Getting into track days and possibly WERA racing

Discussion in 'Information For New Racers' started by William Schneider, May 7, 2021.

  1. lopitt85

    lopitt85 Well-Known Member

    I'm not really qualified to give anyone any guidance on racing...but I'll do it anyway :crackup:

    I'm in the same boat as you, did some trackdays and wanted to try racing. I had it set in my head that I needed to be running good in advanced group before racing, I was wrong.

    A bunch of racers, here and at the the track said as long as you can hold a good racing line, be consistent, and dont get spooked with being passed, then go racing. The fast guys will pass you no problem, so don't worry about being in the way.

    SURPRISE, they were right. I've only done one weekend (last year, 2 races) but I plan to do more. I didn't get any track time this year until 3 weeks ago, so I'm just going to finish this year out with some trackdays. But next year I plan to go racing again (or at least ride around on track while the fast guys race ;)).
    DmanSlam, VT701 and William Schneider like this.
  2. Chango

    Chango Something clever!

    You're right, it's not pretty.

    Glad it's working out for you though.
    William Schneider likes this.
  3. RRP

    RRP Kinda Superbikey


    sent you an email.
    William Schneider likes this.
  4. William Schneider

    William Schneider Well-Known Member

    So I had a good end to the season, getting bumped up to intermediate with STT. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike and feeling myself consistently improving. The last feedback I received from the staff was that I need to work on my lines, particularly hitting the apex of each turn, and leaning the bike more.

    My plan is still to try racing this year, but I feel at this point I need to work on my lines more to not be an obstacle for the more advanced racers. With that in mind, I am planning to race at the 7/2-7/3 Barber weekend because it's the track I've been on the most and it seems like a good target date.

    I was thinking about going to the STT 2/18 trackday and getting my racing license at the following WERA race weekend. I could then get my race license out of the way before my first race weekend and possibly get feedback by people I would be racing with.

    What do you all think about that plan?
  5. Sudowoodo

    Sudowoodo Error 404: Skill not found

    I'll be at Talladega that same weekend for the track day and race school. I'm only a novice rider but plan to be racing that weekend, so I don't see a reason why you should wait until Barber to try racing. Either way, I'll see you there!
    William Schneider likes this.
  6. Tyson10R

    Tyson10R Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, racing is pointless unless you’re able to ride at an A trackday group pace. At that point that would still put you finishing at towards the middle or mid-back of the Novice pack.

    Everything you need to learn to go quicker will be learned faster in a non-competitive environment. Keep doing trackdays, have fun and keep progressing. If you’re stuck on racing then by all means try it out at your own risk, but remember to BE PREDICTABLE. If you’re anything like me it’s not as fun if you can’t compete with the guys towards the front of the pack and it’s inherently more dangerous. Especially when novice grids up with the experts and you become a road block for the guys lapping you at speed. I spent about a year doing A group trackdays and getting quicker. My first year racing I won most of the races I entered. I don’t think I would have progressed as quickly if I went straight into racing.
    William Schneider likes this.
  7. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    You won't be an obstacle for faster riders. They'll probably start in front of you and you won't see most of them during the race. The ones that do lap you will have more than enough experience and skill to do it safely and easily.

    I liked getting my license and doing my first races all in the same weekend. Everything I learned during the NRS was fresh in my mind and it seemed to help my nerves a bit more. Plus the NRS coach kept tabs on me a bit and had more advice on race day. YMMV of course.
  8. Tyson10R

    Tyson10R Well-Known Member

    Oof buddy, you’re about to find out theres a big difference between Novice trackday rider pace and Novice race pace. Best of luck to you. Be predictable out there.
  9. Sudowoodo

    Sudowoodo Error 404: Skill not found

    I can hold a line fine so I'm not too worried. Thanks though!
    mpusch likes this.
  10. 2blueYam

    2blueYam Track Day Addict

    Yep, if you want to race and have the funds, just get the license and go while the school is fresh in your mind. The experts lapping you will go by so fast and so smooth that they will be past you before you have a chance to be spooked by them. Just try your best to be predictable and let them do the passing.

