Katech Performance will host Track Attack 2014, a two-day high performance driving event (HPDE), at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL on July 21 & 22, a perfect opportunity to give your Corvette some exercise and polish up your driving skills. The Track Attack will be held on the Autobahn’s 2.1-mile, 15-turn South Circuit.
What you get
A registration fee of $949.99 covers everything for you and one guest except hotel and gas for your car. The fee includes a light breakfast and catered lunch for both days, catered dinner on Monday night followed by a party with alcohol provided, instructors for the beginner and intermediate run groups, tech support for minor maintenance issues, and the opportunity to meet and have your car evaluated with Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell. Andy and Johnny are former Corvette Racing drivers and currently drive the Cadillac CTS-V.R in the Pirelli World Challenge.
We’ve had the good fortune to meet and chat with both Andy and Johnny and, in addition to being incredible racing drivers, we can attest that both are just super people. If you thought professional drivers were always in complete control during a race, they can tell stories about driving at Le Mans at night in the rain that will make your hair stand up. It’s almost worth the price of admission just to listen to them tell racing stories.
What happens at the track
The drivers are organized into three run groups—Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner—and the itinerary calls for 10 30-minute sessions over the two days for each run group, which is a lot of track time. For safety reasons, passing will only be allowed in designated portions of the track and then only after a point-by from the lead driver.
Before any track time, your car will be given a safety inspection for:
- Removal of all loose items from trunk and interior, including glove box, door pockets, console, floor mats, etc.
- Any fluid leakage from engine compartment and underbody
- Secure battery tie-down
- Any exhaust leaks
- Secure mirror mountings
- Brake fluid – if you haven’t changed your brake fluid in a year, it’s probably a good idea to change it before the event
- Safety restraints for both driver and passenger
- Excessive play in wheel bearings, ball joints, and steering linkage
- Brake pads
When it comes to checking out these things on your car, be proactive—anything that needs to be fixed should be fixed before you even leave for the track.
Undoubtedly there will be a classroom session to familiarize everyone with the track rules and operations and for everyone to meet with the instructors. After that, wait for your run group to be called and then head for the pits. Watch the pit marshal to be waived onto the track and then get the adrenaline flowing!
What you should bring
HPDEs require a little bit of advanced planning since you will be spending all day at the track. Here are some things to bring:
- A Snell SA2005 approved or newer helmet. A DOT approved helmet is not acceptable. There are loaner helmets available at the track, but they are in limited supply and availability cannot be guaranteed
- Shoes must be driving shoes or sneakers – no loafers or other shoes without laces
- Insurance—check your car insurance carefully as most now explicitly exclude coverage for damage at a HPDE event. Other providers now offer event only insurance coverage. Contact the event organizers for specifics as to what is available and the cost
- Most HPDE events require long pants, long-sleeved cotton shirts and cotton socks. Sorry, no bonus points for wearing a necktie
- Tire pressure gauge, lug nut socket and a torque wrench—always check tire pressure and lug nuts before each track session. Three-wheeled Corvettes don’t handle all that well
- A cooler with water or your favorite sports drink. You will work hard during each track session and keeping your body hydrated will keep you from becoming too fatigued. The objective is to enjoy yourself, not to test your endurance
- Some kind of tarp to cover the stuff taken out of your car and whatever else you can’t take out on the track. HPDEs are rain or shine affairs and it’s nice to keep your stuff dry.
Katech’s Track Attack 2014 encourages Corvette participation, but the event is open to any car. Feel free to tell your non-Corvette friends about the event and encourage them to sign up. After all, this may be your chance to show them what a Corvette can do and for them to find out what their car can’t do.
And don’t forget your track etiquette. After taking the checker, it’s customary to wave thanks to the flaggers as you pass their posts on your cool-off lap. Better yet, seek them out during a break or after the session and thank them personally. Without them, we couldn’t be out there having fun.
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