“Why can’t we’ve got coolant within the automobile once we’re racing?” It was getting near midnight and I used to be nonetheless making an attempt to get the undertray off our MX-5 Cup automobile so I may drain the distilled water and get coolant into the radiator. There was a little bit of a time issue concerned; the temperature was scheduled to dip beneath freezing within the hours to return, and if the water froze within the engine block we’d have severe issues. Hazard Lady understood completely properly why we couldn’t let our little Mazda make it by way of the night time with out coolant within the engine, however she didn’t fairly perceive why we didn’t have coolant in there to start with.
In her honor, and for the enlightenment of each would-be monitor rat who has been afraid to ask why such-and-such a rule exists, I’ve picked seven barely opaque trackday or racing guidelines and defined them beneath. Even should you by no means plan to set foot or tire on a street course, this would possibly nonetheless of be of curiosity… or not. What can I say? I tried to get you to click on the soar. Click on the soar already!
Why can’t we’ve got coolant within the race automobile? And why doesn’t that rule apply to street-car trackdays?
Typical coolant/water mixes are extraordinarily slippery once they escape a automobile and discover their method onto the racing floor. It’s a security hazard to have coolant on a racetrack, so just about each sanctioning physique on the market bans its use. As an alternative, it’s a must to put distilled water within the radiator, often with one thing known as “water wetter” that raises the boiling level a good quantity.
Why don’t common trackdays implement this rule? ‘Trigger in the event that they did, no one would present up. Additionally, the type of metal-to-metal collisions that are inclined to launch coolant onto the monitor are (speculated to be) uncommon in non-competitive open-lapping days. There’s an exception to this: should you deliver your motorbike to a trackday, chances are high that you can be required to run plain water.
Why do I’ve to have padding on my rollcage or roll bar? It’s actually distant from me.
In a crash, your head and physique will go locations you may’t predict. I’ve in-car video from after I was hit at Laguna Seca a couple of years in the past the place you may clearly see my head transfer perhaps three toes over and hit a rollcage bar. I’ve dented my helmet on rollcage bars earlier than. And each of these incidents have been with a five-point harness and a HANS gadget. In a road automobile with an add-on rollcar? Count on your head to bounce off it the minute you get into severe bother.
Why can’t I’ve floormats within the automobile? Why can’t I’ve my cellphone in its suction-cup holder? Why do I’ve to empty out the door pockets and heart console?
It’s annoying, proper? I felt the identical method, proper up to date one in all my college students had his “un-detachable” cellphone holder detach itself from the windshield over the “ski soar” at Summit Level Shenandoah. Each cellphone and holder disappeared into the driving force’s footwell. The following braking zone was fairly thrilling, to say the least. We received off monitor pronto and pulled the now-cracked cellphone out from between the brake-pedal hinge and the grasp cylinder. Something that can detach in a automobile throughout a trackday will detach, and Murphy’s Regulation says it should find yourself beneath your pedals.
Why are they making me drive my convertible with the highest up? It doesn’t enhance the rollover safety.
You’re right. Nonetheless, the highest will stop your arms and arms from being forcibly shaved off whenever you roll the automobile. We use arm restraints in our MX-5 to forestall simply that. Open-wheel racers do the identical factor. And don’t suppose that you just’ll simply be capable to maintain your arms in your lap; a high-speed rollover may enhance the pressure tugging at your arms to twenty occasions the facility of gravity, or extra. To not point out the truth that you’ll be somewhat distracted on the time.
Why would I need an auto racing helmet for trackdays when my organizers are pleased to take a Snell “M”-rated helmet? Don’t they supply the identical type of safety?
I’ve to confess I’m the all-time offender for utilizing motorbike helmets in vehicles. Extra particularly, I’ve used my Arai “Oriental” helmet for the previous few years of Street & Monitor’s road-course testing, as a result of it’s extraordinarily comfy for lengthy durations of time and retains much less warmth than my actual race helmets. That doesn’t imply that it is best to observe my instance. A Snell SA-rated helmet provides hearth resistance that you just don’t get in an M-rated helmet. That may make an enormous distinction. And though this isn’t assured to be the case, most auto racing helmets provide extra protection for the again of your head and neck as a result of they don’t need to be usable in a sportbike heads-up driving place. Final however not least, a high quality helmet designed to be used in a automobile is often examined for influence with metal bars… like those you’ll discover in rollcages.
Why I do need to put on lengthy cotton pants, lengthy cotton sleeves, and closed-toe sneakers?
Not each group requires all three of these issues, however just about all of them require closed-toe sneakers for driver and passenger. That’s to make sure that your sneakers keep on whenever you’re exiting the automobile in a rush. The requirement for natural-fiber lengthy pants and lengthy sleeves? It’s supposed to offer you a important fraction of a second to flee in case of fireside.
Bonus query: Why can’t I take a passenger within the teams beneath “teacher” or “superior”?
For a similar purpose your dad and mom didn’t need you taking your mates round proper after you bought your driver’s license: you’ll crash the automobile displaying off. Even System One drivers are inclined to his impulse.
Hope all of this helps. Keep tuned for the subsequent installment of this collection, the place we’ll deal with the burning query: “Ought to I run R-compound tires within the novice group?”
[Image: Jack Baruth]