The rules apply to all track days hosted by NASA at the Buddh International Circuit.
Please use the proper sports tires on the car if your coming to the track. Most OEM tires on small hatchbacks and sedans are meant for economy and will NOT provide the grip levels needed to post a good time, nor will they stand up to high speeds or hard braking on the track. Going forward NASA is putting a strict rule in place when it comes to tires. If your car makes anything above 120hp, you will not be allowed on track with economy tires (JK, Apollo, MRF, Kenda, Nankang etc). If you have the money to invest in getting your car beyond 130hp, please invest in good tires that will help you put that power down on the tarmac and help you stop safely. As a rule of thumb for most small hatchbacks (Swift, i20, Polo, Zen, Merc A etc) and small sedans (Vento, Verna, Rapid, Esteem), we recommend Maxxis iPro or Maxis MA-Z1 or Yokohama S Drives, as we have extensively tested these to work well on Buddh Circuit . Ideal width is 205, but 185-195 section will also suffice. For larger sedans (Jetta, Accord, Laura, BMW 3/5, Mercedes C/E) we have used Pirelli PZero, Continental Sport Contact 3/5, Michellin PS3, Yokohama S Drive on our cars and these work pretty well. Recommended section width is 225-245 depending on power output. You are welcome to bring racing slicks if you have access to them. Also please ensure you have the right tire pressures before you get to the circuit. The track has an airpump but no gauge, and filling up air on track wastes time.
Brake Pads and Brake Discs
Please ensure you have more than 60% brake pads left before you bring the car to the track. We will have our members inspect the brake pads and discs before a track day on every car. If we feel that your brakes are not in good shape, your entry fee will be refunded and we will not allow you on track. Brakes play a critical role on track and take a lot of abuse. Our estimate is that if your pushing your car on track, you will lose 10-20% pad life in each 30 minute session depending on how you drive. And you will need brakes to go back home as well. So please make sure your brake pads and discs are in good shape before coming to the track. In case you need to swap out to a new set of brake pads before a track day, we recommend doing so about a week before the track day as the new pads need a bit of breaking in (about 150kms) before becoming fully effective. See if there are performance pads and rotors available for your car and make sure that they are really ‘performance’. Tarox Rotor’s and Pads are available for almost all cars in India. They are expensive BUT they work extremely well. Brembo pads are also available for nearly every car as well. These are a lot cheaper than Tarox but our experience with them have been hit or miss. Also if your going to get Brembo pads, get the Red ones with the S affixed to the part numbers. Avoid using the Brembo Black Pads and Brembo Slottted Discs available in India on the track as they are stock replacement and don’t offer any additional improvement over your OEM discs and pads.
Engine Oil and Coolant
On the track the car runs at near 100% of it’s limits. So the engine needs the extra protection to perform optimally. Please ensure your engine oil is in a good state and top up if necessary. You will burn some engine oil on track so its a good idea to top it up before hitting the track. Same goes for coolant. Your car will generate more heat on track than it does on the streets on regular driving. So better to have the coolant reservoir full and also inspect the condition of your radiator and thermostat. Better to have a bit excess engine oil and coolant in the system than having a blown turbo or a seized engine on or after the track day.
Safety Equipment – Helmets, Gloves, shoes etc.
BIC offers helmets to all participants free of charge for our track days. However they are limited in numbers. All participants are encouraged to invest in a good open face or full face helmet that fits them so as to be comfortable in it, and be able to mount camera’s on them. Any ISI Stamped helmets will do. These are usually available everywhere for around Rs.2-5k. Fastrack has a good line of lightweight comfortable and helmets that are pretty good.
PLEASE ENSURE that you keep your helmets on throughout the time your on the track. Anyone seen removing helmets after getting onto the track will be automatically banned from our future track days! NO Exceptions!
We also recommend you invest in a set of driving gloves if you plan to attend the track days regularly. These help keep your hands dry and ensure u have grip on the steering wheel thru multiple sessions. Not a mandatory requirement but good to have.
