What does a track day really cost?
There’s a misconception out in the NorCal driving community that track event costs are in the $6000 to $9000 range. These numbers can’t be further from the truth and have been thrown out there to make drivers ‘think’ that they're being over charged for events. As a result, drivers may then consider attending lower priced events in the region. An interesting marketing tactic that needs to be exposed for what it is.
The reality is that the ‘cost’ to host events at NorCal tracks ranges between $12K and $34K per day depending on the day of week, month of season, and the track location. Yes, $34K per day! (no, that wasn’t a typo!) That being said, attending an abnormally low price track event means the hosting organization has to make up the dollars needed to pay the bills with ‘volume’. Additional ‘volume’ means more run groups, and more cars per run group. More cars on track means increased stress levels and a greater chance of incidents and/or delays on track due to mechanical failures, tows, etc. As a driver & consumer you need to do your homework when shopping for events, because comparing track events is often like comparing a drag racer to a road racer!
TrackMasters Racing knows what traffic levels are acceptable on each of the NorCal tracks and doesn’t over sell events. We’re all about providing drivers a safe and high quality experience for their track dollar, not squeezing drivers for every dollar!
Compare Event Features
TMR knows that drivers will ultimately draw their own conclusions and sign-up for those events that best satisfy their respective needs. Everybody has different requirements & priorities. TMR is confident that our program offers the best overall value for drivers when you consider the following variables.
Event Format - Make sure you understand and compare the main features for each event so you know exactly what you're getting for your track dollar. All of these attributes can have a positive or negative affect on your track day:
- Number of Run Groups - 3, 4, or 5?
- Length of day?
- Length of Sessions?
- Number of Sessions?
- Number of Cars per Run Group?
- Length of Lunch Break?
- and finally.... the Price!
Experience – With 18 years of hosting of over 190 events at NorCal tracks, TMR is the most experienced private track day organizer in the region. This is also why so many of our processes have been duplicated by our competitors. Even they recognize TMR as one of the best in the business! In addition to hosting numerous Road Course and Autocross events per season, we also host combination events with Motorcycles and/or Shifter Karts. No other group in California can match our versatility and experience.
Safety – Let’s do some quick math…. 190 (events hosted) x 85 (avg # of drivers per event) = 16,150 cars on track over the past 18 years with one minor injury due to an airbag deployment and less than a handful of minor car to car contacts. We think these numbers speak for themselves and reflect the success of our policies, procedures, and management of track events and behavior on track.
Dates & Venues – Each season TrackMasters Racing puts together the best selection and variety of events in the region. Track locations, dates, and types of events make us the only group capable of doing it all!
Seat Time – Make sure you understand what kind of time behind the wheel you’re getting for your track dollar. The number of run sessions, duration of sessions, and total time behind the wheel. Many of the low cost events in the region offer very limited time on track, and the time you get may be congested with too many cars on track.
Track Density – The more cars on track, the greater the chance you’ll experience delays for one reason or another. From our experience we know that putting too many cars on track will create a variety of issues. For example, more than 30 cars on track at Mazda/Laguna Seca (a 2.2 mile track) is a bad idea if you want your customers to have a rewarding experience. Starting in 2012 many clubs will be trying to lower prices at Mazda Raceway and make up the difference by putting 35 vehicles on track. This is a bad idea unless those vehicles are Motorcycles! TMR limits run groups to 25 to 30 paid drivers.
GImmicks - Be aware of gimmicks that are supposed to address some of the points raised above. An excessive amount of cars on track is simply that....too many cars! Trying to improve the flow of cars shouldn't be accomplished with special rules, flags, etc. The fundamental concept is to keep the car counts down, not raise them and then confuse drivers with silly rules to pull cars back off the track!
Bottom Line - We all spend a great deal of time and money preparing ourselves and our cars for the track, so the last thing we want is to have a bad experience. We have too much invested to be satisfied with just a 'mediocre' day. TMR events provide you the best combination of safety, price and overall quality track time. Check us out and you'll soon understand why so many drivers in the region prefer TMR events.