The key to you having a great time out on the track is your ability to manage yourself and while trap rules are followed and patience and courtesy used in your session. You’re going to have a blast out there, but there may be times where stretching the rules can spoil it for an entire group. In all cases, if you ever see unsafe activity on a track, it is your responsibility to report it to the group leader immediately. Here are some fundamental rules to follow when you’re driving on the track. Remember that with any track day, the run groupings are done to try to match the pace of many different cars, natural variations and levels of experience and talent, cars, speed, potential, and modifications to some cars make an even playing field pretty impossible.
Most clubs provide safe passage zones, while some allow more open passing with points. Here’s the first rule. You must know the passing rules for your club and your run group. Many times there are different rules for different groups. This is an important reason for you to always attend any group meetings. They may be changing the rules on you and you need to know them. Number two, be aware. Watch your mirrors and open up your vision ahead to include the flag stations. Don’t overreact to situations that occur, and drive predictably. The third rule is to never hold up traffic. You may be driving a high horsepower, very capable car, but just learning a new track. If there’s a car that normally would be slower than yours, as consistently following you, they are quicker. Keep in mind that the driver may be on the track for the hundredth time and has sticky tires. You would have to let them pass by to lifting off the throttle in a passing zone to allow them to get by.
If you have several cars behind you, consider using a hot pit lane to exit, letting the traffic pass and proceed. If you scare yourself by cutting a pass to close, you’ll be black flagged and asked to refrain from doing that again. The fifth rule is to be patient. When you think you’re faster than someone ahead of you, do not climb up their rear bumper and push them. They will be distracted and want you to pass them in an inappropriate place. When preparing to pass, don’t try to slingshot or anticipate a passing signal. Stay within two to four car lengths to accomplish the past and then be ready to carry speed to make the past but never commit to the past until all is clear.
The final rule is to offer wave buys. Many clouds require wave buys before passes to be completed, even if they’re not required. We think they’re a good idea to eliminate doubt and establish communication between the passer and the passey. When a track session runs with 30 drivers who are aware of the track situation at all times, it looks like a machine out there. Any car pushing the envelope usually stands out and your club will correct their behavior as quickly as they can. Safety in the end, is determined by you, the drivers at the event. The bottom line here is to use clear judgment and to remember that this is not a competition and that it’s okay to not be the quickest on the track. If you want to run with some friends, that’s great. Just use common sense and courtesy while following the rules.