    As you have likely heard, if you can't hit your line or apex in a given corner, slow down until you can. "Slow down" could mean less throttle, braking earlier or braking harder depending on the corner / situation. What you will typically find out is that you will actually end up going faster by hitting the line / apex. At least that is how it works for me.
    Sudowoodo likes this.
  11. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    Um if you cant look at a fresh track map and note the apexes... I might hold off on racing.
    Im suprised the STT coach didnt show you the line at a slower pace or at least make you point them out on a track map so you have it in your mind where you need to be.
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    I disagree with most everything in this post.
  13. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    @William Schneider If racing is the goal, IMO get out there at the next event. You will progress sooooo much quicker at a race event, versus doing many trackdays.
    DmanSlam, mpusch, RRP and 1 other person like this.
  14. Michael Hausknecht

    Michael Hausknecht Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, until about 20-25 years ago, there weren't any "track days"; you went from riding on the street, to a one day race school, to racing the next day. If you want to race, just do it! Perhaps after a few race weekends you'll get a good idea about what you need to work on, and a track day or two might then be a good place to work on those things.
    RRP likes this.
  15. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    I did my first trackday in '93 at Putnam....Next month was Team Chicago school at Grattan and I got my GLRRA license which was good for WERA....So that was 28-29 yrs ago. Trackdays have been around for at least 30 yrs but not to the degree that they are now, that's for sure.
  16. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Sorry but no. I joined the Grattan roadracing club in 1984 or 85. It was 120 bucks for the year and you could ride anytime the track was open to riders and or drivers. Fyi there was no ambulance on site but you could ride under those conditions if you wanted to. If cars were there it was a half an hour for bikes then the same for the cars. The fall track days were fun dealing the leaves that had fallen in the corners too lol. So around 36 years ago

    Then around 1988 or 90 (or earlier) there was Red Ducs at Pocono, this was a club were you had to corner work x amount of the day to be able to get track time with your bike. At first it was only Ducatis but then they let other bikes pay and play
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
  17. DmanSlam

    DmanSlam Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^ I totally agree with this. There are some assumptions made about a new racer's goals and current level of riding ability. But, based on my first race experience, you'll definitely bust through a couple of mental blocks. Be smooth, predictable. Set goals for each time you're on the track.

    @2blueYam wrote: As you have likely heard, if you can't hit your line or apex in a given corner, slow down until you can. "Slow down" could mean less throttle, braking earlier or braking harder depending on the corner / situation. What you will typically find out is that you will actually end up going faster by hitting the line / apex. At least that is how it works for me.

    ^^^^^ This, right here.
    Sudowoodo likes this.
  18. Michael Hausknecht

    Michael Hausknecht Well-Known Member

    Well, I stand corrected. FWIW, I guess I hung out with the wrong guys, in the wrong bike shops 'cause no one I talked to knew anything about motorcycle track days when I took the California Superbike School on one of their Kaw 600s in '91.
  19. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    And now that I think about and you said California and Kegwins at the track was started in 98. And the Roger Lyle Excitement thing has been going on for maybe 30 years?
    And there was the Ducati Owners Group that did track days at Grattan way back then, but you had to ride either a European or English bike.And I think Blackhawk race track had open track days back in the late 80s too? But of course there were no interwebs back then so...
  20. Rehh

    Rehh Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread, learned alot. I Just started doing track days this fall.

    Hey William did you get your bump to intermediate at this past Jennings track day with STT? I was there in group 1 novice and asked to get evaluated in the first morning class. There were 6 in group 1 that asked to be evaluated but only a girl and I got the bump that I know of. This one guy was trying to race me and wouldn't let me pass him while I was being evaluated, he ended up pushing above his skill level and was life flighted out with a head injury and some broken bones.

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