With apologies to the big guy in the red suit (no, not SCCA President Mike Cobb): we’re here to help you make a naughty and nice list for the winter so, at the first sign of warming temperatures, your car is ready to head back to your favorite Track Night, autocross, Time Trials or road racing event!
Definitely make sure you check this list twice and make arrangements in advance.
Naughty: Engine Oil
Yes, engine oil is nice; but stressing that motor oil and then putting your car away for the winter probably isn’t the best. Our friends at Valvoline, for one, can help you find the best oil for your needs, so your car is fresh, ready, and lubricated for that first spring-time event.
Nice: Stopping Power
There’s nothing more important than reaching the end of a straight, pushing the middle pedal, and feeling the car slow down – exactly as you had planned. So this winter, be sure to take a solid look at every component in the braking system. Check the pad depth, eyeball the rotors, and, if you’ve run a few sessions, consider changing the brake fluid? Our long-time friends at Hawk just may be able to help you out with all of that and more!
Naughty: Brain Bumps
Sure, there are many “outsiders” that look at us enthusiasts and think there’s something wrong with us, but we know we’re the normal ones. Still, it’s a great idea to protect our brains. The Snell Foundation recommends replacing helmets every five years, and this is a part of safety equipment that it’s best not to skimp on. There are many helmets, in many styles, at many weights and price points, so all of that is up to you and your needs. Summit Racing Equipment or Solo Performance can help you narrow those choices down and find the best fit for you!
Nice: The Rubber Meets The Road
Making a choice in tires can be overwhelming. Luckily, we have friends at Tire Rack who have done the leg work for us. With tests and ratings and customer reviews, along with great prices, the choice has never been easier to make. Whether hunting for a true performance street tire from Falken, a pure competition tire from Hoosier, or anything in-between, your car will be ready to go with some new shoes.
Naughty: Old Fuel
Old fuel can go bad, and that’s definitely naughty. But there are ways to prevent that. Fill the tank with Sunoco fuel, and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the car for a few minutes (check the stabilizer instructions) to get the additive into your engine, not just in the gas tank, and rest safely knowing that everything should fire right back up when you head out in the spring.
Nice: Peace of Mind
Accidents happen. And so does 18 inches of snow in one day, especially in certain parts of the country. Our Cal Club friends may not be able to relate (substitute mudslides or earthquakes, maybe?), but snow is heavy. It’s not good on a roof for an extended time. And your race car is under a roof.
Hagerty can protect your race car from this insane winter incident, or anything else, with a policy that protects your car in the trailer or in transit or sitting in the shop. And it can be done for a relatively low price. As an SCCA member, you qualify for a discount, so it’s worth checking out.
Naughty: A Bumpy Ride
2020 has been bumpy enough, let’s not carry that over to 2021. Check your shocks and suspension bolts, make sure the settings are correct if they are adjustable, and consider an upgrade! Street cars that might be searching for a little bit of track day performance should consider the classic KONI “Red” Special Active shocks, while full-bore track cars with an engineer mind may get the most with the double adjustable KONI “Yellow” Sport package.