Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by California Style » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:41 am

Yeah the key is fun and safety.

Both safety of being on a track (i.e NOT on a road) but also the driving safely while on the track.

As MetA pointed out, track driving can be risky, depending on the circumstances, but mainly because there are other people around as well.
Normally you can manage this yourself, as its not a race just a fun day out. If someone is behind you, let them past, if you are behind someone who is blocking you, pull in the pits, and then go out again, or do a slow down lap to let them get away... There should be no reason to have any issues., particularly on well run days like MOT ones.

Also our North Weald activity days are great starters for track virigns, as its "off road" but only 1 car at a time so you can get used to being more extreme in your car, but without having to worry about other people.

And as many people have said, we are a club for a reason. There are always people to help out, to come in your car with you, or for you to go in their car. In fact if you are thinking of a track day, why not go along for one NOT as a driver, to get a feel for it, and have some passenger rides etc.

The main thing to remember is:
its NOT racing. There is NO pressure on you.
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by HypoThermia » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:25 pm

Good post there Malcolm =D>

Just to expand on the briefing part of day, there are quite a few points that are covered. Some are specific to the day itself, while others are general rules that will govern the day.

1. Track etiquette.
This covers the rules that drivers are expected to follow while on the track. For the kinds of days that we attend the rules are intended to ensure co-operation between the drivers and encourage common sense behaviour on the circuit.
  • No more than two people to a car.
  • Helmets on and chin strapped at all times on the circuit.
  • Follow marshals flags and signals at all times (more on this in a moment)
  • Overtake by permission only (also, more in a moment)
  • Do not endanger other drivers on the circuit.
I've probably missed a few... that's why you pay attention to the briefing :wink:

2. Marshal flags.
Marshals will cover all major points on the circuit and give you information about what is around the next corner, the state of the circuit ahead, or the track as a whole.
  • Yellow flag - slow down, don't overtake. There is someone in trouble up ahead, so be especially observant. Applies until the next green flag.
  • Red flag - the circuit is closed. All cars must come back into the pit lane at the next opportunity.
  • Black flag - you return to the pits immediately (though a circuit may have a more specific instruction about where). You might not be following the track rules, or your vehicle might be having mechanical trouble that you're not aware of. In either case, for the safety of other drivers, you cannot continue.
  • Blue flag - there is a much faster car behind you, allow them to overtake.
  • Red and Yellow striped - there are fluids on the track, slow down and observe the track surface.
  • Green flag - all clear, you can return to a speed you are comfortable with.
  • Black and white chequered flag - the session is over, return to the pits.
You look out for and identify the marshal posts on the circuit during the sighting lap (the marshals usually hold out their flags). They are usually sited on or before the entrance to each corner or on a blind crest.

3. Overtake by consent only
The rules for the events that we've attended so far have been very consistent and simple, and allow both the car doing the overtaking and being overtaken to behave in predictable ways.
  • Always overtake on the left
  • Always overtake when permission has been given (the car being overtaken checks clear to manoeuvre, signals, moves over, slows down)
  • Always overtake on the straight.
You should be aware of cars coming up behind you that might overtake you, and try to think ahead as to when you can provide a safe overtaking opportunity. Slowing down is important as it allows for a relatively quick and clean overtake - it should not be turned into a drag race as there is the next corner ahead to think of.

Not complying with the overtaking rules for the circuit can result in a black flag.

4. Circuit overview
Each circuit has its own character and there should also be a briefing on the condition of the circuit. This will highlight any corners that you should treat with additional caution (at Oulton Park we were advised that Druids is always very slippery because of the surrounding trees, especially in the wet). It is a reminder for the regulars who have been there before, and those who are new to the circuit.

If there is bad weather, or the prospect of bad weather, then information will also be given about how the track can change through the day (at Cadwell Park the section following the pit exit stays wet for longer, even after the rest of the circuit has dried out).

The circuit may be set out with cones to assist in identifying key parts of driving through a corner. Usually where you start the turn info the corner, and the apex (inside) of the corner are marked, though this isn't always the case. The cones provide additional information about the circuit that isn't immediately visible.


If you go to a track day and these points aren't covered then can and perhaps should be raised as questions. The above is offered as a "terms of reference" as specific events may vary slightly.

