A Lotus Only Track Day Explained

04.09.2017

 

WHAT IS A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY? 


It’s a full day of exclusive use for Lotus sports car owners. Vintage, classic, modern or new – doesn’t matter, if you own a Lotus you can come and join us.


Read the reviews for
our Lotus Only Track Days


See the photo gallery
from our last Lotus Only Track Day


Its not just any Track Day though, our Mechanic & Engineering crew are on-site providing support for the whole day so you can enjoy yourself. There is coffee flowing all day with light refreshments, lots of laughs and even Driving Instructors to help you go faster. Best of all you will be sharing the Race Track with 40 or more other passionate Lotus Owners who are willing to share a story, some tips and a bit of banter about who's fastest.

 

DRIVE GROUP - BOOKINGS

The Drive group is perfectly suited for those who have not tried driving their Lotus on a track before and are keen to explore what the car is capable of when it is no longer bound by the rules of the public road. There is no safer opportunity to do so than in our Drive group and there will be plenty of experienced drivers on hand as well to provide advice on track driving to increase your confidence.

You're guaranteed to go home a better driver.
 

 

SPRINT GROUP - BOOKINGS

The Sprint group is ideal for those with a competitive streak, keen to improve driving skills but not quite ready for the Race category. Participants in the Sprint group will receive a timing transmitter to be secured inside the car, so that lap times can be accurately measured. On the day, there will be 6 sessions of 15 minutes each to try and lap the track just that bit quicker. We create 2 groups based on previous experience to even up the sessions.

 

 

RACE GROUP - BOOKINGS

The biggest spectacle of the LOTD is without question the race group. The race participants will have one practice, one qualifying and three race sessions, the last one starting with a reverse handicap grid to spice things up.This is where cars start a race in the reverse order of the previous race results, with timed gaps between cars starting a race in which the aim is to have all cars arrive at the race finish together. Guaranteed fireworks!

Even though there is a healthy rivalry between the drivers in this group, the racing is very gentlemanly, and each participant is given enough room to make sure everyone can drive their Lotus back home with a big smile.

This is the easiest, and safest way to try racing!

MAKE A BOOKING

 

HOW DOES A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY RUN?

- Arrival at track
- Registration
- Driver’s Briefing
- All Drivers are split into their groups for the sessions to begin
- Alternating sessions during the day for each group Drive, Sprint, Race
- Normal duration is from 8:00am and should be finished by 4:00pm.

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DO YOU GET MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING SUPPORT AT A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY?

Yes, we bring our Mechanic & Engineering Crew to the track to provide support and assistance during the day. Its like having your own Factory backed race team at hand.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAYS

- Are spectators welcome? 
Yes and entry is Free.


- Are passengers allowed? 
Only in the Drive group if the Driver has a full CAMS License & with approval from the Event Organiser


- Do I need slick tyres for my Lotus? 
No, they aren’t mandatory. Although fitting an R Spec Road Tyre will transform your Lotus and provide lots of grip to let you really explore the limits on the track. A full slick isn’t really required unless perhaps you are running a Race Car or looking for a competitive edge in the Race Group.


- Am I insured? 
We would suggest contacting your Insurance Provider and checking the details of your policy. Some providers may provide coverage for a single track activity or for ‘driver training’. You will be required to sign an Indemnity Form on the day during the registration process.


- Is fuel provided? 
No, unfortunately it isn’t. Some tracks may have on-site facilities, alternatively bringing a spare jerry can is advisable.


- Is Driver Traning provided? 
Yes in the Drive Group, providing there are sufficient numbers, instructors will be made available.


- What do I need to wear? 
You need to be fully covered with long sleeve clothing & helmet. Some people choose to wear driving boots and/or shoes, gloves and a racesuit to be completely comfortable and safe.


- How long does the day go for? 
Registration is normally around 8am and the day concludes approximately 4.30pm


- Do I need a Lotus? 
Yes you need your own vehicle.


- Is this just for modern cars? 
No, we often have many classic Esprit, Elan and other older Lotus sports cars attend our days. 


