Another thing, Check out your local SCCA region. I bet they have autocrosses somewhere close. I started aurocrossing in 1984 with a couple of guys named Randy Pobst and Jeff Altenburg. I've roadraced, hillclimbed, run Time Trials and instructed for track days and driving schools for years. Did an autocross yesterday and STILL had a blast. You can learn a lot about car control and not break anything, usually. ;^)
It's all fun.
Your original question was basic stuff, so fresh fluids, pads, decent tires, and have fun. When I ran my Cobra, I just ran the defroster on high, and never had a problem for the 15-20 minutes sessions we got.