Donington opinion

I’ve only just got back into the office, and lots of work had stacked up in my absence, so I’ll probably say more about yesterday later. Suffice to say, that I had a great day out, there are going to be some great pictures uploaded for all to see.Quick thoughts:The weather was awful for the most part, but in a way it was a good learning experience… I’ve not driven the car hard in the wet before and was surprised how much grip the car has - our third session was damp (but no standing water) and it was almost as good as driving in the dry. Having said that, Craner curves was most definitely taken “off the pace”… although I gather Bruno (who is my hero of the day for travelling so far and driving at 100%) had a nice pirouette down Craners (6 revolutions was it ?)Bookatrack were very well organised, I can wholeheartedly recommend them again.There was little stoppage. The SIDC days I’ve done at Donington were constantly being halted to retrieve people from the gravel.It was excellent to have an all Exige session (+ Jimbo’s 340R) and I’m told made quite a spectacle from the pit wall.When I get pictures from those with digicams I’ll get the start-finish lineup up here… That really did look good.Fortunately, I only did one session before someone kindly pointed out that my rear tyres were on the wrong way around - oops. Tony + Brian were quick to lend a hand and got me ready to go out again in no time (well done lads !)I found the Dave Minter tuition useful (although it was at 4:40pm so I couldn’t apply what I’d learned) and he highlighted a few areas I needed polishing.There were a couple of guys out there who refused to let people past despite the briefing at the start which said that you should move over whenever a car is behind you (even if you think you’re faster) which is a shame.My supercharged car was running on a slightly lower boost (I think TT had reduced it for running in), but even still, the car felt like it was pulling away from std. Exiges on the straights (anyone behind me comment on that ?)I was told that nice foot-long flames were seen shooting out the back of the exhaust on gear changes, which while very childish, was nice [image][/image]Not having driven the car in 6 months, and having a slightly warped front disc, and the front pads grabbing earlier than the rears, and huge amounts of standing water, I approached corners gingerly so my overally track speed wasn’t that good but I had a great time.A couple of times I locked up momentarily under braking, which unnerved me !Only once did I get it sideways. I’d been following another Exige for some time, waiting to get past (you can only overtake with indicated consent). As we came round the final hairpin onto the start straight, he moved over and indicated to let me through. Seizing my opportunity, I hit the gas, but I was in the wet, cornering with some nice adverse camber on the track… OOPS. The back of the car snapped out, and my first fears were that I’d end up in the pit wall (of all places to spin, that’s perhaps the most likely to end in panel damage)… however, whether it be my quick reactions, or the cars excellent self-correcting abilities the car straightened up nicely… I suspect the guy in front who indicated for me to move over may have been unnerved to see a Titanium Exige sideways behind him.The low-point of the day was seeing Don Boyacks awesome Elise stranded on the trackside with a dead engine [image][/image]Anywho. Great dayGreat peopleGreat carsMust do it again soon.

DavidGot to agree - very unnerving for an old fart, track virgin (i.e. me!) to be out in the wet! Not happy with the brakes locking up when braking from 110mph into the chicane! I think I’ll go for the Mintex 1144 pads as recommended by a certain Mr Treasure [image][/image])Now I got some idea where the corners are, I’ll have some instruction next time to learn the lines [image][/image]As you say, great cars, but more importantly a superb bunch of guys & gals [image][/image]

Definitely a superb day out. [image][/image]I can heartily recommend the 1144’s, but I do not have experience with the Pagids, and I believe Mr Whitter rates them highly. I certainly noticed that I could brake far later than most people into the chicane at the beginning of the Melbourne Loop, although I nearly blew it on my last (wet) session, when I braked after the last hump, and locked up past the turning point and just got thru. (Tony, were you behind me ?)Major lesson learned from the day - stay away from the white lines when they are wet.(Brown trouser moment rating - 8/10)CheersRuss

Was good to meet everyone face to face. Would have taken the Elise out on track, but then I couldnt have run with you lot in the Exiges. heheCouple of things to note though:1) Towing eyes. If the marshalls are in a bad mood and you dont have a towing eye put in, they will just sling the rope around your spoiler/splitter/axle and drag your car off the track. Always always always put your towing eye in before you go out on track2) If someone has caught you up, let them past, they are quicker. If you nail it on the straights they wont be able to pass you since most of us have around the same power to weight. Its not a race for crying out loud ! [image][/image]Looking forward to the next one ! Bri

