Your first track day...

Where was it, and what bike were you riding?

How did you feel the night before? What about in those few minute waiting for the paddock to be released ?

brands hatch indy, awesome, soaking wet (managed 6 out of the 7 sessions but that last one was like going for a bath so came back in after first lap), ducati 748s

night before swearing as bike had just fallen off the paddock stand and frantically working on it to make sure it was ok to ride the next day!

emotionally pretty nervous that morning. got chatting to the rest of the peeps in the paddock - eyeing the skies warily as it had started a bit of the ol’ ‘fine rain’. praying like hell i didn’t bin it on the warm up.

first lap was exciting as hell, just from the thrill of knowing you’re on a proper track with a bad-ass bike. cant wait for the next one…

Mine was Cadwell Park…on a Hayabusa :shock:

Not the best choice of track or bike for my first attempt.

The bike had buggered it’s idle gear, so didn’t always start off the starter motor…and bump starting a busa is fuggin hard work !! Had a new set of tyres on, a tank full of petrol, a recently tuned engine/exhaust/pc3 puting out 179bhp…

I also wore 2 pairs of underpants :shock::shock:

Night before, I couldn’t sleep a wink…I was wired on caffeine the next morning, and absolutely bricking it in the padock.

We did a couple of laps behind the instructors and then they let us loose…and on the second bend…the back end flew out from under me due to exceedingly poor throttle control on my part !!!

I back right off for a couple of laps…shook off the red mist…and then slowely built up my speed !!! Had a fantastic day !!! Even managed to touch the fairing down at about 125mph !!! Bloody marvelous !!

First track day was in 2000 at Brands Hatch Indy. Did the Ducatti school on a 748. On track for an hour. Cost a fortune but at least it was not my bike. Kept waking up the night before. Was nervy as hell beforewe went out on track but I think having a 1 on 1 instructor was a great idea for my first track day. Once moving, what a blast and then there was no stopping me. Have now completed 28 track days at various circuits. Ridden the infamous Nurburgring a couple of times (see article) and this year I am going racing.

1st track day on my own bike was at Donnington park about 2 weeks after Brands Hatch. Nice wet day for it and I landed up nearly losing her, broadside across the track and crapping myself. Fortunately, all back on line quite nicely and I had a ball for the rest of the day. That was on my trusty old ZX7, a bike I still have! I then went to Goodwood in the pouring rain, inch of standing water, no fun whatsoever and followed that by a trip to Folembray in France with Ride magazine. 4 track days in 2 months, I had the bug.

You won’t forget your first track day wherever it is. I still don’t sleep well the night before, its all the excitement and nerves. Can’t wait for my first race this year, it will be even worse. Already thinking about my track day on the 21st of this month. Adrenalin is already pumping and plans going on in head.

I think the worst thing for me was the fact that is was being filmed for M&M…Two Wheels Good, I think the prog was called. I got interviewed before and after…and they had to do a few takes of both coz I was…errr…cursing somewhat

my first one was in August this year at an evening track day doing Brands Hatch indy circuit. To say I was nervous was somewhat of an understatement, but once I was out there I loved it. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat for days afterwards! Good tip is to tape over your speedo as it’s just another distraction that you don’t need. Oh, and remove mirrors too. I’m hoping to do another this year but it won’t be until the summer as the weather’s pants at the moment.

sorry forgot to mention it was on the firestorm.

Aged 17 in a Ferrari. Seriously.

Havent done a bike one yet but will be doing brands at some point this year. As soon as i buy leathers…

First track day was in the summer Brands Hatch Indy, on my gixxer 600.

Night before I was packing it, “What happens if I stack it!” “I don’t want to break my shiny new toy!!”

I was there with my mates and they advised on what to look out for. However no one can prepare you for your first trip down Paddock Hill, that is an unforgetable experience! As the day progressed i got more confident and just loved the whole experience.

Can wait for the drier weather for visits to Brands and some other tracks!

mate you’re not wrong about that paddock drop - awesome and scary if you get the apex wrong (which i completely did in the first session) and it sends you out wide…towards some rather attractive standing water …good job no one lit a match near me at that moment

First track day was in 2000 at Mallory park on my old ZX6, I’m sure i was nervous a few days before going let alone the night before!!
the usual…what group should i go in? am I gona bin it? are my tyres sticky enough?

