.

Also you might want to consider some track day insurance in case you get too keen in the bends or someone wipes you out, last thing you want is to smash up your motor and you have to pay out.

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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by marco_polo » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:30 pm

Depends how fast you drive, how long you stay out in each stint, and how many laps you do. 3 laps at a time, driving like Miss Daisy and the car won't even notice. 100 continuous laps driven like your hair is on fire, and you'll be through the canvass.

The engine and drivetrain won't mind, they usually run quite cool on track.
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Blind Pugh » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:35 pm

ugly_bloke wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:27 pm
From experience, will a track day totally destroy the tyres and brakes to the point they’d need replacement straight away or just add a load of wear?
Depending how the TD is run and how you drive you should see accelerated wear only. If you are out on track for <20mins at a time with 1-2 warm-up laps and the same at the end as cool down laps with >30mins between sessions then your car should be fine.

As said above, TD insurance is a good thing to consider.

Have fun, enjoy and stay safe
Last edited by Blind Pugh on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by NISFAN » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:37 pm

I’ve done 3 track days in mine, same tyres, same brakes, less than 4K on clock. Nothing broken.....other than the fuel gauge.....it drops down a bit sharpish

Go for it, such a buzz driving these things on track


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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by stag74 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:43 pm

My first track day (back in 2003) resulted in me in the tyre wall in my Lotus Elise. Enjoying sliding her in the wet too much. Glad I had track day insurance for that one, also covers you incase someone else crashes into you!
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Tricky401 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:52 pm

agreed it all depends how you drive. done a few in mines now, nothing worn out, tyres still loads of life etc. just keep an eye on tyre pressures. i always do two cool down laps too just to keep temps down

standard tyres have done two tds and 12k and still have 5mm left on the rears

i have some trackday wheels and tyres now although they might be up for sale shortly

insurance is a good idea for your first td. just be aware of the other cars and the fact you can get addicted
Last edited by Tricky401 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Barney McGrew » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:54 pm

I did a track day at Brands a few years ago and if you're just doing the indy circuit (it usually is) then it's not too bad on the car. Just take it easy on paddock hill bend (if it's your first time) until you get used to it as that's usually the place most people spin if over cooking it down the start/finish straight.

I was on standard road tyres at the time and they did ok, you just have to drive accordingly. There might be people who are quicker, but they may have the latest top spec rubber and brakes fitted, so you have to drive for yourself, which is why track days aren't supposed to be 'races'.

I did an afternoon session of 3 x 20 minutes with a 20 minute break in between each one, so it gave the car time to cool down, which I think is the key - even on a full day open pit lane, it's a tiring day, so well worth letting the car cool down and have a breather regularly and the car should be fine.

There's no doubt it's hard on the drivetrain compared to road driving of course, but as long as you're not going touring car racing in it every weekend they can withstand a few track days easily, just maintain/check the car accordingly before and after.

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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Fluffuser » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:33 pm

The short track seems perfect for something like the M-lite.

If still on the original oil, I would recommend an oil and filter change before track use.

Budget for a brake fluid flush after, if the brake pedal is a little soft after those 120mph brake points at the end of the start straight before the descent.

Ensure your tyres are a few psi high to save the front left tyre outside edge.

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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by git-r2 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:48 pm

Good advice already particularly about the length of time you stay out and how hard you drive.

It’s all about temperature management, everything will start to fail if it works outside the temp range it was designed for.. oil, brake fluid, tyres, pads are all the like this.

If I did 20 mins hard in a stock m lite I’d expect to destroy the edges of the tyres. Limiting this 20 mins to maybe 7 or 8 and feeling when the tyres start to get greasy or noisy will save them and give much longer life. Same with everything else.
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by HaiderGill » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:15 pm

Novice track days on the Indy circuit with some tuition at the start can be handled by a 130k miler E87 120d, means you should be fine. Next stop for me is the CAT training on the Millbrook circuit up in Bedfordshire. I wouldn’t worry too much about getting this or that done as long as you maintain the car properly you will be fine, it’s not like we’re Nelson Piquet. Personally I think as long as you warm the car up properly, cool it down properly, a track car will last longer then a car doing short journeys in town. I think those town miles are much harder on the car...
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Samp4856 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:00 pm

it all depends more on you than the car,

for example when i had my m2 it did a set of pads and tyres to two track days, however a friend who is a little "slower" makes his last 4/5 days,

this is why ive kept my mx5 as i abuse the hell out of the thing doing 150+ miles per track day and with that i dont need to worry, tyres are cheap, pads/discs are cheap and also the car seems to love 30/40 min stints haha,

im not short of cash but in my eyes the m2/m140 cost a tad too much to track properly, all of the bits are that little bit more and that soon adds up,

but in short a track day is only as hard on a car as you make it.
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Dace64 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:06 pm

I’ve done 4 track days in mine and everything ok. I changed my pads and fluid before the first one. No brake fade whatsoever. I’ve also changed the oil a couple of times. Cool down laps are the key!
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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by Barney McGrew » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:22 am

Samp4856 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:00 pm
this is why ive kept my mx5 as i abuse the hell out of the thing doing 150+ miles per track day and with that i dont need to worry, tyres are cheap, pads/discs are cheap and also the car seems to love 30/40 min stints haha,
MX5's make great track cars. I had a Lotus 7 style kit car (now sold) and had some good 'tussles' with MX5's, but the kit car was so impractical outside of track days I did think the MX5 was a better buy. I'm tempted to get one for track use but keep it road legal so I can drive there and back too and the odd sunny Sunday blast.

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Re: Does a track day destroy the car?

Post by NISFAN » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:04 pm

Samp4856 wrote:.......

this is why ive kept my mx5 as i abuse the hell out of the thing doing 150+ miles per track day and with that i dont need to worry, tyres are cheap, pads/discs are cheap and also the car seems to love 30/40 min stints haha,
Yeah but 30 minute stints are only a handful of laps in an MX5.....they are dog slow. And don’t forget they can only be driven by morons that won’t let anyone else pass. Image🤬

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