BaT Member of the Month - June 2012I attended my first track day about 12 years ago. I didnÂt drive, just had a nosey at what went on. I got a Peugeot 306 GTI which was my first half decent road car and booked on a BaT day at Anglesey with my best mate who many of you know as Noz. He had a shiny new Caterham Roadsport and kindly let me loose in it for a few track days and I bought into the car, having quickly learned that lightweight cars were the way to go in order to get maximum track time with maximum enjoyment and minimum cost.
We later traded it in for an Elise which pretty much taught us how to drive. It was quite an evil handling thing - I'm sure the geometry was wrong but we didnÂt know better!
I really wanted to get back into a Caterham after a couple of years and having used a Roadsport, I wanted a Superlight spec car Â I just couldnÂt afford one at the time. Fortunately, Jonny announced that he was selling his Â the first ever BaT Superlight hire car. A deal was promptly done which included a yearÂs worth of track days. Noz and I did over 20 track days in the 12 months after buying that car. Since then IÂve always done as many track days as I could manage based on finances and time.
Time has become more of an issue these days for me as I help run an e-commerce business selling wellies and country clothing: www.wellywarehouse.co.uk and www.outofthecity.co.uk. Luckily for us, the business has flourished over the last few years enabling me to have some excellent track cars and travel to various places. Unfortunately, the bigger the business gets, the more of my time it takes up! Which means I get to do less track days now than before Â IÂm lucky if I get 8 days a year in at the moment.
I also have 2 children these days who are growing up fast and time is precious with them. I am not prepared to give up my passion and hobbies though as I am a big believer that there is enough time in the day to do everything!
I have owned and used a few different cars on track over the years: 5 Caterhams, 2 Lotus Elises, 2 Peugeots, a Subaru, M3 CSL and my current Honda Civic Type-R powered Caterham. There isnÂt a car in existence that I would rather drive on track. I'm also quite lucky to have a few well heeled mates who have let me loose in various Porsches, which is what I'm saving for next.
An aim in retirement is to try all the race tracks in Europe, and I'm quite lucky to have visited several already. My favourites are Nurburgring, Spa and Brands GP in that order.
Unfortunately living Âoop NorthÂ these are all over 5 hours away, but Oulton and Anglesey are quite local for me and do nicely when I don't fancy a night away.
I have used most of the track day providers out there and these days almost exclusively use BAT as I have become good friends with the whole BaT team. It's clear that Jonny runs the kind of day he would want to attend himself.
I've done well over 100 track days now and don't see any reason to pack this in any time soon. I hope to enjoy them with my children when they are old enough.
The original BaT CaT in the hands of Rich McCann (AKA 'Spanner') round the Radar complex at the old Anglesey circuit in 2006. Spanners "backup" track car - the Toyota powered Elise-R at the BaT 10th Anniversary track day at the Nurburgring July 2010. More recently, Spanners current Honda Type-R engined Caterham round Jerez during our Iberia trip.
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22 June 2012
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