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      04-20-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
Car54
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Suggestions for keeping interior clean on wet track days

Heading to Sebring in about 4 hours and it's rain rain rain in the forecast. I love driving in the rain but hate getting the interior so nasty. I plan to run with the back seats folded down and rear windows up. Plan to have a couple of beach towels to dry the seats off after the sessions.

Any creative suggestions for keeping it clean?
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      04-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
Heading to Sebring in about 4 hours and it's rain rain rain in the forecast. I love driving in the rain but hate getting the interior so nasty. I plan to run with the back seats folded down and rear windows up. Plan to have a couple of beach towels to dry the seats off after the sessions.

Any creative suggestions for keeping it clean?
Keep your windows up

Most of the days that we attend allow us to do that in the rain and use the turn signals for passing.
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      04-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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Unfortunately I've been with some groups that don't These are the sacrifices we make taking street cars to the track
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      04-20-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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My first Sebring event was with the Porsche club. First day was wet, and they made us keep the widows down.

We "borrowed" a ton of towels from the hotel and lined the car everywhere, but it got horridly wet. There are a few spots on the track where the water collects, can get pretty nasty.
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      04-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #5
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Zip-loc bags...

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      04-21-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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Liberally apply leather conditioner, something like Zaino or Leatherique, or even the BMW one, few days before. It will prevent leather from soaking in the water and any dirt will just fall off. On my old 335 I did a track day with windows down in pretty bad rain and had a spinning out car spray some dirt into my window, and the leather looked like new after just a paper towel wipe.
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      04-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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For light rain, the E92 was ok (I don't know about the E90) but in heavier rain, I just came in and waited it out. One of the reasons was the risk of standing water and the other was the massive inconvenience of the E92 body shape. At speed, water piles up on the roof. When you brake it sluices down towards the windshield, but at the last moment it makes a sharp turn to the outside and pours onto your left leg. Every corner, every lap.

Also DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE RISK OF WATER ON THE TRACK. I can't emphasize this enough. I know that all caps is yelling, but I've seen three serious crashes in the last three years where well prepared vehicles hydroplaned and went into the wall or a tire barrier. Two of the three incidents happened in sessions where I exited the track to the paddock because I felt it was too wet and too risky to continue. Use your judgment and choose wisely.
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      04-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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Why do you have to keep the windows open in the rain?
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      04-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiasMUC View Post
Why do you have to keep the windows open in the rain?
Most track day organizers require at least the driver's window open whenever you're on track. In case of an incident they can get you out of the car without having to open the door.
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      04-21-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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      04-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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It never rained! Thanks anyway....this was all part of my plan....didn't wash the car, bought a new umbrella and tarp, and planned to get drenched. Rain dance works!!!
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      04-22-2012, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Also DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE RISK OF WATER ON THE TRACK. I can't emphasize this enough. I know that all caps is yelling, but I've seen three serious crashes in the last three years where well prepared vehicles hydroplaned and went into the wall or a tire barrier.
This is the only crash I remember in 5 2-days HPDE's was a Lotus Elise crashing in the rain. I don't know what kind of tires it had, but we weren't going very fast.
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      04-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Why do you have to keep the windows open in the rain?
Use of hand signals is one reason.

I believe that hand signals are superior for passing, because you can give a distinct gesture for each car and there's no chance of doing it by accident.

I heard about a bad crash I think involved a R8 and Ariel Atom. One thought the other meant for it to pass and tried to go. The people who saw it attributed it largely to using turn signals for passing.
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      04-22-2012, 02:34 PM   #14
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Well I am probably in the minority here but I love lapping or racing in the rain but then more than a few people have said I am not quite right These days I will usually only do the wet if I have a set of good wet street tires to use as the dedicated track tires when they are at their prime only really work in the damp not a real rain and usually are very prone to hydroplaning..
One of the things that you must do in the rain is to understand where the standing water is and to find a rain line that keeps you off the slippery worn pavement where the normal well used line is.One track that I know where a rain line is not needed except for 1 corner is Calabogie as the hi-tech pavement has held up so well over time.The positive thing about the rain is that your track day costs are so much reduced.
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      04-22-2012, 05:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiasMUC View Post
Why do you have to keep the windows open in the rain?

Safety is the primary reason. And as noted - you can't give hand signals with closed windows.

