News

HOW DO I GET STARTED ?

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by SPYDER348, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. SPYDER348

    SPYDER348 Rookie
    BANNED

    Mar 6, 2013
    16
    New Windsor ny
    Full Name:
    Thomas R
    Hello my name is Tom I live in new Windsor ny I think the closest track to me is lime rock.
    I am looking for some info on getting started with running my 348 on the track. I have never done that type of driving but I have been trained in high speed driving and I do know how to handle a car, just not track driving. So any information on how to get started ie. when to go, cost for track time safety equipment needed. Thank you....Tom
     
  2. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Sep 15, 2004
    5,439
    VIR Raceway
    Full Name:
    Peter
    Contact Ian or Elivan at SCDA (Sports Car Driving Association) http://www.scda1.com/ and Simon Kirkby at the Lime Rock Club. There are good ways to do this and they are great local resources.
     
  3. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,937
    Texas!
    Here's a bit of advice: Taking your Ferrari to the track and learning how to drive 7/10s, priceless. Taking your Ferrari to the track and driving 8/10s or over, can be very, very, very expensive.

    A quick story: I had my old Maranello at a Ferrari track day, and it was almost more fun than the law allows. While waiting for my next turn, the local Ferrari parts guy pointed out that the hood on a Maranello runs $11,000. I then looked over at a Spec Miata and asked how much it was worth. Answer? $11,000. You do the math.

    If you stick to tracking at 7/10s (check Peter's website above for a definition of driving by the 10s), you'll have a whole lotta fun. But if you get the racing bug, other brands beckon. You see, in racing, you are doing your best to almost, but not quite, destroy your car. Unfortunately, the learning curve can be very expensive, even in a Spec Miata.

    Good luck!

    Dale
     
  4. Entropy

    Entropy Formula 3
    Owner

    Jul 10, 2008
    2,151
    A DE program is a good way to start with your car. The biggest variable is the quality of the instructor....it could make or break it all.

    A good old-fashioned but still high value option is to do the Skip Barber 3-day school in a Miata. You learn a good basic structure, drive their cars and compress a year of DE type learning into 3 days....and gives you a platform to build on.

    From there, find a GOOD instructor to ride with you. "9/10ths" to you is "3/10ths" to someone else.

    PM me for a list of incredibly good professional driving coaches in this neighborhood, ask Peter for his suggestions and cross reference. It's worth the investment and IMHO, picking one up at a DE event is fine if you want to have fun, if you want to get better and learn, get a pro.
     
  5. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    34,891
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    HUBBSTER
    Lime Rock was my 1st track, I love that place.

    Try the Skip Barber school there, they have a 3 day school that is excellent

    If you really want to get into racing I would suggest you buy a nice cheap beater car like a Miata, Mustang 5.0, Porsche 914, Corvette and learn on that

    If you just want to drive your 348 on track & not race go ahead but make sure you have a healthy budget cus F parts arent cheap

    Also you will want some porterfield brake pads, racing harnesses, fire extinguisher, helmet, gloves, slicks are nice too etc
     
  6. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
    3,160
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    I'll repeat the suggestion to not drive the 348 on track past 7/10 and to consider doing a school that provides cars like Skip Barber or if you get really into it, an "inexpensive" dedicated track car.

    and one last reason - I'd wager that a Spec Miata is faster around most tracks than a 348 on street tires.
     
  7. rdefabri

    rdefabri Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 4, 2008
    29,779
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Rich
    I'll third that recommendation!
     
  8. chris marsh

    chris marsh F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 30, 2005
    4,247
    Detroit
    Full Name:
    Chris Marsh
    I started tracking my Ferrari about 7 years ago and as I started going faster I said to myself "if I hurt this car it is going to be expensive".

    So a buddy and I decided to look on ebay for an old race car to take to open track days. Bought two Porsche 924's, 12 sets of wheels and numerous other parts for $2500.00. I soon kicked my buddy off of the team because he was never around on those off weekends when the car needed work.

    I got talked into getting a racing license, won the ITB championship in 2009 and 2010 at our local track (Waterford Hills). In 2011 I bought a Radical DSR, didn't do very well but I knew that car was low-tech. In 2012 I bought a Stohr DSR.

    These things can spiral out of control.
     
  9. SPYDER348

    SPYDER348 Rookie
    BANNED

    Mar 6, 2013
    16
    New Windsor ny
    Full Name:
    Thomas R
    Well, that was an ear full all very good information. My main concern is to not do any damage to the car, but just to have a little fun. Your information is well received thank you....Tom
     
  10. brnmw

    brnmw Rookie

    Jan 3, 2013
    18
    TEXAS

    +1 Practice in a cheaper car first.

    Another true story.... I actually knew a guy that owned a 2000 Ford SVT Cobra R and the underside of his hood was starting to bubble from excessive heat I noticed... so I told him to get that thing off ASAP and just get an aftermarket hood with no real OEM value and put that on instead so that he would not ruin the original hood. He did not race it hard enough to really hurt the car so saving the OEM hood would be great if and when he was ever ready to sell the car.

    *Don't ruin the Ferrari on a rookie mistake you may not be able to take back. ;)
     
  11. Liquid1

    Liquid1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2006
    48
    Metrowest, MA
    FYI if it pertains to you (based on your username), please know that most clubs do not let convertibles on the track without a rollbar.

    If you're trying to figure out how to hook up with clubs that run at various tracks, I'd suggest the following:

    1.) Trackmasters runs a great novice school at WGI usually in early May. (Actually looks like it will be end of April Trackmasters > Home).

