Advice for Novices at a TrackDay from an STT instructor
This almost got buried in a thread here and Justin, jdunphy, PM'd me about it. I forwarded it to one of the Admins and hopefully it'll get sticky'd. This is good stuff y'all. Very good. I can attest to the fact that the STT instructors are the stuff too. Did my first STT day at Barber back in March and they, the instructors, were very nice, helpful and love what they do. Below is a copy of the advice Brett Blacketer, STT instructor has for newb track dayers.
Some friendly advice: EVERYONE is full of some trepidation their first time out - just don't let it get the best of you. Treat it like a road that will become your favorite by the end of the day.
1) Try not to focus on the riders in front of you as soon as you can - remind yourself by putting a piece of tape on your tach with a message "focus: track"
2) Take some deep breaths before each session, and try to get a nice breath on the long back straight.
3) Deep braking will be the LAST thing that you will add to your repetoire - trust the tires and the pace set by the instructors.
4) Shift as little as possible - let the ZRX help you relax by keeping the revs low.
5) Be aware that you WILL lean the bike over further than you ever have - you may get a little movement/squishy/squiggly feeling the each time you uncover new rubber - have FAITH.
6) Patience! Trust the instructors, focus on getting comfortable and confident, and the speed will come. Throw out much of the theoretical crap that will be running around your head before you get there and focus on one thing at a time.
7) ZRX specific advice: be smooth with every input - all of that leverage (handlebars) can be a problem if you are jerking the bike around. Focus on a line that allows you to turn the bike once for each corner and roll on the throttle smoothly - if you get the wrong line at Mid-O you will find yourself double apexing stuff, shutting the throttle off mid corner, and being in the wrong spot on the track to enter the next corner - on a ZRX this can make for too much work!
I have seen plenty of newbies go from novice to competent track rider in one day -