Lining up in the paddock, I cant remember butterflies like it LOL! but after the first session I couldnt stop talking about it, then before I new it I was back out there again! loved it and still do, and have done seven now. And I still get butterflies the same…I think that’s normal? BRING ON THE SUN!!!

I am joining Chuffster on the 21st on this month my first on a bike I am now starting to worry about it,

I have just spoke to chuff and he has been such a cool guy offering me a spot in his garage and even the use of his tools etc I am hoping that the tzr250 is going to be ready (I am really fussy about preping my bikes for road use let alone track) so if it is not then the firestorm is going on track.

I would like to say a massive thanks to chuffster and if you need help at anytime just give me a shout I will be going to a few of your races to give you support via an air horn

roll on the 21st getting butterflies whooooooo hooooooooo

The bit which kind of shocked me was watching the guy in front of me completely miss calculate the corner after clear views and watching him slide on his ass all the way to the fence. I suddenly thought s**t! that could have been me! Luckly the guy was OK but it was a swift reminder

My first was at Rockingham on a Thunderace. It was the short track so not really ideal, I didn’t get out of second gear But it was a great experience. Only done one other, Donny GP, again on the Ace which was fantastic. Looking forward to doing one on the gixer this year.

I’d never been on track before that first time at Cadwell…which is a pretty scary track at the best of times. Since then, I’ve done the Haslam school at Donny and the Suzuki school at Mallory…plus another track weekend at Bruntingthorpe.

Allthough I still got nervous at the later tracks…nothing came close to the nerves (and subsequent buzz) of that first event.

And with the schools, it’s not yer own hardware…so I got even more silly !!

Late April 1996, at Snetterton, on a 916.

Main concern was the weather.

It rained on the way up. Was wet all morning AND… snowed at lunchtime! Despite a chilly wind all afternoon it got better with a dry line emerging.

Last session was bone dry and the sun came out.

I still have a soft spot for Snett!

My first day on track was with the Cali Superbike School at Brands two years ago. Strangely I was not nervous at all, perhaps because it was not a true “trackday”. It taugh me a lot about throttle control and vision.

My first proper trackday was August 03, again Brands Indy, that was slightly nerve racking, especially seeing other people not get around the corners.

Having said that I loved Paddock instantly and have never looked back. Yup the odd scary moment when the rear wheel has spun out or the front has slipped out. Going off just before Graham Hill in the wet when the bike in front panicked and hit the brakes and I had nowhere to go that was also interesting. Amazingly I stayed very calm and did not hit the brakes or turn the bars; the bike stayed upright and I went back on and continued the session. I have also come off on the GP circuit, but again have kept the bike upright. I guess I am also lucky!

Locking the rear wheel in the wet just before going into Paddock on a borrowed new 749, that was worrying as it was not my bike!

Don’t get me wrong I get a real rush from trackdays and love them to a point of doing too many compared to the amount of time I have to spare. Perhaps subconsiously I am so scared that my brain will not allow me to worry about it. Either that or I am too stupid! I also know that I ride well within my and the bike’s capabilities.

As for what would happen to my bike if it was wrecked, it is a risk I am prepared to take and live with in return for the pleasure factor.

I had a few butterfly’s back in 96.

I still have em now - in pit lane on trackdays, or holding area before a race. Wether I know I’m gonna be the fastest out there, or looking to spend the next 12 laps struggling to NOT finish last.

The day I don’t get 'em - I’ll give it all up!

first was also snetterton, really badly organised day, supposedly all groups novice but about a quarter of the people there had tyre warmers and full spec bikes…

on cbr6 rear wheel bearing collapsed on the last session coming out of the right hander onto the back straight (sorry crap with names of corners) locked back wheel up as it pitched then fortunatly rolled true again as i skidded, managed to get bike on grass on right side of track and watched rest of session from there. one of those days when your glad youre a van driver for getting home

still loved it, favorite is mallory on the r1, avatar is on start finish straight

my first track day was at donnington (gp circuit)in summer 98, managed to blag some space at a track evening with a few customers, riding my VFR400, with two mismatched tyres which had been stood for three years by the previous owner!!! (the bike and the tyres!!). smoked both my customers (on race prepped 600 SRADS) and destroyed both foot pegs, brake pedal, and ground out both sides of the lower fairing!!! was ****ting myself at first as there was only one group, and most people were on race bikes… oh yeah, and matt lewellyn the supersport rider was out practiceing as well… so there was a fair old mix of talant but loved it all the same