Before we get into what new stuff is coming down the line for the next track day let’s have a quick recap of TD01, the first track day in Ireland run by Trackdays.ie. Well, we had an absolute blast running it that’s for sure! Myself and Stephen and the rest of the Trackdays team would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part, we had a fantastic bunch of people all of which brought the right attitude and the good weather with them! It’s good for the soul spending a day with a bunch of like minded petrol heads, whether it’s a track day, race meeting or rally and TD01 on the 18th November was no different.
What did we learn?
Well, we spent a lot of time talking to everyone taking part and by and large the feedback was incredibly positive. The only thing that cropped up, and we would agree with this having been on track ourselves throughout the day, was a small issue with some of the driving standards and that’s something we’re committed to tackling head-on.
We found that we had quite a large number of very experienced racers, rally drivers and track day veterans in some very quick machinery, but on the flip side what we also had was quite a large number of track day virgins and people with very little on-track experience. Now, both are equally welcome and we embrace newcomers with open arms, as we do with the experienced guys. The trouble is that these two groups don’t mix particularly well on track! So what to do about it?
What’s New For 2017?
The Novice X: The first major change we’re going to implement is something that has been the norm in circuit racing for decades and that is the use of the ‘Novice X’. When you first start racing you have to display a yellow square with a black X on the back of your car until you get 6 signatures from the Clerk of the Course (one from each completed race without incident) This signifies to the other drivers that you are new and they will give you that little bit of extra space on track and be a bit more tolerant of the odd misdemeanor. We’re going to adopt a similar policy and ask that anyone who has completed less that 3 track days display the Novice X on their car. We will provide the Novice X’s free of charge and will have both magnetic and sticky versions available at briefing. This should help both the new guys by giving them that extra bit of space (we know it can be intimidating to have a much faster cars right up your backside!) and it will help the experienced guys to know who needs to be given that extra bit of space. What this absolutely isn’t, is some kind of badge of shame! It’s a tried and tested system that is in use in Motorsport world-wide and will benefit everyone on track.
Familiarisation: If you’ve never done a track day before, the normal chain of events is that after briefing you’ll hop straight in your car and follow the safety car in single file round the track at low speed for a couple of laps before everyone else is allowed on track. This works fine but we’re making a small change. At our events any newcomers, will be asked to jump into the passenger seats of our saloon cars, 4 at a time with one of our instructors at the wheel. This will give you the opportunity to take on board much more critical information than simply learning the track by following the car in front. Our instructors will drive, show you the correct lines, point out the marshals posts, the pit exit and entry points and any particular areas where caution is needed. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions. Simple but effective!
Tuition: We’re in the fortunate position to have some of the country’s fastest and most experienced racing drivers as our instructors at Trackdays.ie. We have Le Mans drivers and multiple championship winners at our disposal and at our last event we had various different tuition packages available to purchase. This was all well and good for the small number of individuals we were able to cater for. But it didn’t benefit everyone. What we’re going to trial at the next track day is free tuition. The theory being that a little bit of tuition for a larger number of people will do more to raise the overall driving standards on the day and be of far greater benefit to the majority. We’ll see how it goes!
General Stuff: At TD02 on the 3rd Feb we will be a bit less lenient on anyone overtaking on the right or in the corners and repeat offenders will be black flagged. Also, please be advised that the noise limit is 105 decibels and noise testing will take place in the morning. If your car exceeds the noise limit you will not be allowed on track!
So that pretty much sums up the major changes for the next event and we look forward to seeing you on the 3rd Feb!
As always we’re keen to hear your feedback so if you have thoughts, suggestions or ideas, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch via the contact us page