Great day! Shame about the weather though; it wasn’t really wet enough was it?! [image][/image] Seriously though, had a great time and enjoyed the day! [image][/image] The run there was great fun too, albeit it would have been nice to have had a bit less traffic, so thanks to the members of the Whippet Breeders Who Own Exiges Club, AKA Russ, Rob [Pesky], Keith [Maverick], Brannan & Pippa, Bruno [honorary member and my hero for making the trip in the first place!], not to mention the gallant support crew [The Mondeo Men!]). It was great to meet people face to face, especially those I hadn�t met before, and to put faces to names. Roll on the next one! [image][/image][rant] My only beef was with someone in a silver Exige who I quickly caught up after about a lap who then insisted on baulking me for the entire remainder of the session, despite me sticking my headlights on after about three laps of following their bumper. This was especially annoying as I was with Dave Minter and the person concerned made it impossible for me to get my car anywhere near its limit in the corners as they were so b****y slow through them! [image][/image] Even Dave was not amused. As they said in the briefing, and as Bri has just reiterated, whether you like it or not, if someone has caught you up, especially if they have come up behind you quite quickly, they are damn well faster than you, GET OUT OF THE WAY! Nailing it out of the corners when you know that the person behind you has a similar power-to-weight ratio is just going against the spirit of the whole thing, especially given that it was made abundantly clear in the briefing that overtaking was by consent only. Given my reasonably successful racing background, you can appreciate how tempting it was to give the person in question a wake up call by taking them into a corner, but as Jonny pointed out that would have put me in the wrong, and anyway I would never risk the consequences of putting someone less experienced into a situation that they weren�t capable of dealing with, but God was it tempting. If I�m talking about you, PLEASE be more considerate next time; however amusing you found it, IT WASN�T FUNNY [image][/image] [/rant]

The overtaking policy of BaT is exactly why I go with them. The suggested action for drivers, if someone is not letting them past is to back off and find some space. Watching from the hairpin, I would see several cars together and then a good spell of empty track. Then when you get back in, nip and have a word with Jonny. He can then pass on your comments to the driver concerned. AFAIK a driver that does not take Jonny’s advice and needs to be talked to more than once will be asked to leave early and not get a refund.

Fantastic two days!!!Great journey down on the Sunday – Thanks Tony I’m sure non of us really appreciated the time effort and planning you and your wife committed in making it a day to remember – Great Sunday night – it was good to meet everybody for the meal and have a good chat – and of course Monday, great day , a little apprehensive at first as I had never done a track day before but what can I say, a great bunch of people , gave me lots of encouragement and support and had a supurb time. [image][/image] [image][/image] [image][/image] Thanks to everybody for making it a memorable occasion and thanks also to the people from book a track PS Good day comming up with a track event in Anglesea. Contact Mike at Lotus Ribble Valley 01254 876 876

quote:Thanks TonyYou’re welcome! [image][/image]Rod, just before the end of the session I did slow right down so that I could talk to Dave more easily, but it meant that by the time we came off I couldn’t remember which silver Exige had been causing the problem [image][/image] (although I do know it wasn’t Russ [image][/image]).

Since I have now met quite a few of you in person, I thought it was high time I stopped hiding behind Brannan and get myself registered! - I’d Just like to say a Huge Thankyou to everybody involved over the 2 days, I know I speak for both myself and Brannan (who is currently @ the dentist, having his teeth put back in - only joking hun!) when I say that we had a Grrrreat time.Also a big thanks to Tony & Sue, for organising the run on sunday, it was well worth the hop over from leeds to meet the rest of the Whippet Breeders Who Own Exiges Club! Finally e’nuff respect to d’a Bruno, when you do finally get home - I hope she likes the nessie!?! - In’it…till the next timeBran and Pips

Hi Pippa, welcome out of the lurkers closet! [image][/image] I’m glad you both enjoyed the run on Sunday, and look forward to meeting you and Brannan at the next event (you know, the one you’re driving at! [image][/image]).

Are you sure Tony ? I saw her stalling it in the pits … [image][/image]

Was that before or after you crunched the heck out of reverse gear Mr Admin sir? Bri

I do the best I can with the tools I’m given (ooer).TurboTechnics hadn’t adjusted the clutch properly. So [image][/image] to you.

