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Track day virgin - Questions

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I’ve taken the plunge and booked my first track day with r14 PCGB at pembrey later this month. Organised by one of th3 members so not exclusively porker. Not taking my IB but my Boxster. Thought it’d be a gentle introduction.

Do you all take out track day insurance? If so who with? 

Any tips for a newbie? 

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Track day insurance on a per-day basis is expensive and carries a heavy excess. Instead I insured through Classic Line. Not the cheapest but a reputable firm and track day cover is included albeit with a 10% of value XS.

Chris.

 

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I can't offer advice on insurance, but do have some suggestions from the actual driving point of view:

- Take it easy if it's your first time. Don't go trying to set any lap records, start slow and progressively increase pace.(might be stating the obvious here, but you see a lot of people slide off the track early on where they've gone in too hard)

- Your brakes will take a hammering, so watch out for warning signs (brake fade etc)

- Depending on how fast you get/how many continuous laps you put in, you may experience tyres "going off" aka horrendous understeer and loss of traction (see below)

- When you've put in some fast laps and fancy a break, be sure to run at least a lap for cooling everything down, perhaps a couple.

- Keep an eye on your instruments and don't ignore if you see temperatures rising.

- Also keep an eye on your fuel and find out where the closest Shell garages are etc.

- Don't forget to keep yourself fuelled ;) You'd be surprised how quickly you dehydrate and also tire (physically and mentally)

- I would thoroughly recommend getting some tuition in your car if it's available. Perhaps in the afternoon so you've had a few hours properly learning your car and the track.

- When back on the road, resist the urge to drive like you're still on the track!!

- Listen to the marshalls, they're there to look out for us all.

- ENJOY YOURSELF! :D It's why we do these ultimately

Paul

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Great list Paul.

Only thing I will add is that you will be massively overwhelmed on the day so it is well worth watching some vids of people lapping on the circuit you are going to until you are bored senseless! You need to get to the point that you can skip the video to anywhere on the circuit and instantly recognise where you are - this will pay big dividends on the day as you can focus on the driving instead of learning the circuit.

Good luck man, you will love it!

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Pembrey is quite a good first outing as it's a relatively simple circuit. Echo all the above - good advice.

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Great advice from everyone - I only did 10 laps or so in Goodwood before throwing in the towel due to alarm issues. During those initial laps my biggest deficit on the day was braking. I kept braking way sooner and gentler than I needed to (road braking habits) as opposed to braking hard and late (track braking),  also becoming conscious of holding up other drivers behind me so always had an eye on the rear view mirror. Being out with super fast cars & drivers didn't help either.

As for track day insurance, I tried but in the end didn't bother as it was getting very complicated with excess, list of other cars, max amount of cover ........ basically each avenue became a dead end.

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The only way to do track insurance sensibly really is with a bundle with your road insurance - as above I go with Classic Line which offer ample track days per year for a 10% excess on Porsche policies. On my other classics insured with them it costs £49 per event to add on.

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15 minutes ago, reddevil said:

The only way to do track insurance sensibly really is with a bundle with your road insurance - as above I go with Classic Line which offer ample track days per year for a 10% excess on Porsche policies. On my other classics insured with them it costs £49 per event to add on.

What are the restriction? eg Locktons only do PCGB events.

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38 minutes ago, Sidewaysfun said:

I can't offer advice on insurance, but do have some suggestions from the actual driving point of view:

- Take it easy if it's your first time. Don't go trying to set any lap records, start slow and progressively increase pace.(might be stating the obvious here, but you see a lot of people slide off the track early on where they've gone in too hard)

- Your brakes will take a hammering, so watch out for warning signs (brake fade etc)

- Depending on how fast you get/how many continuous laps you put in, you may experience tyres "going off" aka horrendous understeer and loss of traction (see below)

- When you've put in some fast laps and fancy a break, be sure to run at least a lap for cooling everything down, perhaps a couple.

- Keep an eye on your instruments and don't ignore if you see temperatures rising.

- Also keep an eye on your fuel and find out where the closest Shell garages are etc.

- Don't forget to keep yourself fuelled ;) You'd be surprised how quickly you dehydrate and also tire (physically and mentally)

- I would thoroughly recommend getting some tuition in your car if it's available. Perhaps in the afternoon so you've had a few hours properly learning your car and the track.

- When back on the road, resist the urge to drive like you're still on the track!!

- Listen to the marshalls, they're there to look out for us all.

