Yes, its winter, but the track day blood is flowing as one of North Carolina’s premiere sports car clubs is holding their inspection day for members that want to have their ride checked out and approved for upcoming track days.
They are called track days and HPDE (high performance driving education) weekends. They are not racing events, but they offer a car owner a chance to see what they can do to improve their own driving skills in an environment that is far safer than public roads. These events are run at many of the road racing tracks around the country and North Carolina has several great tracks within a two or three hours drive. Consequently, track days have become a very popular with the membership of THSCC.
Since these events take place in a high speed environment it is critical that the vehicles are thoroughly inspected for safety and compliance with track day standards. These inspections take place in garages that donate their space and facilities for the club members to use.
The THSCC folks spent a Saturday at Automotive Performance & Chassis looking over cars from eight in the morning until the mid-afternoon.
Everything is checked, from tires to suspension components. From seatbelts to brakes. They are looking for any potential problem areas that would jeopardize the safety of the participants.
When all is deemed correct the car receives its sticker.
Even the helmets must meet the club’s standards.
Check your own local sports car clubs for any track day events in your area. They are a singular opportunity to learn your personal limits and with some instruction, increase your skills. These skills are certainly transferable to the environment of public roads. Not to try your hand at racing on the street, but to ensure that you are improving your ability to manage your vehicle in a constantly changing jungle of traffic.