Track Day experience & feedback

Every wonder what the car really does “on track”? I do?

We read how fast everyone is or how great the NSX performs on track, but yet there seems to be little empirical data to help those of us that would like to do this optimize the experience.

I wish we could generate a database.

I’ve found minimum information to optimize the NSX experience… to get the most out of the car. I raced in SCCA prototype classes for over 25 years. I’ve was fortunate to race at every major road course in the US that existed before 2005. I’ve track tested a couple thousand miles & raced 300+ events.  I know how to optimize on track performance. Three key things: It takes time, and money, and equipment.

I track tested the NSX one time, 12/31/2016. I had a great time. I had never drive a 600HP/4000lb street machine on track. It’s addictive. It also uses up equipment at a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio to driving around on the streets. I no longer have the tools or equipment  or resources (people & equipment) to go track testing in earnest… think I would like to but know I won’t.

Some lessons learned:

Brakes – CF brake pad monitoring & maintenance – Extremely important. (I would go through a set in a 2 day, 6-8 session track weekend – 150-200 miles.) Rear brake pad taper is a big problem. I think they are undersized, and lack sufficient cooling!  Wish I didn’t have CF for this function – not an option at time of my purchase.

Gas-Always start a session with more than a 1/2 tank of gas. I didn’t, and ran out – not a fun experience.

Tires – Stock Conti’s seemed to work quite well, in spite of what you read. Yes, I believe there is multiple seconds to be gained with other choices… probably ending up with a sticky set of Hoosiers on 19″ rims… The point is you can track your car and really enjoy the day, without the Oooie Goooie stickiest tires available.

Tire Pressures & wear – Measure your TP’s before your go out, and measure ASAP when you come off track. I picked up 11 PSI from cold to hot. I ran 41 PSI hot and the tires looked pretty good. Feel the cross section tire temp. (A tire pyrometer would be the best. An IR gun will give you a relative reading by surfaces cool rapidly.) Inspect your tire wear.  It will tell you a lot. (And the outside edge will see the most abuse.) My Conti’s held up very well on my 1 track day.

Trunk – Take every out, even the Styrofoam  container… It will melt.

Consumables – If you go for a weekend track testing in earnest, count on a $1200 set of CF pads, and a new set of tires, if you go really fast.  You don’t have to, & 9/10ths is still really fun! Who cares anyway. It isn’t set up in GT-3 Trim and you most likely don’t have a crew of 10 to take care of it all weekend…

Just go have fun.

And it would be really great to get a collection of “data points” so that  when we have a chance to “track” out NSX, we can start with the right settings for the best experience. We can learn from each other!

I’ve attached my “Track Day Summary”

Summary of Track Test Day at Thunderhill Raceway Park December 31 – Copy