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ReFUEL Race

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Nariko, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Nariko

    Nariko New Member

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    Hey All,

    I am attending the ReFuel Race Day in two weeks at Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway. This is my first time taking my car to a track, Tesla or otherwise, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice for a first timer. I will be taking my 1.5 Sterling Silver Tesla Roadster #404 that I bought about a year ago. Also, if anyone has advice or information about insurance, that would be great. That seems to be the thing that I have the least handle on logistically. Super excited, though! Thanks for any info, no matter how small.

    Megan
     
  2. Habious

    Habious Member

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    Go that way...really fast.

    If something gets in your way...turn.

    (We'll see if anyone gets this reference)
     
  3. Nariko

    Nariko New Member

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    I'm racing, not skiing :p
     
  4. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    I recently took my 1.5 to a Starting Line racing class and autocross event over 2 days in Colorado. Our events may be run differently.

    If you have the adjustable suspension: Before I went, I adjusted the suspension to 7 front / 8 rear and the swaybar to the outter holes in front, center holes in the rear. This worked much better than when I was messing around in a parking lot at 5/6, center/center. Much less understeer. I drove up on Rhino Ramps to do this.

    I cleaned out the rear blower before I went. There's a thread on that. It's actually pretty easy.

    I took everything out of my car too early and had to re-load, drive, unload. I'd ask someone where/when they will do your tech inspection. You may be able to keep most of it in your car until you get to the paddock.

    I range charged before the class, drove 30 miles to the track, and had plenty of power for the day and the drive home. I didn't even need to range charge for the actual race day since I only got 4 laps of around 50s each.

    Make sure you turn traction control off, or you'll be asking the car for power coming out of the turns and she'll be "nope... not gonna happen."

    Lots of sunscreen.

    I asked State Farm about insurance for the day, and they had nothing. I was just doing cones, so I wasn't too concerned.

    It's a BLAST!
     
  5. Nariko

    Nariko New Member

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    I don't have adjustable, the stiff ride doesn't bother me, so it's an upgrade that didn't seem worth it to me.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this...? I actually just had my annual service done, so I took the form in for them to do the tech inspection, so that's taken care of. If I just had my service is it worth it to clear the blower again so soon?
    Good to know! There's campgrounds with 240 RV charging there, so I'm driving down the night before, camping/charging for the night so I'm ready go to bright and early the next day.
    I have not turned my traction control off except that one time I did doughnuts in a parking lot... so that makes me a bit nervous. I do drive my car for fun up the mountain roads in the area, but that's the most "track" experience I have. Any suggestions on how I can prep for this?
    I'm mega excited!! Thanks for the info!
     
  6. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    Nope, you should be good. I had my service done a few months before I went and there was nothing much to speak of in there to clean out. But I can see how 8 or 9 months could affect it.

    I was nervous, too, so I left it on for about 1/2 of my driving class. Once we started really going at it, I could feel how much it was limiting the power. After I turned it off, my times dropped fast. I never felt like I was going to lose control. Maybe I need to push it harder next time! :) I'm amazed at what these cars can do.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Not sure if you understand what is meant by track "tech inspection". They will verify some safety things - like to make sure you have a proper helmet (which you can probably rent at the track if you don't have your own), to make sure the wheels seem properly inflated and that the logo caps on your car have been removed. (You don't want Tesla logos to fly off in a corner and cause another car to run over them.
    In more advanced racing they would check for race belts, roll cages, fire extinguishers and such, but those aren't required at Refuel.
    Also, they will likely give you a transponder that you zip-tie to the front bumper so that they can automatically record your lap times.
    They will likely also provide number stickers that you put on your doors.
     
  8. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    What I heard from someone who wanted to stay in the campground for the first year of REFUEL was that only 120V 30A outlets were available, no 240V 50A outlets (NEMA 14-50). You should double-check that.

    Your nervousness is warranted. I ran my 1.5 in the first four years of REFUEL. I have not run the past couple of years since the warranty is now expired and I was concerned about stress on the battery. For the first three years, I left traction control on, and was just careful to modulate the accelerator coming out of the turns so that the traction control would not kick in. In the last year I did try turning off traction control for the time trial and spun out. So, I would suggest that you at least begin with TC left on.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    #9 Doug_G, Jun 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    It's really more about the driver than the car. Last year we had TMC Connect in association with ReFuel. I gave a talk at the event with the basics of driving your car on the track. I would strongly recommend watching the vid (or something similar):


    Take Your Tesla to the Track - YouTube
     
  10. tvuolo

    tvuolo Member

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    At our tech inspection, they had one guy inside the car (the clean guy), and one guy outside the car (dirty guy).
    Some of the things at our tech inspection:
    * pulled on the wheels
    * checked the lug nuts
    * made sure the accelerator spring worked
    * made sure the brake pedal worked
    * made sure everything loose in the car was removed, including floor mats
    * made sure the tow hook was installed (although they missed mine, but didn't make me change is since they figured they could push me off the track if necessary)
    * checked helmet.
    * several more things I'm forgetting.

    With the gas cars, they had a huge checklist. They got to skip quite a bit with my car. :) Once done, you got a sticker on your windshield saying you passed.
     
  11. Zextraterrestrial

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    I would also recommend leaving TC on if you don't play with it off very often.

    also, there were numerous 14-50's in the paddock (+ superchargers last year)

    oh, and have Fun! It was a blast.
     
  12. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    That link doesn't work.
     
  13. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    I think you had to be at last year's TMC Connect to be able to view the videos.
     
  14. simonog

    simonog Member

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    Key points for track use:

    1. Empty all personal items from the car and anything loose. It will NOt stay put
    2. Put a few more psi in each tyre to avoid the tyres coming off the rims under cornering or rotating on the rim under braking
    3. I would turn off TC if you use the accelerator progressively (ie feed power gently). If you use it as a binary switch, then do not turn it off. Remember to turn back on for road use!
    4. If it's wet, imagine a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator or brake. That forces progressive usage!
    5. Also if it's wet, soften the suspension if it is adjustable.

    the most important thing is to HAVE FUN. The only measure of success is a smile :)
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Also, they don't allow passengers (or driver!) to be holding a camera (or camera phone) in the car while racing. (Don't want it flying around and hitting someone.)
    Most of the track videos you see are with go-pro type devices that were attached to the vehicle, not from someone holding them.
     
  16. Mark77a

    Mark77a Member

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    ahhh ... any chance of a few exceptions Doug ? P l e a s e :rolleyes:
     
  17. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    Here are some things you'll want for the track -

    1. Helmet - motorcycle helmet is ok but open face is better for visibility
    2. Clothes - no synthetics in case of fire, that includes running shoes
    3. Floormat - make sure you don't have an additional floormat that could get stuck on your accelerator/brake pedel
    4. Junk in car - remove your charger, etc from the trunk and any other loose items
    5. Tire pressure gauge - adjust your tire pressure for the track - TurnFast! Race Driving Techniques for Heel Toe Downshift, Driving Line, Cornering, Braking, and More Tire Pressure 1
    6. Better brake pads - Carbotech Brake compound thoughts
    7. HPDE insurance - HPDE Insurance | Lockton Motorsports, if your car gets damaged most normal insurance companies won't cover you
    8. Add/Change fluids - brake/coolant/windshield wipers
    9. Virtual practice - get to know the track by playing a computer simulation (Need for Speed, etc.)
    10. Chair/sun umbrella/water etc - your track session will only last a few minutes and most of the time you'll be sitting in the sun/shade/whatever
    bring something to keep cool and hydrated

    Basically since this is your first time on the track, don't worry about your time and take things slow. Mazda raceway is not a good track for beginners and you'll
    likely hit a wall/barrier if you're trying for a "record" time. Leave your traction control on, go slow to learn the corners/racing line and just have fun!
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    ( He is aware, and this is being discussed. )

    - - - Updated - - -

    Although this is generally a good idea, I don't think they enforce that.
    The level of competition in refuel isn't like the pro races where crashes are more likely.
    Also, I think the sense is that EVs are less likely to have a fire where clothing flammability would be a concern.
     
  19. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  20. Zextraterrestrial

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    these are very good ideas! I borrowed a playstation 3 and it helped quite a bit to learn the track corners.
    also it was really hot and sunny last year -shade is important
    and tire psi go less, not more for racing purposes. (as the #5. link says)
     

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