- Do I need a roll cage? 
No it isn't mandatory, but we would recommend it for the RACE Group


- What do I need to race? 
Enter the RACE Group as racing isn't allowed in the other classes. The factory fitted Lotus roll hoop is sufficient. It is a competitive racing group, but in a gentlemanly spirit and probably the cheapest way you can experience a race event. In our entire history of Lotus Only Track Days there haven't been any incidents, there is mutual respect provided to ensure everyone can drive home. 


- What other items do you recommend for my car? 
We would suggest having a 1) Fire Extinguisher 2) Racing harness and belts 3) Tow hooks as minimum safety items


- Can I bring another Driver and share my car? 
Yes a vehicle can be entered with 2 Drivers.


- What if it rains? 
The event still goes ahead.


- How to use my Exige in Race Mode? 
Rear our blog post
http://www.simplysportscars.com/en/blog/how-to-use-dpm-mode-on-a-lotus-exige-sports-car


- Do I need numbers on my car? 
You do and we provide these during the registration process.


- Can I put camera recording equipment on my car? 
Yes as long as it is dual mounted / secured. 


- What food and beverages are available? 
We provide coffee, tea and snacks. We don't provide other items so that we can keep the costs down and allow everyone to choose their own food etc. Depending on the track there are on-site options available, although some say to keep weight down, eat nothing at all.


- What is needed to prepare my car?
- Check your tyre tread depth
- Brake pads
- Oil levels
- Brake fluid age 
if you are unsure about any of these items book your car in for a pre-track day inspection

MAKE A BOOKING


 

WHAT DO YOU NEED AT A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY?

- A Lotus sports car
- Race suit to compete in the racing sessions
- Helmet
- Approprite license

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WHAT LICENCE DO YOU NEED FOR A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY RUN?

DRIVE or SPRINT; 
A CAMS L2S or AASA Club licence to take part in the (a AASA club licence can be purchased on the day)

RACE;
A AASA National licence or CAMS circuit racing licence to compete

 

AASA Club Racing:

  • An AASA Club Racing licence can be purchased on the day at the track. Alternatively, find the application form at this link & is $50 per year
     
  • With an AASA Club Racing licence, you can enter the following AASA sanctioned events:
    • ride days, 
    • drive days, 
    • test and tune days, 
    • regularity events, 
    • lap dash / sprint events, 
    • touring road events, 
    • drift events, 
    • motorkhanas / autokhanas,
    • hill climbs, 
    • regularities

 

CAMS Level 2 Speed (L2S)

  • The CAMS licence can only be obtained via CAMS, not at the track, so must be done in advance. The whole process can be done online via the CAMS Member Portal if you create an account (register here) and costs $119 per year
     
  • With a CAMS L2S, you can enter the following CAMS sanctioned events:
    • Observed Section Trials
    • Touring Road Events which contain no closed road sections and no speed sub-events
    • Touring Assemblies and other non-timed road events
    • Motorkhana and Khanacross events up to international level
    • Introductory Rally Events
    • Drifting
    • Regularity Trials up to national championship level
    • Single and multi-car non-race speed events up to international level

 

RACE:

An AASA National Race Licence or a CAMS National Circuit Racing Licence is required to compete in race events (note that AASA will accept the standard Lotus roll hoop as sufficient roll over protection). Both of these licences require a fairly comprehensive medical assessment.

 

AASA National Race Licence:

  • An AASA National Race Licence must be arranged well in advance. The application form is at this link & the cost of the AASA National Race Licence is $100
  • You’ll have to make an appointment with a Medical Practitioner to complete the medical assessment section of the form. It will take an extended consultation, so make sure the medical practitioner is aware.

 

CAMS National Circuit Licence:

  • Obtaining a CAMS National Circuit Racing Licence is more involving than the AASA version. Application form is at this link & is $474
     
  • The process will involve:
    • A medical assessment, similar to the AASA requirements.
    • An on-line lecture from CAMS.
    • An Observed Licence Test (OLT), unless you have held a CAMS licence in the last 4 years (see application form for more details. Also find further details about the OLT at this link). The OLT will incur extra cost. The OLT is generally held the Friday before state championship rounds – exact dates can be found at CAMS OLT page (please follow previous link).

