General Operating Procedures

Click on the link for a downloadable copy – Castle Combe General Information and Track Days Regulations

Castle Combe Circuit

Information Pack & Track Day Regulations

Essential Preliminaries

Circuit Location – is on the B4039 less than 1 mile to the east of the village of Castle Combe.  Enter the circuit at entrance number 3 (Competitors) and find a convenient place to park in the paddock.

Programme (all times approximate except lunch)

Signing on (drivers and passengers) from     07:30 – 08:20 (in the Tavern)

Noise testing from                                     08:00 (in the scrutineering bay)

Safety Briefing (all to attend)                        08:30 (in the Tavern)

Sighting laps                                               09:00

Circuit open                                                After sighting laps

Lunch (circuit closed)                                  12:30

Circuit open                                                13:30

Circuit closes                                              17:00 (or dusk in the winter)

Half day afternoon session drivers sign on by 12:30 please in time for a safety briefing at 12:45.

Note that the Driver Declaration, which must be signed by all persons taking part in circuit activity, requires self certification that drivers are in possession of an appropriate current UK driving licence or equivalent, their car is suitable and safe for use on the circuit, and that they are fit to take part.  A copy of the declaration is attached to the booking confirmation email.

Newcomers

We may be offering a limited number of short introductory instruction sessions free of charge at the start of the track time.   If you are completely new to track days, let us know at signing on if you would like one of the slots.  Note the sessions are subject to availability and provide basics only.

Format

The day is run as open pit lane format.

Circuit Training

20 minute slots are available and can be reserved either on the day, by prior email or telephone call.  Instruction is charged at the rate indicated in the confirmation email in your own car which must have a properly fitted passenger seat complete with seat belts or harnesses.  Standard to advanced slots are available from our very experienced A & S Grade ARDS instructors.

Helmets etc

Suitable helmets (motorsport or motorcycle) are required in order to drive on the circuit.  It’s best to bring your own, but helmets are normally also available at the circuit free of charge.  There is a deposit payable to ensure safe return.

Minimum Age

Passengers must be 16 years of age or older and seat belts or harnesses must fit them properly without the use of booster seats or equivalent.

Arms and legs must be covered when driving on the circuit ie no T-shirts, skirts or shorts.

Video Cameras

Video cameras are only permitted if secured to the car by a suitable mounting bracket and by agreement on the day with Castle Combe Circuit Ltd.  Suction mounts are only permitted if the mount has a supplementary means of restraint.  Hand held cameras including mobile phones are also not permitted and anyone found using such a device on circuit will be excluded from further participation.

Slick Tyres

Slick tyres are permitted provided that saloon cars have a full roll cage fitted and open top cars have a suitable roll-over bar eg FIA approved.  Slick tyres must be suitable for the weight of car, and be fitted to the correct rim designed for the tyre.

Refreshments

Meals and snacks are available in the Tavern, usually on a pay as you go basis.  The food is of a very good standard and breakfast is normally available at signing on.

Circuit Driving

Noise Test

All cars going on the circuit must be noise tested.  This can be completed at any time, but early testing is available from approximately 08:00 in the scrutineering bay near the Avon Bridge.  The static noise limit is 100dBA at 4500rpm/0.5m for car based engines or 100dB at 3/4 maximum rpm/0.5m for motorcycle engined cars.  There is also an equivalent drive-by noise measurement.  There is no refund for a failed noise test so if you have any doubts have the car checked before the day.

Entry to the Circuit

A marshal at the Avon Bridge will admit cars to the circuit up to the circuit limit.  Please queue in the marked lanes approaching Avon Bridge.  Entry to the circuit is under the Avon Bridge and through the dummy grid area.  Keep to the left of the yellow line as you join the circuit and continue along the left side of the track towards Avon Rise.  Make sure you have a clear view of traffic approaching from behind before moving onto the racing line.  No overtaking on the out lap until you have cleared Quarry Corner.

On the Track

All drivers must complete sighting laps at a modest speed behind a pace car.  The purpose of the sighting laps is for circuit orientation, circuit conditions, and observation of the position of marshals posts and traffic signals.  The pace car will follow the normal driving line and cars should keep together and follow the line of the pace car.

 Overtaking is permitted on the straights if it is safe to do so, but only on the right.  Overtaking is not permitted within the braking area prior to a bend, or during the execution of the bend.  Overtaking is by consent only so please be sure that the driver being overtaken has seen you.  Conversely please use your mirrors and watch out for faster traffic approaching you and be prepared to move over and permit faster cars to overtake.  It is your responsibility to make sure you are not a hazard to others.

We ask you to take particular care at Quarry, Folly, the short straight between Tower and Bobbies chicane and at Camp.

  • The approach to Quarry is on a very fast part of the circuit, the track is bumpy and the entry to the corner is over a brow (Avon Rise) leading to an increased potential for loss of control.
  • We also ask you to exercise great caution at Folly.  This is a high speed right hand “kink” on the main straight.  There is potential for cars to come together during overtaking as cars transit Folly, especially if cars are joining the circuit from the pits.
  • The straight between Tower and Bobbies is very short.  Overtaking is only permitted here if the overtaken car has positively indicated that it is giving way.
  • The circuit has been resurfaced between Folley and just before Bobbies and the levels of grip are generally better than the old surface, particularly in the wet.  Take care at the exit from Bobbies into Westway, and at Camp where the reduced grip has caught unwary drivers out.

