What is meant by trackday ?
A trackday (or track day) means a day of driving on a racetrack. It’s a friendly day between enthusiasts, to have fun, to take full advantage of the capabilities of your car in a suitable secure environment (a racetrack) and to improve your driving skills. It requires modesty of yourself, respect for the established rules and absolute respect for others, with the desire to bring home a head full of memories and – with the exception of tires and brakes – a car in the same colour and the same shape as at the beginning of the day. It has nothing to do with a race day. All organizers will constantly remind it !
A trackday is not to be confused with a testday, which is a day reserved for professional teams and racing cars. But a trackday and a testday are sometimes combined on the same day; the organizer then makes two or three separate groups (also called sessions or stints).
TYPES OF TRACKDAYS
Except special days (training, coaching,…), there are two types of trackdays:
– open pitlane : each driver can enter the track when he wants throughout the day (except if there are already too many cars on the track).
– session/series/groups/stints : each driver is assigned to a group (e.g.: group 1 = rookies, group 2 = advanced or group 1 = road homologated GTs, group 2 = racing cars, group 3 = formulas/karts) and he has to drive in the time slots assigned to his group (approx. 5 to 7 sessions of 20 to 40 min. per day).
GENERAL TERMS OF PARTICIPATION
– have registered for the day by completing the appropriate forms and paying for the registration fee
– have signed the release of liability towards the organizer and the circuit
– except in exceptional cases, be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license
– wear a full-face helmet or jet, made for car or motorcycle, CE homologated
– wear appropriate clothing * (ideal : gloves, boots, overall)
– participate in the drivers’ briefing and have received the wristband to enter the track
⇒ all the headings of the chapter “information/advice” and “NEWS/safety”are complementary and specially written for drivers !
– in principle, be at least 16 years old
– wear a full-face helmet or jet
– wear appropriate clothing *
– participate in the drivers’ briefing and have received the passenger/co-driver wristband
* long pants and long-sleeved t-shirt are often mandatory, or you will not be allowed to enter the track !
– comply with the rules and instructions of circuit officials, marshals, organizers, instructors or drivers
– have clothes adapted to the expected weather conditions (heat, rain, wind, …)
– in principle, take part in the drivers’ briefing
– car in perfect condition (body, tires, brakes, fluids, …)
– sportscar (or racing car) respecting the anti-noise standards of the circuit
– valid liability insurance or sign one for the trackday
– have installed one (or two) tow hook before entering the track (mandatory !)
– have installed the required stickers on the windshield and/or sides of the car
⇒ seel also next chapter “advice/reminder for the car”
The prices charged may vary greatly from one organizer to another and from one track to another. The general principle to remember is that the larger and better known the track is, the more expensive it is to rent. The price also depends on the type of trackday (limited number of cars, services offered,…) and of course on the margin taken by the organizer. Thus the rates can go from 150 to 350 euros/day for a small circuit (often with a large mix of cars and drivers) to more than 1000 euros/day for exclusive events on large known circuits. The average rate charged by an organizer for a trackday on one of the major European circuits is between 350 and 700 euros/day.
Adding the other expenses (fuel, tires, brakes, travel, meals, hotel, …) a trackday is not cheap. It must be admitted that motorsport is a relatively expensive leisure activity and that it is necessary to devote a certain budget to it. But saving on the condition of your car, tires or brakes is the worst calculation to do. For obvious safety reasons, the organizers and the marshals will not let a suspicious car enter the track.