Event Reports…

 

Goodwood Track Days 2005.

Goodwood Track Days 2004.

Goodwood Track Day 8th November 2003.

Goodwood Track Day 15th February 2003.

Goodwood Track Day 16th November 2002.

Goodwood Track Day 1st June 2002.

Goodwood Track Day 23rd February 2002.

 

 

 

Goodwood Track Days 2005.

2005 sees the implementation of some new legislation in the Track Day industry in relation to Liability Insurance and Health & Safety.  As a consequence, Goodwood can now provide its own Liability Insurance package at a very favourable cost.  The downside to this is the additional red tape and paperwork associated with it!   For those of you who attended our events in 2005, you will already be only too familiar with the new forms to be completed for insurance purposes.  For those of you who have yet to experience this, there are even more forms to complete not only for drivers, but also ‘every’ passenger!  I would ask you to bear this in mind when attending any of our events at Goodwood and please do what you can to complete all paperwork prior to signing-on, as this will save valuable time.

 

Our event on Saturday 19th February could have been confused with a summers’ day!  We had beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies.  We all had a great day and look forward to the 12th November.  Unfortunately however, our event scheduled for 12th November had to be cancelled as a consequence of Goodwood re-surfacing the whole track just prior to our event and the need to allow time for the surface to cure!  Goodwood Circuit Management were very apologetic and we entered into negotiations for our next scheduled event on Saturday 18th February 2006.  I am very pleased to say that we were able to negotiate our next event FOC thanks to Goodwood, we accepted this offer on the basis it would be passed onto those clients who were directly affected by the cancellation.  Just ask yourself, how many other track day organisers would do this for their clients?  I’ll leave you to think on that one!

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Goodwood Track Days 2004.

Following the success of our event in November 2003 with the ‘Goodwood Day’ (5 cars on the track – 105dBa) format, we decided to continue with this format for our 2005 events.  Both the February and November events were fully subscribed in advance which is excellent, a special thank you to all of our loyal clients.

 

Our 2004 events ran as smooth as silk, even if I say so myself!  Our clients thoroughly enjoyed themselves in their wide range of machinery, which included Peter Wyhinny, Brand Director for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK in his new Volkswagen Caddy Racing Van!

 

We look forward to seeing you all in 2005.

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Goodwood Track Day 8th November 2003.

Following the February event and after gaining some feedback from our clients, we decided to change the format from the ‘Road Traffic Day’ (10 cars on the track – 98dBa) to a ‘Goodwood Day’ (5 cars on the track – 105dBa), with a maximum entry of just 20 cars to ensure plenty of track time!

 

What a result, the event was over subscribed a month in advance!  Clearly, the quiet days are a major problem for many road going performance cars, not to mention competition cars.  This was obviously the right move!

 

As for the day itself, well despite being bitterly cold, the weather stayed dry all day.  We even had glorious sunshine in the morning.  With just 20 cars, we ran 15 minute sessions with four groups of 5 cars.  It was a fantastic day, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, including me.  That just leaves me to say thank you to our participants for your continued support.  We look forward to seeing you again in 2004!

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Goodwood Track Day 15th February 2003.

Oh boy… where do I start?  I guess with what can only be described as a sign of the times!  It proved very difficult to secure entries for the event, in fact, we ran with only 16 entries with the additional take up of 5 single sessions during the day!  Needless to say, the event ran at a considerable loss for the first time ever!  We have of course made small losses previously, but this has normally balanced out over the year with two or three events.  As you know, we are certainly not in this for a profit, but by the same token not any losses!

 

The day itself ran very smoothly, as one would expect with such a low entry.  The weather was fine, very sunny and even a warm feeling in the morning, but by lunch time it was overcast and fairly cold.  Though it did stay dry and everybody really enjoyed themselves.  I again braved the elements and gave my Sports 2000 race car a run in just one session during the afternoon just for a quick shake down.

 

Incidentally, a significant number of days remain ‘vacant’ during 2003 at Goodwood, possibly due to pricing?  But it is also worth noting that a small number of Track Day organisers have ceased trading?  Could it be that this little industry has reached saturation point?  Too many players with too much choice and not enough clients to go around?  Only time will tell?

 

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Goodwood Track Day 16th November 2002.

Despite the very slow take up of places, we did ‘just’ manage to fill the event!  As you would expect, Goodwood in November is generally wet, though not too wet on this occasion and not dry either.  There were one or two showers during the morning, but no wind, so the track did not completely dry out, not even a dry line!  This made driving on the track very entertaining to say the least!

 

There were a few thrills and spills from some of those who really should know better!  Having repaired my Sports 2000 March 86S race car just recently, I braved the conditions just to give it a little shake down and check all was okay!  Obviously the car was set up for dry conditions and fitted with slicks, so a degree of caution would be required.  It was now mid afternoon and the track was as dry as it was going to get (still very damp), so it was now or never and I really wanted to make sure it was all working okay!  Off I went then, gradually building up speed as I gained a little confidence, passing the other participants proved just how difficult it was to maintain control, almost everybody was struggling to keep their cars on the track.  Surprisingly, I only had one scary moment when towards the end of the session I was turning into Madgwick and the back end decided to let go, a very quick opposite lock correction on the steering brought the car under control again, but that was a very close call!

 

Everybody really enjoyed themselves, there were a few off’s but no damage was caused, so all in all a very good day out.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants for their support during 2002 and look forward to seeing you all again during 2003.

Trevor Willard.

