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    Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Just thought I'd start a new thread for this! (I think RichJ kicked off proposals for a track day originally)

    2nd May and 9th July (I think?) were proposed for getting together at Bedford Autodrome

    I propose we keep a tally here of
    a) Who's up for what dates
    b) The best track day insurance deal anyone can find

    I'm not going to make May, but am up for July. And Liverpool Victoria don't cover me for track usage - (They used to offer it) - so I need insurance too.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Working out which one I can do at the moment....

    All depends on the insurance really and how much its going to cost.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Same here, if the insurance issue can be resolved I may well tag along. (July for me). Jonathan Palmer's circuit looks brill! Now if Rennteam could hire it exclusively for the day....

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Actually, hiring it is a very good idea. I know they tried to sort out something similar to this over on Boxa.net but didnt get the numbers.

    If I remember rightly it looked pretty good value if you had a reasonable number, say 10 or so).

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    That would be fun, yes.

    Meanwhile I booked the following insurance for Bedford: 28200 GBP insured with 4700 GBP excess costs 249GBP. The cover is with [quote from bookatrack.com]: Chris Yemm at Competition Car Insurance (Egger Lawson) who offer track day insurance for all UK and European BaT events. Their number is 01159 415 255.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    I am up for July!!!

    I insured thru Porsche and get 2 track days per annum with 10% (Pounds4400) Excess

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Quote:
    newboxster said:
    I insured thru Porsche and get 2 track days per annum with 10% (Pounds4400) Excess



    Let me get this right - does the premium include 2 track days per annum at no extra cost?

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Quote:
    Ente said:
    That would be fun, yes.

    Meanwhile I booked the following insurance for Bedford: 28200 GBP insured with 4700 GBP excess costs 249GBP. The cover is with [quote from bookatrack.com]: Chris Yemm at Competition Car Insurance (Egger Lawson) who offer track day insurance for all UK and European BaT events. Their number is 01159 415 255.



    Great info! I wonder how much damage you have to do to breach the 10% Pounds4700 excess?
    I reckon this could only be done in a car-on-car incident at Bedford, due to no barriers.

    Is it really WORTH getting insured if the premium is really 10% of the car? Hmm. Scarey stuff!

    And would over-reving by getting a gear-change wrong void your warrantee? (Is that a 'type 2' over-rev?)

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Honestly, I booked the insurance simply because I don't know anything about my track driving skills, and the main owner of my car is still the bank. I could well be prone to making a big mistake and do the BOOM thing... so I'd rather have some safety net.

    If I had some amount of track day experience and was comfortable with my skill level, and/or had the car fully paid off, I'd probably skip the insurance thing completely.

    Hehe yes indeed... overreving or putting the stick into the R (Rallye!) gear at 100 mph would not be covered. Guess it's mainly a psychological factor for me. I heard many drivers choose to opt out of insurance but I just like the illusion of a cushion.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Quote:
    Ente said:
    Honestly, I booked the insurance simply because I don't know anything about my track driving skills, and the main owner of my car is still the bank. I could well be prone to making a big mistake and do the BOOM thing... so I'd rather have some safety net.



    Oh, I agree! I'd probably prefer the comfort of having some insurance too. Insurance makes you feel more relaxed, certainly! I'm just quite shocked really that they can stipulate such a high excess. That means you have to to between Pounds4700 and Pounds28,000 worth of damage for it to be worthwhile...

    It sounds tempting to go round the track like a baby, uninsured, screaming 'stay away from my car!' at anyone that gets too close!

    I hate insurance!

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Quote:
    dreamcar said:
    Quote:
    newboxster said:
    I insured thru Porsche and get 2 track days per annum with 10% (Pounds4400) Excess



    Let me get this right - does the premium include 2 track days per annum at no extra cost?



    ABSAMUNDO....JUST NEED TO LET THEM KNOW WHEN AND WHERE? SORRY FOR CAPS BUT ALREADY TYPED AN IN HUR...........

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Thanks for your answer, I think I will take that as a yes. Definitely count me in or a July track day, then

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Porsche insurance finally got back to me with a quote. They wanted Pounds1300. (compared to Pounds782 or Pounds677 with Liverpool Victoria). So that's effectively Pounds518 extra for two track days included in the deal with Porsche. Could be worse...

    Any exclusions with the Porsche track-day cover? Does it cover you hitting 3rd parties and livestock?

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Bedford track day or How to get around the corner with dignity

    Midnight the night before the track day found us still wondering whether we should expose our dirty but newborn girl to the strain and risk of a a track day, with mental images of stone chips big as a house and the gorgeous 19" tires smeared all over the runway. Since the crystal ball refused to give us any definite answers that evening, we decided to go to bed instead.

