If you are new to high performance driving, there are a few very important tips to remember when at the track:
Begin by knowing the paddock and pit procedures. This should be discussed in the drivers meeting, regardless of what group you run with.
Absolutely know and obey the "Blend Line" at every track. This is a very important aspect of your's and others safety. NEVER disregard the blend line.
Give obvious point byes, one for each car and if you have a high horsepower car, don't forget to "Lift" a bit to let the car around.
When coming in from a session, DO NOT set your parking brake. The rotors and pads need to cool down. Doing so could damage your rotors.
A day or two of performance track driving can easily consume a set of brake pads. You should start each day with a minimum of 70 % brake pad left and check them after each day. Know the warning signs such as brake fade etc. and come into the pits immediately to check. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
Brake fluid can play a major role in the performance of your car. Be aware that any air in the braking system can cause serious brake fade. It is a good idea to have your brakes bled prior to an event.
As you progress in your skills and place more demands on your brakes / fluids, you may want to upgrade to a performance type brake fluid to avoid boiling. Boiling your brake fluid will mean no stopping.
High performance driving will dramatically heat up your tires. If you are new to this sport, learn to check your cold and hot tire pressures to avoid "over pressurizing" your tires. If you have any questions, any experienced driver in the paddock will be more than willing to assist you.
ALWAYS check your lug nut torque in the morning and set to manufacturer recommendations.
Check your engine fluid levels at the beginning of each day.
Read your owners manual to see if it discusses racing. Some cars need to have an extra quart of oil added for track days.
Remove ALL loose items from your car before starting the day
A hard day of driving can take it's toll on you. Stay hydrated and if you get fatigued near the end of the day "Red Eye", do not go out. This sport requires a very alert driver who can fully concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Some Driving Techniques you will need to learn when beginning this sport.
It is essential that you get the basics down and that you maintain consistency in these areas. Many new drivers begin picking up speed and then begin getting sloppy. If you don't master the basics, you will have a very hard time in getting much faster.
Learn the Paddock and Hot Pit Traffic Flow
Maintain a slow speed, about 5 mph in the paddock and always be aware of other cars and persons.
Know were to enter and exit the track.
Ask about the "Blend Line"
Know where the exit is off the track. Some tracks can fool you
Always obey the starter. DO NOT enter the track until he/she gives you the go-ahead..
Know where each and every Flag Station is located.
These folks are definitely your friend.
You should take a quick glance at every station as you approach.
Know what each and every flag means and how to react to it.
This is absoluty essential
Keep your Eyes Up
The further you look ahead, the easier it is to make decisions on turn-ins etc. If you are just looking down the hood, the spot you are looking for will be long gone by the time you see it when driving at speed.
Proper Hand Position, Avoid "Shuffling"
Typical hand placement at the 3 & 9 positions. Your instructor will determine what is best.
Your hands should stay there except for only the sharpest turns.
Smooth input on brake and throttle.
You need to be quick, but smooth
"Stabbing" the pedals will upset the car, smooth = fast
Straight Line Braking
As a novice, you should be getting your breaking and shifting done while going straight, before your turn in. It is much safer when learning.
Trail Braking is a technique you will learn later.
Should finish your braking just as you turn in to keep the weight of the car on the front tires.
Learning the proper line.
The correct Apex is essential
Learn your brake and turn in points
Get it right consistently. You should be more concerned about this than your speed when starting out.
SLOW IN, FAST OUT !!
Listen to your Instructor,
He/She has some great experience to share with you.
It may be a bit different than what a previous instructor told you, but listen and learn. There is always more than one way to skin a cat, or drive on track.
STAY on STREET TIRES
You simply have too much to learn concerning car control, handling etc. and street tires are very forgiving and give lots of warning when you are nearing 10/10ths. Race tires allow the car to exceed normal driving ability and can create situations where a student has too much car for his/her ability.
These are basic skills that you will continue to improve on for years to come. There are many other skills to learn but you have to start with the basics.