Track days for Cars

Track days for Cars

A trackday is an opportunity to take your own car onto a real racing circuit, away from the restrictions of the open road in a non-competitive environment. Almost any vehicle can be taken on a trackday, and you can drive at a speed that suits you.

It’s one of the most enjoyable and safest ways to enjoy your own machine alongside like-minded individuals. Find out more by reading our guide below:

What equipment do I need?

In basic terms, there’s really only three things you need in order to take part in a trackday. These are:

  • A valid driving licence
  • A roadworthy vehicle
  • Helmet

First of all, you must be aged over 17 and hold a valid driving licence issued by the DVLA or the equivalent licensing authority in the driver’s country of residence.

Your car must conform to MOT minimum standards for road use and have working seatbelts. It’s a good idea to have a towing eye fitted too! At most venues, a static noise test will be required.

Finally, a suitable helmet must be worn when driving, and legs fully covered. Some trackday operators will have helmet hire available, or you may want to buy your own in advance of the event. Make sure that the helmet is snug, and not too loose.

How safe are trackdays?
A trackday is just about the safest place to explore the limits of your vehicle. On some days, you’ll have the option of running in groups of cars with similar performance or with drivers of a similar experience level. Trackdays are also run with the same strict controls as race events so there are experienced operators in the control room who observe driving standards in liaison with marshals around the circuit, and monitor every inch of the circuit. The marshals also use the same flag signals as race events, so you’ll be warned if there’s anything happening on track.

Do I need insurance?
Not all operators will require you to hold trackday insurance, but be aware that your road policy is unlikely to cover any events that happen on track. Incidents on circuit are very rare on trackdays, but policies are available from a number of reputable providers.

What formats and events are there?
Across the MSV group of circuits, there are literally hundreds of trackdays each year. During a standard week, there’ll be trackdays at each venue running in different formats. Some will be run as “open pitlane”, allowing you to drive on and off the track as you please, while others will run in a sessioned format, with cars or drivers grouped together, usually according to performance levels or experience.

What does a standard day look like?
You will need to arrive at the circuit around 60-90 minutes before your track activity starts. This will be so you can sign on for the event, complete a noise test (except at Donington Park), and view a safety briefing. Then you’ll take part in slow speed familiarisation or sighting laps behind a course car, before your track time begins.

How do I book?
Booking is extremely simple. Via our calendar, you can view a full listing of available trackdays across all operators at all our circuits. Prices will vary depending on the nature of the day, time of year and the operator you are booking with. Affordable evening trackday options are also available on selected days between April and September.

What if I don’t want to use my own car?
It’s always advisable to drive on track with a vehicle you’re familiar with, but there are options available with some operators to hire a car for the day.

Can I overtake slower cars?
Yes you can, but generally only on the driver’s left hand side and only on the straights. Overtaking will not be permitted in braking zones or through corners, and will be monitored in race control. If you’re being overtaken, you can help the driver behind pass safely by moving over to the right hand side of the track to give room and putting on your indicator to show you’re allowing a car to pass.

Can I bring friends, family or a passenger?
Spectators are welcome at trackdays (though some restrictions apply at Bedford Autodrome), with viewing areas usually open free of charge around the circuit. Guests can also access the garages but shouldn’t enter the pit lane. Passengers are also allowed by some operators, usually for a small fee, and will likely have to wear the same equipment and need to sign the same documentation before going on track.

What happens if my car has a problem and stops on track?
Breakdowns are rare on trackdays, especially with well-maintained vehicles. If your car does stop on track, you will be best to park it as far from the track as you can, and as close to a barrier as possible. This will allow a quick and safe recovery of the vehicle.

What else should I do?
Simple things you should check before a trackday begins include tyre wear, engine oil levels, and the condition of your brakes. Before the day begins, you should empty your cabin of any unnecessary items - you don’t want things flying around when cornering at speed, or worse, getting stuck under pedals! Also make sure your lights and indicators are working, and that your mirrors are clear. It’s also advised to have the wing mirrors turned outwards perhaps more than on the road, so you can see as wide an angle behind (and to the side) of you as possible.

What other things could I bring with me?
The items mentioned above are the bare minimum, but you can make your life even easier by bringing a range of other tools and consumables. It’s always worth carrying engine oil and funnels, and a toolset as well with spanners, sockets, screwdrivers, torque wrenches and other basics like cable ties. Finally, a tyre pressure gauge and a foot pump will always come in handy too.

What if I want to improve my driving ability?
Trackdays have professional experienced instructors on hand, and will be able to give guidance on the day and more detailed advice with a small additional charge. Trackdays also have a great friendly atmosphere, and fellow trackday customers will also be happy to share advice and tips with likeminded enthusiasts!