Under no circumstances will you be allowed to race with other vehicles. The purpose of the track day is to test your vehicle (within reasonable limits) and improve your own driving abilities. Anyone suspected of racing will be declared unfit to use the track.

Watch out for traffic entering the circuit from the pits on the left shortly after Camp Corner.  Keep clear of the pit lane exit.

If there is an incident, the track marshals will show yellow traffic lights and flags.  Slow down and no overtaking.  If they need to recover a car or after a more serious incident, they may stop the session by the display of red traffic lights and flags.  Slow right down and proceed at a slow pace back to the paddock and await further instructions.  Stop immediately by the side of the track if signalled to do so by a marshal.

Traffic lights are the normal method of traffic control, but in exceptional circumstances the marshals may display flags.  The basic flags that may be used are listed at the end of these notes for your reference.

End of Session

End of session is indicated by a chequered flag displayed at Camp Corner.  Carry on for one more lap at modest speed and return to the paddock.

Black Flag

A black flag may be shown to you if the marshals need to discuss an aspect of your driving, or if your car is showing signs of mechanical problems that you may not be aware of.  Please return to the pits for advice.

Track Time

In principle you may stay on circuit for as long or as short a time as you wish, however, we recommend not more than around 15 minutes at any one time without taking a break.  Circuit driving requires a high level of concentration and is tiring.  Also your car will benefit from an opportunity to cool down at regular intervals.  When you decide to return to the pits it is generally good practice to complete a cooling down lap at a modest pace and then return to the paddock.  Once back to the paddock, avoid putting the handbrake on or sitting with your foot on the brake pedal.  The brake discs will be very hot and may warp.  The pit entrance is on the left approaching Camp Corner.  Please move over to the left and signal your intention to leave the circuit in good time.

Look After Your Car

Lastly, look after your car since circuit driving imposes considerably higher stresses on the car than does normal road driving.  Check fluid levels regularly and also keep an eye on the fuel gauge.

Suggested Vehicle Safety Checks

Before you put your car on the track it should be fully roadworthy and in the best condition possible. Here is a list of things to check before arriving at the circuit.  The list is not exhaustive.

Towing Eyes

If your car has removable towing eyes, please fit them front and rear before going on circuit.  The marshals will use them to recover your vehicle if it breaks down.  If towing eyes are not fitted then the recovery crew will attached tow straps as best they can.

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.  Check that the tyres are free from cuts and splits and that all the balance weights are still on.  Remember that your tyres must be road legal at the end of the day if you intend to drive home.

Brakes

Check that your brake pads, discs and hoses 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 that all the filters and belts are in good condition.  Continue to check the fluid levels throughout the day.

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.

Loose Items

Make sure there are no loose items in the passenger compartment or boot that could fly about and either cause an accident, jam under pedals, or damage the car.

Helmet

You should have a properly fitting and suitable helmet eg motorsport or motorcycle. If you borrow one from the circuit, make sure it fits properly. Ask for advice about this if you are in any doubt.  The straps must be done up before you go out on the circuit.

Other items

If you plan to enter in an open top car, then the manufacturers homologated roll-over protection device, if provided, must be fitted.  An FIA approved type will provide enhanced protection. Classic cars by reason of age may not have roll-overprotection.

Some roll cages include a strut for stiffness that extends into the passenger space and foot well. If you have this type of cage and you intend to carry a passenger you will be required to remove the strut when the passenger is in the car.

If you have a hand held fire extinguisher, make sure it is properly 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.  Make sure your seat belts are in good condition without tears or frayed areas and that the anchorages are secure.

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.

Other Useful Information

Emergency Contact

You can usually contact us on the day, or up to 22:00 on the night before on either of 07515 850699.

We will also be receiving email on david@bhptrackdays.co.uk, subject to mobile network capability.

Restaurant Facilities

Tavern Events Ltd provides on-site catering.  Breakfast, light refreshments and more substantial meals are available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Local Information

The attractive villages of Castle Combe and Yatton Keynell lie on the approaches to the circuit.  Please drive with consideration through these villages.

A good selection of hotels and B&B accommodation is available near the circuit.  See www.castle-combe.com for some ideas.

Fuel

Fuel is available a short drive away in Chippenham.  Ask an organiser for directions.

Basic Flag/Light Signals

There is a traffic light system that supplements flag signals at the track.  The marshals will use both lights and flag signals to control the sessions.  The flags in use at the track day will be as follows.

Yellow flag/traffic light – Danger, slow down and no overtaking.

Waved yellow flag – Great danger, slow down, no overtaking and be prepared to stop.

Red flag/traffic light – Session terminated.  Slow right down and be prepared to stop.  No overtaking and proceed at a slow pace back to the paddock and await further instructions.  Stop immediately at the side of the track if signalled to do so by a marshal.  Be aware that rescue vehicles may be on the circuit and travelling in the opposite direction to the normal traffic flow.

Striped yellow and red flag – Caution slippery surface ahead.  Note that this flag will only be shown for a period.  When it is withdrawn it is not an indication that the surface is no-longer slippery.

Black flag – You should 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 intended party.  Note that this flag will be used to indicate a mechanical problem as well as an infringement of rules.

Chequered flag – The end of the session.  Complete the lap you are on at a reduced pace and return to the paddock, indicating your intentions as you approach the pits entrance.