Track day Dream Fulfilled
My 21st birthday present from my dad was a track day at Anglesey circuit. The car of choice was a Formula Ford. Driving cars fast has been something I have wanted to do throughout my teen years. After about 10 years of nagging my dad gave me the opportunity to see if he made a mistake not getting me into racing earlier.
The first part of the experience you notice once you arrive is the lovely staff at the circuit. They sign you in and tell you where you need to go and when. Its all organised, but has a nice relaxed feel to it. In the safety briefing they tell you all you need to know, making it as fun as possible as going through it as well, added bonus in my eyes!
Once briefed, we were taken out to their safety car to get a look at the track and an idea of the racing line. The instructor was very detailed in what we should expect the cars to do throughout each corner. After a gained understanding, we were individually taken out in regular road cars (ford pumas) with an instructor to judge our driving ability.
During the one to one instruction they give you tips on where to improve your driving, including very fine areas like your turn in being half a meter late! They judge every area of your driving ability and give you an overall score out of 100, I was pleased to get 92/100 after being told my instructor would give Sebastian Vettel 95. Apparently he hasn’t given a score that high before either! The scores given determine the order that you go out in for driving the formula fords.
They choose your formula ford based on your height and weight given before you arrive. These only need to be estimates so don’t get flustered over it. They proceed to get you comfortable in the car and give you a feel of where and how things work. The gears are a H-pac set up and and difficult to get used to. The gear stick being on the right doesn’t cause as much as a problem as I had first expected though, you get used to it instantly.
The first laps in the Formula ford are spend behind the safety car, this allows you to get acclimatised to the car, how it feels and responds to inputs. Its also a good time to practice getting into 2nd gear, many people have issues with this.
Once the safety car goes in you are free to go as fast (or slow) as you would like. The best part is that they take spinning off with a pinch of salt. A word of advice, remember to step on the clutch if you spin out, this means you wont stall the car and you get more time out on track.
You will be bought in every 10 minutes (depending on what you have booked) to have a small break and get some tips on where to improve, its all very friendly advice, they want you to have the best time possible!
Before you know it you are done, one of the best days I have ever had, and it was all done before midday! I would say that if you have ever wanted to try single seater cars out, a track day is the perfect way to do it. I loved every moment of it, the staff were great, the cars are fun and the circuit poses a good mix of corners to challenge you. I would advise getting good weather though, a slightly damp track was great fun, but I would have liked to see how much I could have got out of the car
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