DW Burnett / PUPPYKNUCKLES
If you have a fun car, we highly recommend taking it to the track. Whether it’s one of the SCCA’s Track Nights in America or an open lapping day put together by a local organization, there are plenty of ways to see how your car performs in a closed-course environment. It’s always a great experience.
Of course, you’ll need to come prepared. Showing up to a track day without these essential items could leave you uncomfortable on track, make the day a miserable experience, or even get you turned away from the event. Here’s what you should bring to any track day if you want to have a good time.
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Pretty much every officially sanctioned performance driving event will require you to have a Snell-rated crash helmet. So if you’re planning on attending a track day, you’ll have to get one.
Bell makes a wide range of motorsport helmets, and even its most affordable models—like the V.15 BRUS unit shown here—look great and fit comfortably.
If you’re using a helmet, we recommend also putting on a headsock, also known as a balaclava. It prevents your sweat from soaking into your helmet’s padding, so you don’t have to clean it as often.
If you plan to do any real racing, find a headsock made from Nomex that’s been SFI or FIA certified, like this one from Luxe Performance.
You might not think you need driving gloves for a track day, but grip the wheel hard enough and long enough, and the blisters on your fingers will say differently.
This pair from Sabelt is FIA approved and looks great.
Tire Pressure Gauge
As track temperatures increase throughout the day, the air inside your tires will expand and contract. Unless your car has an onboard monitoring system that reads pressures for each tire, you’re going to want to have a pressure gauge on hand to make sure your tires are inflated properly.
If you find you need to put more air in your tires, most tracks usually have an on-site compressor you can use for free. But if yours doesn’t, we recommend bringing one of your own along.
This Energizer unit gets its power from a 12V car socket and has a digital pressure readout.
Pushing your car to the limit means lots of stress on its mechanical components. If something breaks, be prepared to fix it with a tool set like this one from Gearwrench. It could mean the difference between getting home and having to call a tow truck.
Most track day events have several different run groups, and if your group isn’t on the course, you’ll likely have some downtime in between sessions. There aren’t many places to relax in race paddocks, so bringing a folding chair of your own is highly recommended.
This Portal-built chair even has a fold-out table with a cup holder for snacks and drinks.
Unless you dropped the extra cash to rent a garage space for your track event, you’re likely going to be spending the entire day outside in the sun. Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin, so don’t skip out.
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If you want to take things a step further, you can bring a pop-up canopy. These provide enough shady space that you can even park your car under it between sessions, stopping the cabin from heating up in the sun.
Being outside all day means you’ll need a way to stay hydrated. Instead of wasting plastic, we suggest filling up a reusable water bottle before you head out for the day.
Many tracks have on-site vending, so if you forget, it’s not the end of the world. But it will be expensive, so don’t forget.
Portable Battery Charger
Power outlets are notoriously hard to come by at racetracks, so to keep your devices powered up throughout the day, bring along a portable battery charger.
This Anker Power Bank can charge a new iPhone XS 2.6 times over before needing to be re-juiced, and it’s reasonably priced.
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