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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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another track day thread!

I just did my second track day and am now an avowed track day addict! NOTHING is more satisfying than having a Corvette or Mustang flagged to let me pass them or hovering on the back of another high performance sports car until they wave me by!

So, now I want to get faster. My first weekend was in my totally stock 06 3 hatchback. Before this last weekend I replaced a broken passenger side motor mount, installed Sure Torq R3 rear mount, and installed Akebono brake pads. I tore up what was left of the sidewall on my all season street tires (but did drop 10 secs off my lap times). I just purchased a set of FD wheels and researching tires.

What else is a 'must do?' This is my daily driver and has to be fairly tame. I thought roll bars but am a bit confused that most of the offerings for the 3 are rear bars not front. I've got about 3 weeks before my next track day and determined to shave another 10 secs off my time.

I am the Stig... Corksport SRI, Sure Torq R3, Sure BSD, JBR short shift plate, Eibach Pros, Koni yellows, Hotchkiss rear sway, EBC Yellow Stuff, Hankook Ventus RS-3 (track)
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 01:11 PM
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Re: another track day thread!

For what it's worth, here are my thoughts. This is a long reply, but I hope you find it useful. I'll start by saying I too got addicted to track days. Like you, I also started bone stock. I believe you don't have the Speed3, so be VERY careful shifting from 2nd to 3rd when approaching redline - this car does not have a double cone synchro for that shift, only single cone - I blew the 2nd to 3rd synchro, had it replaced, and am now much more gingerly about that shift point.

It's great chasing down the big horse power cars in the turns - but don't get too used to it, they blow you away in the straights. What's REALLY frustrating is tailing them in the turns just to have them stomp on the gas in the straights when they should have let you get by BEFORE the turns. But that's what it's like when you have a track day with mixed horse power cars all running at the same time.

I'm no pro, but I have done multiple track days at 3 different tracks around the country, and I have seen enough wrecks and cars go off track to know this - we are taking our chances doing track day events without the proper saftety equipment installed. If I can give you two pieces of advice: 1) Drive at YOUR limits, NOT the cars - you need to work on YOUR abilities first. This is no place to discover the car's limits - do that in the parking lot or at autocross. I've spun at one track due to lifting off at speed, and at another I took two tires off track only to snap oversteer into a spin when I got all 4 tires back on track - I was VERY lucky to not have wrecked; 2) upgrade for saftey before performance.

2007 Mazda3 2.0L 5-Speed Black Sedan; Injen CAI; Vibrant Header; Magnaflow Exhaust; SRS Pulleys; Mazda5 Tranny; Exedy Stage2 Clutch/Flywheel; Koni Sport Shocks; HR Sport Springs; SPC Adj Rear Camber Arms; TriPoint Racing RSB; Corksport Mid-Chassis and 4-Point Braces; Centric Rotors; Hawk Pads; Technafit SS Brake Lines; AWR PMM; TRZ RMM, TM; Visual Garage Shark Fin; Sparco/Sabelt Seats; Sparco Harness Bar; Schroth/Racequip Harnesses; Enkei RPF1 w/NittoNT01
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 01:28 PM
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Re: another track day thread!

continued......When I began track days, my very first upgrade was Centric Rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, and Goodridge G-Stop stainless steel brake lines (and a K&N air filter for more air flow) - I wanted the extra piece of mind of knowing that I had stronger stopping power when I needed it. I also put a set of Goodyear Eagle F1s on, and they were great at the track as well as every day driving (although very noisy, unfortunately they have since been discontinued).

I now know that I did all of my upgrades in the wrong order for a daily driver. First and foremost, a roll bar or roll cage + racing seats and 5-6 point harnesses are mandatory as far as I'm concerned. I'm currently in the process of researching AutoPower's Roll Cage or Race Roll Bar that I will install with racing seats and harnesses. I even posted on this forum about it today. To upgrade performance, I've installed Koni Sport Shocks (yellows), H&R Sport Springs, Tri-Point Engineering's Rear Sway Bar, and SPC's Adjustable Rear Camber Arms. The car's handling has been transformed from good to great. I've gained some power by adding an Injen Cold Air Intake and Magnaflow Performance Exhaust. As far as tires, my next move is to get track-day only wheels and r-compound tires. For a tire you can drive every day and to the track and back, the Dunlop Direzza Star Spec Z1 is probably the best tire for the money - but you will need a set of winter tiress.

Lastly, whenever you are at the track, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you ALWAYS get an instructor for at least 1-2 sessions. The knowledge you will gain is invaluable. I hope all of this helps - be safe and have fun!

2007 Mazda3 2.0L 5-Speed Black Sedan; Injen CAI; Vibrant Header; Magnaflow Exhaust; SRS Pulleys; Mazda5 Tranny; Exedy Stage2 Clutch/Flywheel; Koni Sport Shocks; HR Sport Springs; SPC Adj Rear Camber Arms; TriPoint Racing RSB; Corksport Mid-Chassis and 4-Point Braces; Centric Rotors; Hawk Pads; Technafit SS Brake Lines; AWR PMM; TRZ RMM, TM; Visual Garage Shark Fin; Sparco/Sabelt Seats; Sparco Harness Bar; Schroth/Racequip Harnesses; Enkei RPF1 w/NittoNT01
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 01:57 PM
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Re: another track day thread!

