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Old 03-16-2009, 09:38 AM   #1
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Can I drive on a track?

Not only have I never driven on a track before, or taken lessons for it, I have never even been to a racetrack. What I would like to do is simply rent time on a track, where there is no one else that I could collide with, and simply drive my totally unmodified Boxster as fast as I like. Can I do this or is special equipment or training necessary? How much does this cost? Any information is welcome.

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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I can't offer any advice about buying track time - so please forgive me for my off-topic comments. If you're not already a PCA member, join. (pca.org). They'll have a local chapter that does track events like autocross so you can get some driving time AND an instructor who will help you out. The expertise you'll get from an instructor is priceless - and free!
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Sign up for the next DE hosted by your local PCA region. The registration fee is the deal of a lifetime, including two days of track time and personal in-car instruction. During this time you learn how to drive your car on a track and how to do it in a way that ensures the safety of you and others.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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Sure! Track days are the best! It might get a little lonely (and pricey) to rent a track just for yourself. Maybe more $$ than the cost of your car. Most of the track hounds on this site do track days with the PCA. In our area PCA events are the safest and least expensive way to get in some track time. Experienced instructors are also provided free of charge. I ran with PCA-SDR last Saturday at the Q and it was a blast. We ran "Baby Talladega" configuration.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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I have difficulty even responding to this question. You are a complete track novice, but want to go as fast as you can in your street car?

Recipe for disaster...

Take your hard earned savings and sign up for a professional driving school; it will be some of the best dollars you could ever spend on yourself.

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses, I have applied for membership to the local chapter of the PCA. I'm also strongly considering PSDS ( http://www.porschedriving.com ).

jmatta wrote:
"I have difficulty even responding to this question. You are a complete track novice, but want to go as fast as you can in your street car? Recipe for disaster..."

Sorry, I'm just naive. To a complete novice, I look at pictures of an empty oval track and I think, "that looks like the safest place I could possibly drive!" ha ha
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Doesn't participating in a track event give Porsche the option to invalidate your warranty?? I'm sure I read that somewhere.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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I hope you go out and have a try on the track...you'll love it. Oval?????

Just do it safely.

(edit) As to the prior post, if your car is under warranty, the dealer can see the mapping on the DME and know you were on a track. They quit paying track related claims years ago.
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Last edited by jmatta; 03-16-2009 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by boxster1
I'm also strongly considering PSDS ( http://www.porschedriving.com ).
I suggest saving your nickles and register for a DE in your local PCA chapter. They are $250 - $300 for a weekend so you get several years worth of DE instruction for the cost of two days at PSDS.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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There are other organizations as well like Nasa (nasaproracing.com). Look around and find one you are comfortable with. I usually go with speedventures.com, but they are mainly So California. Organizations differ around rules, amount of track time, cost, clientele they attract, amenities, focus on racing vs open lapping, etc.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:17 PM   #11
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jmatta wrote: "Oval?????"

Yes, like this 1/2 mile oval track:

http://newsmyrnaspeedway.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=58

Why is that surprising or confusing?
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:30 PM   #12
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Sorry, real track drivers turn left and right.

Though I do enjoy dirt trackers...
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:39 PM   #13
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You can rent the Texas World Speedway for a Saturday or Sunday for just $12,000.

I checked into it after hearing about how a half-dozen Ferrari owners from Houston get together and rent it. I thought it would be fun to rent as a birthday present to myself, but then I found out the cost and well, I changed my mind.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxster1
Can I drive on a track?
Yes you can!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk4g-85ZQpM
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
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I know nothing about track driving either. I'm scared to take my own car on a track because I really worry about something happening and my insurance won't cover it. I have to admit I'm also a little nervous about looking like an ass in front of other people since I know nothing about tracks, track driving, etc. I'd really prefer to do something where I can use a car provided by Porsche. I've seen those advertised.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:06 PM   #16
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As an instructor I like to see novice drivers taking schools and learning the finer points of driving even if they never race.

I recently convinced my GF to take the boxster to a 'skills day' at a local track (ex. airport) with the local PCA. It was a well set up event with all kinds of instruction that taught total novices and multi-time participants.

Danielle was totally nervous about breaking my car because she knows how much I love it. I finally convinced here that there was nothing that she could do to it that I didn't do on a daily basis. After the event she was far less nervous and really enjoyed herself as well as learned a lot. I think I got her hooked.

I have seen a number of people wreck cars at DE's and Auto-crosses and 98% of the time it was because someone did something stupid and was not listening to the instructor. Many times total novice drivers in incredibly over powered highly strung cars. With those very rare exceptions its fairly safe to drive at these events. They are set up with safety in mind and in my opinion, especially Porsche's, the cars enjoy being driven to the limits.

I would suggest lower speed events to begining with before big track DE's. Lower speeds are far more forgiving until you really know what the car is capable of before pushing the higher speeds.

Besides all this training makes you a more alert and better driver on the street too! It's saved my ass a few times I know.

But be careful.... you get too into it and you end up where I am building your former daily driver into a full blown track beast (944).
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:51 PM   #17
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^^^

That's cool that your girlfriend took your boxster on the track. That makes me feel a little better about eventually doing it. I guess I'm scared of coming off looking like the dumb girl that shows up and can't drive in front of everyone.

and wow, 230K miles on your 944? I miss mine every time I see one. I soooo loved that car.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxster1
jmatta wrote: "Oval?????"

Yes, like this 1/2 mile oval track:

http://newsmyrnaspeedway.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=58

Why is that surprising or confusing?
Dude, don't do it, you will endangering yourself and others
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny
^^^

That's cool that your girlfriend took your boxster on the track. That makes me feel a little better about eventually doing it. I guess I'm scared of coming off looking like the dumb girl that shows up and can't drive in front of everyone.

and wow, 230K miles on your 944? I miss mine every time I see one. I soooo loved that car.
Generally I find that the "dumb girls" are far better students at the track, and outperform the guys. Women listen and learn, whereas the guys are all caught up in going as fast as they can to prove how macho they are!
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:07 AM   #20
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LoveBunny and Boxster1, please consider a Skills Day as 944boy mentioned. You will learn some basic skills that will build a good foundation if you decide to continue with a DE at a track facility. Most of skills are learned at realitively low speeds where you won't be putting your car or warranty at risk. They are a really good first step. Even if you don't go on to a track, these skills will make you a better driver every day on the street. We've had drivers come back and tell us that what they learned at a Skills Day helped them avoid an accident rather than become one. Many clubs also offer women and/or teen Skills Days.

Then when/if you go to a track, take a PCA or BMW school as you will get quality instruction at a bargin price and learn how to drive safely at speed. We all learn so many bad habbits from just driving around the US that will lead to an incident on a track if not corrected. To give you an idea, most drivers take several years (that's right, I said years) to become a mid to upper level driver with quality instruction. This is something that can't be appreciated until you've done it. There are exceptions where someone is a natural, but this is the norm. Just going to a track on your own, if it were financially possible, would only reinforce our natural bad habbits and probably end up with you hitting an immovable object.

I'm not sure about the Boxster, since I track my M3 but many cars don't like to go in circles for extended periods without modifications to the oil systems. BMW E30s and Minis will end up with oil starvation and impending doom (or should I say engine boom) in prolonged left handers.

Have fun but most of all, stay safe.

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