Here's some back ground...
Our 100x60 carpet is about 6 years old and has shared a large building with an off-road track its whole life. The dust accumulation is incredible as here in Texas the dirt dries out quickly and the dust floats EVERYWHERE. We also share the space with a lot of heli and plane guys who walk on the carpet to retrieve their planes and kids who think the track is a McDonalds play ground. We usually have anywhere from 6 to 30 entries. Anytime we used to have enough drivers to get a groove, it would disappear the next day as the sauce evaporated and the dust from the weekly floor and shop sweeping settled on the carpet.
Here are the things we've changed that have made racing 10x better.
-We built an on-road only drivers stand on the other side of the track.
-We started racing on less carpet; about 80x40. Less carpet requires less foam and sauce to develop a groove.
-We made barriers to inhibit random walkers from shortcutting across the track
-I built a mobile PVC timing bridge that can be removed when the track gets covered.
-I vacuum 2-4 times a month off the line (NOT on the line) to make sure cars who go off-line don't bring as much dust onto the groove.
THE BIGGEST 2 THINGS
-I bought two 100x20 roofing tarps and taped them together using gorilla tape to make a 100x40 cover. The tarps about about $95 each and are 6 mil black plastic
I trimmed the final tarp to fit our track. When we are using the track, the tarp is folded lengthwise 4 times which reduces it to about 6x40 which stays at an used end of the track. If you go to www.mikeshobbyshop.com
and click on track cam on the left and then choose carpet track you can see live video of the track. Each time a racer is done practicing or we are done racing we recover the track. One person can do it in about 8 minutes, or two people do it in ab out 2 minutes. We settled on folding it rather than rolling it to minimize contact between the "clean" side of the tarp and the "dirty" side.
We used to blow the dust off our cars in puffs after a run, but now the cars stay clean and we actually are now blowing foam off the cars.. You can see how much dust stays off the carpet now by noting the obvious tan shade on the top side of the tarp and the jet black under side. The proof lies in the groove that stays in the carpet all week and gets faster every time we run on it. We have only had this system in place for about a month, and it has been faster every day I go out. I practice from 6 pm to about 3 am once a week and then we race on Sundays.
-I sprayed traction action mixed with acetone once or twice heavily the first three times I practiced when I first installed the tarp. I sprayed the whole track straights and turns with a 4/1 acetone/TA solution and then ran on it immediately with white rear tires on my 12th for 8 minutes. The car is about a half second faster for 1 minute, and then it plateaus. After 1 run like that with just me out there by myself I can see a groove. It keeps getting darker the rest of the night even without spraying and is about 3 tenths faster as compared to pre spray conditions.
I think the biggest advantages of the tarp is
-When people walk on the track during the week when there is no one there to ask them not to walk in the groove they don't track dust onto the carpet.
-The track doesn't have air moving over the track evaporating the groove we worked hard to get laid down
-Dust doesn't end up buried in the carpet.
Later this season we will testing a small section of the carpet to see if a steam cleaning will lift the carpet off the asphalt. If it doesn't we are going to have the carpet professionally steam cleaned to get the 6 years worth of dust out.
I wrote too much, but you get the idea.