Guys all good stuff on here...
As a professional ARDS Instructor it is great to see so many enthusiastic and grown-up attitudes to getting out on track and enjoying the 'skill' of driving.
We often meet too many who do think they are the next Shcumacher and will not listen.
I picked up a couple of points that I can add my three pennyworth to:
1. Helmets are compulsory on ALL track days, however unlike if you are going racing you do not have to have an MSA approved lid. Having said that, your head is NOT replacable! do not skimp on the purchase of a helmet. It could save your life!. Motorcyle helmets are fine for track days. Often they offer better visibility as the apperture on full face bike helmets is wider. Although if you are serious about your on track exploits, an adequate full face from Demon Tweeks or Grand Prix racewear will £170. Personally I prefer full face, especially if you are in open cars as they give more facial protection. Even in a closed car there is plenty that is hard if your chin, nose or teeth are in impact with it!
2. There is an official 'Circuit Guide' which is available from www.circuitdriver.com
Treat this as a 'guide' While it is well written and a good starting point, it is not necessarily the 'bible'. There is nothing better than experience.
3. Quite a few people are put off from taking part in track days because of the 'supposed' bad attitiude of fellow track users.
If a driver were behaving in the manner that was mentioned earlier on this thread (i.e. diving up the inside in corners and complaining about slower cars) on a day I was running. He would be talked to, warned of his attitude and if it persisted, told to go home.
ALL properly run track days these days WILL NOT COMPROMISE on safety and this in the view of most is absolutely correct. You should enjoy the day, learn something from it... and above all drive home in the car you drove to the circuit in.
(Assuming that was the one you used on circuit, as quite a few do trailer their cars these days!)
4. Track days are THE only way
(other than racing/testing for which you need a race licence)
that you can enjoy a performance car the way it should be driven.
I obviously will have a biassed opinion here, but I do strongly recommend either using the Instrucotrs provided or hire your own for the day. You will learn so much more, more quickly and more safely, with someone in the car who can point out the correct lines and techniques for fast, smooth and safe driving.
5. Single seaters on track days.
Some organisers will run a single seater/open wheeled session if there are enough cars. As these are becoming more popular I can see this becoming more commonplace. Obviously the etiquette has to be policed even more carefully as there will be an increased speed differential also the safety issue of interlocking open wheels can be a serious issue.
Anyway that's enough from me.
If you have not taken part in a track day.
You are bound to get hooked!
Better to say you have tried it, rather than I WISH I had tried it.
I can also guarantee that a Track Day, taken sensibly, will make you smoother, safer and faster on circuit...
and a safer driver on the public roads, by making you appreciate your limits and the cars limits.
SEE YOU IN MY MIRRORS :-)
Very best regs