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Goodwood Track Day 1st June 2002.

“Just a quick thank you for a most enjoyable day, I've put together a webpage for my site here at http://www.skylinegts.co.uk/GW.htm of pictures and video of the event, with an honourable mention of your goodself :-)

Cheers, Ron Shields.”

 

"Trevor, thanks for the excellent day at Goodwood, the event was well organised and run by both your staff and the Goodwood Marshals, all staff present were friendly and very helpful, the coaching you gave my wife boosted her confidence no end.  The amount of cars on the track was ideal for my wife, it gave her a chance to go out and enjoy the driving (although she did have one close call).  I built my confidence up no end during the day and the excellent conditions/weather topped it all off.  Best run event I have been on so far and a very friendly bunch of drivers too.

Cheers, Tony.  Mustard Elise S1 (197BHP)”

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Goodwood Track Day 23rd February 2002.

So you get to that time in life that you either take out a subscription to the Readers Digest or return to motor racing after a 30-year absence.

I had done the Peugeot 306 GTIs at Silverstone and had followed that up with the Ferrari Experience at Thruxton.  Both outings had confirmed to me that there was some basic speed left in the old bones and my instructors had suggested there wasn’t much wrong that some serious track time wouldn’t put right.

I had bought an estate shaped Subaru Impreza WRX 6 months earlier and was about to have Mr Prodrive add a handling kit, which required new tyres and rims as well as new brakes.  There is no point scrapping barely worn kit so I was on to the Internet to discover who in February could accommodate me.  I was fortunate that with a few days to go Trevor Willard could put me into his Goodwood track day.  The sub-plot to all this was I was determined to pass my MSA licence en route to the Ginetta Cup this year and some serious laps would boost the confidence no end.

New track, new car, new helmet, new experience, we all assembled at 8.40 for the Drivers Briefing.  Trevor explained is his excellent avuncular manner the why and wherefores and split us into three 10 car groups each of which had a 20 minute slot every hour - three sessions before Lunch and three sessions afterwards.  That’s 2 hours track driving in a day - Not bad for under £200!

I have since appreciated the luxury of having only 10 cars on the track at any session.  A few weeks after I experienced a test day at Mallory Park where in excess of 25 cars shared the 1.35-mile track.  10 cars wallowing around Goodwood’s 2.4 miles is far more pleasant.

All newbies are meant to taken round by a qualified instructor.  But having explained to me intricacies of the modern helmet – it was all chin cups and popper studs in my day – Trevor told me to follow a V8 TR7 he was instructing in for a lap or two to get the lines.  After a lap or two of playing follow my leader I was confident enough to go solo.

Goodwood is brilliant circuit for the newcomer and you can drive it tolerably quickly quite easily.  But if you really want to master it there are a hundred subtleties, which need to be learnt and that was where I had my big slice of luck for the day.

At Thruxton, Gillian Goldsmith who is an ARD’s instructor based in Wiltshire had instructed me in the Ferrari 355.  Good fortune and a smashing lady called Julia had brought her to Goodwood as part of Julia’s preparation for her MSA Licence.  Fortunately Gillian and I recognised each other and my wife and I were invited to team up with them for the day.

This had two particularly big advantages.  Firstly I got some extra and unexpected tuition and secondly Gillian had a big warm motor home into which to huddle between sessions.  You need to understand that Goodwood has precious little shelter particularly in February.  There is a splendid WWII tea wagon but you can’t sit in it and the flying club, which has a seated café, is some way away from the circuit area.  So be prepared for inclement weather.  A few driver’s girlfriends had dressed to impress rather than for warmth and froze all day.

As far as atmosphere and organisation was concerned there was little to fault.  Those elements that needed to be efficient and safe were and gentle reminders and encouragement achieved everything else.  I think one over enthusiastic driver was firmly reminded that his headlights should always point down the track but the courtesy all drivers extended to each other made for an enjoyable day.  We are all enthusiasts and Trevor’s club atmosphere rubbed off on all the participants.

So how did I get on?  Well stopwatches are frowned on a bit but I didn’t need a stopwatch to tell me that I was getting progressively quicker all day.  At my speed between 8 or 9 laps were achievable each session so that was 50 plus laps in the day just the track time I was looking for.  I was astonished at just how quick a road car can go but of course pride comes before the fall.

Each session ends with a chequered flag at which you can proceed at track speed as long as you do not overtake anyone.  As I passed the pits I saw the Gillian/Julia combo in front of me.  As they had started 10 seconds behind me and I had a complete lap to go, I could “lap” them in 8 laps - a bit of a moral victory for the male ego.

I set off after the BMW Z1 with renewed vigour.  The first bend after the pits is “Madgwick” which I thought I had got the drop of by then.  Unfortunately, in my hurry I got it all profoundly wrong.  Line, braking points, turn in point, I only ever saw the apex in my rear view mirror as with a great squeal of tyres I 360’d on the tarmac before 720ing on the grass.  Only the kitty litter saved car and driver both of whom escaped chastened but unharmed.  A valuable lesson on not driving beyond your talent.

I would definitely go again.  I was surprised at how little real wear 50 laps made on the car and certainly my tyres could have had another 100 laps added to their 15,000 road miles before showing any distress at all.  The 20-minute format allows you enough time to get a rhythm but not too much time to get tired.  If you can afford an instructor get one you will get far more out of the day.  Good fun and good value.

Garry Heath

47¾  - mid-life crisis imminent

 

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