Your first trackday can naturally be quite a nerve-wracking experience. No doubt you’ll be excited and looking forward to the exhilarating experience of being on the track but at the same time it can be a long way outside your comfort zone. It can be intimidating to turn up as a first-timer knowing that you’re going to be driving alongside people who have done it hundreds of times before.
The last thing you to do is arrive on the day lacking something that is essential for you get going. So here are six essentials that you need for your first trackday. Remember that this is not designed as an exhaustive list and it’s vital that you talk to the organiser of your specific trackday to check what their requirements are. These are simply the six elements of trackday driving that no-one can do without.
The helmet is probably the most important piece of safety gear that you need for your time on the track. It is possible to hire a helmet at many trackday events, but this is not always the case. Besides, buying your own helmet ensures that you get head protection that fits perfect and that has been well looked after. Helmets can be bought for anything from around £250 to £3,000+ for advanced models. You need a helmet to be able to go out on the track, so this is definitely something that it’s worth investing in.
The next important piece of equipment is footwear. It’s best to wear a pair of shoes with soles that are as thin as possible. Ideally you should purchase some racing boots. These are shoes that are specifically designed for motorsport and give excellent feel on the pedals. Having the proper shoes can make a huge difference to your performance and enjoyment out on the track.
Gloves are another excellent idea. They allow you maintain your grip on the steering wheel. Remember that with all the excitement and adrenaline of the trackday you’re going to be sweating a lot, so having a good pair of racing gloves can ensure that you stay completely in control.
Car fires do happen, even at relatively low key events like trackdays, so it’s important to be prepared from them. There are options available for almost any budget, and you would much rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. The best fire extinguisher kit for trackdays will depend on the car that you’re using, so make sure that you take advice from a professional on the right option for you.
In an ideal world you should invest in a set of tyres that you only use for trackdays. Firstly, this avoids wearing down your road tyres and also means that you’ll be using more appropriate models for the track. On the day it’s important to check the tyre pressure as well as being certain that the tyres are still in good condition.
Trackdays are a lot of fun but just with any kind of driving, accidents can happen. Thankfully there are plenty specialist trackday insurers that you can use. Always remember that just as with any insurance policy you need to provide correct information otherwise it can invalidate your claim.
It may be the case that your standard road insurance covers you for track days, but this is relatively rare. Read through your policy or talk to your insurance company to get a full understanding of whether you need to buy specific trackday insurance.
Optional: Hire Car
For most trackdays it is fine to bring your own car without any special modifications, although you should always check with the organiser if there are any specific rules. However, many people like to hire a car to get the most out of a trackday. There are plenty of providers that make cars available at reasonable prices.
Dakota Murphey; BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, freelance writer and Photoshop dab hand. When she's not running around after her two kids, you’ll find her relaxing in a nearby coffee shop, watching the world pass her by. If you enjoyed this article, see what else she's been up to on Twitter - @Dakota_Murphey.
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