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Craiglm68

Advice re Castle Combe, and Silverstone

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Hi all, I've a half day at Castle Coombe mid May (I was looking at Thruxton as closer to home, but sounds like the surface is a bit rough/harder on tyres etc). Any general tips on driving or car set up from "regulars"?

 

And looking at Silverstone as well, anyone driven and have a view on pro's and con's of "National" versus the Grand Prix circuit?

Cheers

Craig

 

Edited by Craiglm68

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I am doing Castle Combe next week so can let you know :)

 

Basic tips are keep your sessions to approx. 15-20 mins max then head back to the pits for 10-15minutes, allows your tyres, brake fluid and you to cool down a bit, otherwise you will shred your tyres or boil your brake fluid. Apparently your average human can only focus optimally for 20mins anyway!

When you do get back to the pits, park the car in gear without the handbrake, as it will all be hot and risk of binding.

Also check your tyre pressures regularly. You will need to let out a few psi after the first couple of runs to get the tyres back to near your normal psi, as they expand with heat.

 

Silverstone is huge being an ex WW2 bomber airfield and now F1 circuit, and has big run off areas so you can drive hell for leather! ;)

The Full GP is the best layout. I might be wrong but I think the national layout skips the amazing Becketts complex of corners but still a good configuration.

 

Good luck and have fun :)

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On 25/04/2018 at 13:27, Craiglm68 said:

Hi all, I've a half day at Castle Coombe mid May (I was looking at Thruxton as closer to home, but sounds like the surface is a bit rough/harder on tyres etc). Any general tips on driving or car set up from "regulars"?

 

And looking at Silverstone as well, anyone driven and have a view on pro' and con's of "National" versus the Grand Prix circuit?

Cheers

Craig

 

Hi Craig, 

 

spent a lot of time on the Silverstone GP circuit,  great track ,

being  really wide, you can lose your sense of speed, you've got to be careful not to be carrying to much into  the corners

as it really compromises your exit . The pros over the National are it's the GP circuit that once mastered is very rewarding,

The cons are it takes a lot longer to hook up a full lap than the National. if driven smoothly the wear on your car can be kept to a minimum.

 

Thruxton on the other hand is the compete opposite, its very hard on your tyres, with there being no real straights, 

Its a track like Goodwood that needs 110% concentration for the entire lap, ,as most of the time you are flat out.

I love it, its full on.

Do you run track tyres ?? If you can,  you need to rotate your tyres at lunch time , and keep an eye on the pressures. otherwise you'l kill them.

Also make sure your running as much camber up front as poss and at least 1.5mm toe on the rear.

They are also very strict on noise, 90db.. so no sports exhausts.

 

I hoping to get out on the next Thruxton day , keep in touch, you should join us.. 

 

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On 06/06/2018 at 22:34, porschanut said:

Hi Craig, 

 

spent a lot of time on the Silverstone GP circuit,  great track ,

being  really wide, you can lose your sense of speed, you've got to be careful not to be carrying to much into  the corners

as it really compromises your exit . The pros over the National are it's the GP circuit that once mastered is very rewarding,

The cons are it takes a lot longer to hook up a full lap than the National. if driven smoothly the wear on your car can be kept to a minimum.

 

Thruxton on the other hand is the compete opposite, its very hard on your tyres, with there being no real straights, 

Its a track like Goodwood that needs 110% concentration for the entire lap, ,as most of the time you are flat out.

I love it, its full on.

Do you run track tyres ?? If you can,  you need to rotate your tyres at lunch time , and keep an eye on the pressures. otherwise you'l kill them.

Also make sure your running as much camber up front as poss and at least 1.5mm toe on the rear.

They are also very strict on noise, 90db.. so no sports exhausts.

 

I hoping to get out on the next Thruxton day , keep in touch, you should join us.. 

 

Thanks for the intel here! Unfortunately I'd fail the sound check....the Carnewal exhaust seemed come in bang on or a smidge under the 100db level at CC, so I would be toast at Thruxton. And street tyres only (hence the track weapons that people trailer-ed to CC when I went, ran circles around me at times (though not so bad once I'd had a session with an instructor....finally worked out how to tackle Quarry properly by the end of the last session!) 

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Anyone doing Castle Combe this year? 

 

It would be my first track day, so need some advice.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, GlosRich said:

Anyone doing Castle Combe this year? 

 

It would be my first track day, so need some advice.

 

 

Advice? Don't crash! 🙂

Book in for an instructor session (or 2), probably best to have someone with you for the 1st session after the sighting laps. It probably varies a bit between organisers, but on the day I went, there were loads of people trailer-ing their track weapons in, semi-slick tyres etc....I've never been undertaken so often into corners (I believe CC may have slightly different rules to other tracks?). Nothing dangerous, but in contrast to most tracks where overtaking only on straights, on the LHS etc. The track has a bit of a reputation, but once you learn the trickier bits, it's not scary (just keep an eye on your mirrors...)

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Thanks Craig.

 

Would you say a PCGB track day is better, maybe less track cars running?

 

Maybe I need to find a novice day somewhere. Don't want to be watching all the time for track cars hurtling around, when I'm trying to learn.

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If you want a novice day try Llandow just west of Cardiff.

 

They do a car day once a month, mix of stuff but they start you in 15minute ability groups, so once all the idiots have gone out pretending to be Juha Kankkunen you'll get to go out.

