Trackdays: All events, dates and info
The trackday is like the tiger that is let out of the cage: Only when the cat of prey can let off steam does it present its full power and elegance. Now, only very few people have a tiger as a pet. But many do own a sporty car. In the garage it behaves tamely, and in road traffic it may only hint at its abilities. But at the trackday, driver and car show what they can do.
What is a trackday?
A trackday is a free driving event on a track that has been closed off for this purpose. This can be a racetrack like the Nürburgring or a converted airfield tarmac. In any case, public traffic is kept out and, for once, the road traffic regulations do not play a role.
The trackday is all about getting to know the car from its sporty side and improving your driving skills. Whether you’re a track newcomer or a driver with racing experience, everyone drives according to their abilities. As a rule, there are no races. But it’s still a lot faster than at the so-called tourist drives, where private individuals zoom around the track in their cars.
Trackday: what you need to know before you set off
It doesn’t work quite so well without preparation. There is a safety briefing at every trackday. What pitfalls lurk on the track, what do the different flags mean, how do I follow the driving rules? Participation is compulsory.
And then, of course, there is the question of insurance. As a rule, driving on racetracks is excluded from the usual motor vehicle policy. So if you hit the crash barrier with your car, you have to pay for it yourself. However, some trackday organizers include insurance in the booking, others do not. So it’s worth asking. In addition, insurance companies and specialized insurers offer policies for driving on racetracks – even for just one day.
What should your trackday vehicle be capable of?
“Start small, go big” is a good guiding principle to reach your destination safely and with lots of driving fun. Newcomers should not immediately hit the track with 500 hp. The sports version of a popular small or compact car, such as the Golf GTI, is sufficient for the time being. Gradually, you can consider switching to a tracktool, i.e. a car that is designed for use on racetracks – for example, by changing the suspension. You don’t have to buy. Some providers rent out tracktools for the event by the day – starting with a small BMW 1 Series and ending with a Porsche Carrera with 650 hp.
BILSTEIN tracktool project 2021
What should you be able to do?
You must be 18 years old, have a driving licence and be in good physical and mental condition. A driving safety training course beforehand is recommended. Some trackdays offer guided laps, especially for newcomers. There you drive behind a guide vehicle and get a feel for the track at a reasonable speed before you try it on your own, probably with more adrenaline. Personal coaching by experienced racers is also common. Some events are aimed at specific target groups, such as rookies, drivers working towards a racing licence or women.
What does a trackday cost?
That’s difficult to say, because costs are incurred not only for booking the actual event. Participation alone costs from 250 euros upwards, depending on the track and event. But if you get coached there, take out insurance or rent a tracktool and book a hotel, you will of course pay extra for all that. Training for drifting, for example, can also be added. And finally, the wear and tear on your own car – on the tyres, for example – also adds to the bill. At the end of the day, this can add up to several thousand euros.
The most important trackday dates in 2023
Trackdays have gained in popularity in recent years, so the number of organizers and track operators is increasing. For drivers, this means: more choice, more variety. There are now several hundred opportunities throughout the year in Germany and neighbouring countries to find the ideal line on the track.