A DAY AT THE RACES
For some fans a 'Day at the Races' is often a 'Weekend at the Races' especially for the bigger National and International events.
Many of the organisers of these meetings allow caravaning or camping prior to race day. You obviously need to check details with the organisers prior to arriving. Some allow free camping, some have a small charge but it's a great excuse to have a weekend away.
Entertainment is sometimes provided on the evening before raceday often in the form of a beer tent and on some occasions even live music.
If you are expecting a top quality luxury campsite you will be disappointed. Grasstracks are held in a farmers field and the presence of a brick-built toilet and shower block is very doubtful. The very best you can ask for is flushable loo's and a cold water supply. But it's something you should try. If you don't like it, there's sure to be some budget hotels or B&B's local to the track. Another must to take into account is noise. If you do camp please keep it down as we don't want to upset the neighbours. Farmers willing to allow to let you race on their property are few and far between!
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION PRICES
Depending on the type of meeting (International, National or Club) prices range from around £10 - £18 for adults. Child prices are always discounted and some organisers have consession prices for senior citizens. Children are sometimes admitted free but once again this is down to each individual event organiser.
Car parking is free, the only extra charge on the gate is a programme which give you a list of competitors and race details.
Value for money!
Whatever the cost you and your family will be in for a great value day out.
With speedway admission averaging at around £14 for an adult, grasstrack normally has three or four times the amount of races that you enjoy in an evening at the speedway. To spectate at a 90 minute game of football can cost £30-£100+ per adult, so once again I'm sure you will agree grasstrack is great value.
WHAT TIME DOES RACING START?
This once again can vary depending on daylight hours available, number of races and local restrictions. But start time normally is between 12.30pm amd 1.30pm. Whatever the time it is always a good idea to arrive in plenty of time. This way it gives you time to find a good viewing position.
Before racing all riders must take part in a practice session which allows them to get a feel for the track and prepare their bike set-ups. Practice normally lasts an hour and finishes about 30-45 minutes before race start.
You won't get bored!
Whilst waiting for racing to start, once again it is down to each individual organiser, but most tracks have an open pits or paddock policy. It's a great chance to see the machinery close up or have a chat with your favourite rider. But please remember the pits can be a dangerous place and all children should be accompanied. Also pit walkabout should be limited to pre-race times or during the interval.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE ACTION?
Most people think the best viewing position is on the first corner after the start. The revs rise, the tapes go up and the pack charge into the first bend. But it is important to take other things into consideration before you make that all important choice.
But before we go any further this is an ideal time to remind you that MOTORSPORT IS DANGEROUS. Those rows of ropes are there for a reason and you should make sure you stay behind them at all times.
Grandstands are not included as the track is not a permanent fixture, so take along some deckchairs. When you have found where you want to watch from, set up the chairs and hopefully you will find they will remain in place even if they are left, so this will reserve your space for the day.
The other main thing to take into consideration when choosing your viewing position (especially during the summer months) is dust. It's no good sitting in the best place on the circuit if you are downwind from the track. The dust will pretty soon spoil you whole afternoon and take it from a expert 'You WILL get moaned at by the entire family'. If a wet day and there is a wet track, a wrong position on a corner could also send you home rather muddy!
A great way to make sure you have got a prime viewing spot is to watch practice, and walk around the track spectating from various viewpoints. Put your chairs into the chosen space!
RACE DAY TIPS
Be prepared for all types of weather. You are in the middle of a field with little or no protection from the weather apart from your car. For hot days always take sun protection lotion and on wet days a golf umbrella is a great investment.
Be safe, as we have always mentioned MOTORSPORT is DANGEROUS. 99 times out of 100 the ropes will stop any stray machinery, but be vigilant at all times, keep an eye on the racing!
Trackside parking sometimes looks very tempting especially in unstable weather conditions. But a loose stone thrown from a spinning back wheel can make a nice crack in your windscreen.
Always use bins supplied or take rubbish home with you. The track sometimes returns to grazing for the landowners animals the next day. Any leftover litter can be very dangerous to the livestock.
Always have a little loose change when you leave the circuit, the medical providers such as St Johns or the Red Cross have a collection. Without these volunteers we would have no racing so please give generously!
Refreshments - some people prefer to take a picnic but refreshments are always available at the track.
Most of all enjoy your day! Tell your friends and at the next meeting, bring them along!