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A journey into track days


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As the season is due to start I thought I would provide some reviews of the products I have bought and the services I have used for those who are bored and need some time wasting!  I'll start off

VBOX is the one....    you almost forget its there and all the things it’s capable of logging!  I’m a dealer for VBOXs, and for TLF members I’ll throw in a days Driver coaching, sy

have booked first track day in the exige  , an evening at Bedford on 25th july with lotus on track

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Good to hear about Snetterton. I have never done it as have standard exhaust but looking to sort out my  noise issue shortly so as can do more UK circuits.

No doubt Cup 430’s are a match for a GT3 and pretty much an RS too.

I was at Spa on Wednesday and there were a few Lotus’s.

Excellent track but requires a bit of getting used to and power certainly helps

 

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Hi Colin  I’ve done a couple of track days in the 430 but they’ve not carried out static noise test due to covid I assume.  What were you registering at static with standard exhaust?

Also The Marshall's said they were still doing drive by testing but I’ve had no issues with the 2 days I’ve done so far. Have you had any issues with drive by?

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On 16/07/2020 at 17:38, BatMobile said:

Realised it’s been ages since I updated this thread!

so after selling my 350 and moving to a 430 I finally managed to get it on track. Now the 350 is an amazingly capable car right out of the box but the 430 just blew my mind. I had a geo done by Jez at back on track in Guildford and so the car was running more front camber and a lower ride height than factory but the way this thing carries speed, brakes and accelerates is just mind altering. I know snetterton from last year but I had to change all my braking and turn in points as this was just so much sharper. Had a fun battle with a gt3 rs and was shocked that it only pulled very marginally ahead down the straight when I changed gear. 

I have the lotus track exhaust which was great in terms of noise but they weren’t actually policing noise that day! 
 

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Hi Alastair, great pics pal.

how do you find the standard brake pads on track? 

And Does anybody know what the Oem pads are on the Cup 430?

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Hi Steve,

Only had 2 static tests and one was Goodwood where I was a little economical With the revs and it was 104db. I am pretty sure at 5,000 rpm you will be 105-107

I was spoken to at Silverstone recently as had hit 104db under Hanger. After that I kept right but still had to short shift on pit straight and under Wellington . I am looking at a solution at moment which doesn’t involve a 2nd exhaust on/off 

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Standard brake pads are fantastic, the j hook are noisy under hard braking which I wasn’t expecting but my god they are so much better than my old two piece brakes on the 350.

i can now swap exhausts in around 45 minutes in my garage, it really is that easy and I’m no mechanic. 

the lotus sports exhaust is excellent, sounds good, is very quiet and repackable.

 

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After a quick polish

 

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I used these to get extra clearance, £27 from eBay delivered and it makes it easy.

 

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2 hours ago, Tex said:

These are off my 430 Cup nut can’t remember which were original on car 

51E31533-D987-47DB-AAC1-2AAEB445E74D.jpeg

Ah. So ferrodo.

What did you replace them with Colin? 

although the brakes are good on the 430 I think the mintex F4R race pads I had put on the 380 are better on track. 
I suppose is to be expected with a track focused pad. 
I may change them sooner than later ie rather than wait until worn out as I want to benefit fully from the as new discs. 
 

be interesting to hear what others have chosen To replace on the 430 when using on track. ?
 

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I’m not sure what they were as had them fitted by Guglielmi’s

I never really liked then as were only marginally better on track but very noisy on the road. They had no backing plate as per photo so to reduce noise Guglielmi’s stuck an add on plate but not much difference.

Imo you do need the plate if you do mainly road work for the track it doesn’t really matter I guess 

E5124B61-15EA-47FB-BFCD-64FA53E3A53D.jpeg
 

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I have suggested to the wife that for Christmas Id like maybe a track day......

now I dont know much about them having only previously done 2 as a 2nd driver........so not much input other 

than driving round

my questions are basic really.....

for a novice do I go open pit lane or sessions????

Im gonna get an instructor....and I cant see if the instructor is for the whole day or just for one session (if on sessions)....the one Im currently looking at is open session....and the fee £25........that seems very cheap for a full day hence why I cant really see its a 'whole event' fee'

and I suppose the final question would be insurance..........whos the best both price and cover wise......

thanks

G

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)

 

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Hi Gareth. You will likely get lots of different answers to this question.

1) Open Pit lane is better than sessions, you will get much more track time.

2) If you book an instructor provided by the track day operator that is usually a single session preferably  taken in the morning, usually £25/30 and about 20 minutes long. The purpose is really to familiarise you with the circuit, braking points, best position to apex the bend, where to be on the track, etc etc. It's not teaching you driving skills really. If you want to improve driving skills there are plenty of good coaches out there that can be hired for the day, or part day. Or you can often share a coach with others, each in your own car and the coach will hop from car to car. There is at least one, probably many ARDS coaches on this site who will greatly improve your skills and make the track day experience much more fun. As you might imagine it costs quite a bit more to hire a coach for the whole day, probably £300-£500, but its the most cost effective upgrade you can get for your car. With the coach driving you will also get an idea of what the car is capable of, which is reassuring as it usually demonstrates you are well within the envelope.