- ENJOY YOURSELF! :D It's why we do these ultimately

Paul

Awesome. Thanks so much. Just what I was looking for. 

33 minutes ago, jevvy said:

Great list Paul.

Only thing I will add is that you will be massively overwhelmed on the day so it is well worth watching some vids of people lapping on the circuit you are going to until you are bored senseless! You need to get to the point that you can skip the video to anywhere on the circuit and instantly recognise where you are - this will pay big dividends on the day as you can focus on the driving instead of learning the circuit.

Good luck man, you will love it!

Cheers Jevvy. Was watching your Oulton Park on board vids this morning. Great advice about watching onboard for the same track. Thanks

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As Im hoping to take the Boxster, don't think my regular insurer will cover me for track days. AIB who insure my IB's might but I'd rather take the boxster on a first outing. 

Thanks all for the advice. Pembrey here I come! lol 

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11 minutes ago, Mondrian said:

What are the restriction? eg Locktons only do PCGB events.

I've not found one they won't cover.

Basically the organiser needs to be a member of the ATDO http://www.atdo.co.uk/atdo.php?pg=members&ls=all but at certain tracks like Castle Combe they'll cover regardless.

Not sure about airfield events.

Edited by reddevil

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Here's a mate of mine in a modified Midget giving it some at Pembrey 

 

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What REDDEVIL say's about Lockton's,  they will cover you if it with the right organizers and you do need to get their approval first.

My trackday XS is 10% of value of car

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Insurance for 1 track day on the Boxster is coming out at around £140. 1200 excess. Adrian Flux, sky insurance etc. 

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Depending on how far away it is from home you might consider going the night before. 

That way you’re not rushing on the morning. Fuel up the night before  

Get a good breakfast, get to the circuit early. Enjoy a cuppa and listen to the drivers briefing. 

No need to rush. Let the first guys on track get it out of their system, maybe see if you can get a few passenger laps to see the track conditions at pace. 

Defo get some tuition  

 

Enjoy it - live to see another day, no point stacking it and running out of talent as that way lies a complete ball ache :)

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Have fun. 

If during the day you think you're finding it harder to concentrate have a break immediately rather than pushing on for a few laps - fatigue can creep up on you without you necessarily realising.

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I'd second going the night before - a £70 b+b on top of the other costs pales into insignificance really and does set you up much better for the day.

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Absolute +1 on fatigue - I find track days very tiring so that's very good advice from Simon.

The best thing I ever did on a track day was organise 30 minutes tuition at the start. I enjoyed the day so much more afterwards.

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Another thought, when parking up after a blast, either chock your tyres or/and leave it in a high gear. I've see numerous cars get a mind of their own after handbrake mechanisms cool :ani_nerd:

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Also +1 on fatigue, plus always do a cooling down lap before coming in. I failed to do so once and got to the pits to find I had ZERO brakes! Took a while to get a pedal back. Cool down lap is the way to do it.

Chris.

 

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From my motorcycle track days - check tyre pressures when you arrive (warm tyres), then check tyre pressures after a couple of laps - they are likely to be higher, so I would then reduce pressures to what they were when I first arrived.  FWIW, my motorbike tyres always needed lots of pressure removed !   Don't forget to top the tyres up again after you leave the track.

On the track - if the idiots are cutting you up, slow, let  them proceed to their own accidents, then speed up once they're gone.  Don't blindly follow the idiots - most haven't grasped the concept of racing lines and have massive braking moments.  If you're scaring yourself, slow down and gradually build up the speed - smooth is normally fastest.

 

Most important of all - enjoy the experience.  

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18 minutes ago, reddevil said:

Leave it in first gear. High gear, much more likely to roll....

I always get that back to front :rolleyes:

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Thanks chaps. Really good advice there. Going to stroll onto the pit lane like a pro at this rate 😂 Keep it coming.

I'm only about 50mins drive from the track. Kick off at 8am so I think a good kip in my own bed might be a good way to go. 

Good tip about leaving her in gear and the cool down laps. 👍

I used to ride bikes too Peter but never did a track day (Welsh roads and all that lol). Bit nervous about dusting off my Arai (in multicoloured blue with iridescent visor lol - god help them all) after 15 years. Do I turn up in my leathers? Lololol 😂😂

Anyone else going to pembrey on 25th? 

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One thing I will say is that if it’s your first track day in a standard road car, if it’s a non club open pit lane event keep a close eye on your mirrors because there will be some very fast cars out there with you .Also a few tuition laps will show you the lines and braking points..

Enjoy 

Graham 

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