The majority of good venues and clubs require open windows.
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      04-22-2012, 08:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead999s View Post
Well I am probably in the minority here but I love lapping or racing in the rain but then more than a few people have said I am not quite right These days I will usually only do the wet if I have a set of good wet street tires to use as the dedicated track tires when they are at their prime only really work in the damp not a real rain and usually are very prone to hydroplaning..
One of the things that you must do in the rain is to understand where the standing water is and to find a rain line that keeps you off the slippery worn pavement where the normal well used line is.One track that I know where a rain line is not needed except for 1 corner is Calabogie as the hi-tech pavement has held up so well over time.The positive thing about the rain is that your track day costs are so much reduced.
But your windows are up!

The best thing about Sebring when it rains is you can sneak over to the Skip Barber skidpad and play until you're dizzy. The track, since it's largely concrete, has many random puddles. Not to mention the most treacherous start/finish anywhere I've ever seen in the wet. It's like 50' of painted surface and eats cars like celebrity's.
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      04-22-2012, 09:15 PM   #17
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But your windows are up!

.
Not always And yes I hate the mess!

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      04-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoril Blue View Post
Safety is the primary reason. And as noted - you can't give hand signals with closed windows.

The majority of good venues and clubs require open windows.
I think that having closed windows & using the signals is much safer in the rain.It is quite easy to miss hand signals on a dark rainy day in the spray especially when coming up on a couple of cars.Turn signals always worked well when we were endurance racing especially at night.
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      04-23-2012, 09:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead999s View Post
I think that having closed windows & using the signals is much safer in the rain.It is quite easy to miss hand signals on a dark rainy day in the spray especially when coming up on a couple of cars.Turn signals always worked well when we were endurance racing especially at night.

The primary reason for closed windows is driver safety. That is so in the event of an incident - safety workers are able to immediately reach, assess and assist the driver and instructor. The window is also the alternate exit means should you car have the door pinned closed - or power is lost at the window motor.

Lest you think this doesn't happen often - it happened yesterday at Summit Point. The driver door was pinned closed against the wall.

I don't see how the car is safer with the window closed.

I spent all of Sunday driving on track in the cold rain with the windows open. No harm.
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      04-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoril Blue View Post
The primary reason for closed windows is driver safety. That is so in the event of an incident - safety workers are able to immediately reach, assess and assist the driver and instructor. The window is also the alternate exit means should you car have the door pinned closed - or power is lost at the window motor.

Lest you think this doesn't happen often - it happened yesterday at Summit Point. The driver door was pinned closed against the wall.

I don't see how the car is safer with the window closed.

I spent all of Sunday driving on track in the cold rain with the windows open. No harm.
Sounds like I missed an interesting Sunday (I was only able to make it out for Saturday this time). Saturday was great, right up until it started pouring when it was time to pack up.

To the original subject -- if anyone's curious about keeping the interior clean on wet track days, my note is simply that the car can take it. I had to swap my slicks back out to put my street rubber on in the middle of a torrential downpour. Rear seats folded down, three extremely wet slicks standing up in the back pushed through from the trunk, fourth lying down in back, plus my floor jack and tub of crap. Had to sit in the driver's seat with soaking wet clothes (I carry a towel around so I did put that down).

Got home, unloaded the next day. Vacuumed a bit, applied some leather cleaner and leather conditioner to a few spots and the somewhat damp driver's seat, and everything's back to normal.

No need to baby the car.
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      04-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoril Blue View Post
The primary reason for closed windows is driver safety. That is so in the event of an incident - safety workers are able to immediately reach, assess and assist the driver and instructor. The window is also the alternate exit means should you car have the door pinned closed - or power is lost at the window motor.

Lest you think this doesn't happen often - it happened yesterday at Summit Point. The driver door was pinned closed against the wall.

I don't see how the car is safer with the window closed.

I spent all of Sunday driving on track in the cold rain with the windows open. No harm.
I cannot argue about the safety aspect of getting a driver out but when it is 2c I sure prefer to be dry When we ran SSCA they made us run both windows down vs drivers window only in the ASN FIA series we ran in.SCCA also did that for safety which of course is the correct way to do it.
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      04-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #22
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Just to add this photo from a 1990 race in a Canadian Firehawk race where I got black flagged for having my window up It was raining like mad on the grid so of course I raised the window to stay dry

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