 

Lastly, bear in mind that you can enter AASA events with a CAMS licence, but not vice versa


MAKE A BOOKING

 

WHAT HELMET DO YOU NEED FOR A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY?

An approved helmet can be either an approved motorcycle helmet or and approved car racing helmet. For those participating in the Sprint category, it is recommended that you have an approved car racing helmet rather than a motorcycle helmet. For those participating in the Race category, a car racing helmet is mandatory.

 

- Motorcycle helmets need to meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1698 (or equivalent) as a minimum.

- Car racing helmets need to meet Snell SA 2010 (or equivalent) as a minimum

- One of the key differences between a motorcycle helmet and a car racing helmet is that a car racing helmet with Snell SA 2010 rating or higher will have a better fire resistance rating compared to the motorcycle helmet.

- If you are needing to purchase a helmet for the LOTD, you should consider your future needs when deciding on which type of helmet to purchase. If you are considering entering any super sprint or Targa style events that are run under CAMS regulations, you MUST have a car racing helmet that meets the Snell SA 2010 standard (or equivalent) as a minimum.

- Snell standard helmets can be sourced through Motor Cycle Accessories Superstore(operated by a fellow Lotus club owner)

- The Auburn superstore has the best range of car racing products. Ask for Tony, Jessie or Scott and make sure you mention that you are a Simply Sports Cars customer and they will look after you.
 

 

THE FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE TO A LOTUS ONLY TRACK DAY

 

Preparing your car:

  • Check all fluid levels (and keep checking during the day): Engine oil, coolant, brake fluid etc and maybe bring top ups in case
     
  • Set tyre pressure to recommended levels, and inspect for tread depth and potential punctures. Too soft: may damage sidewalls due to excessive flex when cornering hard, will cause tyre to heat up. Too hard: increased wear, smaller contact patch. Keep an eye on your tyres throughout the day, especially if you drive your car home afterwards. 
     
  • Monitor brake behaviour: If you feel the brake pedal go ‘long’ when on track don’t panic or come straight in, do a cool down lap and you should find that once they have cooled a little the firmness under foot will return.
     
  • Remove all loose objects from car (including trunk). Also ensure that any video cameras are mounted securely. You’d be surprised at the potential damage inflicted by a camera flying about in the cabin, both to yourself and the interior of your car.
     
  • Cool down: Always complete a cool down lap before coming into the pits to get some air to the brakes, engine and the transmission, and once in the pits at the end of a session do not apply the handbrake as the pads can weld themselves to the discs when hot.
     
  • Fuel: Ensure you arrive with a full tank and bring a spare jerry can of fuel and/or check the nearest location to the race track 

 

 

Preparing yourself

  • Be alert: it’s going to be an adrenaline-filled day, so get a good night’s sleep, keep hydrated, and avoid alcohol the night before.
     
  • Your attire: wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, so no shorts or t-shirts. As for shoes, thin-soled trainers or sneakers work well to ensure you have good pedal-feel. Motorbike helmets are allowed but we suggest investing in one that complies to motorsport standards, either open face or full-face. These will be more expensive, but they will be more comfortable and should the worse happen then they offer greater protection and are fireproof.

 

The Day:

  • Arrive early, signing forms, registration and number stickers: so that you have plenty of time to find your pit garage, and get organized without rushing around worrying about everything.
     
  • Briefing: Attending the briefing is compulsory for everyone, regardless of experience. This is where the organisation will run through the format and timing of the day, along with the rules and flag signals. 
     
  • Get Instruction: we all think we know what is meant by 'the line', but if it's your first track day, you may be surprised by a few things regarding corners. Tracks are all about corners, straights are boring. There are many experienced track day veterans around on the day, who will be quite happy to give you pointers. Use their experience.
     
  • Tips
    • Look well ahead: As you pass the 'turn in' you should already be looking past the 'apex' cone, and on to the exit cone. It's easy not to look far enough ahead. Try to see the 'big picture' - the whole corner.
       