 

they normally run groups until mid morning and if all are happy they just go open pit.

 

It's a 10 car limit so you can find space if you need it. Its a short lap, busy circuit, you're always thinking with no mega long straights to worry about it's kinder on the car but a challenge nonetheless.

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Thanks for all the advice lads.

 

Llandow does sound good for a first go.

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Personally I wouldn't do Castle Combe for your first track day. If you come off your toast, there's hardly any run off.

 

Silverstone GP circuit is fantastic but will take you all day to learn it. I would recommend the national circuit if you want to get to grips with track driving without getting overwhelmed.

 

The best circuit for a first track day in terms of safety is Bedford, there's very little to hit and acres of run off. It is a long lap, but it's more easily learnt than Silverstone.

 

I'd agree with all of the advice above about mechanically prepping the car and would add that if you haven't changed your brake fluid in the last 12 months it's worth changing it before you go. It's the biggest reason that people have brake problems on  track. The standard textar pads will be absolutely fine.

 

As someone has already mentioned, tyre pressures are also a big one. I run my fronts and rears at 30psi on the road, 4 laps of Bedford and mine gain 10psi (the amount they gain will depend how hard you are pushing). So after the first stint and while they're still hot get the psi back down to around 30, and check them every time you finish a stint. Don't check them before you head back out as they will be low and give the car a lap to warm up before nailing it.

 

The least busy days are week days, and whilst it might mean a day off, these days are much quieter than a weekend day. This gives you much more space on track, and I find there are much fewer idiots around.

 

Insurance. Get the car insured for the track day, it's just not worth taking the risk. There are plenty of companies out there who will insure you for very little money, and you may even find your existing policy covers track-days. Having rolled a car on track without insurance, (thankfully not a Porsche) it's a real bummer.

 

Lastly, be careful. Track days are seriously addictive, probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on!

 

Edited to say: I'd also highly recommend a session of tuition early in the day, it makes a huge difference to how quickly you'll learn the circuit.

Edited by Dougle_turbo
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Car is getting a service and brake fluid change in 2 weeks time and Cotswold Porsche, tyres are almost new.

 

Any Helmet recommendations?

 

Insurance also, how much is it?

 

Edited by GlosRich

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5 minutes ago, GlosRich said:

Car is getting a service and brake fluid change in 2 weeks time and Cotswold Porsche, tyres are almost new.

 

Any Helmet recommendations?

 

Insurance also, how much is it?

 

They'll supply helmets normally (check your booking?), as for single day insurance, if your current insurer won't give you coverage, there are a few out there that do. COC has a relationship with Adrian Flux apparently, worth a call.

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Helmet advice sounds silly but is to buy a car helmet rather than using a motorbike helmet.

 

They are designed differently for different impacts.

 

Other than that try some to see how they fit, some shapes suit better. Needs to be fitted though don't have one where you can move it around on your head.

 

SNELL approval would be my minimum requirement.

 

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41 minutes ago, GlosRich said:

Car is getting a service and brake fluid change in 2 weeks time and Cotswold Porsche, tyres are almost new.

 

Any Helmet recommendations?

 

Insurance also, how much is it?

 

I'm insured with Classic Line. 6 track days included in the cover. After that it's £60 per track day.

 

Adrian flux, Morris, and others all offer individual day cover.

Edited by Dougle_turbo
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4 minutes ago, jcm987 said:

@GlosRich For Castle Combe I've got to agree with @Dougle_turbo it might not be the best track for a first track day, especially if its wet. I've done 9-10 track days at Castle Combe, 3 of them raining and because of the higher average speed it can get a bit hairy. The last corner catches most people out as there isn't much run off. - its bloody fun though and one of my favourite tracks. 

Castle Combe had good free tuition to teach you the safe lines, because unlike most circuits there are no sighting laps. 

^agreed. It is a great track though!

 

Last time I was there this happened! Skip to 17:10

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Porsched eggs said:

Blimey! That'll put the OP off for life!

🤣

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If everyone does what they're told at the safety briefing, you'll be fine. If someone's not sticking to the rules, they'll be flagged and told to come off. If they're not spotted, tell the marshals yourself.

 

If you're slower than someone, move out of the way. It's not a race and timing is not allowed.

 

You have all day, so no need to go out as soon as the track opens. Allow people to let off some steam early on, then things will quieten down.

 

Be careful at Avon Rise (Castle Combe). You'll approach at well over 100mph. Follow the markers, but DO NOT brake over the top. The car will go light and you're likely to lose it.

 

If you keep the traction control on, your rear brakes will get VERY hot. Mine were smoking at Blyton. Toasted the wear sensor.

 

If you're already booked in for a brake fluid change, why not pay a bit more and get some race spec fluid? You can also fit GT3 brake ducts to the front to channel more air to the brakes, aiding cooling.

 

 

 

Do your braking on the approach to corners, not in them. I'm not saying that trail braking is bad, it's just that a track day novice has enough to learn.

 

Nobody will point and laugh at you if you're slow, but they'll get very annoyed if you try too hard and bin your car, causing the track to close.

 

 

 

If you get tuition, I think you also get to skip the queue and go straight onto the track!

 

Enjoy! You'll want to book another one as soon as you get home!

 

Cheers,

Bryan

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