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Track Day Fundraiser Puts Preplanning Into Perspective

2012 Lamers Racing Driving Experience at Road AmericaThe picturesque hills of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and Road America were the ideal setting for a group of car enthusiasts to gather on a warm spring day to raise money for two charities: Theda Care’s Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth Program (PARTY at the PAC) and the Wounded Warrior Project. This track day event was sponsored by Faith Technologies, McMahon Engineering, and Commercial Horizons, and was like a golf outing for “car guys.”

The race track was open all day to all car makes and models with everything from Hobby Racers and 80’s vintage Mustangs, to new Porsches and Lamborghinis. To ensure the day was enjoyable and safe, all participants were required to do some pre-race planning prior to driving their street cars on the four mile, 14 turn race course.

  • Tools: Drivers need to have the right type of car – ideally something purpose-built for a “track day” or properly designed with racing DNA.
  • Limits: Drivers need to know the limits of their car, including the top speeds they’re comfortable with or how much speed their car can safely carry into a corner.
  • Preparation: Drivers need to detail and prep their car for the punishment it will take. This includes changing brake fluid, installing new brake pads, and topping off all lubricants.
  • Communication: Drivers need to participate in the drivers meeting to learn about all the rules of the track, what all the flags mean, all the safety and emergency procedures, and also how and where they can safely pass a fellow driver.

Watching and observing all of this preplanning puts into perspective the importance of preplanning on a construction project and the similarities that exist with our track day event.

  • Tools: We need to understand the performance requirements of a building or system, so we can choose the means, methods, and materials we want to use to build the project.
  • Limits: We need to know what the limits are so we understand the owner’s budget, time constraints, and what they perceive as value.
  • Preparation: We need to detail the project before we begin. We need to build the project using Building Information Modeling (BIM), and then develop prefabricated components that can be built off site.
  • Communication: Key project leaders need to communicate as a team to understand the entire project. If everyone understands what the end goal is and there is a strong communication process, then the entire team and project will run more efficiently.

A race team knows preplanning will make or break their day at the track.  One bad cylinder, one bad brake rotor, or one bad driver decision can result in a catastrophic failure that can end their day at the track and potentially put the driver in harm’s way. For those reasons, a race team goes through a very rigorous pre-race set up process to ensure safety and victory.

The same is true when preplanning a construction project; utilizing a well thought-out detailed plan of how to build the job, understanding all budget and time constraints, communicating the plan to the entire team, and developing a site specific safety plan will guarantee performance, safety, and ultimately success.