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Discussion Starter #1
I am setting up a 2003 GT for track use. It will be driven to and from track events but not a daily driver. I will be doing HPDE for now and will see where it goes from there. The car is almost ready to go so I need to start figuring who I will HPDE with.

I am in northern California and will primarily be going to Sonoma Raceway, Thunder Hill and Laguna Seca. There are several event providers like SpeedSF, NASA, Hooked On Driving. All seem to require some level of membership.

Which provider do you recommend for entry level and why?
 

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I've had good experience with H.O.D. (my first day with them was actually my 3rd track day).


Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've had good experience with H.O.D. (my first day with them was actually my 3rd track day).


Norm
The way you state this leads me to think that you tried one or two others and you feel that HOD is a better experience? Which others have you tried? Are you in Northern California also?
 

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The way you state this leads me to think that you tried one or two others and you feel that HOD is a better experience? Which others have you tried? Are you in Northern California also?
East Coast, though I've traveled out to Mid-Ohio a couple of times to run with some people I know from a different car forum.

I didn't bother to mention AutoInterests because they're pretty much local to Ohio, or NJMP's own track days because that's strictly NJ.

HOD being national was the group I have run with that would be the most meaningful to you.


Norm
 

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Does your NASA region make you get teched before each HPDE by an approved and listed inspection vendor?


The only approved tech inspection around me is nearly an hour away and charges $40 to do it. Then when you get to the track they re-look at it. It was such a pain AND additional costs that I quit running with NASA.
 

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I have done many hpde events with NASA NorCal. They are a great group of people. I had my tech inspection done for free at a local shop prior to the track day. It was much easier to do it before the track day. You just show up to the track with your tech slip and that's it, no recheck at the track. As far as I can remember I only did it at the track one time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have done many hpde events with NASA NorCal. They are a great group of people. I had my tech inspection done for free at a local shop prior to the track day. It was much easier to do it before the track day. You just show up to the track with your tech slip and that's it, no recheck at the track. As far as I can remember I only did it at the track one time.
I see you are a local! I am just up the hill in Cameron Park. Who did your free tech inspection?
 

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I had my tech inspections done at Valley Motorwerks in Rancho Cordova. The more I think about it, I'm second guessing myself on the free. It has been a few years and I think it was free. Anyway, I always had a good experience there and they really support the racers.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Bonus points for BBQ!
Have you decided on the event you will be running? I'm thinking about signing up for Sears Point with NASA Norcal Sep 9-10.

Will be my third event at this track and will probably run HPDE1 again just for the instruction and refining the techniques taught to me.
 

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I had completely forgotten that Sonoma Raceway / Infineon used to be called Sears Point!

I think that might be about my time frame now. I just got talked into going on a 10 day trip to Maine starting next week so losing some garage time but I am making great progress on the build though.

Down to small stuff like choosing brake pads and tires. I have OMP TRS-E seats on the way so now I need to decide if I am going to just get a harness bar or a 4-point or a 6-Point roll bar with the swing outs.

Also, I hate the clutch that came with the car. It is really something for a quarter mile set up. It is super heavy and its engagement is either on or off. I have already purchased an Exedy Mach 350 to replace it so maybe I'll get that in before my first track event.

Because of all the work I did on the front suspension, I HAVE to get a professional alignment. I don't know where I can take it locally (Cameron Park, CA). I don't trust Big-O or the like to try to figure out the MM CC plates. I would also like to get my bumpsteer base lined. I went ahead and put in the Steeda X2 ball joints because of the lowering springs but I have no idea what I have ended up with...

It goes on......
 

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I had completely forgotten that Sonoma Raceway / Infineon used to be called Sears Point!

I think that might be about my time frame now. I just got talked into going on a 10 day trip to Maine starting next week so losing some garage time but I am making great progress on the build though.

Down to small stuff like choosing brake pads and tires. I have OMP TRS-E seats on the way so now I need to decide if I am going to just get a harness bar or a 4-point or a 6-Point roll bar with the swing outs.

Also, I hate the clutch that came with the car. It is really something for a quarter mile set up. It is super heavy and its engagement is either on or off. I have already purchased an Exedy Mach 350 to replace it so maybe I'll get that in before my first track event.

Because of all the work I did on the front suspension, I HAVE to get a professional alignment. I don't know where I can take it locally (Cameron Park, CA). I don't trust Big-O or the like to try to figure out the MM CC plates. I would also like to get my bumpsteer base lined. I went ahead and put in the Steeda X2 ball joints because of the lowering springs but I have no idea what I have ended up with...

It goes on......
Can't go wrong with Michelin Pilot Super Sport if they are available in the size you want. I hear good things about the new Continental DW Sport too.

Does the stock 3 point seatbelt work with the seat you ordered? I would just run that for the beginner/novice groups. Harness bars are a big no-no in open track - you won't be able to pass tech with one if I'm not mistaken. I would only install roll bar/cages once you're up to HPDE3 and more advanced (read: FAST) groups. Save the money for seat time and expendables (brakes, tires, etc.).

You won't be shifting much at Sears Point (I prefer this name over Sonoma/Infineon Raceway). Pretty much stick it in 3rd and leave it there and learn the line, brake/turn-in point and such.

Alignment with aftermarket suspension? AED or Cortex Racing. Just have them max out the caster and camber since you won't be daily driving it.

Hope this helps in some way and see you on track.
ps. Here's a good read I found on Road & Track - Nine Tips Every Trackday First-Timer Needs to Know
 

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I'm in the Bay Area.
NCRC, Speed SF, Ongrid track and HOD all do well planned track days with Ongrid being the least expensive and HOD the most expensive. The Shelby events I have attended were run by HOD.
 
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