Donington Report

What a great day it was.The weather was perfect (for January), and everyone was in good spirits.In attendance trackside, were Jimbo (340R), Hitch (Exige), Me (Exige) and some other guy in his Exige (didn’t catch his name).Also come to watch, were Steve Green and Robert Johnson in his spanking new Lazer Blue Exige (don’t think the paint had even dried !)The first session was on an icy track, which proved to be very scary, especially on the start straight where I practically wheel-spun the entire straight. The fact that the racing line had been cleared by traffic, and the non-racing line was still icy made it very dicey for those moving over to let cars past (hehe… or so I hear [image][/image] )I calculated that I had about 4 hours of track time (going through 2 tanks of fuel opposed to half a tank last time), which is pretty amazing value for �80.I guess I should factor into that the price of a new set of pads all-round and half a set of tyres !Everyone was well behaved, particularly the MX5 drivers who I’d previously maligned for their bad driving… Instead it was the turn of the Elise drivers to do the spinning off… one Elise in particular, crashing into the pit wall needing at least 2 new clams + plenty of other restoration work !This was my second day at Donington, and I felt much more at ease with the track, and the line I took around it… getting the car sideways only once (which was more than enough).Those who had been passengered in the Sport 160 Elise and then passengered in my Exige reported that the Exige felt far more planted to the road (probably due to it’s considerable downforce at speed and wider track) and less body roll.I definitely look forward to going back in April, hopefully equipped with a Supercharged engine to blow the doors of those smug Scooby + Evo owners !

Excellent day, awesome track.Thanks for the info about it on this site.I had 3 big spins, Redgate, Old Hairpin and chicane before start finish straight. Fortunately they were harmless.I clocked 200 track miles, used 14 gallons of fuel so about 14mpg (standard Elise).Thanks to the Exiges for letting me pass [image][/image]Some of the cars must have had there mirrors missing!Wish I had my video camera in the car and some form of lap timing kit, may be next time.Stu (the quicker of the blue Elise’s!!!)

hehe… I guess if we too were driving on the ragged edge and spinning, you’d not have seen us for dust ! [image][/image]I figured it’s better safe than sorry - shame that black Elise didn’t have the same theory. [image][/image][This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 14 January 2001).]

Just a quick note to say thanks to Hitch for the cabbie in the afternoon…impressed all round by the handling of the Exige…and noticed that david was moving pretty quickly…fast enought to keep the 340R behind him for several laps!

Great Day no doubt about that - best organisied day in ages, as much track time as I could handle and nearly everyone looking in their mirrors and moving over without me even having to back off! Best track I have done for a standard elise - thought it might be too fast but turned out to be ideal - as for the ragged edge and spinning (once & away from danger or any other cars) thats what we are all there for isn’t it?Jamesm(the faster of the 2 blues elises!!!)

quote:Originally posted by stevegreen:Just a quick note to say thanks to Hitch for the cabbie in the afternoon…impressed all round by the handling of the Exige…and noticed that david was moving pretty quickly…fast enought to keep the 340R behind him for several laps!It’s a shame you couldn’t stick around for any longer Steve, otherwise I’d have taken you out too.Next time perhaps…Or better still… why not get your car out on the track where it belongs.[This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 15 January 2001).]

I seem to remember following an Exige around for a few laps to get some video footage (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) [image][/image]

What’s the truth Jimbo ?I’d have thought the 340R would have left an Exige miles behind. It appeared to have a better acceleration along the straight, but not as much advantage in the corners.

The one thing I noticed was how much faster that 340R went with the camera mod!

It was fantastic to be able to follow the other Exiges around, what a sight!Shame I was well off the pace, hopefully rectified when I get some new rubber on the front. Still, enjoyed the afternoon where I managed to get some heat into the tyres. Craner Curves was superb at 90mph, I can’t imagine what it’s like for those that took it faster.Steve, you really should have done a session with David. Mine was nowhere near as planted as it should be, and David would have shown you just what they are capable of.

