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I have not written anything for a while and I feel bad about it. Well…not too bad, but I saw the date of my last entry and over the course of the past couple of weeks thought to myself …Man I need to add something to the P9 site. It is just that when it comes to doing stuff to the car (or with the car), there is not much going on during the winter. But winter has been nonexistent here in North Central Texas so that means that it is time to start getting the car ready for track season.

We have all heard or read the horror stories about the M96 / M97 motors and some of us (me included) have had to have the motor replaced. Full disclosure – the previous owner had the motor replaced on my car, but still it was a victim of the dreaded IMS failure. So I have a healthy dose of fear and respect for that part of the motor. And then there is the whole oil pick up problem…

So to keep everything in perspective, I still run on street tires and have not done any other crazy suspension mods. But I have started down the path of putting the right stuff on the car so that I can step up and run stickier tires. Case in point – a Mantis deep oil sump (the new beautifully sculptured aluminum one piece one with windage tray). So what is next? An Accusump - the two quart marine version with automatic valve control. I know there are several available out there so I am getting ready to shop (but don’t tell my wife.) ****! I forgot she edits this thing…

And I am trying to find is the worlds best deal on 18” wheels so I can get a set of sticky tires. Hey anybody have a set for sale? Really Cheap? Shhh, don’t tell my wife…(damn Busted again!). I am thinking “R’s”. Yeah I know the risk, but I want that stick. I want not having to lift before Ricochet at Motor Sports Ranch, taking it flat out because I know the tires will stick. I want not having to stay off the throttle for 2-3 laps while the old street tires get rid of the layer of crud that has built up driving them on the street. I want instant stick (well after the proper warm up time), but I think you get the point.

So for those of you that are getting ready for track season please check or replace the following:

1. Brake pads (especially the fronts), check the depth and replace if necessary. Note, the Cayman R pads fit and are the same price as stock pads, but with a more aggressive compound.
2. Brake fluid – use Motul, ATE Superblue or Gold, or some other kind of DOT 4 rated racing fluid.
3. Oil Change, believe it or not our cars are like the easiest ever to change the oil. I use Amsoil 5W-40 but there are many other high quality synthetics.
4. Wheel alignment – I take my CS to a local DFW, TX independent garage that does a lot of track prep and have them do an “Aggressive Street” alignment with more negative camber (and other secret things they do with the alignment because just dialing in negative camber is not enough).
5. Check the underside of the car? Anything loose? Better get it looked at or if you have some mechanical skills, make sure it is tight.
6. Wiggle the wheels, any play? It may be time to have the wheel bearings replaced.
7. At the track, make sure the wheels are properly torqued. I torque to 95 ft lbs.
8. Tire pressure, talk to the track guru’s and see what is right for the ambient temp and track condition. Note, I use a grease pencil and write the air pressure on the fender lip at the beginning and at the end of each session while the tires are still hot. Then I can review and make adjustments as I go through the day.
9. Did I miss something? Please comment and tell us what you do, let’s get all the preseason ideas out there so we have a good database of best practices.

Hope to see you all out at the track this year. And I hope that by the time I start taking hot laps, the new Accusump is installed and SOMEHOW I have managed to get the worlds most smoking deals on wheels and tires. Hey a guy has gotta dream right?

And on that exhaust note, see you all next time.
 

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Doing everything you mentioned and then some. My first track time in this car will be on NT01s and I'm trying to have the engine and suspension set for instructor level driving (been one for 20 yrs). Far too much spent on basic reliability -don't tell my wife;)

18 wheels seem to be around $800 a set for stock in excellent condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I missed out on a set of OZ Ultraleggera and Nitto NT'01's for $750. For the whole set. Bummer...
 

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I torque mine to 96ft/lbs but 95 or 96 either will probably do. One thing that I think is often overlooked is the CV boot covers on the rear axles. If the rubber splits those throw out a lot of grease and make a real mess plus the joints can go out which you don't want to have happen on the track, so check those as well.

Happy Driving!
 

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I believe someone posted an update to the wheel torquing spec. Porsche revised it and its now up over 96 lbs, more like in 3 digits.
 

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It's not rocket science, just basic attention to brakes, fluid levels, and mechanical soundness. Not really sure what "special alignment specs" you're talking about, since there is literally nothing beyond caster, camber and toe.
 

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Great post Rob!

While I'm not close to being ready for this year's track season (I'm still in Afghanistan), I'm already going through my head what I need to do and signing up for DE events on Clubregistration.net, so that's the first thing I suggest people do.

Get a schedule, set a schedule and then base everything off of that. I've only signed up for one event so far, Memphis beginning of June, but I know when I get back from Afghanistan, I've got a lot to get accomplished before I'm ready. Motorsports Ranch is on my list for this year, maybe I'll run into you there, you can be my instructor!

Anyways, other things I do to prep, not only include the car.

I'll make sure my helmet is up to specs. It's been sitting in the helmet bag in the garage all winter, a check to see it's still up to date, it's clean and ready to go. Same with gloves, shoes and the long-sleeve shirts I wear. Holes and tears in them? I'll relegate them to garage wear. I haven't progressed far enough for a track suit yet, I could get by in my flight suit if need be.

My track "box" also has to be gone through. Tools, portable air compressor, fluids, wipes (including windshield wipes, I don't keep windshield washer fluid in the car), rubber gloves, etc. I'll go through what I need and don't need. I have been driving my car to events, unloading everything and then repacking, so the need to travel light has always been there. I now have a tow vehicle (the wife doesn't know it yet, but her Cayenne will be drafted for this duty!), so space won't be as big a factor in the future, but the thought is still there.

The other important thing to get ready, maybe more important than getting my car ready, is getting myself ready. I'll reread all my notes from last year's DEs, all my driving books, from Vic Elford's books to Ross Bentley's books and since I have time on my hands, I'll scour P9 and the Register for good track information.

Working out over the winter can't be overlooked, the last thing I want to do is tire out during a DE, especially on a Sunday afternoon in Memphis where the temps will reach over 100 (I know Hallet, Motorsports Ranch and Barber will be just as hot!), so being in the best shape I can be in will only help.

It sounds corny, but being a track rat is almost a lifestyle, I might as well prepare and dive right back in this summer!
 
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