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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need the input of those who are either well versed in track days or know a lot of people in the track day community. I'm talking about people from the East Coast, through the mid-West and the South, over to the West Coast - I need you to chime in.

If a person has the capability to throw a three day weekend party by renting out a track for a private event (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) with free admission to the event (not everyone will be able to ride on the track attributable to track safety due to number of bikes on the track at a time - this is contignet upon the turnout, but everyone still can enjoy all of the festivities) where should such an event take place?

I'm thinking Friday is strickly for Novice and Intermidiate with 1/2 hour sessions.
Saturday is only for Intermidiate and Advanced with 1/2 sessions and a mock race.
Sunday is for Advanced and Racers with 1/2 hour sessions and a mock race.

Which track would be ideal for this? Travel, gas, and lodging is on each party's own dime. Everything else is free : food/drinks/water/seat time.
 

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Not an R7, next best thing!!
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221 Posts
My suggestion would be to plan each day of riding so that everyone of all skill can enjoy each day. I think the way most track days are run, at least this is how they are done here in Cali, is 3-20min sessions per hr. Novice or C group goes out first, then intermediate or B group which generally has the most people and some really fast folks getting ready to transition to A group, and then Advanced or A group goes out in the last session. The riding starts at 8 or 9am each day and cycles thru until the end of the day. Some have a hr break for lunch and fallen bike retrieval and some have no lunch break and people just each between sessions. I think this method allows for plenty of riding and also allows for everyone to truly enjoy each day.
 

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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've done many o' track days before, and I agree with you about the method/structure of how TDs are run. However, those TDs are typically paid for by riders, and this will be a free event for all. The reason why it'll be structured this way is for seat time and practice to those who miss out becasue A and B groups fill up so fast. A few others things as well. IE. Control riders and coaches from different TD orgs and sections of the country can use a few sessions to go balls to the wall without added responsibility. I've seen people communicating on MC forums from both coasts who have never ridden together. This could possibly be a chance to accomplish that.

With that said, I have a few tracks in mind, but I want to see what those with 'YEARS' in think.

Which track/facility would be the best for something like this?

Thanks.

EDIT:

Then again, maybe the traditional way will work, but then some who want to ride with others may not get to do that on the same day because of day selction by popular demand.
 

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Sounds awesome. Of course I’d prefer it closer to me if I was invited, ha ha (Midwest).

But I suppose it would depend on what the tracks policies are for stuff like this. Will they even rent to you? Some maybe will and some maybe won’t. What about the logistical side of things? Should have an ambulance on site. Some way to clean up crashes if they happen. Liability issues (sign waivers, etc.).

I love track days but have only ridden a few. VIR full course was by far my personal favorite. An awesome world class track for sure. But it’s more east coast. Or, would you prefer a smaller type of track that’s less well known? I know Mid Ohio sounds like fun and is at least more in the center of the country.

All depends on what you’re willing to do. I’d love to haul my bike across the country to somewhere in the southwest or even California but even for a free track day I’m not sure I’d be able to do that. Same with west coast guys coming to the Midwest or the east coast.
 

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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
When renting a track for a private event, all the legalities are taken care of before signing the rental contract I believe. Ambulances, corner workers, safety, etc.

A few things to be considered :

Time of year/season attributable to weather.
Proximety.
Will people actually come???
Access to convenient/affordable lodging.

I've rode tracks on the West Coast, the mid-West, and the East Coast. By far my favorite was Laguna Seca. Granted, tracks sometimes have to deal with rich A-holes and sound restrictions. That sometimes ruins the fun. I know COTA is kinda in the middle of the country somewhat (lat wise), and it's huge.

Check this out: http://www.cornercarving.com/track-finder/
 

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yea cota is fairly central. my main 2 cents i would like to contribute is that separating riders by days is a poor format. having all the riders from different classes there on the same day talking, meeting, exchanging tips is much more beneficial to everyone especially the newer guys who can use the advice. i know sometimes i like to go out in a slower group sometimes to feel out setup or issues and then move back to the class i want later on so being locked into one day doesn't sound appealing to me.
 

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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I completely see your point. The thing is, let’s say you have 300 people show up from each group. It’s probably going to be impossible for every to get a decent amount of seat time. Remember, it’s a free event and there’ll be other festivities. I’m sure the details need to be worked more, but anyone can be present during anytime. Imagine having 300+ bikes, equipment, and trucks, and trailers in the paddock all at the same time with people trying to get seat time... It’ll be a mad house.