    • Braking for corners: Burn off the right amount of speed and change down BEFORE you turn. If you are adept at 'heel and toe' to get the engine to the right revs for the next gear, so much the better - but don't worry if you're not - the last thing you need to try is your first 'heel and toe' at 120+ kph.
       
    • Overtaking: Only overtake on the straights, and never in braking zones. Use your mirrors; if you feel that a faster car behind you “puts on the pressure”, allow it to overtake. To signal to the driver behind you, use your indicator, pull to one side of the track and go easy on the throttle. Remember; safe overtaking requires the cooperation from both parties. Anyone “diving down the inside” under braking will be pulled in and asked to explain themselves.
       
    • Don’t be “that guy”: http://youtu.be/b7iUKaPlBl8
       
  • Flag signals
    • Yellow - There is danger ahead. Slow to half speed and no overtaking is allowed until you have passed the incident, this may be followed by a green flag to indicate all is now clear.
       
    • Red - There is danger ahead. Slow to half speed and no overtaking is allowed, but this time it refers to the whole circuit. You must also return to the pitlane immediately.
       
    • Black - Return to the pitlane immediately and report to the organisers. There may be something wrong with your car that you are not aware of or they may need to chat to you about your driving.
       
    • Yellow and red stripes – Slippery surface. Be very careful; there maybe oil or other fluid on the track
       
    • Blue - The overtaking flag. There is a faster car behind you wishing to overtake, move over when next on a straight
       
    • Chequered - End of session. Drive slowly round to the pits giving the car a chance to cool.

 

Afterwards:

  • If you’re driving your Lotus home, give it a good check-over before hitting the road. We don’t want you to get stranded, so ask for advice if you have doubts about anything.
     
  • Don’t try to “clip that apex” on public roads. Police presence is likely, so be on your best behaviour.

 

 

Glossary: 

Apex

The part of a corner where the racing line is nearest the inside of the bend


Backmarker

A slower car, usually in the process of being lapped by the leaders


Blend line

The painted line defining the exit from pit lane where it rejoins the race track. It prevents emerging race cars from driving into race traffic travelling past the pits. Competitors are penalised for crossing the blend line, ensuring cars have attained full racing speed before rejoining the race.


Camber

The angle at which wheels are set up to tilt in or out, measured in degrees in or out from 90 degrees (i.e. "2.5 degrees negative camber" means each wheel is tilted 2.5 degrees inwards from vertical) "Positive camber" means the top of the tyre is angled outwards from the car; "negative camber" means that the top tilts inwards. Negative camber assists cornering performance as the outside tyres lean into the corner (like a motorcycle) which keeps the lateral forces on the tire lower and causes less flex in the sidewall, although it does also have the effect of increasing tyre wear.


Chicane

An artificial feature added to the natural course of a track to slow cars[14] or create a passing zone.


Closing the door

A driver takes an early defensive racing line into a corner to block the car behind from overtaking along the preferred line.


Deep braking

Applying the brakes later than normal when entering a turn.


Did Not Attend (often DNA)

Denotes a driver who was entered for a race but did not attend the circuit. Sometimes referred to as Did Not Arrive or simply a "no show."


Did Not Finish (often DNF)

A driver who did not finish the race. Some sanctioning bodies do not classify a driver in the final results if he did not finish completed a certain number of laps.


Did Not Qualify / Did Not Pre-qualify (often DNQ / DNPQ)

A failure to qualify or pre-qualify for a race. Most often because the driver was too slow to make it into a limited number of grid positions.


Did Not Start (often DNS)

A driver did not attempt to compete in a race, even though he may have competed in practice sessions and / or qualifying. Not the same as the DNA already mentioned.


Disqualify (often DQ or DSQ)

Where a competitor is removed from the results, usually in penalty for a technical infringement.


Downforce

Increased force holding the car onto the track. This is created by the aerodynamics or aerodynamic aids (F1 wings, etc.) of a vehicle which causes a "reverse lift" effect. That is, creating an area of low pressure (suction) under the car and/or under the wing(s) or other aids fixed to the car, the higher pressure above forcing the tires harder to the ground, effectively increasing the static friction. This allows it to travel faster through a corner, at the cost of having a reduced overall top speed, since drag is proportionate to lift and downforce is caused by lift.