3) Although i do about a dozen track days a year I've never had track day insurance so I cannot help you there, other than I know a number of insurance companies include some track days and there are numerous specialists who will sell you track day insurance, but its expensive.

Additionally some tracks are better than others for novices. Where are you thinking of booking?

Make sure your car is in good shape, bring a few tools and ideally tag along with a more experienced buddy...this will really add to the day.

Hope this helps. 

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Agree with everything Colin wrote above. 

Regarding track day insurance it’s best to shop around. I’ve found policy coverage broadly speaking very similar so just go on price.   I’ve used Morris in the past but now have normal insurance plus track days included with Reis.

If you are a total novice I would also recommend the Lotus Driving Academy.  They properly teach you how to drive a car round the track and constantly pushing you to go faster.  I learnt so much that weekend and really enjoyed it. 

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Hi Gareth. Unfortunately I've never got to Oulton Park, but know that many love it. If you are thinking of a winter trackday I can recommend Bedford. It's a great circuit designed by Johnathon Palmer with a good variety of bends, it's a long track so plenty of space out there and most importantly loads of safe runoff. If you want something tighter then Cadwell Park is brilliant and not too far from you in the Peak District. 

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Colin

Its the Lotus on Track event and its October next year......lol

I know.....nearly 12 months away......

I like Donington.....ive been round there a few times.......and Cadwell always struck me as a bit narrow for a novice......lol

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The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)

 

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Oulton Park is a great track but technically quite demanding.  A little easier in a car than on a bike - in the wet - which was my last experience there!

Can also recommend Bedford (and have a day booked there on the 16th Jan in my Evora) - very safe track for a first track day without blind crests and off camber turns (Oulton). 

One question - I've discovered that my tow hook thread is completely rusted out so no chance of getting the tow hook in. How much of a nightmare is it getting this sorted? Is it just a block that can be removed and replaced? 

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Oh, that's a lifetime away lol

In your shoes I would just get on and book a few in-between...about half a dozen in fact. If you dont have any track rat buddies I would just post your preferred venues on here and you will likely find others going and you will soon find yourself in a group (or is it bubble these days?) of like minded buddies. 

Donington is always a pleasure, a good track.

Worth thinking about the coaching, it's a good investment. 

All the best

 

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Hi @jerzybondov. I've no idea if it's easy to replace the tow hook threaded section, but if you call Hangar 111 I'm sure either David or Greg will be able to suggest something. 

I guess you could get an oversized tap to produce a larger female thread in the block if it's big enough  then get an adapter made up to accommodate both threads.

Not too much time between now and 16th Jan though  

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Blyton Park - great track for a beginner. Easy on car and driver, acres and acres of run off if you make a mistake and enough twisty bits to entertain a novice. It get's slated as "boring" by more experienced drivers but I've had three track days there and loved each one. Also a great pub in the village that does great beers, great food and has 3 or 4 self contained rooms you can book for an overnight. (beers in moderation of course the night before or not in moderation the night after!)

I treat my track days as little holidays now, as most of them are a 7 hour drive from where I live so get down the night before, stay over, full day at the track, stay over and a few beers and a natter with any locals, then all the next day to get home.  Wife appreciates me being away too lol...

Oulton a great track. Huge huge fun and if the full circuit it's big enough to get the cars well spaced out too.

I'm fairly new to track days and only done LOT ones. Cannot praise their organisation enough and they expect and enforce good driving standards too.  I think they have a stable set of regular customers too, they never have the track too full with cars (don't over book) and they are very helpful.

As stated earlier, their track coach session will be 20 minutes or so with a driving coach who is really their to help you learn the track and lines, but will also point out where you should (safely) push harder and brake less/later so you get a good rythm going. Can't remember the main guy they use (he's a tall bugger, dark hair and beard) but he's a really nice chap, ex (maybe current) racer too so knows his stuff.

Key thing is, have fun. Enjoy yourself and remember it is not a race so no prize for fastest or slowest lap. Just check your mirrors regularly and you will sense when someone is catching you and if you plan ahead you can control where they over take you rather than having them steam right up to your arse whilst your shitting yourself navigating a chicane at your top speed!

Have fun and maybe see you there. I did LoT Oulton Park this October just gone. It pissed it down all day and I can honestly say I had an absolute hoot and a blast of a time.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I can recommend Bedford and Donnighton for a novice.   Silverstone is fine too as it has massive run offs but the speeds are higher so a bit more scary at first.

Bedford is exceptionally good for a novice, as said lots of run offs and well sighted corners and the speeds are generally lower. 

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1 hour ago, electro_boy said:

I can recommend Bedford and Donnighton for a novice.   Silverstone is fine too as it has massive run offs but the speeds are higher so a bit more scary at first.

Bedford is exceptionally good for a novice, as said lots of run offs and well sighted corners and the speeds are generally lower. 

Bedford is no good for louder cars and is actually a higher top speed circuit than the GP track Silverstone 

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Yes sure down the main straight you might be faster at Bedford but the corners felt like they were taken at slower speed compared to Silverstone.  Which as noob I was more comfortable with, may not apply to everyone.

 

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