So you’ve booked your first track day, fantastic! It’s time to start preparing with our Clio Track Day Guide.
Clios are famously fantastic track day weapons, with nippy engines, great handling and enough power to put a smile on your face! So make sure your day runs smoothly with some pre-flight checks and things to expect on the day with our ultimate Clio Track Day Guide.
Before you go
Piss poor preparation promotes poor performance– My dad
To get the most our of your track day experience, it’s worth getting things sorted ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than arriving on track and realising you don’t have your Towing Eye, helmet or a spare pair of pants.
Track Day Checklist – The Car:
Obviously the car is the most important part of any track day experience. Thankfully, common sense will go a long way here and all of the key points to check are fairly obvious.
Check tyres, brakes, pads and other perishables to ensure they have enough meat on them to handle the abuse of the track. Don’t forget also that you’ll need to drive the car to the track and home from the track once you’re finished so if in doubt, replace the part.
Ensure your fluids are well within recommended ranges and you’re using the best you can afford for each. Additionally, if you’re planning to do long stints in your Clio or you’ll be racing, ensure you use performance/thermally suited brake fluid to prevent boiling under hard braking.
|Tyres||Ensure you have plenty of tread left, the track will not be kind to your tyres and heat cycling will cause them to wear ever quicker, so ideally track-focussed road tyres should be installed.|
|Brakes||Ensure that discs have plenty of meat on them and if in doubt, replace them. The same goes for pads. Heat cycling the pads will cause excessive wear so it may be worth inversting in some uprated/track focussed pads. If you’re racing, or will be putting the car through extended stints then Thermal Brake Fluid is a must.|
|Coolant||Ensure level is within range.|
|Wheels||Ensure wheels are torqued to specification, and that torquing is done cold. The heating expansion of the metal under heat will interfere with accurate torque readings, and will change as your Clio cools.|
|Interior||Ensure any unsecured items are removed from the cabin. Remove air fresheners, sat navs, water bottles/rubbish from the footwell to prevent items moving around under hard track use.|
|Oil||Ensure level is well within range.|
|Towing eye||Be prepared to install your Towing Eye once you arrive on track, so look for it in advance and buy a new one if you are unable to find it.|
|Noise Limits||Be aware that tracks will have noise limits enforced and you may have your Clio scrutinized to ensure it meets regulations, so if you’re running a Sports Catalytic Converter, Sports Exhaust or Decat Straight Pipe, it might be worth checking your noise levels before you go.|
Track Day Checklist – The Driver:
There’s a few things to ensure you have ready before you get on track to ensure you have safest, most enjoyable day possible.
It’s easy to overlook yourself in favour of getting the car prepped but there are still important things to remember before you head out on track!
|Helmet||Most, if not all tracks will require you to wear a helmet before you go out on track. Most venues will have helmets available to hire but if you’re planning to do multiple track days then a good quality is worth the investment. Don’t forget, you can’t put a price on safety.|
|Tools||Don’t forget to take even a basic ratchet set for any on-track repairs you may have to make. The more tools you can carry the better but remember they’ll likely be sitting, unsecured on track, so leave your Snap-On wrenches at home.|
|Tyre Gauge/Pump||With the additional heat created by hard acceleration/braking on track, it is vital you have access to a tyre pump and pressure gauge. As temperature rises, the gases inside your tyres will expand and cause the pressures to increase, so don’t forget to check your levels once you’ve warmed the car up on track and adjust accordingly.|
|Jerry Can & Fuel||Some tracks have fuel available on site, but usually charge a premium compared to garage prices. It is a good idea to take a jerry can with some fuel in it in case you get caught short and the nearest garage is some way away. Alternatively, if there is a garage nearby, a short drive there will help cool the car after long stints on track.|
|Water||Driving is thirsty work and the interiors of Clios get HOT! Don’t forget to take plenty of water, food and other refreshments to keep you in tip-top condition throughout the day.|
Track Day Checklist – Things To Remember:
- Don’t worry about what’s behind you if you have track features ahead of you. Faster cars can overtake you on the straights.
- When letting faster cars past, move off of the racing line and make it obvious.
- Start slow and build your pace throughout the day as you gain confidence.
- Smooth is fast. Try not to unsettle the car around corners by dumping the clutch, forgetting to rev match or inputting steering and braking too aggressively.
- Keep an eye on your temperatures, fluid levels and pressures and allow your car to cool off from time to time.
- After a stint on track, avoid leaving the handbrake on for extended periods of time to prevent fusing the discs to the pads.
- Have fun, relax and enjoy yourself!
That’s it for our Clio Track Day Guide! We hope you have a fantastic day and enjoy the chance to take full advantage of your track day weapon, and that you get home safely!
If you’ve gone through the points listed above and want to wring a little more performance out of your Clio before you go, you can read our guide to modding for all budgets here: