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Thrilling Adventures: What to Expect at Track Days

For motorsport enthusiasts, lapping days offer the perfect blend of thrill and skill development. The weather in Canada means our track days are limited to the months of May - October, so many enthusiasts ensure to make the most of their days. Whether you're a seasoned racer or a novice looking to explore the world of track days, here’s a comprehensive guide on what to bring and what to expect at lapping days.


white miata at a track day

Preparing for Your Track Day

1. Vehicle Preparation:

  • Safety Check: Ensure your car is in top condition. Check the brakes, tires, fluids, and overall mechanical integrity. It's advisable to have a professional inspection if you’re not confident in doing it yourself. Many garages will do a tech inspection for a nominal price. 

  • Tire Pressure: Proper tire pressure is crucial for performance and safety. Check and adjust your tires according to the track conditions and manufacturer recommendations. If you're not sure, ask your fellow drivers to help or instructors. 

  • Fuel: Fill up your tank before heading to the track. Track driving consumes more fuel than regular driving. Some tracks do not have on-site fuel so bringing a small jerry can of extra fuel can save you time.

  • Brake Fluid Flush: DOT4 is recommended as it has higher boiling points than OEM DOT3.


2. Essential Gear:

  • Helmet: A helmet (SA2015 and above) is mandatory.

  • Driving Suit and Gloves: While not always required, a fire-resistant driving suit and gloves are highly recommended especially if your car is modified for added safety.

  • Footwear: Wear comfortable, narrow shoes that provide good pedal feel and control.


3. Personal Items:

  • Clothing: Dress comfortably for the weather. Layers are a good idea as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day.

  • Snacks and Water: Stay hydrated and bring some light snacks to keep your energy levels up. Many tracks have limited food options.


4. Tools and Spare Parts:

  • Basic Tool Kit: A set of basic tools can be handy for minor adjustments and repairs.

  • Spare Fluids: Carry extra oil, coolant, and brake fluid.

  • Tire Repair Kit: A tire repair kit or a spare tire can save the day in case of a flat.


What to Expect at a Track Day

1. Arrival and Registration:

  • Early Arrival: Arrive early to complete the registration process, find a good pit spot, and prepare your vehicle without rushing.

  • Driver’s Meeting: Attend the mandatory driver’s meeting where organizers will brief you on the schedule, track rules, safety protocols, and any specific instructions.


2. Track Layout and Familiarization:

  • Track Walk or Ride: Some events offer a track walk or a slow-paced ride around the track to familiarize yourself with the layout, turns, and braking zones.

  • Instructor Guidance: If you're new to the track or to lapping days, consider opting for a session with an instructor. Their insights can significantly enhance your learning curve.


3. On-Track Sessions:

  • Groupings: Drivers are often grouped based on experience level—beginner, intermediate, and advanced. This ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

  • Sessions: Expect multiple sessions throughout the day, typically 20-30 minutes each. Use these sessions to gradually increase your speed and improve your technique.

  • Cool-Down Laps: After each session, take a couple of cool-down laps to allow your brakes and engine to cool off.


4. Off-Track Time:

  • Feedback and Adjustments: Use the breaks between sessions to review your performance, make any necessary adjustments to your vehicle, and stay hydrated.

  • Networking: Engage with fellow drivers and instructors. Sharing experiences and tips can be incredibly valuable.


5. Safety and Etiquette:

  • Respect the Rules: Follow all track rules and respect the flag signals. They are there for your safety and the safety of others.

  • Gradual Progression: Don’t push your limits too quickly. Gradually build your speed and confidence as you become more familiar with the track.


Popular Tracks in Quebec

Circuit Mont-Tremblant:

  • Known for its beautiful scenery and challenging layout, Circuit Mont-Tremblant is a favorite among enthusiasts. It features a mix of fast straights and technical corners.  Circuit Mont-Tremblant is a 4.218 km (2.621 mi) race circuit located approximately 130 km (81 mi) north of MontrealQuebec, in the city of Mont-TremblantCanada. It is the second-oldest existing race track in Canada, and was originally known as Circuit Mont-Tremblant-St-Jovite until it was renamed in the 1970s.*

Sanair:

  • Sanair Super Speedway is a motorsports park with a 0.826 mi (1.329 km) paved triangular oval race track, a 0.250 mi (0.402 km) dragstrip, a 0.333 mi (0.536 km) oval, as well as a 0.120 mi (0.193 km) mini-oval and 0.150 mi (0.241 km) karting course. It also formerly had a 1.300 mi (2.092 km) road course which has since ceased to be used. It is located in Saint-PieQuebec*

ICAR Mirabel:

  • The International Center of Advanced Racing (Circuit ICAR) is a multi-track facility located on the former runways at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport, in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada north of Montreal. The facility features a 2.125 mi (3.420 km), 16-turn road course, a 0.400 mi (0.644 km) oval, a 0.250 mi (0.402 km) drag strip, two kart tracks, a driftpark and an offroad course*


Popular Tracks in Ontario

Calabogie Motorsports Park (CMP)
  • Calabogie Motorsports Park is the longest road course in Canada, at 5.050 km, located 4-kilometre east of the community of Calabogie in the township of Greater Madawaska, Ontario, Canada.*

Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP)
  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a multi-track motorsport venue located north of Bowmanville, in Ontario, Canada, approximately 75 kilometers east of Toronto.*

Shannonville Motorsports Pank (SMP)
  • Shannonville Motorsport Park is a motorsport road course circuit in Canada. It is located 15 km east of Belleville, Ontario, roughly midway between Toronto and Montreal, Quebec, near Highway 401 and along the former Provincial Highway 2.*

Toronto Motorsports Park (CMP)
  • Toronto Motorsports Park is a dragway and 3-kilometre roadcourse racing facility in Haldimand County, near the town of Cayuga, Ontario, Canada.*


Final Thoughts

Track days in Quebec and Ontario offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience the thrill of racing in a controlled and safe environment. With proper preparation and the right mindset, you can make the most of these events, honing your driving skills and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow motorsport enthusiasts. Remember, safety and respect for the rules are paramount, so gear up, buckle in, and get ready for an unforgettable day on the track!

 


 

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