Jump to content

Airfield Track Days?


Recommended Posts

I have a confession, today on the way home I almost binned it.

 

I've been playing around with the ESP off for the past few weeks and only had the slightest of tail slippage. Was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about with regards to TC... and RWD in general for that matter.

 

So anyway, slowed down coming up to a roundabout, into 2nd, foot down, next thing I know I'm going sideways, missing my exit and heading right for this island:

6d39cf1d554ab6e388fb39bcad41ead8.png

Tried steering into the turn, but I think I was either too late or didn't counter steer enough and was just going to hit the island, so instead I ended up just turning to keep going round the roundabout. Luckily I managed to save it and nobody pulled out, I went full circle and was on my way (ESP back on). I'm sure everyone thought I was a complete idiot ( and rightly so :surrender: ).

 

Not entirely sure how it happened, whether there was something slippy on the road, or I used a hint more throttle than usual at just the wrong time. Wasn't going particularly fast, maybe only 30, but yeah, enough to give a little scare.

 

Anyway, moving on from this, having seen them mentioned multiple times round here, I think an airfield track day would be beneficial. Somewhere I can safely learn the cars limits and how to better handle it when they are surpassed.

 

Which brings me onto my questions:

- Who's been on one? What are they like? Are they worth it?

- Would you be allowed to purposefully try lose the rear end, or would a skid pan experience be better suited for that?

- Can anyone recommend places in / near West Yorkshire?

- The closest I could find was in Elvington, York. Anyone been here specifically and can give some insight?

 

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be too harsh on yourself - it's easy to get caught out, even with the TC left on. I was crossing a motorway bridge the other morning (icy, D'oh!) and had a brown trousers moment...

 

Get yourself to a trackday at Blyton Park. Javelin Track Days run a good event there. If you can go mid-week they're often quiet. It's tight enough in terms of a defined track to make you concentrate - but there is lots of run-off and nothing much to hit. (I saw a guy in a GT3 RS go a few hundred yards into the field once with the instructor on board :) )

 

The thing with a trackday is to build gradually. Push a little bit to start with and experiment as the day goes on. Generally speaking, if you don't arse about near other cars you can get a lot of angle with no admonitions. And if you hang around till 4pm when everyone is packing up to go home you can take a few liberties on what is virtually a private track.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

indeed, some trackday organisers and circuits seem more draconian then others. Bedford marshalls are really strict, constantly getting black flagged for the slightest hint of fun. However, at the end of the day at a Blyton park trackday I was throwing some big angles around, backing it into corners, trail braking, aggressive throttle application, all great fun. Airfields are even better for learning the ropes, at the end of the day when a lot of people have gone home, you can have the track to yourself to have a play.

 

I've never really liked skidpan sessions as the level of grip is so low I don't think you learn a lot. I think you need a proper track where there is normal levels of grip, and then to learn what happens if you overstep the mark. a skidpan you'll be wildly pirouetting at 15mph which isn't realistic.

 

And as for turning TCS off on the roads, i'd never bother. theres very little to be gained, and a heck of a lot to lose, it just isn't worth it for me. Unless you're very confident in your own driving abilities i'd be keeping it on. but if you are driving and see the tcs light flashing, think why its flashing and what you can do different in the same situation.

Edited by brillomaster
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm stating the obvious but you do realise that the roads this time of year are cold and greasy? I always use a light throttle in winter, that's one good thing about riding a motorbike for years, you learn road surface conditions very well else your off!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Been on this forum over 10 years and seen that most reported driver responsible accidents occur on/leaving roundabouts - right foot ignoring brain to feed in the power smoothly.

 

That said, it sounds to me in your case you entered the roundabout with too much speed and whether the TC on might have only given you a lighter brown trouser moment is doubtful.

 

Rather than a track day you might like to consider a focused handling session with someone like Colin Hoad at Millbrook - highly recommended in learning the limits of your Zed (and you!). http://catdrivertraining.co.uk

 

OK, it is some way from you and its not cheap - but there others you might find or someone on here can recommend nearer to you.

 

The Zeds are tail happy as you will see from that link (part of the fun) but need respect, especially if the road surface is other than bone dry. And good tyres are a must!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I find you learn a lot at trackdays, whilst not actively trying to push past the limits and control them, you just get to find out where those limits are.

 

So it all depends what you want to achieve, find out the cars limits and perhaps yours, push past those limits and control the car in the event of a slide, or you want to provoke the car into a slide and in that order it would be, trackdays, car control/handling course or a learn to drift.

Edited by Jetpilot
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

TCS won't always save you: It can cut the power so abruptly it can pitch the car the other way, especially if you've already started trying to correct it. Good TCS is excellent, bad TCS an absolute liability. In the Zed it saved me once vs the dozens of other times I needed to make a quick getaway and it left me stranded...

 

But yeah, for the most part it's a good thing. Fair play for trying to learn the car with it off too: It's almost better to do if this time of year as stuff happens at slower speeds, rather than in the summer when you need far more gas to get things to move.

 

 

In terms of driver training, I believe that Walshy now does his Carlimits.com days up north too. I've been out with both Walshy and his mate that he ropes in, both excellent teachers as well as really good guys. I wouldn't look anywhere else tbh, and even if you have to travel to Essex it's worth every penny.

Edited by Ekona
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for the replies everyone.

 

I know I'm stating the obvious but you do realise that the roads this time of year are cold and greasy? I always use a light throttle in winter, that's one good thing about riding a motorbike for years, you learn road surface conditions very well else your off!

Yeah, but that roundabout is one of the few parts of my journey where I can put my foot down without worrying about speed cameras.

 

I cycled to work for a few years, which isn't exactly the same thing as a motorbike, but you do still have to be very aware of the conditions, especially in the ice and snow. I had a few too many moments where I lost the front or had my back tyre drifting out wildly. Fortunately i never fell off due to the conditions - that happened when I was messing about doing endos over speed bumps.

 

Been on this forum over 10 years and seen that most reported driver responsible accidents occur on/leaving roundabouts - right foot ignoring brain to feed in the power smoothly.

 

That said, it sounds to me in your case you entered the roundabout with too much speed and whether the TC on might have only given you a lighter brown trouser moment is doubtful.

 

Rather than a track day you might like to consider a focused handling session with someone like Colin Hoad at Millbrook - highly recommended in learning the limits of your Zed (and you!). http://catdrivertraining.co.uk

 

OK, it is some way from you and its not cheap - but there others you might find or someone on here can recommend nearer to you.

 

The Zeds are tail happy as you will see from that link (part of the fun) but need respect, especially if the road surface is other than bone dry. And good tyres are a must!

I don't think it was speed related. I had slowed right down to 10mph due to traffic and probably only got to 30 before I lost the rear end. So lack of grip due to surface / rapid acceleration.

 

I did look at CAT and Carlimits before posting. Shame they are so far away (and also rather expensive).

Link to post
Share on other sites

you could do worse than finding an empty carpark, turning the tcs off and putting your foot down, see what happens...

Yea, that'd be a nice start, but there's still a load of curbs and lampposts to hit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easy to get caught out when the back end goes. That's why most drift cars are cable tied together so as above don't be too hard on yourself.

 

During my younger years I had a few section 59s for drifting on industrial estates. It's good practice but it can be classed as danagerous driving and is therefore not strictly legal. Airfield days are great, I did one once where going sideways was encouraged. If it's a dry day though make sure you either have lots of tire tread or better still some spares.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...