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First track day, Big thanks to the North West Crew

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Old 06-07-2017, 09:30 AM
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Default First track day, Big thanks to the North West Crew

Well i always said i would never do one and the lads have being trying to talk me into it for the last 5 years especially Ron, So after years of ducking the issue the Lads in North west Crew bought me one for Christmas, Shit how do i get out of this now, i started sprinting at the end of 2015 and really enjoy doing it i'm on the track on my own and apart from the initial launch it's quite relaxing which is good as i am noted for being quite an angry person where they get that from i have no idea but the thought of going out on track for the first time at my age filled me with dread and after watching some track day videos it convinced me that is not the place i want to be,
Anyhow i thought i'd get out of it by doing a drift day which Mike had being asking me to do then at the last minute as i was about to redeem the coupon, the little voice said no pay for the drift day and save the gift for what it was intended, So i asked where was the best place to do my first day bearing in mind i only live 18 miles from Oulton Park but that place brought fear to my mind after seeing all the crashes there over the years, Ron suggested Blyton but i really couldn't be arsed to travel that far for something that i wouldn't enjoy, Then i spotted a novice day at the dreaded Oulton and it was on a Saturday so if the worst happened i could virtually walk home, Ron Robin both told me i'b be OK and just go at a pace your comfortable with so the day was duly booked i treid to book an instructor but they were all booked up oh god what have i done how can i get out of it go to bed and forget about it, the next day a few of the lads said they would come along and Ron would give me a few pointers great now i have an audience to watch me cock it up

The day before i go into panic mode is the car going to be OK am i going to be OK i end up messaging Lee and telling him to be ready to take my place as i can't go through with it, he reassures me i'll be ok and not to worry and to just do a few laps to see how i get on, can't sleep all night and up at 6.30, helmet drivers licence and paper work all in hand then 3 trips to the loo and of i go i end up creeping along my head pounding and took over 40 minuites to cover the 18 mile drive, when i arrive straight to the bog sign on back to the bog then i spot another S and we end up sharing a garage, then the briefing comes around can't stop my leg shaking as i sit and listen trying to take everything in in a flash it's over and back to the garage but what i did hear was there were a couple of instructor places going spare luckily i'm in the 2nd session best go to the bog again then down to race control to book the teach, shit there's no one here and i have just being called to noise i look around and no one is here i will have to go out on my own i'll ring Lee or Ron to see where they are Nooooo i forgot my phone damn and blast or words to that effect, ah well get noise checked then bam you line up there ready for your sighting lips and show your arm band on the way out on track, Now this is the first time ever i have driven on a race track and my god it was horrible the car felt like it was floating a few inches of the ground shit this can't be right whats wrong help, before you can blink the session is over Lee is there great a face i know so i park up and run down to race control and thank god i could book an instructor and Lee books a passenger ride, before you know it it's back out on track this time will Lee as the teach slot wasn't till 11.20, as we are going down the pit exit i tell Lee the car doesn't feel right so i won't be going to fast, Shit this can't be right the car now feels great and the more i picked up speed the better it felt, ended up having a great session and started to relax,
On to the instructor session and i needn't have worried at all he said i did OK for my first time on tack and i even ended up getting a report like being back at school, after this i took Ron out and Mike then my freind Paul Sheard how i sometimes pit crew for came and sat in with me,
All in all it turned out to be a great day and not as scary as i thought it would be, i'm slow i can't heel and toe due to plates in my ankle i brake to early for some corners and too late for others the fluid boiled towards the end of each session and the pedal went long which gave me a few hairy moments,,,would i do it again? you bet ya, thanks to all the north west crew one of the best days i have had in the S.
sorry to drone on like an old fart but it really was great day

a vid of each passenger ride with room for loads of improvement,
first up with the instructor,





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Old 06-07-2017, 10:12 AM
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Ray you've pretty much summed up my first trackday experience about 4 years ago. Its amazing how nervous and worked up you can get and then after 10 minutes on track its just fun!! Hence why i done about 10 and then decided i needed to spend the money on buying a house and more sensible things. Met some nice friends at trackdays as well over the years who ive kept in contact with. Glad you enjoyed it but you are hooked now and it gets expensive!
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:18 AM
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You had fun, you and the car are in one piece. Job done
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:26 AM
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Fantastic write up that also summaries the nerves and fear/expectations I had in my first day.

Ironically I have that sort of panic when I remove the head cover and start poking around the engine internals, which I imagine you could do in your sleep!

So when's the next one?
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:43 AM
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Nice one.

My first was the Nurburgring on a tourist day
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:47 PM
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Sounds like you had a good time out there Ray. Oulton is a belting track, I'm itching to get back there once the Ohlins are on mine.

I remember I was a bit nervy out on track in the S, more because it was my own car and not someone else's that I was spanking around there in.
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:45 PM
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Nice write up Ray and the videos bring back memories of what was a cracking day . I was nextdoor in garage 20! Cheers for telling me to get my ass down there to secure it

Anyways big shout out to the entire NW crew who were there offering advice for my first outing around Oulton Park too (and a bit of dot 4 when needed!). Thankfully made it back in my daily drive intact!
Hopefully we all get together again soon.

Andy
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by markforrester99 View Post
Ray you've pretty much summed up my first trackday experience about 4 years ago. Its amazing how nervous and worked up you can get and then after 10 minutes on track its just fun!! Hence why i done about 10 and then decided i needed to spend the money on buying a house and more sensible things. Met some nice friends at trackdays as well over the years who ive kept in contact with. Glad you enjoyed it but you are hooked now and it gets expensive!
I'ts very hard to describe how nervous i really was, and i dread to think how much money i would have spent if i had done one a few years ago, i only manged just under a 100 miles to a tank full of juice and did 148 miles on track
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MB View Post
Nice one.

My first was the Nurburgring on a tourist day
I don't think i would have being that brave to tackle the Nurby first although That was also Mikes first trackday as part of his European tour

Originally Posted by lovegroova View Post
You had fun, you and the car are in one piece. Job done
Yeah i tried to be careful, thanks for your video footage Simon i watched it a few times before going, i now have to work on my fear of Druids and Lodge it may come from watching umpteen race's there and these s are to two corners we always go to for action On and off track, luckily there were only a couple of incidents through the day one being a fiesta which spun coming out Old hall and the other a BMW which exceeded track limits a tad just in front of me which resulted in Ron shouting a lot so i just totally ignored him,

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:57 PM
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Haha! Glad you ended up enjoying it. It is pretty nerve wracking the first time. Oulton is a lovely circuit, despite claiming me as a victim a few years ago. You were getting some good tyre squeal going on, so obviously weren't too timid, despite your nerves. Nicely done!
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