The weather may be cool today with snow still blanketing the ground, but we are just one month away from our first open lapping event of the season at Castrol Raceway. We have some exciting changes this season … lower rates, more dates, pace car lapping for newbies, and options for gifting to name just a few. And Castrol Raceway has made some changes as well … not the least of which is the 500 loads of top soil they brought in last fall to grade the trackside surfaces. Here are the details …
Here are the 2014 open lapping dates:
- Friday, May 2 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (precedes WMCA race license school)
- Sunday, May 11 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Friday, May 23 from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM (precedes NASCC race weekend)
- Wednesday, June 4 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Friday, June 13 from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM (precedes NASCC race weekend)
- Wednesday, June 18 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Tuesday, July 1 (Canada Day) from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Friday, July 11 from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM (precedes NASCC race weekend)
- Wednesday, July 30 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Tuesday, August 12 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Friday, August 22 from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM (precedes NASCC race weekend)
- Wednesday, August 27 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- Friday, September 12 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (precedes NASCC race weekend)
- Monday, October 13 (Thanksgiving Day) from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Our evening events still offer 2+ hours of scheduled seat time, and our daytime and afternoon/evening events offer almost 3 hours of scheduled seat time … a great value, that is about to get better (keep reading!).
Registration is already open at trackjunkies.motorsportreg.
Here are the main changes to our program for 2014:
- Rates have gone down … $295 for full day events and afternoon-evening events; $195 for evening-only events; and $100 for instruction. All include GST. Annual memberships are no longer part of our program or our rate structure. That means no up-front membership fee, just a lower overall track rate for everyone.
- You’ll notice we are running several Fridays from 1-9, rather than 9-4. This opens up the evening before race weekends for those who are traveling, or cannot take a full day off work to practice. Also a great excuse for anyone who wants to sneak out early from work on Fridays!
- We are going to hold a second drivers meeting at 5:40 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday evening events, and at 5:15 PM on the Friday afternoon/evening events, to make it easier for latecomers. Lets face it … not everyone can leave work as early as they would like.
- Subway has offered to sponsor lunches on those full event days where Castrol’s concessions are not open. Please thank your fellow Track Junkies Peter Spencer and Paul Sarlis for making this great offer and looking after the logistics, as they did on several occasions last season.
- We’ve moved to coordinated point-by passing in the red (advanced) run group. This means a roll bar and 5-point harnesses and SA helmet and HANS device are no longer mandatory to test-and-tune with the big boys. Of course, you still need lots of experience and situational awareness, and you must be comfortable giving a point-by everywhere on the track and running two-wide through all the corners. (We’re not discouraging you from having roll bar and 5-point harnesses and SA helmet and HANS device … you’re still worth it!)
- Going to point-by passing in red group allows us to welcome open wheel racecars test-and-tune at our events. Yes, you read it correctly … we’re going to welcome open wheel cars this year. So bring out your Van Diemen, your Formula Ford, your Tatus, your Thunder Roadster … all are welcome.
- Going to point-by passing in the red group also gives us some additional instruction capacity. Instruction will still be provided primarily in the green run group, but allowing instructors who have street cars without roll bars to move up to red means we can also provide instruction in the yellow run group. This should allow us to provide instruction to more new people at each event, and alleviate the shortage of instructors we had this season.
- Instructors … if you are working (meaning you are assigned a student), your fees will be waived entirely. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, and helping new people find their way into this great sport.
- Our first year was tough financially, so this year we’ve made the decision not to run if we have fewer than 20 participants registered for an event. Of course, we will make this decision before charging your credit card so that we are not tying up your money and so that refunds will not be necessary. What this really means is that if you look at the registration list a week before one of our events and see only 15 people registered, you can help us by reaching out to your track friends and getting them to commit. Of course you have to be registered to see the list … so thank you for committing.
Introducing the Castrol On-Track Experience:
This year Castrol Raceway will be stepping up its advertising and awareness of the road course, now that the full track is operational and much of the landscaping will be completed. As part of this awareness campaign, Track Junkies is partnering with Castrol to offer something called “On-Track Experience”, where drivers who have never been to a track can come out and run a few laps behind the Southside Mitsubishi pace car. If you are wondering how On-Track Experience compares to open lapping, running behind a pace car means slightly lower speeds than drivers experience at our regular events, no passing, and 5 laps per session (then get into line again if you wish). On-Track Experience is intended to be a stepping-stone to solo lapping, which we hope will generate some additional interest for all organizations that rent the road course.
If you have friends that have expressed interest in getting on track but are perhaps a bit intimidated by the prospect of solo lapping, please let then know about this opportunity. Dates for Taste of the Track are May 7, May 21, June 11, and July 9 (all are Wednesday evenings) with the track hot from 5:00-9:00 PM (registration and tech will start at 4:00). Details can be found on our website here: http://www.trackjunkies.
Changes To Castrol Raceway’s Road Course Facility:
Last fall saw a flurry of activity as Castrol Raceway brought in 500 loads of topsoil and graded the trackside surfaces. Grass seed will go down as soon as the snow melts. Castrol is also committed to moving a few more barriers back and removing some others, installing curbing, and other finishing touches. And the annual rental of parking spaces has been significantly altered so that we now have a paddock for all road course events.
In addition, we have entered a partnership agreement with Castrol Raceway that involves joint promotion of Track Junkies events, which we think will help Track Junkies events run at full capacity. So if you are sitting on the fence, get registered for the events you want to attend today.
Here’s looking forward to a fun season of track driving!
The Staff at Track Junkies