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What is a track day ?
A car track day is a great, safe environment when you can safely drive your car around a racing circuit, often faster than the UK speed limits on the UK public highways.
What track day formats are there ?
There are 2 main track day formats
Open Pit Lane - This is where you can come on and off the circuit any time you want (allowing for a max number of cars on track at any one time)
Sessions - This is when you will be put in to groups for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. Track days can be 2,3 or 4 groups.
Do I need track or track day experience ?
Some track days might be geared towards the Novice or more experienced driver. If unsure, it is always worth check before booking.
Do I need a driving licence ?
Yes - You must take your valid driving licence along with you on the day. Some events are for juniors, who won't have a licence.
Are track days safe ?
All forms of motorsport carry with them inherent dangers. You should always drive within your own limits where you feel safe. If you wish to learn more and go faster, then driver tuition is recommended.
What is a siting lap ?
Before the session is fully open for the day, the organisers will take you on a few siting laps. This will consist of driving the circuit following a pace car, at slower than normal speeds to allow drivers to get used to the track and conditions. No overtaking during the siting laps.
How do I know what to do at a Track day ?
Every UK track day, will provide you with a full safety briefing on the morning of the track day. They will tell you all the rules of the circuit, what the flags mean, what to do in event of accident.
Can I overtake ?
Yes, is the answer. There are sometimes some restictions and times when you can't, such as when you see Yellow or Red flags, or on siting laps. Overtaking on track is is normally only on the left, on straights, and with consent from the person you are looking to overtake (they should see you and indicate right to show they have seen you).
What are track days flags ?
Track day marshals will use a number of different colour flags to alert drivers and riders of potential dangers and penalties throughout the day, with each colour or combination of colours meaning something different:
Red - A red flag means that there has been a serious incident and that the track day session has been stopped. Under a red flag, you will need to slow down and return to the pits, or as directed, without overtaking.
Yellow - A yellow flag means there's some sort of danger or hazard ahead, so take extra caution and be extra vigilant, do not overtake whilst under a yellow flag.
Green - This is used to signify all is ok. For example, after yellow flags, you will be shown green flags, when it is safe to build your speed back up after you are clear of incidents.
Yellow & Red - A red and yellow striped flag means that there is some sort of debris on the track, or that grip is poor, so take extra caution.
Blue - A blue flag means that another vehicle wants to overtake you, so take caution and let them pass you when safe.
Black - A black flag means one of two things, either the marshals have spotted a problem with your vehicle, eg. smoke or oil, or that your behaviour on track is too aggressive and you're deemed to be a danger to yourself and or other vehicles on track. If you are black flagged, you will need to slow down and return to the pits immediately.
Chequered Flag - This is a white and black flag, which is used to signify the end of a session or race (either lunch time or end of day). On a track day, this flag might also be used to signify end of session for lunch.
White flag - It is unusual to see this on a track day. This means there is either official’s car, or a much slower moving vehicle on the circuit.
Do I need to learn the flags ahead of the track day ?
A full safety briefing will be given in the morning prior to your track day. Don't worry too much about this.
What is track day tuition ?
Most circuits will offer, normally for a fee, driving tuition. These will be experienced racing drivers who will join you in your car for 20 - 30 minutes and talk you through areas of driving improvement, better racing lines or braking points.
Will my car insurance cover me on a track day ?
Probably not. There is normally an exclusion on your car insurance. There are plenty of track day car insurance companies out there.
Can I take a passenger on a track day ?
Generally yes. This is down to the venue or organiser. If you have a single seater, then you won't be able to take a passenger. Passengers will be limited to 1. Passengers will generally need to be either 16 or 18.
Will I need a helmet ?
Yes. You can either bring your own helmet along, or the circuit will allow you to hire one of theirs.
Will I need overalls ?
No, on a track day, it isn't necessary for you to wear overalls. It is at the discretion of the event organisers. In some rare cases, or if you go to a testing day, these might be required. If you are driving an open top car such as a Caterham, then the organisers might insist that you have arms and legs covered.
Does my car need an MOT for a track day ?
If you are driving to the venue, then yes ! No, if the car is being trailered to the circuit. The car must be safe, and not be leaking any fluids. IT must have working rear lights (or a rain light).
Can I hire a track day car ?
Some track day companies do hire out cars for a fee. They will have more info on their website.
Are there noise limits on a track day ?
Yes, all circuits will have a noise limit to adhere too. These will be displayed at the time of booking. Your car will be tested on the day for compliance.
There are 2 types of noise test depending on the venue.
Static noise test – This is where you rev your car to around ¾ of the maximum revs. They will take a reading at 1 metre away to see if you are over or under the limit
Drive by noise test – This is where the circuit will have noise meter on the circuit. You will be checked while on track.
Do I need to prepare my car for a track day ?
There are some simple common sense checks you should do before a track day.
Check tyre condition and tread
Check all fluid levels
Remove all loose items from the car
Check Tyre pressures
Noise test - Some cars are noisy, and might not pass noise restrictions for the given circuit.
What time can I arrive at the circuit ?
Most race tracks / circuits tend to open early. It is worth checking with the particular track, however it is not unusual for people to arrive before 0600.
Can I buy fuel at the circuit ?
Most race circuits will have a fuel pump. The opening times will be given during the briefing. You can always call a circuit ahead of time to check. Pricewise, you may find they are a little more expensive than a local petrol station, but they can be a drive away. So to increase your time on track, it may be worth filling up on site.
What if I have an accident ?
In the unlikely event that you are involved in an incident on the track, there will always be fully trained marshals, paramedics and fire safety on site to help.
Can I use slick tyres ?
This will depend on the event and track day organiser. Generally slicks are not permitted in damp or wet conditions.
What if I need to cancel my track day ?
This will depend on the organiser. Sometimes they might not refund, but will allow you to move to another event free of charge, if you cancel within their policy, which might be anyting from 24 hours to 7 days before.
Can I bring my children to a track day ?
This is best to check with the circuit on their terms. It is safe to assume that children under the age of 16 cannot be unsupervised, or in the pit lane. All venues are different.
Where can I book a track day ?
Try some of the links below
About this guide.
Please note, the above has been written by TMS Motorsport (The Moff Shop) as a guide, not an exhaustive list. We advise you check with the circuit and / or track day organiser if you have any questions, as this article will not cover all eventualities.
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