I’m feeling like it’s time for another blog about safety on track…
Until there is a better way I feel strongly that it’s the responsibility of the people running Trackday events to educate their Trackday riders about safety and etiquette. I’ve just come across the perfect example of why I think this…
Eren Kurter, a well educated, polite and very likable fellow who is a street rider recently did his first trackday event. Over a meal and a beer his friends encouraged him to tell me his entertaining story about his first Trackday experience. Eren was clearly self conscious but went on to explain that after some laps learning the circuit in his first session on track ever, a man suddenly appeared on the circuit waving a chequed flag, so Eren stopped. My eyes went wide and his friends start laughing.
Next this man with the chequered flag started frantically waving his other arm in a circular motion, so Eren did exactly as he was told… he turned around and went back the way he’d come! Now I laughed along with Eren’s friend’s.
Of course I was shocked by Eren’s story but laughing is easy when you know that nobody got hurt.
Eren’s story is a perfect example of the type of thing that injures or kills riders. In my experience it’s always the avoidable ‘dumb shit’ that causes the nastiest accidents.
A good pre-ride briefing from the organiser with compulsory attendance (No attendance- no briefing sticker- no getting past the Marshall at the end of pit lane) would have educated Eren enough to ensure this didn’t happen and it could have saved someone’s life. Good trackday organisers already do thorough rider’s briefings but some don’t do them at all and some briefings are just not adequate enough to cover the basics for new riders. I know it’s torture for the experienced riders to be told the basics at every event, but a couple of the clever organisers avoid this (Tracksense to mention one) by first giving the information that all levels of riders need to know before letting the experienced riders go (faster groups) and get ready to ride (their sessions are first) before continuing with more thorough information for the less experienced riders (slower groups).
I’ve also noticed that it’s not just safety that is better at the well organised events. Because these good organisers are constantly communicating with and politely helping to educate their customers I don’t see the stupid stunts like riding fast in the parking area, without helmets, wheelies in the pitlane or bouncing bikes off the rev limiter in the garage and pitlane area. I have absolutely no patience for this shit, it’s totally unnecessary and makes other people’s day less safe and a lot less pleasant. Invariably these stunts are pulled by the inexperienced and slowest guys who simply haven’t yet been told that acting like this is extremely uncool. You only need to watch the fasted guys in the world. They are quiet, polite and humble in the garage, they let their bike warm up at an idle before slowly riding down pit lane making sure they don’t pull out in front of anyone, and post the fastest times.
So what can we do about all this?
We can choose to ride with Trackday companies that give sensible, concise pre-ride safety briefings (not just a speech about how great their own Trackday company is and to ride slowly because you’re 2000miles from home ;-). This way the companies that don’t give good briefings will change or disappear.
I wish you all a fast, fun and safe season on circuit.