    At 5am, with both eyes firmly closed, there is no way to process any heavy thinking either, so we agreed to go to Bedford first and do the thinking there. Full of website wisdom but no clue how a track day really works, we packed fluids (mobile 1 for the girl and vitamins for us) and the indemnity forms (everything that can happen will happen and it's all your own fault... please sign here). Being greeted by an annoying drizzle didn't stop us, since Bedford was miles away yet and everyone knows the weather here on the island can change from roundabout to roundabout.

    Several attempts of finding a way to check the oil status without that annoying wait time (starting the car for all of 15 seconds, the status message reads "Please wait 30 minutes for oil status".. where is that good old stick *cries*) provided ample opportunity to have a last look at the manual in a vain attempt to hide our noobness by finding out beforehand where the towing eye is and how to attach it to the car. Barring any alternatives or experience, we ensured tire pressure was at the factory recommended settings of 32/36 and started out towards Bedford using the Nav system. Well, we tried anyway since the PCM doesn't know the airfield and can only get you as close as the nearest town, e.g. Bedford.

    By the time we left the M25 the weather god had mercy on us. The road dried up and the sun dared to make an appearance to present us with purr-fect driving conditions. When we pulled in to the only fuel station in Bedford open at that ungodly hour and providing supreme petrol, we spotted two Lotus Elises. Yes! We must be on the right track so to speak.. there is only one place they could be headed at this time of the day. Following them through Bedford and Milton Ernest via the A6, we found out that way to the airfield track is really hard to miss due to the signs and the mass of race cars all headed in the same direction.

    We arrived at the track shortly before 8am, in pole position to sign up and grab some warm breakfast together with our loaner helmets. Tip: Bring both a credit card AND some cash as you need the card for the helmet deposit, but can't get food or tuition without cash. Tuition can be booked on site but you'd want to register early in the day in order to ensure good time slots.

    At 8:40, the room was packed and the general briefing began with an overview of the track and its curves (no matter how many thousand BHP you have, this first curve is ALWAYS 25 mph... no pushing the noobs around, no racing and remember to COOL DOWN your brakes after 5 hot laps!). Marcus from Easytrack.co.uk (the track day organizer) ran us through the basic rules - overtaking only in straights and on the left side, black flag means baaad boxey - and stressed that every driver had to participate in the following familiarization laps where you crawl around the track a few times at a max speed of 50 mph to get a first look at the many green runoff areas where you'd want to park your car after an involuntary spin. For some odd reason he looked straight at me when pointing out just how welcome beginners were on the track and kept repeating that he'd take good care of us.

    After fitting the towing eye to the Boxster front we scanned the other track cars (plenty of Elises, some Nobles, all sorts of oddities on wheels, a yellow Ultima can-am *just...wow*, a yellow and a black GT3, 996TT, niiiiice... some 911s, one Ferrari 355, and one other black Boxster, a 986... but no 987 to be had anywhere) and went off to do the familiarization laps. It's a huge track, in the middle of an even larger green pasture, with very few walls or barriers and great sight at all times. The tarmac was wide, with little to no gravel and no visible hazards. Definitely recommended for track newbies like us.

    At 10am, the open pit lane started for the real thing... that is... for all but us beginners who were called back to the briefing room for some extra tuition. I grabbed an innocent instructor (bless you Phil) and headed back to the pits. A coach in your car is the ultimate skip-this-queue trump and we were on the way with no delays. Let me just say this: Getting instructions on your first track day is a huge huge advantage (a few laps are even free for beginners). I quickly discarded the notion of utilizing 4+ gears and any sort of sophisticated foot acrobatic on the track and pretty much reduced my driving to third gear for everything but the hairneedle pins (second) and the long straights (fourth & fifth), with standard clutch breaking. Go 5k+ revs! Tuition went like this: "Third now, gogogogo! up to the brake point, brake NOW, let go, second, rolling to the apex, now throttle, go wide, third and gogogogo! *watches the mirror and concludes that we were too slow* alright drive right, ease up, indicator, let them pass, now chase, gogogogo! *sneaks up on the occasional OTHER slowpoke* stick with him around the curve, now shift down and floor it gogogogo!... *to be repeated*...". Gotta love the "gogogogo" parts

    Both of us took some more instructor rounds throughout the day, overall taking it real easy with a total of 16 laps and no violent action on the track. Unfortunately, my work required us to leave early (around 2:30pm). The Boxey thanked us by showing no damage or wear and tear worth mentioning (Omg the tires are literally MELTING off the rims.. that can't be normal.. that IS normal? Nothing to worry about? Alrighty. Let's go out again). The only action we took between laps was "walking" her along the right side of the track for half a lap at low speed to cool down the brakes and picking the odd stones off the tires while in the pits.

