Finally! The GP Days Season 2022 has started! This year, our first Track Day was scheduled for the end of April which is a bit later than usual and made the wait for the new season feel even longer. To make up for it, we already visited the Circuit Meppen as well as Spa Francorchamps to get a bit of track action early in the year. Not to mention our trip to Lungauring in February (Yes, we will also publish something about this epic day soon!).
As per usual, the GP Days Track Day Season Opener took place at the Circuit Mettet. With it being our 7th Track Day at Mettet, we can almost call it our second home by now! We left the GP HQ on Thursday afternoon to arrive on time at around 6:30pm to collect the keys, have a quick chat with the circuit officials as well as to welcome the first participants who dropped of their cars and trailers in the paddock.
Afterwards, we headed to our holiday apartment and followed our ritual - namely order a lot of Pizza! As Track Day means getting up in the wee-hours, we usually head to bed pretty early - not this time though. For a change, Dennis joined us already the day before the Track Day which meant a little Belgian Beer tasting was in order. However, once the clock struck midnight, the sensible German in me kicked in and I managed to convince everyone it's a good idea to go to sleep.
At 5:30am, the first alarms went of and Leyla, Max, Dennis and myself got ready to get to the track which luckily is only a short 5 minute drive away from our apartment. After getting our Pitbox in order, we were ready to check in the first early birds arriving. I have to say though that more and more people arrive later in the morning, taking advantage of the E-Briefing and Online Check-In so until around 8:30am, it always seems as if people have forgotten we are actually running a Track Day.
After having checked-in the majority of drivers i.e. handing over their numbers and wrist bands, it was time to open the track and get the morning session of Open Pitlane driving going! It has been an absolutely epic feeling to finally hear the engines roaring again and see the smiling faces in the cars after hitting the track for the first time. Especially as there are so many familiar faces out and about. While we are extremely happy to always welcome many new participants to our Track Days, it is just great to see that so many of you return each and every year to spent some time on track with us!
The morning session passed rather uneventful (in a good sense), however as for many it was the first Track Day of the season, we saw quite a few broken down cars as it seems the tweaks during winter season did not always work out as planned!
During lunch, we had the obligatory Mettet Burgers and Fries to gain some strength for the afternoon session which always lasts until 6pm. With a total of 8h of Open Pitlane track time, Mettet is one of the longest (together with Salzburgring) Track Days we have on offer!
Luckily, the afternoon session has been equally uneventful in terms of incidents and I had the time to get some 30minutes of track time myself in our GR Yaris. After installing a new suspension, wider tyres (245/35 R18 Michelin CUP2) and a Milltek exhaust, the car feels a lot different and definitely takes some time to get used to!
At around 4:30pm, the first participants started to pack up and got ready to head home and we started to slowly pack up in order to be ready to leave the Paddock by 7pm, as we were told another organisation would take over our Pitbox.
Once we said our goodbyes, loaded the cars and had a quick debrief with the circuit officials, we made our way to the apartment to freshen up and drive to Dinant (a little - and very nice - down nearby) to have a little celebratory dinner after our first successful Track Day of the Season 2022. Most important of all, we had no major incidents and only a couple of breakdowns after the long winter break as to be expected.
After dinner, we almost passed out immediately once we arrived in the apartement and made our way back to GP HQ in Essen the following morning. It would only be a short breather as our next Track Day at Bilster Berg was scheduled for the coming Friday. Not much time to get all final preparation in order!
Last but not least, we want to present the results of the survey we sent to all the participants of this Track Day:
TRACK DAY SURVEY RESULTS
1. Did you feel well prepared for the Track Day by our E-Briefing?
|Yes! I felt very prepared and had no other questions!
|Sort of. However, I had several questions after watching the videos and reading the presentations!
|No! I did not feel very prepared and definitely prefer an in-person briefing in the morning!
2. How did you experience the traffic on track?
|Great! There was not too much traffic and I enjoyed my time on track!
|Alright. At times there was too much traffic and I got a bit annoyed!
|Not great! There was way too much traffic!
3. How did other participants behave? Did you feel safe?
|Great! Everyone paid attention and drove responsibly on track!
|Alright. Most of the participants drove well and I felt safe.
|Not great! There were many people driving in a way that made me feel unsafe!