Here you will be able to find information on how events are organised, what to expect when you arrive at the track, and some checks for your car.
Format Of Events
Events will generally be run along one of two formats unless you intend to book an exclusive or corporate day, in which case the format can be tailored to your specific requirements.
Our usual format is for events to be run as an open pit lane. Marshals control the total number of cars on the track, and drivers are free to drive on the circuit when they wish. We advise drivers to limit their time on the circuit to around 15 to 20 minutes to avoid overtaxing themselves and the car's mechanicals. This format leads to a relaxed atmosphere since drivers are not under pressure to feel they must drive at a set time as is the case with a sessioned event.
Alternatively, events may be run as timed sessions with drivers divided into groups in accordance with level of ability. Sessions are normally around 15 to 20 minutes in duration.
There is always a lunch break when everything stops for about an hour.
Arrival at the Circuit
Proceed into the paddock, find a parking place and park.
Please note that there are strictly enforced speed limits on the service roads and in the paddock area. After parking, proceed to the restaurant building to complete sign-on formalities and attend the safety briefing.
Coffee, tea and breakfast are usually available.
Typical Programme for the Day
|Safety Briefing||08:45||(the novice briefing follows immediately after)|
|Morning session commences||09:30||(novice session 09:45 - 10:05)|
|Afternoon session commences||13:30|
|Circuit closes||about 17:00|
Signing On and Safety Briefing
All drivers and passengers must sign on and attend a safety briefing before they will be permitted to drive on the circuit.
At sign-on, drivers must show a valid full driving licence. Drivers and passengers must also sign a registration form. Drivers and passengers will be issued with different coloured wrist bands to indicate that they have completed signing on.
A safety briefing will be given to all drivers and it is recommended that passengers attend too. Driver attendance at the briefing is mandatory, so please make sure you attend on time if possible. The purpose of the briefing is to inform you about safety procedures, to emphasis that the event is strictly non-competitive, and to give guidance on a few simple rules to be followed on the circuit and in the paddock. Also what to do in the event of an accident, and what the various flags mean. Drivers will be issued with a second coloured wrist band after the safety briefing.
Drivers new to track days will be given an extra briefing immediately following the general safety briefing for all drivers.
We will run supplementary briefings throughout the day for late arrivals.
Format - The day will commence with all cars required to drive on the circuit for three familiarisation laps behind a Pace Car. This gives drivers a chance to check out the track conditions at a regulated pace and note the positions of marshals posts. Following the familiarisation laps, drivers will be admitted to the circuit. Drivers wishing to enter the circuit should queue in the assembly area. Cars will be admitted to the circuit by a marshal when track space is available because we limit the maximum number of cars on the circuit at any one time. Track access will be continuous throughout the day except if the entry list indicates that a dedicated novice session is required, or in the event of a session being stopped, and during the lunch break.
The sessions are strictly non-competitive and anyone considered to be driving competitively or in an otherwise unsafe manner will be excluded from further participation.
Noise test - Prior to going onto the track, all cars may be subject to a noise test to confirm that the noise level is within that permitted by the circuit. Please note that noise limits are strictly enforced. Your entry fee will not be refunded if your car fails this test, so if you are in any doubt about this you are recommended to have your car tested before you arrive at the circuit, or bring auxiliary muffling with you.
Track time - Do remember that circuit driving is tiring because of the high levels of concentration involved. We recommend 15 - 20 mins at a time both from consideration of the driver and the car. Allow the car decent periods to cool off between sessions on the circuit.
When you decide to return to the paddock, it is kind to the car to allow a cool down lap at more modest pace. Remember to indicate your intention to enter the pits in good time and move over if appropriate.
In the paddock, avoid use of the parking brake after a session on the circuit. The application of the brake can warp discs when these are very hot. Obviously you must ensure the car cannot run away by putting the car in gear, and/or the use of a wheel chock or similar.
