Fed up of all the speed camera’s and speed humps that are plaguing our roads? If you love the thrill of driving, you’ll no doubt have witnessed the demise of an enjoyable Sunday drive over the last 10 years or so and lets face it, things are not going to get any better any time soon!
There is a solution however. Track Days have been popular in the UK for over 10 years now, but their popularity is ever increasing with so many performance car drivers taking to the track to enjoy their car to its limits. Most UK circuits offer track days all year round for both car and bike events including;
• Brands Hatch
• Castle Coombe
The great thing about track days is that everyone there shares the same passion for performance cars / bikes and are there for one reason and one reason only – FUN! With a mutual respect for one another safety and vehicle trackdays are possible the only environment in which the average driver can enjoy their car to the full in both a safe and legal manner.
A few tips you might consider if planning a track day in your car;
• Check your tyre wear levels – Its likely that a single trackday will wear your tyres considerably more than general road use, if your tyres are low its likely that by the end of the day they may be under the legal limit and you will need to drive home on them!
• Drive within your limits – The best ‘modification’ you can make is to you and not your car – most organised events offer fully qualified instructors, this is by far the best way to get your lap times down!
• Ensure your car is mechanically sound BEFORE the day, check oil and water levels. Track use put more stresses through the cars mechanicals so ensure your car is in order
• Check circuit noise restrictions – dB levels vary from circuit to circuit, Castle Coombe for example is on the outskirts of a sleepy Wiltshire village and its dB restrictions are low and well monitored – Don’t arrive on the day and not be able to participate due to failing the test!
• Listen to the safety briefing – you’ll need to attend the safety briefing, listen to the rules of the day and abide by them, its for your safety and others and if you don’t play by the rules, your day will be cut short by the marshals and your money wasted!
There are lots of organisers here in the UK that offer events at most leading UK circuits such as www.trackdays.co.uk, www.bookatrack.co.uk and www.goldtrack.co.uk . You can even hire cars prepared for a track day from certain suppliers. This is often the only way many of us will get to experience a full race car in action on track without winning the lottery. Motorsport in an expensive hobby however, so don’t expect hiring someone else’s pride and joy to come cheap! Cars can vary from £250 per day for a Caterham 7 up to £1000 day for a Porsche 911 GT3. In contrast if you are using your own car a days fun can be had for as little £100 for the smaller tracks and airfields and up to £300 for the national circuits like silversone. Be aware that your car insurance policy will explicitly EXCLUDE use on a race track. You can get independant track day insurance, but you will pay on average £1-200 per day, so it isn't cheap, although its not very often mandatory, but do check with the provider.
You can guarantee to fall in love with driving again! Just remember to obey the speed limits on the way home or you could end up in hot water with the local police!