getting on the right track with easytrack
CIRCUIT DRIVING WAS ONCE THE PRESERVE OF GENTLEMAN RACERS AND PLAYBOYS. THESE DAYS VIRTUALLY ANYBODY CAN GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION.
Like it or not, the days when you can give your car a good workout on Britain's roads are well and truly over. Not only are speed limits more vigorously policed but also vehicle technology has moved so quickly that to truly test a modern sports car you'll need to dial in some serious numbers, risking your licence in the process. Fortunately Britain is blessed with a huge number of racetracks where you can put your car through its paces legally and safely. Accessing these tracks has traditionally been neither cheap nor easy. Easytrack, the UK's busiest operator of track days, makes your transition from road to circuit driving safe and uncomplicated.
The best part of the Easytrack deal is that they're so large there genuinely is something for everyone. Inexperienced users can start with an inexpensive airfield day where mistakes carry little or no consequence while those looking for something a little more intense can opt for one of the many club racing circuits around the UK. If you're looking for genuine thrills, why not take on a proper GP circuit like Silverstone or Spa? Even if you're a little wary about putting your own pride and joy through the wringer, Easytrack have a solution with specially prepared track day Caterhams available for hire. Whereas some track day companies will wheel out a rather tired looking Golf GTi or Porsche 944 as their hire vehicle, Easytrack take a rather more focussed approach. Why not consider their Arrive and Drive Caterham track car hire option. Each hire is as easy as it gets, you just turn up and use the car as if it's your own. Track car hire is available as a booking option on any of Easytrack events.
Circuits laced in historic resonance like Goodwood and Brands Hatch are offered alongside challenging but lesser known tracks like Mallory, Oulton Park and Snetterton. Airfield days at Bedford Autodrome will also give customers the opportunity to really extend their cars at high speed as well as battering a few cones in the slower sections. Widely distributed around the country, there's bound to be an event within a manageable driving distance.
The popularity of these clubs is growing apace with membership, for Easytrack for example, attainable by just logging on to their website and entering your personal details. This will then give you access to the company's programme of events with each day having a fixed fee payable. Easytrack offers its members four levels of membership. The first membership level is Bronze and offers a 3 day pass for £489. The next tier is Silver, which gives a member access to five track days in the UK for £690. The next tier, Gold gives the member access to eight track days of their choice whereas the ultimate membership, Platinum, gives the member access to eleven track days for £1,229. All passes are valid for 36 months.
Easytrack also claims to be the safest company organising track days for customers in the UK as events are tightly run, marshalled to the same standard as a race meeting and membership tends to have a slightly higher average age than many of their competitors. This said, they still major on fun for both the drivers and guests alike.
Many would-be track-dayers are put off because they perceive events like this to be intimidating for any newcomers. Easytrack go to great lengths to ensure that people new to the event are not treated in such a way by organising the track sessions into twenty-minute slots for novices, intermediates, and advanced drivers. This way everyone gets a fair chance to practise his or her skills in an environment of similar experience. Just as it's no fun for an experienced track driver to be repeatedly stuck behind nervous novices, we all have to start somewhere and by the same token driving with one eye constantly on the rear view mirror as cars surge by isn't the most enjoyable experience.
A smaller number of events have an 'open lapping' policy but these tend to be favoured by more experienced drivers looking to get the greatest amount of laps in. Easytrack are keen to stress the non-competitive nature of their track days. The use of timing equipment is banned and anybody perceived as racing or driving aggressively will be black-flagged.
If you are starting out, don't be intimidated by the fact that you don't own a Porsche 911 GT3 or a BMW M3 either. Many of the most popular cars at Easytrack events are far more affordable fare. Almost all vehicles are welcome on track days just so long as they meet safety and noise emission requirements. As a general rule, you car needs be to MOT standard, i.e. seatbelts, brakes, tyres, indicators and lights all need to be in shape. Helmets are compulsory for all people intending to drive or ride as a passenger. Easytrack will hire or sell helmets that will be waiting for you at the event. Although racing overalls are recommended, long sleeved tops and full trousers are compulsory. Shorts and a tee shirt won't cut it.
The success of Easytrack demonstrates that no matter what the authorities throw at the British motorist there's always a way to legally take your car to its limits. Easytrack days are fun and exhilarating and for those interested, you should take a look at the company's website at www.easytrack.co.uk.