Overtaking - There are strict rules governing overtaking. These are there to reduce the risk of collision between cars. Overtaking is normally permitted on straights only, and then on a designated side ie right or left depending on the circuit. This will be detailed in the joining instructions and again in the safety briefing. Overtaking is NEVER permitted within the braking zone or entry to a bend. Overtaking is by consent only so please make good use of your mirrors, and make sure the driver being overtaken has seen you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not a hazard to other drivers.
Flag Signals - In the event of an incident, the track marshals will display flags as follows. Note that some circuits use red and yellow traffic lights as a supplement or instead of red and yellow flags, but the meaning is the same.
Yellow flag - Danger, slow down and no overtaking.
Waved yellow flag - Great danger, slow down, no overtaking and be prepared to stop.
Red flag - Session terminated. Slow right down, no overtaking and proceed at a slow pace back to the pit lane or other place of safety advised at the safety briefing, and await further instructions. Stop immediately at the side of the track if signalled to do so by a marshal.
Other flags you may see during the sessions are as follows:
|Blue flag - You are being approached by a faster car. Allow it to overtake when it is safe for you to pull over. Use your indicators to show to which side of the track you will move to permit the overtaking manoeuvre. Ease off the throttle to make overtaking easier for the other car!|
|Striped yellow and red flag - Caution slippery surface ahead.|
Green flag - Circuit clear. This flag will be shown after yellow flags or the striped yellow and red flag.
Black flag - You must return to the pits immediately and report to the pit lane marshal. This flag will be shown to individual drivers and only applies to them. If in doubt, return to the pits anyway. The marshal will wave you through if you were not the guilty party.
Chequered flag - This signals the end of the session. Complete the lap you are on at a reduced pace and return to the pits, indicating you intentions as you approach the pit entrance.
Note that it is perfectly in order to return to the pits at any time during a session. Just indicate your intention to turn into the pits in good time and move to the appropriate side of the track.
The circuit will close for lunch for 1 hour to give everyone including the organisers and marshals a well-earned break. Please remember that if you are driving, you will not be permitted back on the circuit after consuming alcohol.
Fuel may not be available on the circuit. There are generally garages nearby. Remember that your car will consume fuel at a much greater rate under track conditions, so make sure you keep an eye on the gauge!
We will normally arrange for one or more ARDS (Association of Racing Drivers Schools) instructors to be available for individual advice and tuition throughout the day. This service is provided to drivers for an additional charge (in the interests of reduced entry fees for those drivers who do not want tuition). Please book track time directly with the instructor. If you would like to take advantage of this facility, it is recommended that you do not leave booking too late in the day to avoid disappointment.
Not always available, but we will advise about this in your briefing pack after you have booked. Where practicable we may lay on caterers.
We can usually advise about local hotels.
We recommend that you take out specific track day insurance for any track event, as normal policies may not include track day cover.
If your insurance company does not offer track day insurance Competition Car Insurance can usually help. See the link in the menu bar, or their address and contact details are:-
Particularly for Europe, arranging suitable holiday insurance would also be prudent.
Before you put your car on the track it must be fully roadworthy and in the best condition possible. Here is a list of things to check before arriving at the track.
Tyres - Track driving will wear tyres out much more quickly than during normal road use. We recommend that your tyres have a minimum of 3.5mm tread in order to be suitable for the track. Remember that your tyres must be road legal at the end of the day if you intend to drive home. Check that the tyres are free from cuts and splits and that all the balance weights are still on.
Brakes - Check that your brake pads and disk's are in good condition. Make sure that you have adequate life left in the brake pads and that the brakes are working efficiently. Check brake fluid levels, and make sure there aren't any leaks.
Engine - Check your oil and water levels and all the filters and belts are in good condition.
Suspension and Steering - If you have any doubts, get the car checked over at a suitable first rate car service centre. Check the steering, for play in the column, rack or steering arms. Check also that you don't have excessive play in the wheel bearings.
What Happens on the Day and On-the Track?
Make sure you are well rested the night before because you're in for an exciting and quite tiring day. Make sure you arrive at the circuit in plenty of time with plenty of fuel. There is still much to do even though you have completed all those pre-day checks on your car, and it's best to get everything done before the briefing and leave enough time to relax before the proceedings get under way.
