10 Lessons from Rookie Year Racing

Lessons Learned racing the CRX

We had a great first year racing jumping from GT6 to GT5 with minor setup changes and had a share of experiences. Here are our top 10 lessons from last year.

  1. Put a team together. Get a partner. Doing it alone is tough and time consuming as the car requires constant maintenance.
  2. Brakes: Have spare pads and check them after each race. Here is a memory of that day on Facebook:

    When we didn’t properly check the brake pad wear before the race
  3. Bearings: Have a spare or two of the full hub assembly for quickly changing at the track when the time comes. Some might argue to just have good OEM bearings on in the first place, but they can still fail in the middle of the day, and it’s not worth it have to call it quits over something this simple. We use a combination of OEM, MOOG and SKF bearings in the CRX. Cheap ones don’t last at the track.
  4. Spare Axles. We saw other people’s break all the time. We were lucky though.
  5. Suspension setup. Big rear sway bar on FWD; big front sway bar on RWD.
  6. The faster you go with suspension and horsepower changes, the more tires and brakes will cost. We used one set of Nitto NT01s in five race days last year. That’s pretty good. This year, with only having a bigger sway bar, we are two days in and almost through a set. We can probably stretch it another race day, but it will be tough.
  7. Ride height adjustment and camber changes affect one another, duh.
  8. Build contingency into your budget. Our racecar and trailer were cheap, our truck was cheap and our race gear was cheap. There was also tires which lasted us most of the season. However, don’t forget the endless amount of supplies you’ll need, such as rivets, oil, zip ties, grease and nuts and bolts. Also truck and trailer registration and insurance. It all adds up. Our actual cost, including everything the first year, was about $16K (CAD), which is pretty damn good; though we only budgeted $12K, putting us $4K over.
  9. Ask faster guys about their setup, read forums and blogs about setup, watch videos, race on the simulator, be a passenger with someone faster than you at a lapping day or a race school.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and pay it forward. Huge thanks to Brad Wadden and Doug Bland at CARS Automotive for helping us with shop stuff and keeping the car safe. Also the Browns of the Caldera #18 CRX, Team Rustbucket Racing, Brian Partridge, James Whitman, Gordon Sleigh, Peter Easson, Oregan’s Hyundai, Content Bloom and Nick’s wife Elena.

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