John Lavin and Dean Hesser join us to discuss improvements to our car preparation processes. This includes before leaving for the racetrack, as well as at the racetrack and after the race. We learned a ton of things that we should have been doing but weren’t simply because we didn’t know or hadn’t thought of it yet. We hope that this episode will save you at least one headache at the track or eliminate one breakdown or even better prevent an issue on track that causes damage to you or your car. We don’t have a lot of can’t miss episodes, but this is one of them for sure.
In addition, Dominating with Dawson we discuss some of the goal options for endurance racing. It is not simply a situation where you are either first or last, but really it is a race where you and your team are trying to work together and perform at the highest level internally and the final position is a relative measure of the team’s performance versus the current bar that weekend. While winning overall, or even your class, is a great accomplishment, it is not the only measurement available each weekend, especially early in your racing career.
We hope you enjoy this episode!
Vicki, Jennifer, Alan, and Bill
Hosts of the Garage Heroes In Training Podcast and Garage Heroes In Training racing team drivers
Highlights from this episode include:
1) Bill makes up a new word, “ThankYouNess”, well you know what we mean.
2) How Dean has “capitalized” on being target fixated during a race. Your results may vary.
3) Then we go into a “Weekend At Bernie’s” worthy moment. For those under 40, it’s a movie.
4) A brief summary of why many of the Safety Third Motorsports team members have ended up using BMW’s as their weapon of choice on track.
5) Bill cannot help but to make fun of the test drive at John’s shop where the GHIT M3 HPDE hit a deer. Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up.
6) A discussion of their team’s racing plans for 2021 and how both teams generally decide where to race.
7) How their team has progressed and grown over the years. It appears that our team is actually following their progression, both in how our team is organized and how our drivers are individually progressing. Perhaps there is hope for us. Who knew? Lol.
8) How Dean and Jen both ended up learning and growing as racing drivers as a result of their track incidents.
9) What is prepping a car? What is involved? What do you do before the race, during/at the race, and after the race to prepare and preserve your car and make sure that it has a higher likelihood of performing well.
10) Basic assumption: Assume everything is broken after a race and then verify before you take it to your next event.
11) Develop a wear rate of consumables and moving parts and then develop a preventative maintenance plan to replace before they fail at the track.
12) Overview: Repair things as they break or replace them ahead of time at a certain interval. Determine your team’s philosophy and plan appropriately.
13) A standard rule of thumb is to use a margin for wear, it can range from 75% to 80% to 90% of the experienced failure rate before replacing a still good part. This does not address issues due to abuse or an accident etc. As an example, if your front wheel bearing fails after 100 hours or racing, you may want to replace them all before they break at 75 or 80 or 90 hours. The balance of costs and/or effort vs your acceptable safety/failure factor is a personal/team decision.
14) Several available options range from paint marking nuts and bolts to adding safety wires.
15) What should you do when at the track and prepping for the race in the morning.
16) What to do the night after are race while racing the next day.
17) What to do post-race weekend while packing up to leave the track.
18) Why checklists are so very important and how your team will need to develop it from your own experiences and particular car.
19) It was good to hear that we aren’t the only team to have had radio communication issues at the track. They have come to the same solution as we have. Painfully.
20) The key is really to minimize the number and potential for errors.
21) We finish up this segment with the post-race recovery process for your race car. Don’t just put it away to wait for the next track event.
22) We wrap up with a post episode discussion of the skid pad and the value that it has had to our driving, as well as Dean’s.