Trackday Diaries: All Those (Not So) Stupid Rules, Explained

“Why can’t we have coolant in the car when we’re racing?” It was getting close to midnight and I was still trying to get the undertray off our MX-5 Cup car so I could drain the distilled water and get coolant into the radiator. There was a bit of a time factor involved; the temperature was scheduled to dip below freezing in the hours to come, and if the water froze in the engine block we would have serious problems. Danger Girl understood perfectly well why we couldn’t let our little Mazda make it through the night without coolant in the engine, but she didn’t quite understand why we didn’t have coolant in there to begin with.

In her honor, and for the enlightenment of every would-be track rat who has been afraid to ask why such-and-such a rule exists, I’ve picked seven slightly opaque trackday or racing rules and explained them below. Even if you never plan to set foot or tire on a road course, this might still of be of interest… or not. What can I say? I tried to get you to click the jump. Click the jump already!

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  • EBFlex "I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles"Assuming you went from 0 gallons to full (17.2), you have averaged almost 50MPG over those 2500 miles. 50 MPG in a Jeep Wrangler. To all of you EV nut jobs, tell me again how PHEVs are not the absolute best thing to happen to automobiles since the wheel. And tell me how they don't make EVs look like the awful play toys that they are.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird The Buick 215/3.5-liter aluminum V8 was one of GMs great engines. Unfortunately GM being GM in one of their greatest mistakes was selling off the tooling to BL. If they kept it around and improved upon it it would have been a fine motor for their compacts and midsize models through the OPEC oil crisis.
  • Chris P Bacon Not sure why a '21 is getting reviewed, because there have been improvements to the 4xe. I've got a '22 4xe Sahara. May 2022 build in High-Velocity yellow with a soft top. As soon as it was announced I knew I wanted to try it, not for the fuel mileage, but for the technology. I don't have a Level 2 charger, it charges fully overnight on the included Level 1. I see an indicated range of 27 miles regularly. Today it indicated 29 when I unplugged. I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles, a full charge costs me about $3 based on my current electricity supplier. I don't experience the rough transitions between electric and gas, so maybe Jeep figured it out? It's stupid fast when using all the power off the line. So much so that it will break the rear wheels loose when you stomp on it. I agree that plugin hybrids are the future. I see no need for a pure electric. This is the way to go.
  • RHD The word B R O N C O written in contrasting paint on the dashboard is quite unnecessary. The passenger certainly knows what kind of vehicle he or she is in. That detail is a big fail. The red and white Bronco looks great, especially with tires that have honest-to-goodness sidewalls on them.
  • Luke42 Aren't those trim levels just different colors of paint?That's what they sound like, at least. 🤷‍♂️