Last month, leading up to my very first track day at Autobahn Country club with Gridlife, I had a lot of prepping to do. Being my first track day ever, I looked online at guides and other things on forums and sanctioning bodies websites to get an idea of what I need to bring and what needs to be done to the car.
First thing’s first though. I had to replace my old, crusty, blown out stock exhaust that was hanging by it’s last threads from the bottom of the Rx7. So I placed an order from Racing Beat in Anaheim, California. Their header and street performance exhaust was on it’s way to Brenden’s residence a few days later (which you can see here).
This is what came in the massive box a when it arrived just two days before we needed to be in Joliet, Illinois for the track day. Now, because exhausts are pretty straight forward and are only held together with a few bolts and some rubber hangers. We had the new exhaust and headers on in no time at all.
We must have removed at least 50lbs from the car by just replacing the stock steel exhaust with a much lighter, freer flowing stainless system. Along with doing the new exhaust, we also replaced the motor mounts as the ones that were on the car, much like the exhaust, were completely blown out and would not fly at the track.
I really like the dual, upswept tips on the muffler in the system. They really give the car a bit sportier of a look. It also doesn’t make bad noises either. Popping and hissing under every situation, even just driving in traffic. One other thing I added was a Techno Toy Tuning front tow hook. While I am confident in my driving prowess, I wasn’t confident in the brakes or the tires on the Mazda (’till I actually went out on track and realized that I was completely wrong). So, in order to make it easier for track staff to rescue me, in case I ended up on the kitty litter off one of the corners. I added a big red tow hook to the front (here’s a link). The factory tow hooks are kinda up there in the grill/ intake duct on the front. So I thought a big red one would be kinda hard to miss. Also, I haven’t smashed my shin on it yet walking around the car (knock on wood)!
When we arrived at the track. I had realized that I forgot to print off the tech inspection form in order to have it ready for the officials at tech. So I had to get one from the Gridlife staff and go through everything in line at tech. Good news though. Besides removing my center caps from my wheels, everything else was already good to go.
A couple of things I forgot to bring though. Was a tire pressure gauge (I had to borrow one from my instructor, thanks Bill) and a notebook with the track map in it so that I can take notes before and after each session for things to look out for and things I’ve learned throughout my classroom time and sessions out on track.
All in all though I had a great time. There’s a lot more that I want to do to the car to make my life out on track a little easier. Also I need to work on my skills as well as advancing the car. I’m still the weakest point in this system. I’m working on it though!