Some subjects need little introduction and this is just one.
It's amazing how a relatively new leisure activity has so quickly become part of the fabric of the motoring world and we suspect that most readers will have attended one, either as a participant or spectator.
But how did it all start? How best to prepare your vehicle for one? What about insurance?
In the beginning
Our story begins in the 1970's. Legend has it that a renowned car collector and racer was stopped for speeding on a motorway and the subsequent ban prompted him to think about how best to exploit the performance of his vehicles without incurring the wrath of the traffic police.
A small group of like-minded motoring enthusiasts had the same idea and the trackday was born.
Racing circuits realised that revenue could be generated by hosting trackdays and, for many, this was a welcome boost to income. Even today, circuits are amazingly quiet places when there's no competitive motor racing happening!
For many years, trackdays were the preserve of the wealthy. Circuits were hired for a few people to enjoy their car collections. Owners started adding track orientated cars including in some cases recently retired racing cars.
These early track days bordered on the genteel – very few cars and drivers and a generally relaxed atmosphere.
The trackday special
The concept of the lightweight, RWD sports car was nothing new. Lotus pioneered lightness as a crucial factor in their cars in the 1950's and their iconic Seven model continued to be manufactured by Caterham (and is still made today).
As the 1990's rolled in, small companies starting developing cars focused on trackday use – Radical, Brooke, Ultima and Westfield are examples and latterly, BAC, Ariel and motorcycle manufacturer KTM have produced ultra-lightweight and extremely high performance focused cars designed primarily for track use but also legal for normal driving on the road.
Track use for the masses
Was it a perceived increase in the enforcement of speeding laws? Popular magazines such as Evo promoting “The Thrill of Driving”? Economic growth resulting in more disposable income?
Whatever the reasons, the 1990's saw a literal explosion in the trackday industry. From showroom-fresh sports and supercars to cars built on a budget by people in their garages at home, trackdays saw an increasingly eclectic mix of cars and drivers. The common thread remained the love of exploring the performance of one's vehicle in an environment where it was considerably safer to do so.
Fail to prepare = prepare to fail!
We aren't for a moment going to pretend to be experts in the field of circuit preparation.
The links below provide extensive and helpful advice and tips to ensure that your time on track is both enjoyable and safe – not to mention that it won't be cut short by mechanical failure.
This is a small selection of countless articles and videos available to help guide you through the preparation stage and then how to tackle your first trackday, including track etiquette and rules.
Trackdays are mostly about having fun, about enjoying the performance your vehicle is capable of in a safe environment. It's a chance to meet fellow like-minded enthusiasts.
Enjoying your car and having the freedom to do so is as important to Lockton as it is to you so we've made sure that if the unthinkable happens, you're covered.
Firstly, damage to your vehicle. This will be insured to repair or replace your vehicle and our schemes have varying limits so you'll need to discuss this with us (or your usual account manager if you're already a client).
You can use your preferred repairer or we can introduce you to one of our own network of specialists
The excess will be 10% of the vehicle's insured value, or your usual excess, whichever is higher.
Third party liability cover is also included, with a maximum limit for any one event of £2,000,000. This excludes any other vehicle and any part of the circuit including barriers, track surface and buildings.
We will only cover the policyholder to drive on track and the trackday must be organised by your owners club with your club having sole access to the circuit for the entirety of the event.
Cover is available within our collectors' car policy and not as a separate product.
So that's it – a brief guide to the background of the trackday and how Lockton can protect your car should you decide to experience the thrill for yourself.
Talk to us today if you're not a Lockton client and would like to know more.