Before I moved to south Florida I was SOLO chair for the NeOhio SCCA region. I had a bunch of plans to improve member participation, and one of the things I wanted to do was expand the knowledge of our members. I left some great friends behind that are continuing the work I started, and one of them asked me for some ideas on topics to share. Having just come back from Sebring, I have some thoughts that will make for a good first post.
Whether you’re doing autox or track days, you always want to be comfortable. While everybody has personal preferences for pants and shirts, your shoes play a more important role. You’ll be doing a lot of walking so they need to be comfy, and you need to have a good feel for the pedals. While there are plenty of driving shoes out there, like Piloti, I’ve found that the best non-driving driving shoes are chucks.
Yup. Chucks are very comfortable, light and flexible which is their most important quality. In order to do a good heal & toe you need to have good shoes, they improve the feel of the brake pedal and allow for the flexibility required to blip the throttle under braking. No need to spend a lot of money on name brands, chucks will do a better job for considerably less.
As far as making your life easy, the best way to carry around all your gear regardless of what it is is plastic totes. Tools, spare parts, electronics, whatever you take to an event totes are the best way to haul your stuff. Why? They’re easy to store and they keep your belongings dry. All autox and track day events are rain or shine (barring lightning), so you need to be prepared.
I found out last minute before my Sebring event that it was going to rain, so I bought an extra tote on my way there. Rain was pretty intense, but all my stuff was dry.
Another thing you’ll need is a change of clothes: pants, shirt, windbreaker or sweater, socks and shoes. I keep a set of this in a tote at all times. Rain is a pain in the ass, but it is also a great learning opportunity. Don’t be a fair weather driver, embrace the rain, and keep yourself comfortable afterwards with your spare set of clothes.
I also keep a small umbrella, which I used over the weekend but an alternative is waterproof clothing from Coleman. While it doesn’t breathe and will be hot, it will definitively keep you dry.