What the christ does a trackday cost?

I have no vices I am aware of aside from my unhealthy obsession with cars and said use of them. Lately, most of my automotive pleasure derives from frequenting trackdays. Without going into the ridiculous, unjustified notion of my annual £400.00 road tax bill for a car that is scarcely used on road, nor will I dwell on the fact that I pay duty and tax on fuel used on trackdays that use no public amenities or facilities, my shocks this week are attributed to the ongoing costs of keeping a car in good health during trackdays seasons.

As spring rears it’s anticipated head, the beehive of activity surrounding this community of events gains momentum and the contagious energy shared by anyone interested in cars and octane reels in fanatics alike to the many locations across the UK, now amongst the most active trackday scene in the world.

It’s not just glory and fame though, with the pleasure gained from the few hours destroying tyres from increased friction, the eroding pads from over-zealous braking later and later by the minute, and the visible evidence of fuel being burnt at alarming rates – not least those who find misfortune and misery buried deep in the tyre walls of our championed locales. No, these moments of memory can be overshadowed by the vast quantities of funds that can be swallowed whole through the pursuit of these sports.

The GT3 is a remarkable benchmark, offering supercar levels of performance, but with relatively low running costs. Employ a modicum of mechanical sympathy, however, and your car is constantly being looked after by independants and official Porsche centre’s alike. Oil changes, filter changes, gear boxes, brakes, pads, discs, suspension, wheels, tyres, vinyl protection, resprays, ad infinitum.

I won’t disclose the small fortune this week has cost me in preparation for this week’s trackday at Oulton Park, but it’s enough to challenge your on-track sympathy. I can also see the logic of using a smaller, lighter, cheaper car for trackday thrills – something that uses smaller brakes, uses narrower tyres, has running costs so low it’d be cheaper to buy a new engine than to rebuild it.

All those thoughts evaporate after another spirited drive in the car. I am actually quite excited to pick the car up from Fearnsport tomorrow. By all intents, it should feel like a new car with almost all consumables refreshed to new standard. Add to this the fact that Porsche have just charged me £1400.00 for one year warranty renewal, I’m on top of the world (of debt).

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