All you need are a few track days under your belt, a race licence, some willpower, and some spare wonga. The first step is to get a licence. To do this you will need to attend an ACU course run through any track or race club (see Track Calendar). Before you can get racing you will need as a minimum, one piece leathers, a racing approved helmet, set of dog tags and a well maintained standard bike! (there are more ACU rules but they will bore the pants off you!) Race days accommodate the “Rookie” like you, to BSB guys masquerading as club racers. You can find yourself being passed by some of the best in the sport. You will find the paddock packed with poor individuals with a van, to full blown “loads – a – money” race teams. There is a level for everyone, based on your experience, your budget and your time. You don’t have to do a full season, but can enter on a race by race basis, with costs of typically £300 to £1000 per event. Still interested – Then the only thing really stopping you is you. Why not stop what you are doing and go to the Track Calendar and book your course – You will never look at a track days in same way again!
Not convinced read on – It’s not a long story!
In 2008 my boss said “Stop fannying around on track days and do the real McCoy – Go Racing”. Here’s two tickets to our race weekend, come watch and see what it’s all about. By Sunday afternoon I was hooked, and the missus was happy for me to dive into racing with both feet. I convinced my track day buddies that it’s time to step up, contacted a club, and booked on an ACU course. We passed the course and paid for, a three day race event at Snetterton the first of the season. I prepped the Gixer to the rules, loaded the tent and family, and off we went, to the Test Day Friday – like a track day but for racers (ACU licence holders only). The paddock was rammed with barely a place to put the bike. Testing! for me was circulating to learn the track which went well. Race day we woke to the sound of reeving bikes in a cold damp tent and with little sleep. I had decided to wait until race day, before taking me and the bike off to scrutineering. BIG MISTAKE, with the nerves at a maximum and time pressing before first practice and qualifying, I rode the bike to the scrutiniser’s, much to the dismay of the old boy checking us over. “Can’t touch that” pointing to the bike it’s hot and needs to cool. Your foot peg’s are hollow and need replacing, your leathers are ripped open, and your attitude stinks”. None of which I disagreed with, deserving of the worst telling off since school. I managed to get through scrutineering with the aid of borrowed rear sets, duct tape on the leathers and a better attitude, but distraught having missed practice and qualifying. So back of the grid it was then! Once we got the call we made our way to the grid. With nerves at the maximum, I placed my bike in box 22 and watched the mayhem as people were fighting for their grid slots. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was stationed on Grid 22, but on the Car Grid. In the distance they were all lined up waiting to go. I made my way to the bike pens to find that I was now on 26. Warm up went without incident. Back on the grid – The lights went out and bang! That was the sound of my head hitting my tank as the front wheel went skyward above my head. Having dropped it down I stalled, got going and was dead last. Lapped on the second to last lap buy the leaders, but even finishing at the back there is no feeling in the world like piling in to that first corner chasing 20 to 30 bikes giving their all!
I would not have missed it for the world……. #43