Lowflying Article – Nervous Novices, April 2020





It was Brian’s fault!

The local Bristol and Bath AR (Area Representative), Brian Hall had suggested my name to the Lotus7.club track-day co-ordinator Simon Maitland. Simon was looking for someone to do a piece in Lowflying (the Lotus7.club monthly magazine) about how good the club’s novice track-days are.

Brian knew I didn’t mind putting pen to paper (or at least pixels to screen) and suggested Simon contact me.

Nervous Novices – Four page article in Lowflying, April 2020

Simon and I had a few conversations over the phone about what sort of “angle” he wanted to achieve and so I set to writing something up. We then had a few back-and-forths to make sure the political side of things was on-message (nothing untoward, just making sure I didn’t offend anyone). Then it was off to the Lowflying editor, Michael Calvert, with the word doc and photos, to be “processed” through his DTP (Desk Top Publishing) software and the article appeared in the April 2020 edition of the magazine.

I won’t reproduce the whole article here – you’ll have to be a member of the club to access the archives – but I basically covered:

  • Intro
  • The Briefing
  • Sound Check
  • Instructors and Intercoms
  • Ducks and Drakes
  • Isn’t it all a bit much?
  • Club Rules
  • Fuel
  • Passengers
  • Who Attends?
  • Running with the experienced brigade
  • What did I learn?

I covered the two novice days that I attended: Rockingham (now sadly closed) 2018 and Castle Combe 2019. You don’t have to be a complete novice to attend a novice track day, just be on the novice side of the curve and willing to learn.

Hopefully, the article encourages track newbies to have a go in a fantastically run day of blasting, or pootling (delete as appropriate), around some of the UK’s great tracks. And as our roads get more and more congested, track-days are a great way to experience the thrill of blatting.

I’ll leave you with my parting paragraph from the article:

But, overall, the most useful take-away from my novice track days was that I better able to drive my car. I’d like to think I became a better driver, but I definitely became a better Seven driver.

* This article was first published in the April 2020 edition of Lowflying, the magazine of the Lotus Seven Club for Caterham and Lotus 7 enthusiasts.


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