Additional Information, Checklists and Recommendations

Please review the information in the following paragraphs at your earliest convenience. It will assist you in getting ready for the event. Should you have any further questions, please contact info@trilliumbmwclub.ca

Pre-requisites
Please review the Prerequisites and Conditions again to ensure you fulfill all mandatory requirements.  Please note, they are mandatory, as without them you will not enjoy any time on the track. Thank you for checking again!

An Extra Reminder about the Technical Inspection Form
A technical inspection of your car is mandatory. Your car must be inspected by a licensed mechanic according to the guidelines on the Club’s technical inspection form. The form must be completed and signed by the licensed mechanic. You must submit the completed signed form completed at registration. We will not re-inspect your car. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR CAR’S SAFETY. No proper form means no track time with no exceptions.

Important Basics:

It is vital to start preparing for a track event well in advance. Here is a good starter list:

  • Check all the prerequisites listed above
  • Register early for the school. Our events tend to sell out weeks in advance.
  • The night before the event be sure to empty your car of all loose items including child seats, floor mats, glove box contents, trunk contents and door pocket contents.
  • Glass cleaner for the windshield
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Some basic tools, if available
  • Torque wrench, if available
  • A good tire pressure gauge
  • An extra liter or two of oil (specific to your car)
  • An extra gas can or two - gas MAY BE available at the track but only at premium prices and for limited hours
  • A writing pad and pen
  • Your personal and car documents (license, insurance, wallet etc)
  • Cash for food and drink at the track
  • A water-proof container with lid in which to stow all the above (Rubber Maid or Igloo types work very well)
  • A case of bottled water to keep hydrated
  • Some light snacks to keep your energy up
  • Sun screen
  • Phone
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Sun glasses (lighter ones work better for driving – yellow are best)
  • Extra clothing according to the forecast (note spring and fall mornings/evenings might be cold)
  • Some folks stay at local hotels/motels to save themselves a long commute – a good option if your budget can afford it (please see www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com for recommendations around Bowmanville)
  • Your family and friends are welcome as spectators. Ditto your pet (on a leash of course).

Before You Leave for the Track
Review the prerequisites again. Plan out your driving route to the track. Check you have all the necessary items packed and the car ready to go the night before. Get a good night’s sleep and stay hydrated. Ensure you arrive on time (630am) Get ready for some serious fun!

Adjust Tire Pressure
Before you leave for the track, make sure that you check your cold tire pressures. For your first time out, you should have cold tire pressures of 3 psi over the manufacturer recommended pressure. It's also a good idea to remove any hubcaps or wheel covers, and torque your wheel nuts to OEM standards.

Fill Up Your Car Tank
On your way to the track, you will want fill up your fuel tank (and perhaps an extra gas can or two) at the last gas station you find before the track (there are Petro Canada with up to 94 octane fuel and Shell stations at Waverley and 401 – about 30mins before you get to CTMP if you take 401). Fuel is usually available on-site, but it is sold at premium.

Recommendations

Age of your tires: Tires play one of the most important roles with respect to providing traction and overall safety. Check the manufacture date of your tires. It can be found on a sidewall. Find the letters "DOT" and see the last 4 numeric digits that follow this designation. They represent a week and year of the tire's production. For example, "2712" means the tire was manufactured in the 27th week of 2012. Note that most tire manufacturers do not recommend driving on tires older than 6 years, no matter the condition of the tread. This is because all rubber compounds undergo changes over time - they may harden and crack, even if not used at all.

Special Tires
Regular street tires are an excellent choice for learning high performance driving, as they are progressive at the limit of traction. Strictly FYI, there are many track specific tires, such as street legal racing compound tires (or "R-comps" for short), but these are usually reserved for competition use, and could be much more difficult to learn on and most are unsuitable for wet pavement. The ultimate track tire is a "slick", which is not street legal. Race cars use them for competitions. They are very sticky, but wear out fast due to soft rubber compounds and are usually much more difficult to drive on, requiring an expert level of driver proficiency. Bottom line: stick to your street tires, ensuring they are in good condition and of proper age.

Brake fluid
Your manufacturer's recommended brake fluid will do just fine for a driving school. But if you've never changed it, it is a good idea to do so before attending a school. Old, possibly contaminated brake fluid may boil and as a consequence braking may become difficult, or in severe cases - impossible. Even a simpler procedure of "bleeding your brakes" by a qualified and licensed mechanic should eliminate this possibility. It is recommended that you use a brake fluid according to your car's specific manufacturer recommendations. FYI: There are many "high temp" brake fluids on the market and these provide extra operating range while on track at competitive events, or for other "heavy duty" use, but they are not required for schools.

Engine oil
Your car's engine will work harder at a driving school. It is therefore a good idea to have relatively fresh engine oil, according to your car manufacturer's recommended brand and type.

Other fluids
It is always a good idea to follow manufacturer's recommendations regarding replacing your car's fluids within proper time intervals. If you haven't yet, check your owner's manual, for all other fluids, such as transmission, differential, etc. Replace them as necessary.

Brake pads
Your stock brake pads will do just fine. Just ensure there is at least 50% of pad material left (your licensed mechanic will check it per the Tech Form). There are pads that offer a greater level of stopping power at track speeds and temperatures, but these usually wear out much faster, can be very noisy and produce much "dust". Also note, these may also not provide the same stopping ability during regular street driving, due to lower temperatures there. So stick with pads as recommended in your owner's manual.

Don’t Forget About Yourself!
High performance driving is very taxing both physically and mentally. Make sure you grab some breakfast before you arrive, so you don’t “bonk” before lunch. There is Tim Hortons and other choices at the same intersection, as fuel mentioned above.

 

Once You Arrive

1. Register
When you arrive at the track, the first thing you'll need to do is park your car at the gate parking lot and register in the office next to the entry gates. Then proceed to the paddock, which is the parking area proper for the event. Watch for the signs to get there, or ask for directions. You will need to submit your completed tech inspection form and a signed waiver, sign at least one other waiver, and pick up a participant's package. This package will contain a schedule for the weekend, the instructor/student list, your car numbers, a wristband (or similar wearable identifier, that shows that you have signed all the necessary waivers and are therefore allowed on the track) and a meal/drink ticket for Saturday's dinner. Additional tickets may be purchased for spouses/children/friends however this must be done before 1 pm in order to ensure enough food is prepared.

At this point put on the wristband, sprint back to your car and get it ready before the mandatory Drivers Meeting at 7:45 am. Should you have any questions, or doubts at any time, or require any assistance, please ask the Club members manning the registration area – they will be delighted to help you out.

2. Empty Your Car
Before you leave home, and again right after you register at the track, remove all loose items from your car. This includes all floor mats, jack, spare tire, glove compartment contents, door pocket contents, trunk items and wheel cover/hub caps (if applicable).

3. Apply Your Student Number to the Windshield
After emptying the car, you should clean the windows and place the numbers you've been given on the car. The numbers are to be placed on the outside of the windshield and rear window, top and centered. Make sure that you match the numbers on the outside of your participant's package: the order of the digits and the placement for numbers such as 6 and 9 is important.

4. Safety Meeting – Mandatory:
At this meeting, the chief instructor will make introductory comments, go over the safety protocols (such as passing rules and safety flags) and introduce the people with whom you are likely to have contact throughout the event. This is a mandatory meeting so make sure to come to the classroom before 7:45 am.

During the Event

In The Classroom
During the classroom sessions, the techniques of advanced driving will be discussed, both in theory and practical points of view, in terms of how they are applied on the track at which the event is taking place. Questions are always welcomed and highly encouraged.

Classroom attendance is mandatory. As the school progresses, the classroom sessions will get more specific and interactive, including educational videos, etc.

On The Skid Pad
The skid pad exercises take place in a closed and controlled area of CTMP. The skid pad instructors will discuss what you should learn before each session and will be watching you in order to give you some feedback when you finish your run.

The skid pad is the place to practice coping with exceeding the limits of traction. Because the turns are tight, you won't have to go very fast to exceed those limits, although you will need to react very quickly to avoid going off course. But don’t worry, this is a perfect place to “push the limits” in a safe, controlled environment.

On The Track
Your first session will be essentially a familiarization run, done at a relatively slow speed, with no helmets. Before heading out on the track, your instructor will ask you questions about your driving background and your car, as well as go over some of the vocabulary he or she will be using during on track sessions.

The instructor will drive your car for the first three laps, naming the turns and showing you where your car should be placed on the track (“the line.”) This allows you to become familiar with the layout of the track before getting behind the wheel yourself. Your instructor will then return to pit lane where you will take the driver's seat. The rest of the session continues to be at slow speeds, without helmets to allow you more time to learn the course.

In subsequent track sessions you and your instructor will wear helmets and gradually - as you and your instructor become more comfortable - the pace will increase.

It is recommended that you ride as a passenger when your instructor is on track during their own session. Should your instructor not participate in these sessions, please come to registration and request a drive with another instructor.

Between Track Sessions
When the car has had a chance to cool down, check engine oil level and tighten wheel lug nuts with a proper torque wrench. Note these procedures should be done only after a proper cool down period and NEVER when the engine and wheels are still hot. If you don't have a torque wrench, please ask your Instructor for assistance, or ask any Trillium volunteer for help. Also note: NEVER set your e-brake on after a track session, as it may warp your rear rotors due to the high temperatures.

Please note: It is imperative that you listen to your instructor at all times. He or she has been extensively trained and has been chosen by the Trillium Club as an instructor. They will not hesitate to bring you in to the pits if they feel you are not listening to their directions and/or are doing something that endangers lives.

Anytime
Should you run into any issues, have questions, or require any assistance at all – please inform your instructor or see one of the club organizers in the registration building. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Passengers
Guests and passengers must sign a waiver at registration, and receive a wrist band. Passengers may ride ONLY with instructors.

After the Event
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to rate the event and your instructor. We thank you in advance for giving us this important feedback. Take care on your drive home and we hope to see you back soon.

Thank you for participating at our Advanced Driving School!