Track-day essentials for Race-car drivers and enthusiasts
Whether you are a professional F1 driver, or a racing enthusiast who loves to spend their weekend on the track, there is a lot of time, energy and work that goes into maintaining a race car. With all the excitement and thrill, it can be easy to forget the basics that can make a major difference in keeping your car -and your day- running smoothly. Compiled here is a list of the basic essentials:
1. Motor Oil.
It is always a good idea to have a canister with a few liters of engine oil as a backup. Even if you are confident that the oil should last you for a good drifting session, even a small leak can result in a major loss of oil. Along with this, racing on the track and drifting corners significantly burns through the engine oil, so it is always good to have oil ready to top-up if necessary. Ideally, a good engine oil should maximize fuel economy as much as possible, and many engine oils already contain additives such as dispersants and detergents to keep the engine clean and running smoothly.
2. A tire pressure gauge and a portable tire pump.
Through the heavy friction that is put on the tires during racing, the air in the tires heats up and expands, causing fluctuations in the tire pressure. This friction can be even greater when turning corners and heavy braking. This is why it is good to have a tire pressure gauge and a portable tire pump on hand for adjustments.
3. An extra set of wheels with tires.
This goes hand in hand with the last point as, if you do happen to blow through a tire, you will need a backup. This includes not just the tires, but also the actual rims of the wheels. This is also important if you are driving the same car home after driving on the circuit, as the car must have safe and road-legal tires.
4. Car jack and ramps.
A car jack is an essential for lifting up the car to check the inner tread. Even though a car jack is great to have a quick check underneath the car, if you think you may need to do a bit of work under the car, an axle stand is a safer option. If you are driving a very low-riding car, you may also need a small set of ramps to be able to elevate the car to get the jack underneath it.
5. Other fluids.
If you drive with fuel that has a high ethanol content such as E85, an ethanol stabilizer can greatly help prolong the shelf-life of the fuel. E85 is popular (but not necessary) because it is shown to burn cleaner and cooler. However, it also burns more quickly and has a lower fuel economy, and therefore comes with a higher cost. If left for a long time, E85 can become unstable, which is where an ethanol stabilizer comes in handy.