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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I'm getting ready for my first track event and have some questions regarding my plan. For reference it is a 2015 ST3 stock with Pilot Super Sports. This is my first track event, so I will be in the beginner category, so I won't be pushing the car as hard as it can be pushed.

From what I've read, brake pads and fluid are a must. I was gonna go with Hawk HP+ pads but I've also been recommended EBC Yellowstuff pads. Would just the front pads be enough, or would I need to get the rears as well.

My original plan was to just do the brake pads and fluid, but the more I research it the more it seems like an intercooler will be necessary, even for a beginner. I am looking at the depo 3.5" as it seems to be the best bang for the buck, especially considering I have no other mods. The event is in Michigan at the end of April, so it will still be relatively cold outside.

How does this plan sound? Would you agree with just doing the pads/fluid and intercooler? Do I for sure need the intercooler? Am I missing anything else critical?

Like I said I am just trying to learn so I don't need a large amount of mods at this time - depending on how this goes that can be further down the line.

Regards.
 

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A new FMIC would be a great idea, but if you are doing the pads and fluid you might as well do the stainless steel brake lines with it. Other than that, you should be fine for your first day out. Just make sure you double check the torque on the lugs as most tracks make you pass a tech inspection, you don't want to look like a dummy.
 

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I think you have the right mindset... many (myself included) think they need tons of mods to have fun or keep the car reliable on the track. This is probably true for an experienced driver, but for a first timer, no needed. Focus on the safety stuff- I run ATE Type 200 fluid and I think you'll be fine with HP+ or yellowstuff pads. I also agree that FMIC would be a good idea, for this car anyways, since CATs get out of control so fast. Really depends on the track, but if there are some long straights, it's going to get crazy hot. The ECU should compensate.....but to me getting a depo 3.5 was a no brainer given the price/value/easy bolt on.
 

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Are you going to M1 or three balls? I'm planning my first track day with my new ride as well. I've been talking to some guys I know who track and they say for a first outing all I should need is some decent tires and new brake fluid. After that I can mod as I go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I will be going to Grattan Raceway near Grand Rapids.

Are you going to M1 or three balls? I'm planning my first track day with my new ride as well. I've been talking to some guys I know who track and they say for a first outing all I should need is some decent tires and new brake fluid. After that I can mod as I go?
They guy I'm going with says I shouldn't need to get the intercooler right away as at my beginner level it won't make much of a difference if I lose HP due to heatsoak. However he drives and Audi and not an ST, and I've read a lot on here about how it heatsoaks too quickly on this vehicle.

My question is: Will the heatsoak from the stock intercooler ruin the weekend, or will I still get a lot out of it even if it gets heatsoaked and I don't have all the power possible?
 

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U don't need the intercooler right away. Hp+ will be fine for your first couple days, then I would go to a more track focus pad like dtc-xxx. High temp fluid. You don't need lines. Have fun and be safe!


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Don't sweat the mods, the ST is fine on track stock for a beginner. I've run 2 TNiA events and still have plenty of stock brakes left. My only mod is the FRPP tune/intake/cold plugs.
 

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If you can, bring a fullsize spare, jack, tools, and a buddy to keep it all safe when you pull everything out of the car in the name of weight savings right before you have fun :)
 

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Be sure to empty all the extra junk out of the car. Basically clean it out. No empty soda bottles, latest version of Compact Sport, coins in the cup holder, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've instructed a new student and there is stuff laying around loose in the car. Have your floor mat out of the drivers side as well. You don't want that to get jammed up under the brake pedal for some reason. Many clubs will make you remove the spare tire also. Otherwise a well cared for stock car is more than capable for 99% of new track drivers, even those that think they are super good and play Forza.
 
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Your plan sounds good. My first time I upgraded brake fluid with Motul RBF 600 and brake pads with Hawk HP+ front and rear. The pads in the front are maybe half worn after 10 track days and rears still have plenty of life. Not sure if that is typical wear, but compared to what I've read, I'm led to believe I must be light on the brakes compared to others.
I don't think you'll need an upgraded intercooler for your first time out. The car is plenty capable in its stock form. I myself never had any issues with the stock IC, but it may be dependent on factors such as the track, weather, and driving style.
After your first time out you can better assess what you'll need/want going forward.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

I will be going to Grattan Raceway near Grand Rapids.



They guy I'm going with says I shouldn't need to get the intercooler right away as at my beginner level it won't make much of a difference if I lose HP due to heatsoak. However he drives and Audi and not an ST, and I've read a lot on here about how it heatsoaks too quickly on this vehicle.

My question is: Will the heatsoak from the stock intercooler ruin the weekend, or will I still get a lot out of it even if it gets heatsoaked and I don't have all the power possible?
Grattan is an awesome track and I've had well over 600 laps there in my ST and started with just pads/fluid and now up to everything in my signature with Pirelli racing slicks. Grattan has a very long straight and you will notice a big difference without an intercooler, but it won't ruin the weekend. I did quite a few track days before I upgraded to the the Depo 3.5" and it does a great job. If it's a really hot day, the coolant/oil getting too high can cause the car to pull power and eventually go to limp mode. I've never actually gotten that far, but several on here have, especially if tuned. Radiator Shroud and Intercooler Data.png

Grattan is a pretty hard track on brakes though and if you haven't already bought pads, I would recommend maybe stepping up to their new Street/Race pads. These use the DTC-30 compound but with tapered edges and perhaps other tweaks that make it slightly more street friendly. I run these on the rear now all the time and I had good success when I started out with the DTC-30s on the front (swapping before/after the event at home to just some HPS street pads). Also, making a set of plastic brake air guides is cheap and is a really good idea as well as using Motul 600 or better fluid.

http://www.focusst.org/forum/focus-...brake-duct-brake-pad-brake-fluid-success.html

What day/group are you going to Grattan with? I'll be there for all the 3 Balls weekends except Memorial Day, since I'll be at Gingerman with Auto Interests. My first event is Good Friday & Easter Saturday with 3 Balls at Gingerman which is now less than a month away! :) I moved up to Group 2 (Advanced) at the end of last year with 3 Balls and here's my best session at Grattan.

If you're interested in seeing my car's progression after I got into track days you can check out my build thread on here. Warning though, track days can be addicting and make you spend way too much money on your car. Also, if you end up getting into it like me, I would recommend getting a used dedicated track car and used truck/trailer to haul it. I love my ST, but it's quite a compromise since it's my daily driver and track car. http://www.focusst.org/forum/focus-...2-s-daily-driver-track-day-machine-build.html

 
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@danmad32

What camera/software were you using for that video. I'm looking to buy something and am a little bewildered at all the choices.
I use a Go Pro Hero 3+ Black for video and at first an OBDLink MX Bluetooth adapter with the Torque Pro app for data collection. Now that I have an Accessport I use that to collect engine data and Race Chrono app on my phone for GPS/lap time data and I put it all together with Race Render software. Race Render has an app that would sync up the video and OBDLink MX data, but I had custom PIDs in Torque Pro and now the accessport so I end up aligning the video and data manually (Race Render has a Synchronization tool for this purpose).
 
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