Deciding to race your own car on a track can be an exciting hobby. However, it's smart to read through the tips here so you're sure to protect yourself, your tires, and your vehicle.
Invest in a Sturdy Helmet
Just as professionals do, you're going to need the best-quality helmet you can get. If you cannot afford a new, good helmet, you may want to inquire about renting one or waiting until you are in the position to buy what you need. How do you know if you're getting the proper helmet for your racing? It probably includes:
- An SA desgination for "sports application"--don't use M ("motorcycle")or K ("karting") designations
- A high Snell rating for increased fire and damage protection
- High visibility
- Fresh air system for oxygen circulation
- Head and neck stability
You might want to get professional help picking out just the right helmet so you've got adequate protection.
Care for Racing Tires
If you're planning to get serious about your hobby, you're likely to pick up a pair of good race tires. If you do this, it's vital that you realize that they will need a bit more attention and care than regular street tires so they can perform well.
For instance, you need to keep them in the right temperature range. If they sit out in the hot sun for long periods, that can affect the rubber, which can make them break down faster. It is also essential not to expose your racing tires to below-freezing temperatures, as they may crack. Your home garage is usually the best place to keep your car so you can protect the tires. If you want to store spares, be sure to take some air out of them and put them in dark garbage bags so they remain in racing shape.
Switching the tires over from one side to the other is also vital for racing tires. That's because you'll probably be driving in one direction during each session, causing the tires on the "inside" to wear down faster than those facing out to the edge of the track. Every few sessions, switch the tires over so that they can all evenly wear out. Places like Frisby Performance Tire can offer more information.
Get Regular Checkups
You might be so excited to race that it's easy to forget the mundane parts of car maintenance, which will probably have to be done more often. In addition to brake checks, be sure you're monitoring the brake fluid, transmission, engine, and oil. Keep an eye on your seat belt and be sure it works right. Visit a mechanic each month to be sure that while you're concentrating on getting your speeds up, you won't have to worry that something will go wrong with the car on the track.
With these pointers, racing can be an exciting hobby that allows you to feel the exhilaration of hitting top speeds on the track the way pros do. Talk to tire retailers, coaches and other professionals who can give you more suggestions.