Thursday, 5th September 2019 | The Arrival
The day has come. After weeks of preparation, countless late nights thinking of the organisation and several last minutes changes, we had some very mixed feelings arriving at the track on Thursday evening. After a final briefing with the general manager of the track, we were on our own. Keys in hand, full access to all the facilities of the track. Our very first Track Day was about to go down.
It was exciting, scary, intimidating and reliving at the same time. It was what we worked hard for the last couple of months. Apart from the "normal" job, we had to juggle many things at once, most important of all our family, while having the clear goal of providing the best possible experience to all of you. This was only possible through the support of my wife who gets more and more involved in the entire business with each day.
But back to the acutal events now! We started unpacking our car at around 7.30pm on Thursday evening. I (Falk) was responsible for everything surrounding our MINI GP incl. unloading it from the trailer, getting it ready for the planned taxi rides and setting up our pit garage so all the tools were ready to be used by the participants.
The others set up the room we used for registration and all administrative works throughout the day. As we planned most of the things ahead, we were done at around 10pm and set off to our little holiday house 15minutes away from the track.
This didn't mean we were quite ready to go to bed just yet. After processing the remaining new registrations (Some of you really booked last minute!), preparing all documents (waivers, numbers, wrist bands etc.) and double checking that the check-in system we developed over the last couple of weeks really worked, we hit the bed at around midnight. Although we were super exhausted, it took a while to fall a sleep.
Friday, 6th September 2019 | Tracktime
The alarm made us shoot up at 5am in the morning. I rushed to the window straight away to check out the weather. It was dark, the sky was clear and the air fresh - it looked promising.
After a quick shower and a few bites to eat, we jumped in the car and headed to the track. Being the first one to open the gate and enter a racetrack that early in the morning felt truly special. With a slight hint of fog in the distance, the sun was rising over the circuit - all was quiet, exactly like one would imagine the "calm before the storm".
By about 7am and luckily much earlier than expected, we were done with setting up everything we needed for the registration and waited for the first drivers to arrive at the track.
First Participants arriving
There it was, an engine sound in the distance coming down the ramp towards the paddock - the first drivers are arriving! This being our first track day, it was one of the most exciting moments.
Will the process we developed for the efficient check-in really work?
Well, it did - and while more and more drivers arrived, there was no significant waiting time - great! It was a big relieve. As many of the drivers already used the online check-in, they just had to say their name and were good to go. It didn't take more than 20 seconds.
The paddock filled with an interesting mix of cars ranging from light-weight Lotuses, 2CV racing cars to high-powered Time Attack Cars (in this case prepared by one of our partners - RL Motorsport from Luxembourg!).
Shortly before 9am (the start of the Track Day) we did a quick drivers meeting for anyone who didn't watch our E-Briefing or had any additional questions. After that it was all about getting on track!
Having completed our online check-in process, many drivers had a very relaxed morning arriving close to 9am. That meant that the start to the track day went extremely smooth and there was no queuing to get on the track as many were still getting their cars ready without any time pressure.
Let's get on track
Although the mix of cars and drivers was very diverse (novices and experienced drivers - slower and faster cars), I think it's safe to say that there weren't any unpleasant moments on track. The combination of a very limited number of cars on circuit and good driving etiquette by all participants did their part. At this stage we'd like to thank all of you for taking the drivers briefing and our rules to heart ensuring everyone had a great day on the circuit. That's exactly how we imagined it - everyone driving together and not against each other!
The day went on smoothly, the weather couldn't have been better (around 20°C and clear skies). At around 12.00pm we took our MINI GP out for a couple of warm-up laps before the first "GP Taxi Guests" would arrive after the lunch break. Apart from lapping Mettet at speed for the first time, it was also a first encounter with a new set of tyres - the Nankang AR1.
In short, they felt great. In-between some Taxi Rides for visitors there was not much time to really get down and optimise our laptimes - we definitely have to come back soon to see what's possible in our car on this track!
After a relaxing lunch on the terrace of the circuit café, everyone was set for the afternoon session of our day. The setting sun wrapped the circuit in orange light creating a very special atmosphere.
The remainder of the track day went equally smooth with no interruptions or incidents.
Wrap up and what's happening next
6pm, the end of our first track day came around almost too early. But I guess it's true what they say: Time flies if you enjoy what you're doing!
As Mettet had already another motorcycle track day planned the next day, we had to pack everything up in a rush after the last driver left the track. Unfortunately this didn't leave enough time to talk to all of you before you headed home.
As this was our first and last track day for 2019, we are already focussed on getting all the dates fixed for 2020 and ready for booking as soon as possible. Any suggestions for some interesting tracks you like to experience with us are more than welcome! Let us know!
In the meantime, we are further refining our Online Check-In process so hopefully by the beginning of the next season, the experience will be seemless without you loosing any time and easily register from the comfort of you home.
We are looking forward to seeing all of you again soon!