Forgot to add: 1) I always get the car inspected/checked out in between track days; 2) I made the switch to full synthetic oil when I started track days, which I change regularly and always after a track day (currently using Mobil1 Extended Life Full Synthetic + Mobil1 Filter); 3) be religious about checking your brake pad life, and run proper brake fluid - I use Ate Super Blue Racing Brake fluid that is designed with a higher boiling point to handle what consistent, hard braking from high speeds produces; 4) make sure your lugnuts are secure; 5) ALWAYS LOOK AHEAD, always be setting yourself up for the next turn; 6) PAY ATTENTION to the flag stations. There's more, but this is a start.....

2007 Mazda3 2.0L 5-Speed Black Sedan; Injen CAI; Vibrant Header; Magnaflow Exhaust; SRS Pulleys; Mazda5 Tranny; Exedy Stage2 Clutch/Flywheel; Koni Sport Shocks; HR Sport Springs; SPC Adj Rear Camber Arms; TriPoint Racing RSB; Corksport Mid-Chassis and 4-Point Braces; Centric Rotors; Hawk Pads; Technafit SS Brake Lines; AWR PMM; TRZ RMM, TM; Visual Garage Shark Fin; Sparco/Sabelt Seats; Sparco Harness Bar; Schroth/Racequip Harnesses; Enkei RPF1 w/NittoNT01
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: another track day thread!

Well Johnny, thanks for the thorough reply and I think you answered my question! That's good information about the synchro gears and I'm assuming you meant downshifting from 3rd to 2nd - I didn't think synchro gears did much shifting up.

I should have mentioned one important piece of information - I'm old (50+). Unlike you young bucks who still think you're invincible (how's that for judgemental) I have no desire to push beyond my limits. I've actually owned cars that didn't have synchro gears and required double-clutching. So, I hear your suggestions about safety and take them to heart.

My original question was what to do next, if anything, to my car. I have a set of track wheels and tires coming. From your reply and what I've read in this and other boards, suspension upgrades are the most common next mods. I'm going to hold off - from what I've read spending $1000+ on Koni's and lower springs doesn't net that much in the way of performance and I don't really care what my car looks like... well, mostly!

I am the Stig... Corksport SRI, Sure Torq R3, Sure BSD, JBR short shift plate, Eibach Pros, Koni yellows, Hotchkiss rear sway, EBC Yellow Stuff, Hankook Ventus RS-3 (track)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 07:49 PM
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Re: another track day thread!

Well then, you have wisdom and judgment, two things sorely lacking in today's society LOL

I'm no kid either, not that far off from you ;-), got started late in life, but now I'm hooked. The stock shocks and springs work just fine at the track. I did several track days with just the brake enhancements and tires. Having done my modifications a bit at a time and running track days in between each mod, IMHO I would say to do it in this order:

1) Safety equipment (I know, you may not do this)
2) Brake enhancements: at the very least, run street/track/autocross combo pads, bleed brakes and run racing brake fluid. Ideally, a new set of rotors plus stainless steel brake lines would be nice too.
3) Tires - r-compound are night and day against street tires, they alone add serious grip and handling - but those Dunlops are pretty darn good for a street tire ;-)
4) Suspension - I don't know why anyone thinks suspension doesn't make much of a difference on this car, but that is just plain false. Again, night and day between stock shocks/springs vs. the Koni Sport Shocks and H&R Sport Springs. Iwill retract what I said about handling going from good to great - more like good to amazing handling. I then added a beefed up rear sway bar and headed to the track again. The handling has been, in no uncertain terms, transformed to race car quality - mind you, I have the shocks set to fairly stiff for the track, so daily driving comfort is hugely compromised, but I love it. I literally felt like I had gotten a new car with the suspension upgrades.

If that's all you ever do, I think you will be set. And yes, the synchro was blown in upshifting. One more thing - have fun!

2007 Mazda3 2.0L 5-Speed Black Sedan; Injen CAI; Vibrant Header; Magnaflow Exhaust; SRS Pulleys; Mazda5 Tranny; Exedy Stage2 Clutch/Flywheel; Koni Sport Shocks; HR Sport Springs; SPC Adj Rear Camber Arms; TriPoint Racing RSB; Corksport Mid-Chassis and 4-Point Braces; Centric Rotors; Hawk Pads; Technafit SS Brake Lines; AWR PMM; TRZ RMM, TM; Visual Garage Shark Fin; Sparco/Sabelt Seats; Sparco Harness Bar; Schroth/Racequip Harnesses; Enkei RPF1 w/NittoNT01
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: another track day thread!

Well, I'll eventually have to do these upgrades just so I can have a list of mods as my signature. Between wheels and tires just ordered I think that's it for this year. Saving the rest for track days!

I am the Stig... Corksport SRI, Sure Torq R3, Sure BSD, JBR short shift plate, Eibach Pros, Koni yellows, Hotchkiss rear sway, EBC Yellow Stuff, Hankook Ventus RS-3 (track)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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Re: another track day thread!

Gotta have that signature LOL. I don't blame you for saving the money for the track - I was in for a rude awakening as to the cost of track days in the Northeast. I was spoiled with $70 at Heartland Park Raceway!

2007 Mazda3 2.0L 5-Speed Black Sedan; Injen CAI; Vibrant Header; Magnaflow Exhaust; SRS Pulleys; Mazda5 Tranny; Exedy Stage2 Clutch/Flywheel; Koni Sport Shocks; HR Sport Springs; SPC Adj Rear Camber Arms; TriPoint Racing RSB; Corksport Mid-Chassis and 4-Point Braces; Centric Rotors; Hawk Pads; Technafit SS Brake Lines; AWR PMM; TRZ RMM, TM; Visual Garage Shark Fin; Sparco/Sabelt Seats; Sparco Harness Bar; Schroth/Racequip Harnesses; Enkei RPF1 w/NittoNT01
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