Skills and Knowledge
How to win a track day?
Published July 2022 by Track Manual Team
Sorry, I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s no such thing as a track day winner. At a track day or HPDE, there will be other cars on the track with you, but at no point are you racing them. In fact, there’s friendly etiquette you must observe, and aggressive overtaking or defending is unacceptable anywhere you go.
What’s the point of track days if you can’t prove you’re better than your competition?
The point of these events is to learn the track, master your car, and have fun. If you’re craving competition, you can bring a laptimer and try to one-up your own times. Alternatively, you can compete with a friend to see who’s faster on the track. In intermediate and advanced groups, you can even do tight lead-follow with them, that’s totally fine.
However, you should never defend your position or overtake aggressively at a track day. Point bys are always appreciated if someone is going faster than you, and dive bombing is going to dive bomb your reputation in the track community real fast.
There’s a reason wheel-to-wheel racing is so expensive, and one of them is that when you race against other drivers, you’ll inevitably damage your car. At a track day, everyone wants to go home in an undamaged car, so don’t take unnecessary risks.
Our best advice to you is, if you sign up for a track day or HPDE, leave your ego at home. Focus on having fun and learning, not trying to win against your fellow drivers.
What if I really want to race against other cars?
If you’re looking for actual wheel-to-wheel racing competition, go sign up for your local karting leagues or amateur racing circuits like 24 Hours of Lemons or Lucky Dog. They’re extremely fun and generally use cars that you won’t feel too bad about damaging.
Alternatively, you can apply for racing school and get a racing license. That will open up more options in organized wheel-to-wheel racing. The costs required are not for the faint-of-heart, but this is the mountain you have to climb if you want to become a legitimate racer.