Miaowcant all be the “Daddy” David!!!

quote:Originally posted by Tony Whitter:Hi Pippa, welcome out of the lurkers closet! [image][/image] I KNEW I wasn’t alone in that closet… heavy breathing down neck etc. [image][/image]Sounds like you all had a wonderful time, more jealously on my behalf shall undoubtedly ensue.Best,-Daniel.(Representing those who would own Exiges, if it wasn’t for the whole insurance/21-15 thing, B’ah…) [image][/image]

quote:Are you sure Tony ? I saw her stalling it in the pits … [image][/image]Yeah! IMHO there aren’t enough women drivers and I think we ought to encourage them! [image][/image] I for one wouldn’t complain if track days were less male dominated, and yes I would let Sue drive ours on the track if she wanted to! [image][/image]

Agreed Tony, I’ve known quite a few talented female drivers in my time. The army don’t put women on the front line as they claim that women don’t have the killer instinct… I know from experience that’s not true !Not sure how the testosterone-heavy environment of the pits would handle a woman spanking everyone on the track. (I wouldn’t have issue with it though) Pip, I was only pulling your leg re: stalling. No offence intended.I hope “The Daddy” sticker was taken as the joke it was intended [image][/image]I reckon you should get Brannan to buy you an Exige of your own. Having said that, I offered to buy another one for my partner, but she wanted a Boxster instead … women tsk [image][/image][This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 26 September 2001).]

Really good day thoroughly enjoyed it.Highlights:-Nice and wet D:Got some Video this time [image][/image] captured one particularly hairy moment at the exit of the old hairpin.No stoppages of our session [image][/image] the other sessions seemed to stop pretty much every time - what good drivers we all are…Found the limit in the wet - not really bad mannered just needs to be anticipated.Great last session almost surreal with an empty track ahead and the low sun shining on an ever so wet track.Lowlights:Missed Bruno’s alleged 800yd 3600deg spin onto the grass at Cranners (exaggeration?)Although the sessions were 20Mins at a time by the time you have warmed up for a lap, and a cooling off lap. You only end up with 5-6 full pace laps, in the Evening Session with an open pit I was general running for 15-16 Laps, and my “guess” is still working up to full speed. …I might see if can capture a few small MPegs off the video and post a link. Otherwise if anyone wants to get a full copy I would be only to happy to oblige with an SAO. Mail me if you want a copy.Regards,Roy

I’ve read all of the posts here and I agree with them all! Good points, bad points, highs, lows - all well made and justified.However, I’m a bit concerned at what seems to be a lack of understanding on the overtaking policy and how it unfolds on the track. The policy is a compromise loaded in favour of safety - and rightly so - but inevitably it is not perfect. There is a flaw and it is this: if you obey the rules and are held up by a slower car who is not obeying the rules then inevitably another car of similar or faster pace to yourself will catch you up because you are being held up! The question is whether he is actually faster than you with clear track. The next Q is whether you should let him past you so that he is now at the front of those being held up! If you do then you will soon be caught by someone else with the inevitable result that you will be shuffled to the back of a convoy all following the car which originally held you up!This of course is not the high speed racing instinct that we all came to exploit in ourselves. FWIW, on the occasions I was held up and where I wasn’t let through fairly soon I always conceded to the guy who had caught me because the rules said I should and, in any case, it often led to the original slow car realising that there really were faster cars and you could both get past and decide between you who was the faster car.The point of this post is not to complain because there is no need. As Rod says, you can always allow yourself to be shuffled back to clear track and then go like hell until you catch the pack again (although longer sessions would help with this approach). The point is that everyone involved needs to be tolerant and patient and I feel it is too easy to be judgemental - the guy you have just caught may be just as fast as you, or even faster, but is being held up and is not following as closely as you are - there are all sorts of scenarios. So no temper tantrums please - if you want to race then enter races!Overall, it seemed to me that all of the Exiges were going fairly quickly, that everybody had great fun and everyone (Exiges at least!) finished the day with a straight car which had been well used!Personally I felt it was a great day both on track and socially. My thanks to all of those who made it happen. I’m a bit miffed that I missed the lunchtime photo session however- Doh!!Mike

That’s a very interesting point Mike.It didn’t happen to me out on the track, but I noticed that Russ was caught behind a New Aluminium car that refused to yield (it took a while for me to get past), causing another car to catch the pair of them.Russ was pretty nippy on the day, so should he have yielded to the car behind ?I say NO.If you catch a group of cars, and it’s clear that the front one is holding them up, then you don’t stand any better chance of being let through, so stay there until the guy ahead is let through. Overtaking the people behind him will suggest to the “blocker” that the car behind was slower.If an open pit lane was being operated, I’d pull into the pits and complain, but 20 minutes is precious so perhaps it’d be better to just slow down for half a lap.[This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 27 September 2001).]