GP Academy #3: Driving Etiquette and Behaviour [PART II]

In Part I of the GP Days Track Day Academy Series, we've been looking at how you should act around the circuit as well as the Paddock. In Part II, we're going to look at where the action really happens - the Pitlane and the Circuit.

Starting it Slow - The Pitlane

A BMW M2 leaving the pitlane during a GP Days Open Pitlane Track Day at Salzburgring

Not only is the pitlane the entry and exit point of the circuit, it is also location for quick technical checks such as adjusting the tyre pressure.

Similar to the Paddock, there might be some people walking around and crossing the road. As speeds are generally a bit higher in the pitlane, be extra careful.

In order to keep “foot-traffic” to a minimum, please change drivers and/or passengers in the Paddock only. The pitlane is definitely not the right spot for this.

You should always remember that visibility with a helmet is much worse than normal – so if you are “on foot” in the pitlane, please be extra careful of cars entering and leaving the track as they might not see you straight away!

The pitlane usually consists of a "Fast Lane" and "Slow Lane". The Slow Lane can be used to stop and get out of your car to check your tyre presures etc.. The fast lane, as the name suggests, is the "driving lane". There is absolutely now stopping allowed here!

A driver of a BMW M2 checks his tyre pressure in the Pitlane at Circuit Mettet during a GP Days Open Pitlane Track Day

The "Slow Lane" is always the lane closest to the Pitboxes (as indicated on the picture above).

Let's bring the Action - On Track

It may sound a bit generic, but we're convinced that if everyone stays considerate and respectful towards each other, 95% of all potential problems on track can be avoided. Just remember this:

| You got nothing to win during a Track Day, but a lot to loose!

We have three guiding principles at our GP Days Track Days when it comes to safety on track:

  1. Stay considerate and take care of each other - all the time!
  2. It's not a race. With our Open Pitlane Track Days you have more time than you could ever really use. If you get stuck in traffic, don't get impatient. Take a short break in the Pitlane or simply slow down to get some distance between you and the others
  3. If you feel unsafe, talk to us about it. We'll take care of it!

Please always remeber that our Track Days are not a competition and all of us are here to enjoy a great day together. We have no place for aggressive or dangerous behavior - be it on track or in the Paddock. 

Overtaking during a Track Day can make things a bit tricky... you should take extra care! 

Cars overtaking during a GP Days Open Pitlane Track Day at Circuit Dijon Prenois

During a GP Days Track Day, you are allowed to overtake on the left and right. Just always keep in mind that you're surrounded by participants with vastly different skill leves who are not necessarly aware of absolutely everything that's going on around them.

Why are we not simply doing an "Overtake on the left only" policy? We'll discuss that in a different post and are very curious, what you think!

That doesn't mean though that we do not have any overtaking rules at all. We have the following rules in place when it comes to overtaking during our Track Days:

  1. Only overtake the other car if you know they've seen you
  2. The faster car (the one that overtakes) has the responsibility to ensure a safe overtaking manoeuver
  3. The slower car doesn't have to leave the racing line, but can help facilitate the overtake by using it's indicators

How do I use my indicators to show the car behind where to overtake?

  • Indicate left: I will stay on the left, it is safe to overtake on the right
  • Indicate right: I will stay on the right, it is safe to overtake on the left

Using the indicators will make your actions more predictable and shows the driver behind you that you have seen them and ensures easy and safe overtaking.

A BMW M2 is overtaking a Mazda MX5 during a GP Days Open Pitlane Track Day at Bilster Berg

We completely understand that it can become frustrating to get stuck in traffic while you're on a quick lap. However, no matter how slow the car in front, you need to avoid a risky overtake at all cost. Use our Open Pitlane Track Day format and take a quick detour through the pitlane or drive a slow down lap to get some distance between you and the traffic.

Remember: You have much more track time than you can actually use (between 6:30h to 8:00h), there is no stress or time pressure!

In Part III of the GP Days Track Day Academy Series, we will look at what to do in case you're having technical issues on track or are involved in an incident. Definitely nothing we want to happen, but it's always good to have a guideline of what to do in these cases!

Check it out here... (Coming soon)

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