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Ian.Mothersole » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:36 pm

Carrying on from what Robbie has said...
California Style wrote:...our North Weald activity days are great starters for track virigns, as its "off road" but only 1 car at a time so you can get used to being more extreme in your car, but without having to worry about other people...
I have attended a North Weald activity day and a Finmere car control day, and as a "trackday virgin" I now feel much more confident to go out on my first trackday (hopefully at the end of January now [-o< ).

IMO driving on a track or a public road is going to be dangerous - that is why we have safety briefings on a track and driving tests for the road to ensure everyone is following the same rules.
In balance it is safer to drive fast on a track than a public road because there are far fewer unpredictablities (child on bicycle, pedestrians, people driving at 20MPH, wild animals on the back road, oil/diesel spills on the road, etc.. etc...)
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by MetA » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:37 pm

(the car being overtaken slows down, indicates and moves over)
:) INDICATES, checks clear, moves over and THEN slows down.

OR, the faster car ends up ploughing in to the rear of the new person who panics.
SAFETY first, always :)

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Ian.Mothersole » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Shifty_uk wrote:...
Anyway theres plenty of empty roads around mine, never ever been a issue, dont need a track day. :D
brads rex wrote:
Shifty_uk wrote:Yep true :D but not been caught yet neither has anyone who been to nott's meets and we've hit some very nice speeds. Each to there own, my opinion will nto change, no need for me to spend my money on something i can do anywhere when i want to :D
I am not sure if this is a genuine post or designed to elicit a reaction, but ill bite.

*Reason number one for doing a track day*
YOU WON'T FIND A CHILD ON A BICYCLE AROUND A BLIND BEND.

*reason number two*
see above.
Shifty, I think you need to try a trackday...
You will be able to drive fast without having to think about all the "what ifs..."
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by HypoThermia » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:13 pm

Thanks for the sense check Peter, I've updated.

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Shifty_uk » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:37 pm

brads rex wrote:
Shifty_uk wrote:Yep true :D but not been caught yet neither has anyone who been to nott's meets and we've hit some very nice speeds. Each to there own, my opinion will nto change, no need for me to spend my money on something i can do anywhere when i want to :D
Iam not sure if this is a genuine post or designed to elicit a reaction, but ill bite.

*Reason number one for doing a track day*

YOU WON'T FIND A CHILD ON A BICYCLE AROUND A BLIND BEND.

*reason number two*

see above.
My reply to this brad is simple

Outside the Club, i do as i please. There will NEVER be a child around the roads we drive on our meets, there completly dead & in the middle of no-where, all the run's i've done, i could count on 2 hands the amount of other traffic we've seen. Only thing which could happen would be if someone lost control & slid into the kerb, which again is very unlikely. We dont drive like Yobs, we drive in a safe & controlled manner, but at a higher speed. (depending on roads/weather, if wet, then its simple - we dont)

Clear example of people taking this thread way to much to the heart, you look at the starting posts & some replys which has some good info & chat regarding Q&A's for track days - Hypo & others have toke some time in replying with good replys/advice, yet as is increasingly becoming more often there a small few, who just take it to far. Very much a shame.


Anyway:
Ian.Mothersole @: I understand the comment fella, but i wont get anything out of it, its still the same, driving quickly, only difference is its a controlled place. Thanx for the reply though.

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Gaztopz » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Shifty_uk wrote: Outside the Club, i do as i please. There will NEVER be a child around the roads we drive on our meets, there completly dead & in the middle of no-where, all the run's i've done, i cound count on 2 hands the amount of other traffic we've seen.

Shaun,

There's a first time for everything, and this sort of attitude and manner of driving is what keeps me busy.

You can't possibly be certain what is (or isn't) around the next corner.

On a committee level, I'm extremely disappointed in your posts, as they hardly convey responsibility.

If I have mis-read them, please, please correct me.
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Zarterone » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:36 pm

One more think I think should be added,

its not really important, or will affect the way you drive or others on the track

And divinely wont affect the track day in January but most(if not all) track days insist that you were long sleeves when driving( I can't see anyone turning up to Brands Hatch in just a T-Shirt :lol: )

I nearly forgot this rule one sunny track day(Cadwell park last year) luckily I had a jumper I could put on, to cover my arms, otherwise it would have been very expensive just sitting watching all the other cars go out on track because of a slight oversight.
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Will66 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:39 pm

This is not always a requirement, different companies have different policies. However, covered limbs are a good idea, if there was a fire it would prevent more extensive burns.
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Zarterone » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:51 pm

Maybe not ,but its better to be aware of it, than not

just in case, you wouldn't want to miss out on a track day , just because you forgot a jumper(or similar)
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Shifty_uk » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:55 pm

Gaztopz wrote:
Shaun,

There's a first time for everything, and this sort of attitude and manner of driving is what keeps me busy.

