Why do a Time Trial over a Track Day?

Why do a Time Trial over a Track Day?

I think we can all agree that track days are great fun.  They are the perfect place to get some laps in at your favorite track. They are usually low stress, easy days at the track for you and your favorite ride.  Throw in some friends, and they get even better.  Some even offer you the option to throw an instructor in the car to help you learn the lines, or maybe even hone your skills. And with the proliferation of all the new, and frankly excellent, lap timing devices out there, you can even strive for new personal bests each time you hit the track!  

So, if you aren’t building the ultimate Time Attack car, or looking to be super competitive in a specific class, why would the typical Track Day driver want to do a Time Trial event? You’re at the same track.  You have the timing device and can upload the lap to your favorite social media platform to prove you lap times.  You have lots of sessions to work on being a better driver.  So, why would want to add a Time Trial event to your calendar this year? 

First reason? Traffic. Listen, we’ve all been there.  We rush to the grid the moment our group is called (maybe even before it was called) to get that prime first spot. We have our data hooked up and ready. This is our chance to nail that new PB. You head out on to track, taking it easy at first to try to save some space and get the car warmed up. You perfectly execute the final corner and hit the start line flying! You nail that first corner, carrying a new high MPH! Things are going great!  Then you see it. A car up ahead. They are out there having a great time, but you know there is no way you don’t catch them.  And even if they’re super aware, the likelihood of them not impacting your lap time is next to none.

That is why you want to make it a priority to add SCCA Time Trial events to your calendar. No matter your experience level, once we get through practice, you will be gridded by time.  This greatly enhances your opportunity to run not just one, but multiple clean laps every session out. And no more stressing about beating the other cars to grid!  We have your spot saved just for you. And the drivers in front and behind you?  They’ll be running super similar lap times, so you don’t have to worry about their awareness level not matching their pace.  

Another surprising benefit of gridding by pace? It gives you a bunch of traffic free laps over the course of a day or weekend to work on your driving. It becomes so much easier to focus on improving your techniques, or perfecting that car placement, when you have multiple clean laps at the beginning of a session to focus on it.

Lastly, and let’s be honest here, if your mindset is anywhere near trying for your personal best, or going for any kind of lap record, a Time Trial event is going to be the best place to do it.  Not only will gridding by lap time help you achieve that, but everyone there has the same goal in mind!  Everyone there is also trying to get their perfect lap. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded, lap time focused, people that share the same passion as you. And not only is that great on track, but it’s fun off track too! 

So, come live your “Personal Best” life, and join us at a Regional Time Trial or Time Trials National Tour event. Who knows, maybe you will end up on our official Lap Records page along the way.