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Speed Matters! - The Steeda UK Blog
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Steeda UK Guides - Track Day Tips - PT2

Read Part ONE HERE

An open face helmet is fine in a closed car (e,g, Focus or Mustang Coupe).
It helps you keep cool & talk to your passengers/instructor.

Pictured below is a Sparco open face, FIA certified helmet that will future proof you if you decide to start competing later on...

 
Step 2: Driver Prep


This is fairly simple. Make sure you bring your licence, and if required a helmet. You can usually hire one at most tracks if you want too. If you are concerned about your car, Track Day Insurance by companies like REIS can help. Also remember to wear comfortable breathable clothes with long sleeves and full length trousers, plus good comfortable driving shoes. Driving gloves can also be a good investment as they are cheap and can give you a very secure grip on the wheel even with your palms sweating away and your heart pounding!

The real important prep is too relax, and have fun. LISTEN to your track day organisers and marshals. They are there to make sure you stay safe, and have fun.
There is no pressure on you to set lap records, or go full speed on lap one. You have all day. Also remember to eat and drink, especially drink, as it can be hot work!

A real help for driver prep is instruction. Nearly all track days will offer instructor hire on the day, and you can try and pre-book a session. Its a great way to learn the track and get some basic tips. Even track day regulars can really benefit from a pro helping you... (admit it!)


                                                  


Step 3: Off We Go
(not off the track hopefully)

Once you have signed in, and listened carefully to the safety briefing, then you are ready to go.

At the start of the day everyone is desperate to get out there so there can be a lot of traffic.

NEVER try and start the day like a bat out of hell, laying down a marker to all the other drivers that you are king of the road. Take it easy, learn the track, shake down your car, see what other cars are out there, and who is potentially very fast (so you can keep an eye on your mirrors).

Remember ITS NOT A RACE. in the UK Track Days do NOT allow overtaking under braking (i.e into a bend) or at a corner.

ALL overtaking must be done by consent on the straights between corners. If someone is faster than you. and its a good chance many people will be REGARDLESS of their car, when you enter the next straight, pull aside from the racing line, (each track will specify which "side" you must overtake on.. so pay attention in the briefing) and indicate to them that they can pass, with a little lift of the accelerator if required as your car might actually be more powerful and quicker on the straights.

Its a common problem for powerful cars to think they are "dominating" the day, because every time a straight arrives they can plant the throttle and shoot off into the distance. What they often fail to realise is that as they crawl around the bends or brake 200 metres before everyone else, they are creating a convoy of very frustrated drivers behind them! DON'T BE THAT PERSON!

There is no shame in letting drivers go past. Even if your car has 300 hp more than everyone else. ITS NOT A RACE. You find your own pace, and with practice and experience (and instruction) you will get quicker and quicker, and soon you may well be "dominating" the day and lapping everyone in sight. But let that day arrive naturally....

Also remember DRIVE IN SHORT STINTS! If there is a slower driver in front of you or a lot of traffic dont curse and get frustrated, just use it as an opportunity for a cool down / coasting lap, and then go "hot" again when you have a nice gap in front of you. If you have a lot of traffic on the track, then cool down lap, and come into the pits for a drink and go back out in 5 - 10 minutes when hopefully a lot of cars will have pitted. Pick when you leave the pit lane to allow a nice clear bit of track.

KEEP CHECKING your car during the day. Are the tyres OK? Are your brakes OK, is your oil level OK? DO NOT use the handbrake when coming back into the pits as red hot discs plus handbrake does not mix and can damage your brakes. Also check your wheel nuts are tight. Wheels falling off at 100mph are bad.
Do not be afraid to ask for advice from your fellow track goers and organisers.

Remember SpeedMatters!  But more important is:


SAFETY

Motorsport is potentially dangerous. No one wants it to be, but driving one ton + machines at high speed is inherently risky. 

The organisers of the day and the marshals are there to help lookout for you and keep you safe, but it is YOUR responsibility to look out for yourself and your passengers.

Dont get angry with other drivers. Just let them past or if they are blocking you, pit or slow down to let them get out of your way. If you see a driver behaving poorly, report them to the organiser or marshall, as they want a good day for everyone. Dont try and "teach them a lesson" on track. If on track behaviour is poor and the organisers don't deal with it, dont use that organiser again in the future.

LOOK OUT FOR MARSHALLS. They will wave flags and alert you if things have happened on track. Keep your wits about you. Focus on the track at all times. no playing with cameras / stereos / etc on track.

If you are tired or thirsty pull in to the pits. There can be a HUGE shot of adrenaline initially on track and when this wears off there can be a real wave of exhaustion that sets in. This can really impact you on your drive home or at the end of a long track day, so be careful.

You will have spent the whole day driving really fast, but remember when you LEAVE the track you are back in the real world. Drive safely and at the speed limit. This can seem like slow motion after a day on track, but stay safe! Not to mention speeding fines are a bad end to a great day!

                                                                   

This is in no way a definitive guide. Add your comments if you think we should add anything.

While it might be intimidating at first, track days should be a fun and safe way to enjoy your car. We highly recommend them and invite you to join us on Steeda UK run days. We'd love to meet you!

NEVER RACE ON THE ROAD.



Created On  21 Jul 2017 12:21 in Steeda UK Blog  -  Permalink

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