You will have received an instruction pack either by email or in the post that tells you all about the format for the day and the programme. Make sure you have read it before you travel to the circuit. The main elements of the briefing pack are given above under format of events.
On arrival at the circuit you need to complete the formalities of signing on before the drivers briefing. Also you need to finalise preparation of your car. Take out all the tools, loose bits and pieces etc and put them in a safe place. The last thing you want is to be distracted by things flying about on the first bend or worse becoming trapped under the brake pedal. Also loose tools can damage the bodywork, especially on aluminium bodied cars like Caterham 7s. If your car has a 4 or 6 point harnesses, fasten the passenger harness if you don't have a passenger, as the straps can fly around too in a most disconcerting way!
Make sure the wheel nuts are tight and that the spare wheel is properly fastened. You might consider taking the spare wheel off if you have any doubts. Check tyre pressures. Drivers often increase pressure a little for track use as this sometimes improves stability, but be cautious as changing the pressures can change the handling characteristics significantly. If in doubt, try the car on the track before you change anything. Don't be afraid to ask, either. There are usually plenty of people around more than willing to offer advice.
Double check the oil and water. The engine will be working much harder on the track than on the road, and may use much more oil than usual.
Clean the windscreen and check the mirrors. You may need to re-adjust the latter for the track, as the optimum position may be different than for the road.
Sign on and attend the drivers briefing.
After signing on and attending the safety briefing, you should now have a programme for the day, a couple of wrist straps and possibly an assortment of stickers to put on your car. You will also be offered some familiarisation laps behind a pace car so that you can familiarise yourself with the circuit layout.
You join the track from the pit lane. The pit lane marshal will check your stickers and wristband before letting you onto the track.
It's a good idea to warm up the engine and oil before you go out on the track, so allow a little time to do this. Also settle yourself into the car, strap in, make sure you are comfortable and, of course, don't forget to put on your helmet.
On the Track
Always drive well within your own abilities. This is the most important precept to remember. There is no requirement to drive faster than you feel comfortable with. There will always be drivers more capable than you and with faster machinery than you. If you can acknowledge this, make good use of your mirrors, drive safely and show due consideration for others, this will be appreciated by the other drivers more than anything else.
Make a steady and consistent pace. Build up pace gradually through your sessions and learn how your car feels and reacts. Concentrate on consistent smooth driving, braking, correct lines and smooth acceleration. You will derive much more satisfaction and enjoyment this way rather than by trying to match the pace of the faster drivers and getting out of shape or worse.
Remember your mirrors, and use them often. Give way to the faster cars when it is safe to do so. Ease off the throttle to make their lives easier. You won't make any friends by being inconsiderate, and you too may want to overtake slower traffic.
Above all, be cautious and don't put yourself into impossible and dangerous situations. If in doubt DON'T!
If you drive well within your limts and that of the car, and the latter is well maintained you should not have any problems. If you do, however, you will find that there are lots of people ready and willing to help. It is a good idea to take with you some tools and basic spares of course, including a litre of engine oil just in case.
This is the most important consideration and should be the theme throughout the day. Don't be alarmed as most of the issues come down to common sense.
You should have a properly fitting crash helmet that meets at least the BSI standards. If you borrow one from the circuit, make sure it fits properly. Ask the organisers to advise you about this if you are in any doubt.
If you plan to enter in an open top car, then it should be provided with a roll-over bar. An FIA approved type will provide enhanced protection.
A hand held fire extinguisher is a good idea. Make sure it is fitted to the car so it won't come loose if there is a collision.
Whereas standard seat belts are perfectly acceptable, competition style harnesses (4 or 6 point) will give you better support.
Both you and your passenger must be suitably dressed. This means your arms and legs must be covered up while you are on the circuit ie no T-shirts, shorts or skirts.
Passengers and Spectators
You are very welcome to come along as a passenger or just to watch. If you do ride as a passenger then you will need to wear a helmet and sign the registration form. There may be a nominal fee for passengers, but spectator entry is free.
Want to Know More?
If there is anything else you would like to know, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 01342 837957.