1 (edited by alloriginaltone 2021-04-29 08:36 AM)

Topic: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

We ran the Moose Crossing Volvo S60 (#802).  We had a great experience and learned a ton for our first race.  Plan to race again in NH at the Halloween Hooptiefest. We thought we would share what we learned and what we plan to do next for those rookie teams considering a race.


What We Were Glad We Did:

1.  Family team - we kept it small and manageable.  Two brothers racing with our sons.  Forever memory for 17 and 18 yo boys.  No controversy or disappointment.  Just a lot of work!   Not everyone can race as a family, but no matter what you do, make sure team dynamics are good.  Your first race will become stressful at times.
2.  Took our failed tech inspection in stride.  Listened, adjusted and came back with the issues addressed (the next morning).
3.  Properly set expectations among team.  Our victory was racing, keeping the car and drivers unscathed and generally not sucking.  We were not trying to win anything our first time out.
4.  Knowing the car was in solid mechanical shape well before the race.  No crazy paddock projects were likely.  Car also was also rust free.
5.  Not blowing up the car.  We took breaks and didn't try to run continuous laps.  We know we can push it much harder next race, though.  Your mileage may vary....
6.  Learn what it feels like to go fast in the car and what corners it likes...and doesn't like.  Try to improve each lap.  Focus on getting smoother not just more daring or aggressive.  Compete wisely.  Don't baby it too much...but don't be on the ragged edge all the time
7.  Had a home-base close to the track with garage.  This felt like a great advantage for our first race, but that's just us. 
8.  Avoided black flags.  Didn't crash or swap paint.  We had no on track issues and stayed ON the track.
9.  Listened and learned from other teams and judges.  Lots of good experience and advice waiting for us.
10.  We were hopefully consistent and predictable and made a point to wave people through on a line to avoid unnecessary issues among more experienced drivers.
11.  Drove a car with abundant off the shelf parts.  Ok...not super Lemony...but still glad that's what we had.
12.  Read, re-read, and re-re-re-read the rules
13.  Upgraded our brakes (calipers, rotors, pads) to much bigger than stock as part of pre-race prep.  Stopping was nooooooo problem.
14.  Watched a lot of the online content to get a good feel for the approach to the race
15.  Provided a social media page for our family and friends to see the progress
16.  Rented half our gear and shared the most expensive pieces (helmet and hans).  Two team members bought (used) full sets of soft goods.   Tried on rental ahead of time...we needed a smaller helmet and had time to react with the rental company.
17.  Had a good checklist for tools and supplies.  We had what we needed at the track.  Except for that floor jack on Sunday...hmmm....

What We Wish We Did:

1. Had an additional 2-3 months to prep the car.  From auction to track was less than 3 months.  An extra two months would have been really, really nice.
2 Make the test and tune day on Friday.  Would have been a game-changer for our rookie team but we had items to address after our first tech, so that was a priority (see #1).
3.  Walk the track.  We would have learned a lot.
4.  Wish we didn't have to tow the car so far to the first race (Vermont to Pittsburgh).  This was offset by having a home-base garage...Not sure if it was a wash or not....ask Dave.  He had a few too many adventures with the tow rig!
5.  Had extra brakes and rotors on hand.
6.  Had more time to adjust and tune the car for things like camber, weight reduction, spring height.  Especially camber.


Next Time
1.  Optimize some of the performance aspects of the car.  Simple non-cheaty stuff.  Camber, weight, height.
2.  More fully embellish our theme.  We have a moose head that never made it on the car...next time.
3.  Have a better handle on fluids (type of fluid for each area, what happens during race, how to manage)
4.  Have a better handle on tire management (pressure, temperature, tire type)
5.  Have a better handle on brake management (rotor construction, pad construction, driving approach)
6.  Attend test and tune day
7.  Drive more laps.  Hot-pit changes and hot-pit fueling.
8.  In-car communication.  This wasn't an issue for us the first race but we can see the value as you progress.
9.  Drive faster but just as clean.
10.  Add a couple of team members.
11.  Put numbers on the roof...not the hood.  Hood gets so hot numbers fall off.  Numbers are hard.
11.  Hang out and have fun Fri and Sat night

2 (edited by majo 2021-04-28 10:15 PM)

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

Number 11(B?) under "next time" is the most important -- all the rest is a bonus.

Fantastic that you had a good experience, and now that you're hooked, buy your racing gear instead of renting wink

COM ( Chief Operating Moron ) of Burnt Rubber Soul Racing
Current fleet: 95 Ford Probe, 81 Mazda 626.  Past: 81 Imperial
Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/burntrubbersoulracing

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

We have our first race in June at Gingerman, thanks for putting this list out there, super helpful!

We're working hard on tech stuff, can I ask what you had to fix?

Thanks!

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

majo wrote:

Number 11(B?) under "next time" is the most important -- all the rest is a bonus.

Fantastic that you had a good experience, and now that you're hooked, buy your racing gear instead of renting wink


Yep.  Actually, a little more detail on the gear.... Two of our team members bought a full set of used gear (other than hans device).  Pieced together from eBay / Facebook Marketplace etc..  We shared the hans devices from the rental kits and this worked great.   Now, we are hunting for used gear for the other two main drivers.

Everyone having their own full suit was really helpful.  We had considered economizing and sharing suits, but it was good that half the team had owned a set of soft-goods already and then the other two drivers used the rentals.

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

alloriginaltone wrote:
majo wrote:

Number 11(B?) under "next time" is the most important -- all the rest is a bonus.

Fantastic that you had a good experience, and now that you're hooked, buy your racing gear instead of renting wink


Yep.  Actually, a little more detail on the gear.... Two of our team members bought a full set of used gear (other than hans device).  Pieced together from eBay / Facebook Marketplace etc..  We shared the hans devices from the rental kits and this worked great.   Now, we are hunting for used gear for the other two main drivers.

Everyone having their own full suit was really helpful.  We had considered economizing and sharing suits, but it was good that half the team had owned a set of soft-goods already and then the other two drivers used the rentals.

Used,excellent condition, reasonably priced nascar suits @  raceimage.com

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR Lemons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

6 (edited by Team Infinniti 2021-04-29 11:23 AM)

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

Duplicate

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR Lemons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

7 (edited by majo 2021-04-29 08:55 PM)

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

alloriginaltone wrote:
majo wrote:

Number 11(B?) under "next time" is the most important -- all the rest is a bonus.

Fantastic that you had a good experience, and now that you're hooked, buy your racing gear instead of renting wink


Yep.  Actually, a little more detail on the gear.... Two of our team members bought a full set of used gear (other than hans device).  Pieced together from eBay / Facebook Marketplace etc..  We shared the hans devices from the rental kits and this worked great.   Now, we are hunting for used gear for the other two main drivers.

Everyone having their own full suit was really helpful.  We had considered economizing and sharing suits, but it was good that half the team had owned a set of soft-goods already and then the other two drivers used the rentals.

Absolutely.  Sharing racing gear is gross, even more so at a summer race.

Like was stated earlier, Race Image has good deals on used gear.

COM ( Chief Operating Moron ) of Burnt Rubber Soul Racing
Current fleet: 95 Ford Probe, 81 Mazda 626.  Past: 81 Imperial
Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/burntrubbersoulracing

Re: What We Learned - Rookies at PIT

You guys drove cleanly. Kudos.

So other newcomers can keep an eye out for something similar in the future- what did you fail tech for?