Lap times following Exige were about 1:32 or 1:33 (bit hard to tell since there was traffic on both laps).My usual lap time was about 1:30 with a couple of 1:29s.These lap times are from the video time code for the first 2 sessions after lunch (after which the tape ran out DOH!).

You did at least one lap of 1.28 or less becuase I took a guy as passenger who timed us for the session and I did 1.28 following you and I wasn’t gaining!! (or pointing in a straight line!)Jamesm

Timed runs !? Doesn’t that invalidate your insurance, or are there ways round it ?I don’t mean to be holier than thou, just inquisitive.

In theory - timed runs could invalidate your insurance, because that could be constude as competition. But lets face it playing about witha stopwatch isn’t going to invalidate anything. If you had a crash in the following curcumstances you may jeopadise your claim.Crashed on trackInsurance company decided to attend (not possible)They Called many witnesseseveryone said you had timing gear setup on pitwall.But even if that did happen, how do they know it is timing gear?They only way you would have probs would be if you offered the information to your insurance company before claiming!Jamesm

I think you’ll find that timing invalidates the public liability insurance of the organiser. If you are caught with timing gear, stopwatch, eggtimer etc you can be thrown out.

Hullo Admin5,Thanks for the MX5 comment - apology accepted [image][/image]You may not want to seem ‘holier than’ anyone, but as I’m not from these parts I’ll just go ahead:LAP TIMING - DONT DO IT KIDS!Saying that a stopwatch isn’t invalidating anything is like saying strapping a turbo on your car doesnt make MUCH difference, so why tell your insurers?If you want to time your laps and get all competitive, go and do a TEST DAY. Sure, you’ll pay more, but at least us folks keeping to the rules at TRACK days won’t see the prices go through the roof. Or ever see spectators injured without any insurance cover because of a few ‘harmless stopwatches’.One of these days, the organisers of a so-called ‘track day’ are gonna come unstuck. This is all a grey area, but lets play by the rules and not tempt fate, eh?(and well done those guys smart enough to depend on the videos)Stu2745:Imagine 3 spins by each of 50 participants (or worse, 90 on a more popular day). How much time would we have left to actually complete some laps without red lights on? Perhaps you should try a few airfield days…Still, hope you enjoyed yourself and didn’t break anything - we all make mistakes.To everyone who was there: thanks for making it a good day. There were far less twats than on Nov 12th (my only other day at Donny) - do you think we could persuade Donny to stick to 50 cars next time ?!?My nomination for PITA of the day: yellow 911 driver. Your car’s bright yellow, mate; I can see you without you pretending to dive down the inside.Cheers

Fair point (Imagine 3 spins by each of 50 participants), I was only on the ragged edge when there was a clear track in front and behind (except for JamesM) and this was to help me discover the limits of me, my car and the track.I am glad my spins did not result in any hold ups to the day, may be many years of racing helped minimise the situations.I was thinking of buying proper timing gear, but now I realise the implications of doing so.I like to think I’m a considerate driver on and off the road.Hope everybody had as good a day as I had.Stu (in definitely the quickest blue Elise of the day!)

Stu2745, what brake pads do you run on your Elise ? You sure managed to be able to brake very late.My Greenstuffs where shot by the end of the day, and I wouldn’t mind trying a set that lasts more than one track day (having said that, we did have a lot of track time on Saturday).

Standard MMC brakes as factory fitted to early Elises.Some people “upgrade” to cast iron brakes, can’t imagine why. I think they are incredible and they never fade under hard use, only afterwards a bit and first use in the wet.I believe the pads on JamesM Elise are only about half worn after 30k miles.

quote:Originally posted by Stu2745:…I am glad my spins did not result in any hold ups to the day, may be many years of racing helped minimise the situations…OK, fair enough - I was just using you to make a point! No offence meant.p.s. Did you really only get 14mpg?!? Normally Elises are far more economical than my (heavier) car…