    Watching the other drivers provided some good entertainment too.. uh oh there comes that BMW again, sliding around the corner.. what is wrong with that car??... and here comes the other Boxster.. weeee off into the grass (he later told us he had the car only for 2 months and wanted to learn cornering at high speeds)... there comes - and goes - the GT3 and the red 996TT *vroooom*... woah! And what was THAT *deep rumble and yellow flash*.. oh, the Ultima.. what a hell car (no ontrack pictures unfortunately but here's what it looked like: http://www.tiscali.co.uk/motoring/roadtests/roadtest_389_1.html)... *observing at a 993 C2 with a noticeable dent in the front fender* What happened? Oh, that was the rabbit whose pieces you could see on the long straight for a few laps. Ouch. Though the day saw a handful of harmless spins and grass hoppers, we didn't witness any accident or collision and the track seemed really forgiving.

    Rumor has it that we had such an easy time getting instructor slots because they were all keen on driving the 987S (Never seen one out on track, great car, wish I had one!) and even graciously offering to take it around the track for us. Our girl did indeed fetch a good number of compliments throughout the day, which in all honesty can be attributed to looks more than driving (obviously!), Overall we did decently well though, being passed by some, passing others and majorly caught up in the ultimate quest for the optimal corner line and speed. Admittedly my husband drove better than I did, but he paid for it with catching a bad case of track addiction and the associated facial paralysis (wide, fixed grin). I defintely had loads of fun but I'd prefer not driving my own brandnew daily driver car if we go out again.. it's just too much fretting over her wellbeing and being a tad too "nervey".

    A dedicated or loaner track car is the way to go. Until that time (lottery, anyone?), we'll likely keep it to Porsche driver trainings and nice scenic drives through the English countryside.

    Total costs of the day: 300 GBP for the track, 50 GBP for extra in-car tuition, 250 GBP for (unnecessary, thank god) insurance, 30 GBP for fuel (drove 220 miles, 70 of which on the track), 10 GBP for food, 10 GBP for the pictures = 650 GBP total = 325 GBP per person. Certainly not cheap but it was great fun and we got to take home a much better feel for the car's handling. Oh, and both of us forgot to use PASM, how pathetic is that??

    Here a picture of a random female beginner in a random black Boxster 987S, trotting the poor instructor around the track (excellent display of stoic nature, Chris, cheers):


    And here a picture of the random not-quite-so-beginner husband in his wife's random black Boxster 987S, attempting that extra-kewl cabriolet look (he claims he HAD to drive open because he did not fit in the car with a helmet on.. rrrright):


    P.S. The images were taken by www.trackphoto.co.uk (they made me say it, I swear).

    /edit: Had to fit the Ultima in there.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Thanks for the great report - for someone like me that is shall I / shan't I about doing a track day it gives a real flavour of the day.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Glad you both had a great day... and survived! Great write up too. Good job YOU didn't run over the bunny, or Rich might have been upset with you!

    How many miles wear did the tyres suffer, do you think?

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Can't tell how many miles but I'm guessing we lost about 1 mm.

    Had we driven her harder and all day long, things would probably look different.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Quote:
    Ente said:
    Can't tell how many miles but I'm guessing we lost about 1 mm.

    Had we driven her harder and all day long, things would probably look different.



    think I read somewhere that the Porsche Experience estimates you'd lose 1 - 1.5mm of tyre in te course of the day.

    Now, is that best to do at the beginning or end of the tyres life?

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Tyres: Beginning or end? Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I've felt that the compound of tyres gets harder towards the end of the tread life. Probably imagining it! But things have seemed 'stickier' at the start of my tyre's life than at the end.

    I suppose you could just have a set of 'track rims' that have illegally worn road tyres on, and swap 'em at the track. But you'd need a trailer and some more rims.

    Or you could just take a dry track day when your tyres are v.close to the edge, and get them changed close to the circuit for the journey home.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    That sounds likely WTSnet but I'm no expert. The tires are very new so they were very sticky, and the instructors told us were they older, the effect would not nearly be as pronounced.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Well Ente after your fantastic write up I had to book myself on the next one, only whish I had got around to booking last time!.
    Just signed up for the next Bedford day on the 9th July! Cant wait.

    So, anyone fancy coming along? Ente, maybe a second blast around? You'll be a master now surely!!

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Yes I'll bring the Skoda this time!... uhm.. no wait... I'd love to go again and meet y'all but am not sure yet. We may need the cash for the 2d Porsche driver training that we're eyeing over in Leipzig/GER.

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    Oooh sounds interesting. Tell me more? Is this info on the website or do you need to contact Porsche directly?

    Re: Track days (Bedford Autodrome) and track day insurance

    It's Porsche's own sportsdriving training (2 days) which we just thought sounded a lot more interesting for the money than the half day class in the UK: http://www3.uk.porsche.com/isapi/english/gbr/news/drivingschool/drivingschool/training/advanced.asp

    We're signing up for the 17/18 of Sept in Leipzig. The event on June 11/12 is full (could likely get in through waiting list but with family coming that weekend it's not an option for us). They offer Boxsters to rent for the course.

    If anyone has done the Porsche training in Germany I'd be glad to hear about it. Will likely post the question in the German forum as well.

     
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