    2.) Another resource is MotorsportReg.com : Online registration management tools for driving and social events where you can select how far away you want to drive and it will tell you about various clubs that are running where and when. You then need to check with them for availability for your run group.

    You'll need your car to be inspected for the track by a mechanic using the form provided by the club you're running with. This will mean everything on your car is in perfect working condition and the car has good tires, fresh pads, and fluids. You'll need a Snell rated helmet, some spare consumables (fluids and pads mostly), a few tools (torque wrench, tire pressure gauge), and most importantly a humble attitude to learn as much as possible and to be SAFE. The only thing you'll "win" at the end of the event is the right to drive yourself and your car home in one piece.

    Be warned, even at the cheap end, this is an expensive hobby. Considering all the expenses (gas, hotels, track inspections, accelerated wear to pads, rotors, tires, etc.) it is probably close to $1000 per day on track for me.
     
  12. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,937
    Texas!
    Please understand that we are not saying you shouldn't track your Ferrari. Frankly, you'll be missing out on a huge part of the experience if you don't. Just have realistic expectations, and you'll have a blast.

    But I also recommend that you do the Skippy race school at LRP. If nothing else, you'll come away knowing EXCATELY how to run that track. Then when you put your car on the track, you can enjoy the experience because you will be in complete control of your car.

    Let us know what you do.

    Dale
     
  13. Heat Seeker WS6

    Heat Seeker WS6 Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
    1,693
    Milwaukee, WI
    Full Name:
    John G
    Great advice above to follow!

    I founded a club event at Road America in 2000 on behalf of the Mid West F-body Assoc with the purpose of it for those with with street cars to experience that track under controlled conditions and instructors provided for the novice group.

    An interesting trend we'd actually see is novice drivers with Ferraris, or other very nice cars attend our event to get their feet wet, and then move into other cars such as Vettes, Mazdas and other cars to keep the fun factor & monitary stress levels in a good balance.

    Even more rewarding (for me personally) was seeing people going from their first HPDE with us with a sportscar and growing into competitive driving with SCCA & etc with a deticated track car. One of our oldschool drivers is in the Pirelli World Challenge
     
  14. sainthoo

    sainthoo Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 20, 2007
    708
    Full Name:
    Christian
    I'll add to the chorus that recommends start with Skippy, go from there. They will teach you how to start doing things the right way. They build you up with baby steps, so that it is not too much all at once. This is much better than developing bad habits, unlearning those, then learning the right way.

    Bottom line, go for it, you will not regret it, but set yourself up for success and enjoyment from the start.
     
  15. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,435
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    Before you get too excited about taking your 348 Spider to the track, you might want to find out if they will let you on without installing a roll bar. Most tracks and/or organizers will not let convertibles without rollover protection participate.
     
  16. Heat Seeker WS6

    Heat Seeker WS6 Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
    1,693
    Milwaukee, WI
    Full Name:
    John G
    The MFBA and other events I instruct/participate in follow SCCA protocol and require a rollbar for convertibles.

    a quick link... Convertible Rules
     
  17. rcallahan

    rcallahan F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jul 15, 2002
    3,307
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Bob Callahan
    #17 rcallahan, Mar 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Don't start racing your 348 unless you can afford BIG bills. Here is an example of my last incident that barely touched another car (no damage to his car). Good luck!
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  18. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,937
    Texas!
    OUCH!

    Dale

    PS This reminds me of another Ferrari track day where a guy had just got his 360 Challenge out of the shop and proceeded to lose it at T2 of Texas World Speedway. The word was it was going to cost him another $50K.
     
  19. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,813
    socal
    #19 fatbillybob, Mar 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Dale,

    This is ouch! Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug. The good thing is I upgraded to a 550M and I'm still racing at a better level SCCA Majors.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  20. rcallahan

    rcallahan F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jul 15, 2002
    3,307
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Bob Callahan
    It'll buff right out!
     
  21. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,937
    Texas!
    Yeah, I remember that ouchy. Was this the same car that later got dropped off a flat bed, or was that someone else?

    Dale

    PS What is that sticking out the window? A seat?
     
  22. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,435
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
  23. craterface

    craterface Formula Junior

    Apr 14, 2011
    614
    Sanibel Island, FL
    Spyder348,
    A couple of thoughts after tracking street Audi A4s, then 2 e36 M3s, then a 128i, then an M6 full race car with slicks.
    If you rellay want to probe the limits, you wna to start with a car that understeers. All front drive cars are pretty darn safe on the track and very benign (GTI, Mini Cooper, Audi A4, etc). I couldnt spin the Audi even if I tried, and I did try on a wet skidpad.
    So, my current 1M and 550Maranello are just too much car for me on the track. Too fast, too expensive to repair, and no AWD or FWD to save me from my stupidity. I will take them on the track, but just at 7/10s.
    Also, I would suggest only starting with a stock car on street tires. Street tires give you a lot more feedback wheh they start to break away. Slicks tend to grip hard, then let go.
    You may want to get a car you can commute in, but then take to the track, like a GTI, to start.
    Scott
     
  24. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    38,937
    Texas!
    Good catch.

    Dale
     
  25. Ronbo

    Ronbo Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2005
    413
    Morris County, NJ
    Full Name:
    Ron
    Took my 456 on track just once. Learned two things: (1) I was totally hooked and (2) the 456 was not the car for a rookie to drive on track. Got my first 944 shortly thereafter and never looked back. Did Skippy School and NASA race schools, both recommended. And SCDA is a wonderful organization.
     

Share This Page