So the squabble has been raging for years as to what is the most popular track day car. The BMW brigade will say it's the M3, the Renault reliance will say it's the Clio and the Ford fanatics will say its the Fiesta. Well, the answer to the age-old questions is finally over. Going by the thousands of track day bookings made in 2017, we have the definitive list of the top 5 cars to take out on track.
Kicking off our list is the Caterham R400. Based on the famous Lotus Seven, the Caterham 7 is super-lightweight, inexpensive and some of the most fun to be had on the track. With the low seating position, you get a taste of the track at a similar level found in F1 cars. The R400 has a decent amount of kick as well. 210bhp, 0-60 in less than 4 seconds and handling that makes taking corners a breeze, all help to make the Caterham number five on our list.
The Japanese know how to make automobiles fit for a race circuit. They have created the CBR600 which is one of the most popular track day bikes. But also in their proverbial locker is the Honda Civic. There won't be a track day that goes by where you won't spot the Civic Type R. They are cheap to buy and with a few sessions out on track they are easy to get to grips with meaning for faster laps. There is also a huge range of modifications available to really make the Honda Civic Type R a real fan favourite.
The Mazda MX-5 comes in at number three on our list of the top five track day cars. Known for being rear wheel drive, cheap to run and its superior handling makes the Mazda MX-5 a popular first track day car. It's not the quickest in a straight line but the balance it holds through the corners means you don't have to brake so hard meaning more speed through the exit and less wear on both the brakes and tyres. The MX-5 is a reliable little runner and if you treat it properly it will keep you in good stead for years on the track.
Now we're getting to the business end of our rundown its best to give an honourable mention to some super track cars that didn't quite make it into the top five:
In the right hands, the Renault Clio is a formidable track day car. Front wheel drive, cheap, nimble, lightweight and with plentiful modifications available it pretty much has it all. It's a popular car amongst the young, aged between 20-30. There is also a real fanbase for the Renault Clio and with owners club out there who offer support and advice on the best way to get the most out of this super little car.
Was this ever really in doubt!? The BMW E36 M3 was the most popular track day car for the last two years running. You can pick up an E36 for under 3k and if you're lucky enough to get one with the straight 6 you're onto a winner. It has the classic recipe, being rear wheel drive, a big engine and a manual gearbox. With 360bhp on hand, you'll easily get around your favourite track in next to no time. With a 6-speed gearbox, AP-Racing 4-pot braking system, our BMW E36 M3 track car can be hired for a range of track day dates throughout the year.