You have probably either been to a lapping day or you have thought about attending one. Hand over a few hundred dollars and then you get to spend all or part of a day on a race track doing your favourite thing. Driving Fast. Most of your worries have gone out the window and it is time to enjoy your vehicle. And I enjoy seeing the smile on your face when you pull back into the paddock. I am the guy who is hosting the lapping day. Your day may be hosted by a corporation, a company that is trying to boost their product, it may be a local car club that is giving back to the automotive community, or it may be a guy like me who organizes events privately. You may never host or organize a lapping day, but here is a peek behind the scenes of what led up to your successful day at the track.
In 2007 my friend Jeff Daley and I were chatting about tracking our Nissan NXs when we discussed hosting a lapping day. As Jeff was in University he had the interest yet no money. I had a young family but some money – plus we both thought that it would be full as soon as we talked to our buddies about it – so money would not be an issue. Then there was the tantalizing fact that we could go lapping for free. Thus I started making phone calls. After calling a few tracks and looking over the numbers, I settled on the Driver Development Centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, only then is was called Mosport. If you have read my previous articles, you know that CTMP is not only what I consider my home track but one of my favourite tracks. My interest in the track goes back much further, as CTMP (Mosport) is possibly one of the most historically interesting tracks in Canada.
Space was available and it was surprisingly easy to book the track. I simply needed the deposit and then it was my track for the day. That was the easy part. Then it was ensuring that I had paramedics, corner marshals, tow truck, and liability insurance set up and organized. That meant a few more contacts and phone calls. And more money. Necessary money, as my involvement over the years has developed it has been a personal responsibility of mine to ensure that I did not take shortcuts with safety concerns. This meant that my personal Red Cross First Aid certificate was not enough; through the track I had professional paramedics on-site. Early on I made contact with Motorsport Marshaling Service and have had them support my events since. My friendship with several of the marshals has led to my personal practice of waving to each marshal station during my cool down lap. I am sure you do that too; after all, these folks are your lifeline in an emergency.
Robyn from Bob’s Towing has also become a good friend. Not just because I always try to hire her, but because her truck has had to pull my Nissan NX to the paddock a time or two and, more importantly, she is an awesome person. We both celebrate when my car is successful and does not need a lift on the flat bed. Liability insurance is simply a necessity. There is too much that can go wrong and as much coverage as one can obtain is simply a reasonable idea. There are, of course, many other supports that one can involve, but this provides what I would consider the essentials for a lapping day.