So you have an 86 or a BRZ, and you have heard about these Track Days, Sprint Khanas, Tuning Sessions, Autocross – Whats it all about? How can you get involved?
Timed / Competition Events:
- McRae Rally Sprint – An open field Tarmac Rally race, hosted by Targa West at Perth Motorplex. This is a start to finish event, not driving in laps.
- Infinite Time Attack Barbagallo – An open field timed session at Wanneroo Raceway on the full, professional race circuit used by multiple national and international race series.
- Sprint Khana / Auto Khana / Autocross – A timed event where instead of raw speed and lap times, drivers are tested on how well they have complex control over their vehicles by completing sharp turns and following a pre-set course through a car park of cones.
Do I need any special licences?
Almost all events require a Motorsport Australia (previously known as CAMS) Speed licence. Some specific events may allow an AASA (Australian AutoSport Alliance) licence in lieu of a Motorsport Australia License.
Do I need a race suit or any other equipment? Where can I buy it?
Most events only require a Helmet, and coverage from Neck, to Hands, to Feet, in a non flammable material such as cotton. If you are entering into a timed event, often which requires a motorsport licence, then there will be certain safety requirements. The general safe things to have includes:
- A Helmet that meets ASNZ1698 Standards – This is a sticker found in or on the helmet.
- The helmet should not have chips dents or large scratches.
- The helmet should not have any fraying in the strap.
- 1KG of Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers. These must be mounted securely in the cabin. A common approach is to use the seat rails with an adapter bracket.
- SuperCheap Auto and Bunnings sell Extinguishers. However, EverSafe Fire Protection sell much better quality ones for about $35 each.
- 86/BRZ specific mounting brackets are available. They are about $50 each.
- A Medical Kit. Bunnings sell a great St Johns Ambulance approved kit.
- A set of Motorsport Australia Approved Stickers (Blue Battery Triangle and Red Tow Triangle). Can be purchased from Captiv8 Customs, Go Gear, or on eBay.
Is there any other funny things I need? Dont you need a Roll Cage or Race Tires?
The answer here is really ‘it depends’. Every event has a set of documentation called the “Supplemental Regulations” or “Supp Regs”. It is up to you to ensure you read all the requirements for entry in those documents for each event you wish to participate in.
Isn’t Motorsport expensive?
It doesnt have to be! The GT86 and BRZ are perfect cars for this usage as you can drive to the track, have a play with it, and drive home again. Proper race cars cost money, and you need a tow vehicle and trailer, and all the extras that go with it.
In terms of entry fees, the following are some examples of current fees as of March 2016:
- Jacks Hill ~ $100
- Collie ~ $150
- Barbagallo ~ $150
- RallySprint ~ $200
How about the hidden costs in licencing and extra car consumables like brakes?
The cost isnt as high as you may expect. It often comes down to how hard you want to push the car. For example, my track usage is frequent and hard, and my OEM Brake Rotors lasted 40,000kms. My brake fluid was only changed as required by Toyota Servicing (once in 50,000kms). I was still using my original set of Bridgestone RE003 Tyres (Which I picked up 30,000km ago for $750).
As a quick guide, some potential ‘bang for buck’ upgrade parts that you can get from local auto shops:
- High Temperature brake fluid (Such as Penrite) ~ $20
- DBA T2 Slotted Front Brake Rotors ~ $100 each
- Fully Synthetic Engine Oil (Penrite OW20 Racing) ~ $70 for 5 Liters.
Do I need to service my car after every track day?
No. Just as per normal usage, take the car to a mechanic if you think it is playing up or sounds strange. Me personally, I do change my oil every 7,500kms instead of every 15,000kms – other than that I follow what the Toyota book says to do.
Is there anything I ‘should do’ to the car if I intend to go to the track?
If you are going once or twice a year just to ‘get it out of your system’ or to have a go at it, then no. If you are going to regularly attend and push the car a bit harder, then the following are ‘nice to do’:
- Run good quality engine oil.
- Replace the Air Filter with something better like a K+N Panel Filter
- Replace the gearbox fluid with something from Redline or Motul to help with gear shifting.
- Replace the rear differential fluid with Motul Gear 300.
- Replace the Brake Fluid with some High Temperature fluids such as Penrite or Motul.
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Always consult your mechanic and do your own research before buying parts or consumables to ensure they are the right fit for your car. Any recommendations made here are purely examples based on one persons own opinion.