Ed Speak

Evo - - NEWS - @ evon­ick­trott NICK TROTT

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.

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