Results 1 to 10 of 104

Thread: GTXers do Time Trials and Track Days - 2022

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Cambridge, UK

    First trackday in the McLaren

    Ever since I got the Mac, I've wanted to do a trackday with it at some point. To start with I just wanted to get used to driving it on the road, but rolling into year two of ownership I was definitely getting the itch. I'm aware of the risk of getting things wrong and damaging this car, but that couldn't overcome my desire to really be able to push it.

    A colleague raised an interest in getting out on track, so I thought this was a good opportunity and researched tracks that seemed relatively safe and not too far away from Cambridge. Snetterton, Silverstone, Donnington and Bedford seemed to fit the bill, of which we chose Bedford Autodrome as it's nearby and probably the minimum risk of all tracks in the country.

    There were four of us there, cars being a Hyundai i20N, BMW M235i convertible, BMW M6 V10, and my 570GT.

    Initially I found it all a bit much, although I've been to Bedford twice this was the first time on this layout, and TOCA 3 hadn't helped as much as I'd hoped. The track was busy with people who mostly seemed better practiced than me, and I was struggling to get a sense of the car's capabilities. To be honest, by mid morning I was thinking I'd be having more fun in the FD, which I knew well.

    Fortunately I had a tuition session booked and the instructor was really really helpful, sitting alongside and telling me what to do when and how hard. It's a real challenge to get the measure of this car, especially the braking which is phenomenal, trying to pick the braking point and then when to release the brake to turn in at the right speed - of course if you mess up the braking, the whole corner is wrong. But with instruction it started to come together and I started to feel the rhythm needed. In the afternoon we had some passenger rides with each other, I was able to put together a few decent laps for one colleague, which felt great and definitely made an impression on him.

    The 'Dynamic' mode of the ESC is fantastic. The car does move around, both under power and if you go in too hot, lift off and throw a load of lock at it like a klutz. The ESC lets the car move around, but diplomatically steps in to help you catch your mistakes. I actually went out once in normal full ESC mode and came straight back in to switch it (you have to stop to engage dynamic), since in normal mode the car feels dead, nothing happens, whereas in dynamic it lets the car move around and get some wheelspin, have some fun until things get out of hand. The car feels like a powerful RWD car in dynamic in the way it doesn't in normal, basically.

    The car's on Michelin PS4S which are a 'fast road' tyre but definitely not a track one. Steve at V Engineering had advised me to back off when they show 60-70 degrees C on the dash display (140-160 F) as that would be about the point the tyres would melt, and also protect the costly ceramic brake discs. I had to bleed air out after the first three sessions but with the pressures correct the tyres worked decently well. Some other guys were running more track tyres and getting faster apex speeds, but I think I quite like the way the car moves around a bit on the road tyres. (They're also a good compromise for year-round road use).

    I had definitely underestimated the step up in skills required to move up from the RX-7 to this. And yet, the reward of getting it vaguely right is fantastic, so it's hard to resist the challenge of doing this again later in the year.

    I do feel very lucky to have the chance to do this in this car, hopefully in time I can better do the car justice.



    Last edited by samoht; April 12th, 2024 at 10:45 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts