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Open pitlane or sessioned trackday - News

We are often asked "Should I go for a sessioned trackday or an open pitlane?" As with most decisions in life there are benefits and draw backs for both. We give you brief clarification on how both work and give you the knowledge you need to make the best decision….

All trackdays will indicate whether it is sessioned or open pitlane on the car trackday calender or bike trackday calender.

Sessioned day:

Drivers/riders are typically split into either 2,3 or 4 groups according to track ability. The general rule of thumb is the more groups there are the shorter the sessions. Divide an hour by the number of groups and you have your session length.

Advantages:

The event is usually cheaper because the organiser can have more entrants.

Those out on track around you should be of a similar level of ability and so less intimidating for novices and less frustrating for the experts.

No queuing in the pitlane waiting to go out during busy periods.

Disadvantages:

When you go on track, how long for and how often is pre-determined.

If you are sharing a car it usually works out more expensive than Open Pitlane.

Breakdown’s or crash stoppages ruin you session.

Open Pitlane:

The circuit opens, closes for a lunch break and finishes at the same time as a sessioned day. While the circuit is open you can go on and off the circuit whenever and as frequently as you like. More expensive open pitlane days usually have less cars at the event than cheaper ones, which means less or no queuing at busy times and more space on track.

Advantages:

You decide your track time.

Less drivers in total on the event.

Sharing a car is easy and cost effective way of reducing overall costs.

The day is more relaxed.

If a stoppage occurs you can pull into the pitlane and go out again when its sorted.

Disadvantages:

All levels of ability are on track together.

Initial cost of the day is usually more.

Some times you get too relaxed and go out on track less than a sessioned day!

Inexperienced trackday drivers sometimes stay on track too long and suffer brake fade or over heated tyres.

Bike days are normally sessioned because you can get more on track at a time, overtaking can be on either side and "closing speeds" between abilities can be massive. Car days are typically open pitlane as over taking is only on one side, cars have mirrors to see the fast boys coming and most cars are unable to handle frequent long stints on track.

Some circuits have heavily restricted noise limits from the local council and in practice this means few vehicles on track at a time. To make trackdays financially viable this means only running sessions to get more entrants such as; Croft, Goodwood, Llandow, Lydden Hill, Castle Combe. Thankfully the majority of venues are sill able to make things work for them either sessioned or open pitlane such as; Abingdon Airfield, Anglesey, Bedford Autodrome, Blyton Park, Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Donington Park, Keevil Airfield, Mallory Park, Oulton Park, Pembrey, Rockingham, Silverstone, Snetterton, Woodbridge Airfield.

Open pitlane or sessioned trackday
05 February 2013
Blog

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