On another note, maybe each day can be fully devoted to each group to ease the burden of so many riders.
The hardest part is location and track selection. The rest can be figured out.
 

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Venom X/O
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First, I love the idea. It’s a dream of mine to host track days for free to rebuild the sport.

With that said...

A free event would be a nightmare logistically for any day and skill. You basically have to assume that every day will reach max limit with riders (typically 40/group) and of you do a full day everyone will prob only get one session in (especially if all the people show up wanting to ride.)

you’d have to have a rider registration limit, which would cut your legs off if you’re trying to pack the house. I just don’t see any way that you could cram it full, have everyone that the track can hold riding, it be fair with time, and etc...

another thing, there’s no central location. You’ve gotta decide east or west coast, simply because of population. I can promise you no one from east of Mississippi is going to Texas for a “free” track day. It’s $1000 in fuel just to get there. You’re going to have to decide on a track and aggressively advertise that area to pack the house.

I love the idea, but it’s a handful logistically and you won’t get people from all over, you’re going to get locals showing up.
 

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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I was thinking along those lines.

If needed, there may be two separate weekends to accomodate both sides of the country. There most likely will be a registration event for seat time, but again, anyone can come for the additional festivities.

I guess on the West Coast, shoot for Thunderhill or Willow Springs (multiple courses).
One the East Coast/South, either VIR, Barber, or PittRace.

Hmmm, what about evening/night sessions? Have the track go hot at 8AM and cold at 8PM.

This is tough.
 

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One of the things I’m not a big fan of when doing track days in the northern Midwest is the early start time. At 9:00am, often times the track is still pretty cool and damp with dew. And then it’s over at 5:00pm. There’s still a bunch of warm, sunny day left at that time. I’m sure this is different in other parts of the country. Just another thought for format depending on where it is.

If I had the time, I’d love to ride VIR again. Even though it’s 600 miles away. If I could make a long weekend out of it, I’d load up the toy hauler and camp right in the paddock for sure. PittRace is another one I’d try to come to. COTA would be awesome but it’s about 1,000 miles away from me unfortunately. I’d try to come but it would be tough.
 

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I've only been to the tracks in Michigan... Gratten & Gingerman. So I'd be game with any other track. Maybe Deer_killer and I can travel together as we are both coming from Michigan. As some others have said, stick with what works. 20 min sessions, alternating all 3 groups every hour. starting with intermediate then advanced and lastly beginners. This way the beginner group can get classroom session about track safety and all that stuff.

Edit: Almost forgot my first track day was at Barber.
 

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Just Me.
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240 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
This is a tough delimma, but I think I have the answers I came looking for.
 

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Astronomer not Astrologer
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So.....I have some thoughts here.

N2 regularly holds sold out (in all three groups) weekends at Pitt race. With members and CRs, there are nearly 200 of us, as the track is large and they will have 65ish in each group plus a bunch of CRs in intermediate and novice.

Bumping rules are important! Letting folks self register in advanced is dangerous and adding for trouble. That said, not every advanced group in various orgs are created equal. As an example, I got easily bumped into the evolve gt advanced group a year and a half before I made it into the N2 advanced group, as the advanced group in evolved is basically the same pace as the N2 intermediate with a few fast folks. So just saying oh I am in advanced group with such and such org may lead to a very wide range of skill set in advanced. I don't really know a way to solve this.

Good CRs are important. I've ridden with almost all of the east coast tday orgs, and N2 is by far the best in terms of how they run a day and the CRs and staff that they have. If you do one on the east coast I would highly encourage you to work with them. They really know what they are doing.

I would also say that just making it free may lead to a bunch of no shows. I bet you could easily make it 100$ per day and get a huge turn out, as the typical day at a big place like Pitt race is 200+. If you wanted "make it free" donate the 100$ reg fee to the air fence fund, then you do two cool things. The fact that folks pay make them show up, as if the weather is only looking marginal, they won't show up otherwise.

You should also consider other big tracks like Road Atlanta and NJMP for east coast. Given that, even if it were free, and I was only guaranteed one day, I would not make the trek down to COTA from the D.C. area. Otherwise, count me in for something on the east coast. We haven't had a forum track weekend in a long long time.

/0.02$
 
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