It's been a few years since I drove my old Mk2 MX5 1.6i around Donnington Park.
I was definitely the slowest car on the track with only 110 HP and a journeyman driver at the wheel... Well that's probably pushing it. Let's be honest and say novice!
The thing is, despite having Lotus Elise's and even VW Golf's flying past on a regular basis, I actually had a riot.
Yes, the MX5 was painfully slow, no you couldn't make up the time in the corners with it's sublime handling. However, you could drive it at the limit. You could go as fast as the car would go. It gave you time to think about your line, brake late and clip the apex. It gave you time to practice your heel and toe and left foot braking.
In short it allows you to hone your skills with less risk. On one lap a screaming VX220 Turbo came tearing past, only to overcook it on the next corner, spin off and shower everyone with gravel. No harm done, but a few stone-chips, but you'd be less likely to end up sliding towards the armco in the MX5.
The day was booked with a company called Bookatrack. Fantastic company to go with. All drivers were courteous and safe. It was an open pit lane, evening session, and a race team, working on their car wanted to do some test runs while we were on track. I think this caused some division between the people on the track day. Some really wanted to see what the race car could do and try to keep up, others didn't relish the idea of sharing the track with a fully prepped race car. I think the decision NOT to agree to allow them onto the track was right though. I could see all sorts of issues with insurance and so on, if they did join the track day and cause a collision.
Bookatrack also rents out track cars, mainly Caterhams. So you don't have to take your diesel barge or wife's shopping trolley around. They run track days on many tracks in the UK and all over Europe. Come the day I'm driving something other than a barge again, I will do another track day with them.
On the day I had a few passenger laps in an S1 Lotus Elise Type-R a Blink Motorsport modified Lotus with a Honda Integra Type-R engine fitted. 0-60 in less than 4.5, 200 BHP in a 600kg car? Yes, it was fast and it was fun. They even tried to flog me the car afterwards, but they wanted £20k and I was about to start building a house at the time so....
Anyone else driven around Donington Park? I'd love to hear the stories and see some pictures!
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