What are track days?
They are the greatest opportunity to develop your driving skills and enjoy your car in the relative confines of a racing circuit complete with professional marshals and safety support. Track days are not competitive, there are no winners or prizes, everyone is expected to be in full control of their vehicle at all times.
Are track days safe?
Track days are about fun but it must be said that any form of performance driving on a purpose built race circuit can be dangerous. To make them safe, and therefore fun, you must respect the rules and the limits. Your limit, the cars limit and the circuits limit. Its also essential to be prepared and aware of everything and everyone around you on the event.
What's the agenda for the day?
First order of the day is to register and then attend the safety briefing. Only then will the circuit open up and driving commence. Sometimes the first 15-30 minutes will be behind a lead car so everyone can get familiar with the circuit. The circuit will normally be closed for an hour for lunch. Safety is the top priority so if you miss the safety briefing you will not be allowed on circuit.
How do I find the entrance?
The event organiser will normally provide details of where to go, if in doubt they won't mind you checking with them. You can also take a look at our Circuits map where the pins mark the usual entrance gates for participants.
What time do I need to be there?
Make sure you're there in time for registration and the safety briefing. If in doubt check with the organiser.
What if I'm late?
If you miss the safety briefing it's bad news, you cannot go on the circuit. If you're lucky the organiser will run through the safety briefing just for you but they're under no commitment to do this and have plenty of other important responsibilities. Bottom line, avoid disappointment and don't be late!
What does "Open Pit Lane" mean?
Open Pit Lane means all drivers of all standards are free to go on circuit at the same time. The number of drivers on the event will typically be less to prevent the circuit being crowded.
What does "Sessioned" mean?
Sessioned means drivers of similar standards will be grouped and allowed on circuit at specified times throughout the day. Sessioned events are perfect for first timers.
What happens if there's bad weather?
Track days are rarely cancelled for bad weather. Only torrential rain, hurricane wind, fog, snow and ice are considered bad enough. If in doubt by all means check with the organiser before travelling.
How much time will I get on track?
Open Pit Lane typically provides more opportunity to go on track but remember to give yourself and your car recovery and cool down time.
How long can I go out on track for at any one time?
Driving on a circuit requires extreme concentration and your car will generate much more heat than on the road. We would recommend 15-20 minutes at a time maximum, longer for more experienced drivers with suitably modified cars. Leave time for the car to cool down and to rehydrate yourself etc before returning to the track.
What equipment should I bring with me?
It's sensible to bring some basic tools with you including duct tape, insulating tape, a tyre pressure gauge, electric tyre pump, torque wrench and socket for wheel nuts. Also make sure you have some windscreen cleaner, paper roll/cloth, Engine Oil, Coolant.
What about food and drink?
Organisers usually provide tea, coffee and water as well as biscuits and even in some cases lunch. Regardless, make sure you keep drinking fluids throughout the day and keep your energy levels up.
Do I need a Driving Licence?
Yes, make sure you have it with you on the day.
What safety gear do I need?
Everyone needs a correctly sized and certified helmet, some organisers provide helmets. Full face helmets are required in open top cars. You also need to fit a towing eye to the car, usually found in the car tool kit, and tape up your headlights with insulating tape if the lenses are glass.
What do all the flags mean?
Flags are very important and should be obeyed for everyones safety and enjoyment. The flags guide has all the common flags and you'll be introduced to the flags to be used on the day at the safety briefing. Make sure you understand them and make a note of all the Marshalls post as you drive around the circuit so you know where to look for them.
What are the rules for overtaking?
This is the single most important rule for everyone to understand and will be explained in detail at the safety briefing. In general it's the responsibility of the faster car to safely pass with the consent of the slower car. The slower car must indicate and pull over to the side of the circuit. Some organisers will specify which side of the track the slower car should pull over to. Overtaking should be on the straight only. If you are doing a slow lap for any reason you should indicate and keep to the specified side of the track.
What should I wear?
Clothing should be comfortable and allow free movement. Shoes should be suitable for driving and arms and legs should be covered, especially if you are going in an open top car.
Can I take passengers?
A single passenger can travel in the front, no passengers are allowed in the rear of the car.
Can I share a car with a friend?
Yes, car sharing is usually allowed. Check with the organiser for details.
Can I bring my children?
Children under 16 are welcome, however the cannot go on track and there are strict rules around where they are allowed to go in the pit lane and paddock. All drivers and passengers must be registered, attend the safety briefing and be over 16.
Can I race my friends?
No, track days are about circuit driving not racing. Anyone ignoring the rules will be removed from the circuit.
Can I time myself?
Live lap timing in full view of the driver is considered competitive and therefore not allowed for insurance purposes.
Can I use a video recorder?
Video equipment is allowed as long as it is secured to the vehicle with a suitable clamp or suction mounts, doesn't obstruct the drivers vision and is suitably tethered if on the outside.
Are garages available?
Garages are available at most circuits, check with the organiser for details.
Can I book an instructor?
An instructor will help you quickly learn the circuit and develop your driving. Most organisers have instructors on hand, check with them for details.
How much fuel will I need?
You will be surprised how much fuel you use. Depending on your car, your driving style and how many laps you do it's possible you will get through 2 or even 3 tanks of fuel. The organiser will know the nearest place to refuel.
Do I need to prepare or modify my car?
You don't need to modify your car, however, circuit driving will push your engine, tyres, suspension and brakes much more than driving on the road. It's capabilities on track will be limited by both your ability as a driver and the mechanical components. If you intend to do many track days there are modifications to consider to suit your needs. Check out the Car Preparation page for more details.
Will I wear my car out?
The car will be fine as long as everything is in a fit state and you drive the car sympathetically. Check out the Car Preparation page for more details. Remember, at the end of the day you want to drive your car home but your tyres need to be road legal and your brakes and engine still working!
Can I use racing slick tyres?
Slick tyres are an option for the advanced drivers with purpose built machinery. Many organisers, sensibly, only allow them on cars with the proper safety features such as a full rollcage.
Does my car need to be road legal?
Your car needs to be either road legal with an MOT or capable of passing MSA (Motorsport Association) scrutineering as a race car. Either way, no open (exposed) wheel formula cars are allowed.
What if I don't want to use my car?
Car rental is available on many events, check with the organisers for options.
Can I cover up or remove my number plate?
Yes, there are many reasons why people do this, just remember to make sure they're visible when you head home! The organiser will usually identify your car by a sticker they issue at morning registration.
Is there a noise limit?
Every circuit has a noise limit, some relaxed and some very strict. It's really important to only book your car on events you know it will be allowed to participate on. Failing the noise test will prevent you from taking part and you won't be entitled to any money back. Check out the Noise Limit guide, our Circuit guides and with the organisers for more details.
What if I'm slow?
There is no too slow as long as you're not endangering anyone. It's sensible to take your time developing your speed as you learn a circuit. The organisers may want to have a chat and help you if they think you are in any way a safety concern due to excessive slow speeds.
What about insurance?
Road insurance rarely applies on track days. Specialist insurance is available and, whilst not mandatory, provides the peace of mind that allows you to have a fun day at the track. For further details check out the Insurers section.
What if I crash or breakdown?
The circuit teams will recover your car back to the pit lane. From there you can arrange recovery either via your insurer, breakdown company or local recovery company, whichever is most suitable.