As my first time on my track, I quickly realised that actually, it’s not dangerous if you do it right. Track day’s aren’t: “AAH! I’ve come off!” Bang. Fire. Dead.
Brands Hatch is an awesome track. Going down Paddock Hill you’re pressed into your seat in the transition to Harwoods then, taking a massive bite out of Druids, you’re flying out of the Graham Hill Bend. It’s a roller coaster of sensations. I’m writing this now, wishing I was back there in my own car, clinging on to the racing line.
We met Mark Devaney with his Abarth Autobianci A112 back at the Firle Hill Climb last summer. We got the chance to check out his workshop in Kent, 24Hundred, which specialises in Fiat / Ferrari Dinos. We never got the chance to pay his zippy Abarth a great deal of attention. Then, out of the blue Mark gave us the heads-up on an upcoming track day at Brands Hatch one February morning. So, we showed up, paid ‘the man’ our £20 and got ourselves kitted out with crash helmets.
I have to say, within half a lap all apprehension was replaced by glee! I was mentally egging Mark on: ‘Brake later, turn harder.’ I spent the whole session unlearning everything I thought a car could do. As a road driver, you’re willing and encouraging a car to go faster - flowing between sweeping bends. On track, you’re grabbing the car by the scruff of its neck and demanding performance.