Special to Wheelstalk.com -
July is a tough month because it is mid-season and there is a bit of a crossover happening. We have a group of competitors that are a little worn out and some that are just starting.
For the group that was ready back in May, it’s hump month and they are getting a little tired now. But it is important to find the energy and time to inspect your car before the next race weekend. Basically everything will need attention.
Start with the safety equipment and inspect your seatbelts for wear and check the manufacture date on them. Some racing organizations have rules about how old your seatbelts can be. If you have had a crash, then your belts have probably been stretched and will need to be replaced. They are actually designed to stretch in an impact (similar to how a HANS device slows down your helmet). If they are too old or worn out it is time to invest in a new set. You cannot put a price on your safety .
Make sure that your seat is solid and secure; sometimes the bolts can rattle loose. It is also a good time to check your HANS device and most importantly check its alignment with the seat and belts. The HANS is only effective when it is properly adjusted and fits according to its design.
You should inspect the safety cage to ensure that the welds are solid and no rust is visible. Pay particular attention to where the cage attaches to the car and note if there has been any flexing of the body; look for cracks. At the same time, make sure that the fire extinguisher is fully charged and operational.
Next, check your engine for leaks and wear. Change all of the fluids and bleed the brakes. It is also a good time to change the rotors and brake pads if required. Make sure that you do a thorough nut and bolt check and replace any that are broken or too loose.
Lastly, get some rest if you can, the second part of the season is ready for you.
Yours in motorsports,