Trackdays have become more popular in recent years, as much with road car driving enthusiasts, as with saloon car racers who want some more relaxed, and perhaps better value, testing.
Trackdays.ie is the brainchild of digital specialist and motor enthusiast Rob King and racing driver and team owner Stephen Kershaw. Their events, as we have previously reported, Shave been a huge success and this weekend, they hold their first ever Saturday event. Predictably, it is fully booked. The reason for the success is twofold. Firstly, it can be quite daunting to take your car on track for the first time, especially when you share the tarmac with far more experienced drivers. The Trackdays team, both Mondello Park Instructors, are well aware of this and their site includes sections on the likes of: Beginners Guides, Setup Advice, Circuit Guides and Track Day Advice.
The atmosphere on the days we attended was both casual and welcoming, almost in the style of a cars and coffee event. Speaking of which, Mondello’s Grand Prix suite is the centre of the action and the tea and coffee flows all day- there are also some extremely tasty looking cakes, but being of an athletic build (!), we completely ignored these! Trackdays.ie also invested in a fleet of fully prepared cars, including Honda Civics and a Focus ST and these were busy all day long when we visited. Not only does the stripped out caged car give you that proper racecar experience, it also allows those contemplating taking up the sport an extremely cost effective way of dipping their toe in the water. (Prices for this start from as little as €195, including instruction!)
The attraction for the race driver to an event like this is simple. On a normal test day, there are separate sessions- single seaters, saloons and Ginetta Junior. This not only limits the track time, but if someone goes off in your session and causes a red flag, you are likely to have your session ended early through no fault of your own. Iastn complete contrast to this, should you attend a trackdays.ie event (saloons and sportscars only) you can go on track pretty much when you want, and spend the rest of the time adjusting your car or drinking coffee and shooting the breeze- the choice is yours!
Tomorrow, Trackdays hold their first ever Saturday event and predictably, it is fully booked (with the possibility of a space or two available due to cancellations if you CONTACT THEM asap). Expect the usual mix of interesting road cars and race cars- but probably also one or two Fiesta Zetec machines being shaken down ahead of next weekend’s popular 6 Hour Endurance Race. You may not be able to take to track this time round, but feel free to drop and get a feel for how these guys run their events- it is always a very enjoyable event.