SPRING HAS SPRUNG. While it may be the last time we change the clocks, in that twice-a-year tradition of not knowing what time it is, it’s also track prep time.
A handy thing to do is make two lists. One list should cover your yearly track preparation. For example, ordering your tires early, changing your brake pads, engine oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid, but that’s just the beginning. You need to check the Snell inspection date on your helmet to make sure it’s either a 2015 or a 2020 certification, or it needs to be replaced. We got a bit of a reprieve on harnesses this season, as shipping and inventory is pretty slow. While they are normally only permitted for five years, this season they’re extended until at least mid-summer.
There are other less critical things that you may wish to do when the mood strikes you. Power-steering fluid that’s fresh and clean helps the seals last longer. That’s especially true during the rigors of spirited track driving. If you can spend the inspection time with your mechanic, look for things that are in need of attention soon. Finding out that you can’t get parts at the last minute can ruin your weekend and damage your mood. Please be very proactive about ordering tires this season, as I’m told that mid-season supplies may be hit and miss. None of the manufacturers knew what to expect for 2022 and they don’t like to inventory R-compound tires.
The other list is things you would like to do when you have time. A new set of wiper blades never hurt, and going around the car and lubricating everything that moves is not a waste of time either. In older cars you could check all the weather seals, so you don’t end up with a water problem that eventually causes corrosion. A thorough cleaning is in order too. If you drove it during the four months that they dump sand and salt on everything, it all needs to be removed. There is so much dust in the spring air that the car needs a thorough going-over, even if it was stored. Just bringing mine home on the trailer from storage covered it in a sand and salt powder. Having your fire extinguisher refilled every few years stops that powder from packing down. That’s one thing that needs to work if you ever need it.
Now would be a good time to find your car numbers, check the air pressure in your tires and start dragging out all the crap you normally take to the track. It’s amazing how much stuff you can misplace in four months. It’s starting to look like we’re going to get a full season on track this year, so it’s time to get you and your car ready. We will be supplying new helmet radios and student headsets so you don’t have to worry about that. We will also be supplying lunch in the drive-through format that we used the last two seasons. We’ll be using the same speedy registration system, so if you aren’t through registration by 8 a.m. there is no provision to get you in until the following morning. Imagine we’re on a cruise ship. If you aren’t on board on time, the ship sets sail without you.
For those of you who are attending our first Introductory Driving School in two years, we would all like to welcome you. Bring appropriate clothes for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in April and a great attitude and you will have a great time. There is a classroom session first, so all of your questions will be answered prior to the in-car exercises. There is nothing to be nervous about and we have a fun day planned for you. It’s easy to forget that you’re actually learning something at the same time. This basic car-control instruction will insure that everyone who attends our Driver Education program has the same level of knowledge. Everyone’s safety is always our first goal.
I’ve watched quite a few video reviews of the new GT4 RS that was just released a short time ago. I’m no automotive journalist so I’ll leave words like “exciting,” “thrilling” and “responsive” to them. While I’m sure it’s an astounding machine, one thing always stands out in my mind. No matter how much development every new model has, it’s always designed to slightly under-perform in comparison to the 911. It can’t be an accident that they always fall short in direct proportion to the sticker price.
This time the explanation is that because the exhaust on a GT4 has to travel farther than that of a GT3 it creates more back pressure, so slightly less horsepower is the result. Really? Is that what they think car guys and gals will believe? Maybe they could alleviate that back pressure by making the pipes 10 millimetres larger. While the new GT4 RS is an amazing car, it was still created to fit into a marketing strategy and we’ll never see its full potential from the factory.
I hope everyone is as ready and excited about the new season as your track team. We’re looking forward to sharing the track with all of you. See you trackside! </>