Owning a fast car is becoming increasingly difficult to justify. If you had a fast car a few years ago all you had to do was wake up early enough on a weekend, or head out of town and you could enjoy giving your machine the “full treatment” on a suitably quiet stretch of blacktop. That, however, has become an increasingly rare occurrence as larger traffic volumes and a general decay of road conditions have limited the opportunties and locations when and where one can experience driving enjoyment.
Well, all is not lost because track days are becoming popular on local soil. As was the case in the UK a decade ago, sportscar and driving enthusiasts realised that they could not longer enjoy fast driving and/or powerful cars on public roads and they took to the racetracks of old Blighty. South Africans, too, are onto this trend.
Open track days give a driver the chance to exploit his or her machinery to its full potential, and sometimes beyond its handling capabilities, within the safe confines of a track environment.There are marshalls in attendance, paramedics close by, no oncoming traffic, no nasty kerbs and best off all, no over-zealous police with speed trapping equipment.
Just a few pointers for when you do decide to attend your first track day:
Driving on a racetrack should be a right of passage for any true petrolhead. We all dream of driving the Nordschleife at Nurburgring, Silverstone or Laguna Seca, but you have to start somewhere, and you local track is as good a place as any.
Track days are run on a regular basis at tracks around SA, unless you live in Durban, in which case you have to travel some way to your nearest track. As CAR is based in Cape Town I make regular use of the open/street car track events run at Killarney racetrack.