Taking your Corvette on the Track - Getting On Track

Life Is Good At 150 Mph

Richard F. Newton Dec 11, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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During your first few events, you'll need to learn some very basic rules of the road. This hand signal means you're coming into the pits. Any driver that's behind you now knows exactly what you're about to do. That's a good thing.

Are Track Days Hard On My Corvette?
This is a tough one. You won't put any excessive wear on your car in the first few events. If you do it often enough, though, you'll start running up the numbers on your Visa card. The most common expenditure will be for tires and brakes, as you'll go through both at a fairly good clip. The Corvette drivetrain is almost bulletproof. I can't think of anyone who's had an engine or transmission issue in the past year. The beauty of the Corvette is that it's an industrial-strength car.

Eventually you'll start to pick up some stone chips on your car. You can use something like the 3M InvisibleMask on the front of it. This is basically a roll of self-adhesive clear urethane that you install on the nose of the car. If you walk around the pit area at any track event, you'll see a variety of different techniques for protecting your Corvette's paint. Ask questions.

How Much Do Track Days Cost?
The entry fee for a track day is between $200 and $300 dollars a day. Then you need to add food, motel bills, and gas on top of that. If you budget around $600 a day, you should be in the ballpark. Of course, that number doesn't include the tires, brake pads, and brake rotors you'll wear out over the course of the season.

A realistic number is $1,000 per event. If that seems high, then you should probably stick to car shows. If you're a racer, you're probably asking how track time can be that cheap.

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If your brake fluid is over a year old, flush it out and replace it with a high-quality DOT 3 fluid. If you feel the need to do even more under the hood, change the air filter and spark plugs. Just remember not to purchase any performance-enhancing parts until you have completed at least six events.

Most people have never driven their Corvette flat out for 30 minutes, then gone back out and done it some more. I know a lot of people who have run stock Corvettes four and five hours a day at Sebring or Homestead. I also know some people who have spent thousands of dollars on modifications and have never driven their Corvette flat out for more than 10 seconds. There are also a lot of people who would rather talk about going fast than actually doing it. Track events are for people who want to truly experience the performance of their Corvette without getting involved in all the nonsense of racing. In fact, that's why most groups use the term High Performance Driving Events or HPDEs. It's really not racing, folks.

The best place to find an event near you is to go to www.mytrackschedule.com and look for a track in your area. The list shows 67 race tracks around the country and gives you the names of the organizers of the events. From that point, it's just a few clicks until you're enrolled in one very exciting Corvette experience.

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