Drivers' Briefing

A meeting where drivers and officials meet before a race to discuss the upcoming event. Also referred to as Drivers' Meeting or Driver and Crew Chief meeting, as in some series, the driver and his crew chief must attend.


Fish-Tailing

Used to refer to a vehicle that loses traction at the rear, regains traction and loses it again, causing the rear to weave side to side independently of the front of the car. Also Tank Slapper: When the front wheel of a motorcycle oscillates rapidly, causing the handlebars to slap against the fuel tank.


Flat spot

When a wheel locks under braking, the car skids and leaves a flat spot on the section of the tyre that was touching the ground at the time


Graining

When small grains of rubber start coming off a tyre


Grid

The starting formation of a race, generally in rows of two for cars and four for bikes.


Ground effect

A method of creating downforce by the shape of the car's body, notably by shaping the underside of the car in combination with the car's lateral edges in order to trap and dramatically slow the airflow running underneath the car, effectively turning the entire car into a wing.


Kerb-hopping

To clip, or drive over completely, the concrete kerbs (curbs) on the inside of a corner. While often the fastest method of negotiating chicanes in particular, the practice is usually frowned upon by race officials for the damage it can do to the kerbs, tyres and vehicles. The practice also can drag debris or water from behind the kerb onto the racing line.


Marbles

Pieces of rubber from tires that accumulate on the racing surface outside of the racing line that are slippery


Marshal

A person responsible for signaling track conditions to drivers (through use of flags), extinguishing fires, removing damaged cars from the track and sometimes providing emergency first aid.


Oversteer

Cornering behaviour where the rear wheels do not track behind the front wheels but instead move out toward the outside of the turn. Opposite of understeer.



Qualifying

The process of deciding the starting order of a race.


Racing line

The fastest path around a circuit.


Reverse grid racing

when the starting order of a race is reversed, so that the driver on pole position, starts last. Occasionally reverse grid is limited to only part of the grid, for example, just the top ten positions may be reversed. Often used to increase the entertainment value of a race, mainly used when a category races several times over the course of a meeting.


Ripple strip

Concrete kerb, usually placed on the inside of a corner, painted in chunks of colour, usually red and white alternately, hence the 'ripple'.


Rumble strip

Variation of ripple strip with an upward-pointed, rounded saw-tooth edge. The saw-tooth effect is to discourage competitors from kerb-hopping. The saw-tooth creates a rumble sound and feel for the competitor when driven over.


Run-off area

Areas off the track put aside for vehicles to leave the track in case of emergency without accident.


Scrutineer

A qualified official who examines racing vehicles pre-race for compliance with the rules of competition, usually in a scrutineering bay adjacent to the pit lane.


Short shifting

A technique used, primarily in motorsport, to regain control of a car through a high speed corner. Involves the driver shifting up a gear earlier than usual.


Slick

A tyre with no tread pattern, maximising the amount of tyre rubber in contact with the racing surface. A specialist motor racing application as in wet weather conditions these tyres have little resistance to aquaplaning.


Splitter

Also referred to as the front Spoiler or Front Air Dam. Aerodynamic device placed on the nose of some touring cars and GTs to improve airflow around the nose of the car and sometimes create downforce for the front wheels to aid steering.


Spoiler

Aerodynamic device attached to the trailing edge of a race car to increase its rear downforce. The difference between a spoiler and a wing is that wings are generally multi-element with air passing both above and below the aerodynamic surface, whereas a spoiler is flush fitted to the car's bodywork.


Ten-tenths

Refers to driving a car to its absolute potential.


Understeer

Cornering behaviour where the front wheels do not follow the steered course but instead push out toward the outside of the turn. Opposite of oversteer.


Wing

Aerodynamic device on many racing cars. The principle is the same as an aircraft wing except in motor racing applications the wing is inverted to create downforce instead of lift, pressing the car onto the road surface to increase traction.
 

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