5 bonus tips for passing tech inspection at a track day: Post 28

Last post we discussed the 15 most common reasons for HPDE Tech inspection failures.

The post generated some great discussion and a few more suggestions came up, here’s 5 more. 


5: Pins in harness clips:

Race Harnesses are secured to the car by being wrapped, bolted, or clipped in to the car. Clip-in harnesses are very easy to take in and out of the car, but an oft-forgotten step is pinning the clips. The clips have a small hole for a pin or wire that prevents the clips from accidentally releasing and falling off (A very unlikely, but also very bad situation).

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In the example above, you can see metal wire placed through the hole, preventing the clasp from opening and releasing.


 

4: Out of Date Race Harnesses:

Most, but not all clubs and tracks allow expired race harnesses for HPDE. If you are running with a club for the first time be sure that you check with them before showing up. Expired harnesses can be had for very cheap from racers who can no longer use them. Whether or not your harness(es) are expired: be sure that they appear in perfect condition, with no rips, frays, UV damage, etc.

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3: Equal safety levels:

Most clubs require that whatever level of protection the driver seat has, the passenger must match. If the Driver has a race seat and harnesses, the passenger must as well.

You have to think: If a complete strange (instructor) is strapping into your car, and you have significantly more protection than they do… they have every right (And very well might) refuse to ride with you. This doesn’t mean you need the exact same equipment on both sides. Two racing seats don’t need to be the same model. Typically if you have something like a full containment seat for the driver, a non-halo race seat is usually adequate.

The takeaway: Unequal safety levels may not be explicitly banned with your club, but at the very least it is considered bad form and very few instructors will ride with you. Reach out to your club for a direct answer well in advance of a track day, especially if you will have an instructor. Or better yet, just keep your car stock until you show up and gain enough experience to know exactly the setup you want/need.

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2: Brake Lights:

This one is simple: you need working brake lights. Most clubs will say you need at least two, but it’s best to have 3. Check them while doing your regular maintenance to the vehicle. Most of the issues we come across aren’t from burnt out bulbs, but cars tossed haphazardly back together with bad wiring or brake-pedal switches.

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1: Pad Thickness:

Don’t forget: your brakes are literally the most important system in your car. Going is optional, stopping is mandatory (yes, even for a Miata). Different drivers and cars will go through pad material at wildly different rates. Some drivers and cars will get more than a full season from one set of pads… Other drivers in big, powerful cars can kill a set of pads in a few sessions. Basically: Know your car. If you don’t know how much pad your car will use in a track day and your pads aren’t very meaty… have a spare set (Pad material doesn’t expire, so it’s not a bad idea to have an extra on hand for emergencies) and give them regular inspections.

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Is there anything else I’ve missed? What’s the craziest tech inspection fail you’ve seen?

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