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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure how many here have been to the Bedford Autdrome before, but I went on Saturday 3rd November and had such a good day I thought I would post a few comments for the benefit of others.

The day was the PalmerSport Track Day which combined an open pit lane session for your own cars together with a session in either Caterhams or single seater F2000 cars. The cost for the day was £195 which, although somewhat more expensive than other track days, certainly gave as much track time as you could ever wish for, and the opportunity to try out the Caterhams, or, as I did, try the F2000's.

It was a brilliant day, sunshine all day though a little on the cold side, and about 60 cars for the track day session. There was a good mix of cars, an evo 5, some evo 6's including mine, an evo 7, various Porsche's, Ferraris, TVRs, Lotus Elise and amp; Exiges, and others.

The track session was held on the South West circuit which is 2.85 miles in length, and there were plenty of challenging bends and a straight that I found longer than Donnington. In fact, at Donnington, the best top speed I managed after the Dunlop bridge prior to braking for the S at the pit straight was around 120mph. But on this straight, I managed 130mph. My brakes weren't particularly good due to naff pads, but with better pads, I think 135mph would have been easily achievable.

The great thing we found regarding the Autodrome was the fact that the whole circuit setup is so open with no obstacles near any bends. This meant if you did get it wrong, there was little chance of any damage being incurred. With this in mind, I let my family partner for the day have a go and, sure enough, ending up facing oncoming traffic! But everyone there were well behaved and steered around us fortunately.

Lunch was served between 12 and amp; 1pm which was excellent with a choice of some 4 main courses. I was surprised that you had to pay extra for this at £7/meal as I would have thought it could have been included in the price.

The session in the F2000 cars was great but far too short. We only got around 4 or 5 laps on the North circuit which is 0.63 miles in length. Still, it did give an opportunity to try a single seater which I had never done before. The instructors said you should only use 1st and 2nd gear around the circuit, but I managed to get it into 3rd on the short straight after a couple of laps. I was shouting to myself eat your heart out Micheal ! Great fun.

Back to the track session in the afternoon, had a ride in this guys evo7gsr which had Eibach springs. I was impressed with the overall handling. So much less drama and elbows flying around than my car that I feel a post in the suspension forum coming to find out what I should do to achieve at least the same. Mind, I did still manage quicker times but you would have thought my life depended on it seeing how I was attacking the circuit. I was even hanging on to this guy in a 911 turbo which pleased me no end but it's never enough enough is it?

Highlight of the day were two guys in their 911's chasing each other. The one in front was a real showman turning off the driver aids and sliding it about everywhere. It had us all in laughter on the pit straight each time they came round with him sideways, but the pinnacle came when he ended up sidewyas for the whole of the pit straight and finally lost it ending up in the wrong direction at the end of the straight. Needless to say, the black flag came out and we all just fell about laughing. He was a great sport and somehow, ended up doing a few laps at the session end.

Track hospitality was excellent, instructors were good as far as I know, though I didn't try one. Cost for them was £15 for 15 minutes but since I have had instructors before at Donnington, didn't feel it was necessary that day.

Overall, a superb day, well organised and very well staffed with nice girls driving the mini buses taking you to/from the pits to the hospitality suite. Fuel on site was outragous at £1/litre for SUL which beats 99p/litre that I paid at Donnington in August ! We visited the pump twice which didn't surprise me as we averaged just under 3 laps/gallon !

I can certainly recommend the Autodrome for a great day out and can't wait to do it all again. I just wish someone would wave a magic wand over my car to make it handle even better and have about another 50hp to keep up with the Ferraris http://www.lancerregister.com/graphics/laugh1.gif border|EQU| 0 align|EQU| absmiddle >

Finally, for future interest, I managed a best lap time of 2:10. The 360 Ferrari was going round in 2:08.

Ian
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Ian, Interesting to get your feedback. I was close to doing this day but changed my mind. I'll probably give it a go if they do it again - the prospect of no cones/tyrewalls/armcos is enticing.

Darryl.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
It is certainly a great track for safety. As it happens, I have now had Eibach springs fitted so shall look forward to trying the same circuit next time to see what improvements there may be.

Ian
 
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