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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This time for tracks!

Has anybody taken their Civic to a track day, or any other car for that matter?

I was thinking about taking Civvie to Brands for a track day, just so I could really see what the car is cabable of in a legal, safe environment.

I know it is not the fastest car in the world, but it does handle well for it's type, and I'm sure I can get a good speed up the hanger staright!

I was just wondering if anybody has had any experience or useful information that might sway me either way. I know fuel, brakes and tyres will take a beating from it, but is it worth it?

My dream would be to take a weekend trip to Germany and get a couple of laps in on the Nurburgring, but that is not really feasable...

I have even thought about taking it to Santa Pod to see how it does on the 1/4 mile. The highest speed you can really reach there is 70-80mph. It would be good to see how the real world acceleration/timing print off you get compare's to Pottsy's simulations!
 

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Having taken plenty of cars on track days (but not the Civ) to both UK circuits and the 'ring, I can confidently predict that the Civ will feel a bit soft and will understeer like a dog.

"Normal" road cars never do that well on the track, as most people find out pretty quickly. What would be very worthwhile, would be going on a wet day - you really can learn a lot doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
do you mean lower grip limits = easier to reach at safe speeds?
It would be cool to be able to compare VSA on/off on a wet track. I would try not to spin it!
 

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No, I was thinking that you'd learn just how high grip levels can be in the wet with the correct handling of the car.

You'd be hard pushed to do anything dangerous on a track in the Civ - you just couldn't get the speeds high enough.
 

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V-powerrrrrrrr

Bungle,

I'm very curious about your findings on the track, and about your topspeed.

Try several kinds of petrol, i've noticed that V-power perfomances the best.
And send in a picture as proof
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Bungle,

I'm very curious about your findings on the track, and about your topspeed.

Try several kinds of petrol, i've noticed that V-power perfomances the best.
And send in a picture as proof
Blackhawk, even if I decided to do it, I would be driving as fast and a safely as I can, with 110% concentration. Taking a picture while doing 100mph+ towards a large notorious bend (paddock bend) will be the last thing I would want to do!
I would consider mounting a camera on the dash or somewhere to record it, but I don't want to think about anything other than my driving!

One aspect that is putting doubt on this is any risk this poses. My other half is a little aprehensive of the idea, and I don't know whow much of a risk it couls cause. Insurance would be another thing I would need to consider. If something outside my control goes wrong and I end up in a tyre wall, I don't fancy the bills for repairing the car.
 

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Bungle,

I would suggest trying it. Until you go there, you probably don't appreciate how vast the track is compared to a road, and how huge the run-off areas are. You are unlikely to come a cropper.

The best way, IMO, is to go to a proper, organised event. The track will be coned to give you even more run off, and a professional driver will teach you stuff. Like everyone (me included) you will start off driving like a loony, you will be taught how to slow down and smooth out, and hey presto you will be quicker and much more in control.

The only real issue is wearing your tyres out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info, chaps!
 

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I can personally recomend Bedford autodrome (Jonathon Palmers place). Huge track with loads of different permutations, great marshalling, really good surface, top facilities, although the onsite (Super only) unleaded petrol is a tad on the pricey side. There is also usually an instructor (or 2) on hand who will jump in the car with you and give you really good advice on your lines/braking points after spending 1 or 2 laps as a quiet observer.

If you dont want to take your own car but get some good track experience I can also recomend Thruxton. Ok the track isn't the most exciting but the instructors are very good teaching you proper lines (cornering lines of track as you are no doubt aware are extremely different to safe road lines) and you will, at the end of the day, get to drive 5 laps in the supercar of your choice with an instructor alongside you (Lambo Murchiwhatnot in Pearl white is the current top choice :p , but you can drive a prancing pony if you desire).

both places have websites, but blasted if I can remember them right now...
 

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................. Ok the track isn't the most exciting but the instructors are very good teaching you proper lines (cornering lines of track as you are no doubt aware are extremely different to safe road lines)..................
I did a few laps round Silverstone with Toyota, and where I was thinking of turning the instructor is still asking me to keep going, absolutely fantastic. The corner is almost gone and I am still aiming for a cone strategically placed on the outside of the corner. Worst thing it was a woman, so she decided on the "now we'll show you how its done lap" she chose to scare the living daylights out of me. Back end out on most corners (the cars back end, not hers, but I would have.....), craaazeeee!
 

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I went to track before with my Civic (one I currently have). However, it's quite short track - 2km per lap, and has quite a lot of turns, so you cant actually get speeds in excess of some 150km/h.
However, it's amazing fun - when you can cut corners, take whole tracks, choose fastest paths - as there is no worry of incoming traffic, etc.
Not to mention fun when you're pushing car to the limits and controll how much car slides in corners, etc...
One things that suffers the most though is tyres.
But longer tracks with higher speeds are more heavy on other parts like brakes too - and will eat even more tyres if you push your car.

But, all in all.. it *is* worth to try it.
 

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I can personally recomend Bedford autodrome (Jonathon Palmers place). Huge track with loads of different permutations, great marshalling, really good surface, top facilities, although the onsite (Super only) unleaded petrol is a tad on the pricey side. There is also usually an instructor (or 2) on hand who will jump in the car with you and give you really good advice on your lines/braking points after spending 1 or 2 laps as a quiet observer.

If you dont want to take your own car but get some good track experience I can also recomend Thruxton. Ok the track isn't the most exciting but the instructors are very good teaching you proper lines (cornering lines of track as you are no doubt aware are extremely different to safe road lines) and you will, at the end of the day, get to drive 5 laps in the supercar of your choice with an instructor alongside you (Lambo Murchiwhatnot in Pearl white is the current top choice :p , but you can drive a prancing pony if you desire).

both places have websites, but blasted if I can remember them right now...
http://www.palmersport.com/

Went there earlyer in the year! It was a stunning day. Didn't know they have open track days!
 

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can't recommend track days enough!

Especially in your own car - you get to learn SO much more about it than you ever could on the road.

Not that you would ever drive like that on a road - but it's handy to know that the car (for example) will go round that corner without falling over if you ever find yourself in that situation :)


BUT - I would be very careful about which track day I took my car on...

In the nicest possible way, you want to end up on the track with a small number of other considerate, private owners, of reasonably expensive cars - none of whom are going to try for that 'one last overtake before the corner.... oh sh1t!'

The best ones I've ever done have been with owners clubs where there were a max of 12 cars on the circuit (Castle Combe) at any one time, but with no restriction on the number of laps you could do.
All very relaxed, everyone had time to do their own thing, and were happy to move out of the way if someone else was on a fast lap :)


In short - pick the right one, make sure your car is preped (but that's another story, and not too onerous!), and then go out an GRIN! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Preped? What do I need to do? Install roll cages and a puncture proof tank?:confused:

How do we organise a Civic Owner's club meeting to spend an afternoon playing on a track? Are there enough of us on here? Do we need to be a recognised organisation?

Oh I really wished I never asked, I am really desperate to try it out now!
 

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preped (breifly!):
Nothing too serious :lol:

You're going to wear the tyres down - ensure that even with this, you will have enough tread to drive home.

brake pads - ditto

exhaust. Not a problem with standard system (99.9% plus of us so far), but many circuits has noise checks, which can be quite stringent. Standard systems will pass no problem (asuming they are not knackered).

Fuel - you will be getting probably single figure mpg - make sure you have a fullish tank

Helmet - most (all?) circuits insist you wear one. At lots of tracks you can hire them there if you don't have one - but check first!

Cameras - some circuits allow 'on-board' video cameras - as long as they are securely mounted on 'proper' clamps / mounts. Again, check before going.

Friends - take some! :lol:

Misc stuff in the car - secure it. You don't want your child's car seat flying around in the back...

Food / Drink: Take some - or lots of spare cash :wink:

Track day insurance - is available, if you want it... Not cheap, but your 'normal' insurance won't cover you for a trip into the tyre wall :(

Bug - be aware of it! Track days are very, VERY addictive! :lol: And then you'll be looking at brake upgrades, more power, new exhaust... :wink:



Booking a trackday:
Basically, you can hire most tracks for the day if you book far enough in advance.
From memory, Castle Combe cost us (owners club) about £1500.
For this, you get:
The use of the track from about 9:00 till 4:00 (break 12:00 - 1:00)
organised brefiing
marshalls
fire marshalls
safety people
people manning the resturant (see food / drink above :wink:)
etc

You can then turn up all by yourself (£1500 to drive round an empty track all day), or turn up with lots of mates (split the £1500, but have more cars on track)

Max cars allowed on track at any one time was 12, and we put our own limit of max 10 consecutive laps before coming off (to make sure everone got a decent turn).
In reality, most people did a max of 6 or 7 laps at a time, then came off to cool down for a bit :D

This resulted in on eone having to wait for more than a few minutes to get on :)

We had about 30 cars turn up to play, plus about as many again to watch :D


Phew! :D
 

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Preped? What do I need to do? Install roll cages and a puncture proof tank?:confused:

How do we organise a Civic Owner's club meeting to spend an afternoon playing on a track? Are there enough of us on here? Do we need to be a recognised organisation?

Oh I really wished I never asked, I am really desperate to try it out now!
I think I'd do it if it was a Civic based event; but expect me to go around at 40!

I think my biggest worry apart from crashing would be killing the wheels and brakes; which reminds me that I needed to check them todya.
 

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I think I'd do it if it was a Civic based event; but expect me to go around at 40!

I think my biggest worry apart from crashing would be killing the wheels and brakes; which reminds me that I needed to check them todya.
As long as you are sensible about it, your brakes will be fine :)

By this - take it easy on the first lap or so of each session to allow everything to get up to temp.
Handful of faster laps
good lap or so of 'cool down' - try and do a lap without using the brakes

Oh - and when you park up, leave it in gear, not held by the handbrake!

tyres can take a beating - but that's just part of the price you pay for having fun :D:p

A Civic only day would be great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This could be a meeting at a track for a day? Being a day event will hopefully attract more of us.
At, say, £1500, if 15 of us turn up and split the cost, it's only £100 each. You are looking at the same kind of cost for a normal 'bring your own' track event.
If we get 30, that's only £50 each.

If we make it clear that nobody is under any pressure to drive too fast and we keep it sensible, it will be really good fun!

A meet next year??????
 

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By this - take it easy on the first lap or so of each session to allow everything to get up to temp.
Handful of faster laps
good lap or so of 'cool down' - try and do a lap without using the brakes

Oh - and when you park up, leave it in gear, not held by the handbrake!
haha! Trust me the first lap WILL be me taking it easy; and doing a lap without brakes?? Maybe if I'm going around at 20! Although without breaks and with VSA would probably be do-able!

I'd honestly be up for it though; even if I never ended up going around much/fast, it'd even be cool to be a passenger of someone who really knows what they're doing, or has no fear!!

How much would only having the 1.4 hinder me though? I know it's not a race having said that.
 
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