Track Racing on the East Coast
I finally made it to a track this weekend., and had an amazing time! There are a bunch of things I learned in general about track racing through this experience, as far as logistics of how to actually do it.
- Tracks rent out in time intervals, at the rate of thousands of dollars per hour.
- “Groups” (aka BMW Club, Porsche Club, SSCA, EMRA) rent out the track for a few hours or a whole weekend.
- Every group runs the day differently, and some are much more serious and competitive than others.
- I went with EMRA, which is not super competitive and whose rules are a bit more relaxed. They allow stock cars, stock seatbelts to race. You need to tape up any glass (sunroofs, headlights), and have a proper racing helmet (snell rated), but that’s about it!
- SSCA is much stricter about cars — everybody needs a rollcage etc. Don’t expect to bring a stock M3 here generally.
- No matter what you’ll pay several hundred $ for a track day.
- HPDE — High performance Driver Education Event.
- HPDE Insurance is a great idea — usually you can get this either at the track or buy it online ahead of time. I paid about $115 for insurance for the day.
- There are several tracks within 3-4 hours of NYC — to find a track day you can either pick a car club and look at their schedule, or pick a track and look at the track’s schedule.
- Lime Rock Park
- Watkin’s Glen
- Pocinos Raceway
- New Jersey Motorstate Park (NJMSP)
- Summit Point Circuit
- Unlike Autocross you usually get a LOT of time on the track at an event like this. Anywhere from 1.5 -> 3 hours!
- Your own Snell 2005 or 2010 rated FULL FACE helmet! (Expect to pay $300+ for a good one)
- Blue masking tape — the stuff that doesn’t leave residue
- Zip Ties (to tie on a timing transponder)
- A Razor / Sizzor (to cut the zip ties at the end of the day)
- An EMPTY car — nothing in the trunk, etc.
- Fresh break pads! (You eat these guys up at the track!)