You can't possibly be certain what is (or isn't) around the next corner.

On a committee level, I'm extremely disappointed in your posts, as they hardly convey responsibility.

If I have mis-read them, please, please correct me.
Going to Gaz fella.

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by MetA » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:29 pm

Shaun, there's an angle on the comments the club and members need to take a stand on :(
There has been a case where membership of a forum where speed and fast driving on open roads was discussed by members that was used in a court case to sway the mind to the driver being guilty of reckless driving.
So, some of us will always feel the need to remind that we should all obey speed limits and drive safely at all times cogniscent of the risk that unexpected "things" may appear in our track at any time.
In general in another forum it's now accepted that nobody posts those.
Partly as they felt beaten down as we'd get hundreds of folks reporting posts where road racing was advocated :)

re other stuff, by being focussed on the small things we improve the greater :)

and on another point raised ... I had the conversation with the chief marshal at the first event I heard the cover the arms comment and asked what materials were dictated. None was the reply, so I gently pointed out that some drivers were potentially putting on jackets to cover arms that were FLANMABLE and by blindly applying a rule it was worse. Of course legal and logic never mix. The insurance cover said they had to be covered and that was it. :(

But thems the rules ... it's like MSA who are forcing us into replacing all our fireproof overals in the next 3 years to be more fire resistant. THere has NEVER been a fire in a Scottish Sprint/Hillclimb in living memory and suspicion of NEVER. BUT we still have to accpet the new rule :( mad I tell you, mad :)
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Zarterone » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:46 pm

its not just motor sport events where "them are the Rules" I'm afraid (as your probably you're fully aware of)

Just trying to get simple jobs done at work have now become a complete nightmare because of the health and safety lot
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by brads rex » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:30 pm

Shifty_uk wrote:Outside the Club, i do as i please. There will NEVER be a child around the roads we drive on our meets, there completly dead & in the middle of no-where, all the run's i've done, i could count on 2 hands the amount of other traffic we've seen. Only thing which could happen would be if someone lost control & slid into the kerb, which again is very unlikely. We dont drive like Yobs, we drive in a safe & controlled manner, but at a higher speed. (depending on roads/weather, if wet, then its simple - we dont)
You'll be fine then, crack on :thumleft: :lol: .
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Shifty_uk » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:51 pm

Will do :D
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Shifty_uk » Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:22 pm

Right,

I'd like to apologize & admit i was wrong in my comments in early page's. To clarify I in no way encourage dangerous driving [-X . I do however enjoy driving on our great british roads in a fun, but controled manner :D . Other Club Members from the nottinghamshire meet's can confirm this greatly.

Again as with all aspects of my role on the Committee, i must learn & understand more that the way i type something can really come across in a bad way. This is most likely why i do end up defending my posts so much to you people from time to time. No excuse i know, but its all i can say. Im only 23 years of age, and i have still loads of time to wise up - more so when little one arrives in May 2011 :D

I'll strive to improve my relations with you all. I do hope i havn't lost anyone's faith in me with my comments, i sincerely apologize to anyone i did offend or upset. I never condone dangerous driving [-X .

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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by Zarterone » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:37 pm

It takes a big man to apologise, and admit he is wrong

well done =D>
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by brads rex » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:54 am

:whathesaid: , I commend your post, it's taken integrity to write and post up =D> =D> =D> ,
I feel my posts would have benefited from some well placed smilies too better convey my emotional intent and stop any misunderstandings arising, (will edit accordingly).

This thread has the potential of becoming a classic :lol: ,it has all the ingredients, Entertaining, Informative and Contentious, :thumleft: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Car Activity and Track day - Q&A

Post by stoupaduck » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:05 pm

Well done Shaun, a very mature post. I'm sure your little 'un will benefit from your wisdom in years to come - good luck.
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