WE MAKE NO EXCUSE S for our love of trackdays. The best days I’ve had in this job have not been wringing out a Veyron on an oval, or being a spoiled VIP at a Grand Prix, but hanging out in a chilly paddock at Bedford Autodrome on an evo track evening, chatting to readers, poring over some great cars, and taking to the track to burn away some stresses.
The thrill of driving has never been about speed, and we’ll never condone speeding on the road. But likewise we’ll never condone poor driving. I thought about this deeply the other day, having witnessed a biker come within a micron of being pink mush as a car pulled out of a junction directly in front of him. The situation was scarily similar to one that put me in intensive care, and at risk of losing my left arm, nine years ago.
Speed was not a factor in either of these incidents, but poor decision making and inattentiveness undoubtedly was. These are serious issues – as serious as speeding – and if you put the three together your car, the car you love, becomes a horribly destructive weapon.
Veryhumanresponses, thatweareallvulnerable to, can result in poor driving. Adrenalin, stress, frustration and pride (and a dozen other ‘reasons’) may tempt you to push a little harder on the road, but eventually it’ll only end one way.
And if you don’t give a damn about yourself, imagine hurting someone else – and I mean seriously hurting someone. I ran someone over once – it wasn’t my fault – but I thought I’d killed them and the seconds that followed were seconds of such excruciating mental pain that I don’t believe I’d have coped if he had died.
So the thrill of driving is not about speed, but if it plays a significant part in what constitutes your thrill of driving then please take advantage of the numerous trackdays that take place all over the world. I absolutely guarantee that no matter how stressed, or competitive, or pumped with adrenalin you are, your drive home from the track will be calm, composed and stress free. Track driving is a release in an increasingly manic world, and, well, a plain good laugh too.
Enjoy our ‘Get On Track’ guide starting on p115, and be safe out there.