MINI Cooper Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm considering doing a Novice track day session at one of the circuits in the South of the country. I have no experience of driving on track. Any advice would be much appreciated on the following points;

1.) Are there any circuits that don't use gravel traps? the thought of losing it and then covering my beloved in stonechips is quite a worry.:puzzled:

2.) Is it expensive to get insurance?:aargh:

3.) How will my car stand up to the (ab)use?:confused:

4.) Is this a really bad idea and should I wait until I win the lottery to play 'Lewis Hamilton':nice:

Thanks!
 

·
THE STICK
Joined
·
3,902 Posts
1. For a begineer bedford autodrome or one of the few other airfield tracks is the best idea. Generally very few guard rails, few gravel traps and big run off grass areas. They also tend to be flat circuits allowing you to concentrate on the handling of the car in the corners without throwing you curve balls with surface undulation. Good for a beginer.

2. Yes insurance is quite expensive. Many folks don't bother with it (but this is very risky IMO). Speak on a PM with Lee 2 Much, Bhozar and Bigshow for details of who they are using. I think Bhozar actually get some free track days included in his annual policy!

3. Usually the MINI does pretty well. I have seen stock R53 and R56 cars go round the track all day long. Only real issues are tyres and cooking the brakes. Give the car a good checking and overhaul would be my advise. Having done track days years ago in the classics and my other cars I can say that brakes are your biggest issue. A set of carbotech XP10 pads will help a lot with fade etc. Get some half good tyres if your serious (or opt for dirt cheap ones and just rag the hell out of them as they are only £30 each ... but expect the handling to be compromised). Give the car a good wiggle all over for loose bits and play. Then also check all your fluids and carry some spares to the pit lane!

4. No its fine... just be prepared that if it does break it will have to be fixed. make sure you have recovery cover and maybe a mate along with you to help push it outside the boundary of the curcuit. i used to do loads of days and only ever had 1 car fail.... had several have brake issues or have minor niggles after...but always managed to drive home.
 

·
MINI2 Rebirth
Joined
·
149 Posts
1. Yes, most circuits that offer track days tend to be the ones with large amounts of run off.

2. Most people don't bother - there tends to not be much to hit on the circuit, so the worst you are likely to do is knock the bumper off if you bounce onto the grass. If you can find an annual policy that covers track days then great, otherwise the cost isn't that proportional to the likelihood/expense of needing to repair your car.

3. Your brakes will get hot. Your tyres will suffer. Best to go with a set of tyres that are near the end of their life and then it won't matter. Runflats suffer particularly badly on tracks (or two sets of mine have done anyway) and don't grip brilliantly either.

4. If you want to find out what the MINI really handles like, it's an excellent idea :)
And should you find it addictive and need to make that step up again for the excitement, there's always the Nurburgring...
 

·
XR3i / JCW MCS
Joined
·
543 Posts
no gravel at castle combe :) but which would you rather have stone chips or a write off, gravel traps are there for a reason

HIC include track day cover with fully comp policies but read the small print, any track insurance has a huge excess.

recovery service is handy but the AA and RAC will not pick you up from a track day and some local repair drivers will know when the track days are and also are well aware of people being pushed/towed of circuit so they can get recovered.

But don't be worried do a novice one and drive within your limits and you'll be fine, did my first one 8 years ago and haven't stopped :)
 

·
Captain Slow
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
I did a track day in May at Snetterton. Couldn't remember seeing any gravel traps. I got insurance from Competition Car Insurance. It cost me about £100 for the day on a Cooper valued at £12000. The excess was £1000 though.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top