Spinning out on Track and Spin Recovery
BIC is a proper F1 grade race track. The tarmac has much more grip than your average NCR road, however it still has its limits. If your a new comer on track, or get too enthusiastic in a corner, chances are you may spin. If the car spins out and your not able to recover, wait for it to come to a full stop. Start the car if its stalled, look around you and pull off the track. Take a breather and then get back onto the track. During a spin, everything in your car gets shaken up and brakes and tires get super hot and will not grip or brake immediately after. DON’T immediately get back to going full guns out on the track. Instead take AT LEAST one cool down lap or come into the pits,take a breather and inspect your car for damage while letting your brakes and tires cool down. If there is no damage then go out on the track again, but go easy on the first lap out as your wheel alignment, braking distance, grip levels and steering angles may have changed due to the spin out. See if the car behaving properly during the slow lap before going full guns out again. When your in a Spin on track use the following as word of GOD.. “if you spin, both feet in”: In other words, push down hard on the brake and push in the clutch (so the motor doesn’t get spun backwards). Use the steering to counter the direction of the spin. This will help you regain control of the car in some way or the other and prevent you from totally loosing control of the car.
Track Run-Off Areas and Gravel Traps
BIC has several Run Off Areas and Gravel Traps in key locations around the track to give you that extra bit of safety if you lose control of your car. The Run Off Areas offer you a bit more safety net to get control off your car and avoid hitting a barrier if you go off track. The Gravel ‘Traps’ are designed to slow your car down effectively if you overshoot a corner at too high a speed. Most of the times if you overshoot a corner these gravel traps will ensure you car gets stuck in them and not hit the barrier at a high rate of speed.
IF you get stuck in a gravel trap, turn off the engine, stay in the car with your seatbelts on and wait for a recovery vehicle to get to you. Don’t try to pry yourself free from the trap as these are designed to suck in the car and NOT let it out without external pull. If your stuck in a gravel trap and your trying to get out by revving the engine, chances are your damaging your car even more and getting sucked into the gravel trap all over. Additionally, if you go off track and get stuck in a gravel trap, the gravel will be all over inside your engine bay, suspension components and brakes. Ensure you remove as much gravel from under the car and from critical components before going back home.
What happens if I get into an accident on the track?
BIC is one of the safest circuits around the world with a whole host of safety measures and run off areas if your car goes off the track. However in the unfortunate event of a crash please stick to the following rules:
When you have crashed on track, keep your seat belts on and stay in the car. The reason you should keep your seat belts on is to avoid being thrown around in the car in the case of another car colliding into your crashed vehicle. BIC officials are monitoring every inch of the track during a track day, and they will see your crash, Red Flag the session and send out a medical team and a recovery vehicle to get you.
HOWEVER, the only exception to staying put in the car is if you sense your car has caught fire. In such a case, ensure your not injured and are able to move. Unbuckle your seat belt and slowly get out of the car. Don’t panic or rush as there may be injuries/concussions you may have sustained that may become apparent after you start to get out. Once out of the car, slowly move away from the car towards the guard rails, and away from the track. Wait there for the medical team to come and get you.
Tech Pro Safety Barriers
BIC has a lot of TecPro barriers in accident prone sections that are designed to absorb high speed impacts and take the energy away from the car in a crash. These are world class crash safety barriers upto FIA regulations.
They also have ARMCO guard rails and FIA Secure nets to ensure that your car doesnt fly of the track in case of an accident. These safety equipment have prevented some serious crashes from becoming life threatening. These are also VERY expensive to repair and replace. So IF you do crash on the track and damage these, you will be expected to pay for them. BIC Officials will not release your car till the damages have been paid up. AND your regular car insurance doesn’t cover track accidents. So be careful or you may rack up a significant bill. For example each section of the TechPro barrier costs upward of Rs.1 Lac to replace along with installation and labor charges.
So be safe and be smart on track and enjoy the experience of driving safely on one of the best F1 Circuits in the world!
-Northern AutoSports and Buddh International Circuit Team