Frequently Asked Questions.
It all depends on the track and the car. At Franklin, our shortest course, the slowest car hits about 50 and the fastest around 70.
At Caraway, our advanced roval, slow cars are hitting 60, fast ones approach 90.
But, that is only in the open portions. You will spend most of your time between 30 and 50 negotiating the many corners. The top speed sections really just exist so we have a place to point by and learn braking zones.
You can’t. All high performance driving and “racing” carries risk. There is risk you might hurt yourself, and certainly risk you may damage a car. We have done everything we can to minimize risk to life and property but if you are looking for complete safety guarantees, the only answer is don’t leave home.
However, what we do presents far less risk than driving down the highway. For one, everyone is going in the same direction. For two, you are taught to build up to a faster pace and are on a track with others that have been trained the same things. Our whole program is about teaching how to approach limits safely. As for the passing, you would rather do this with officials controlling and alerting you than deal with passing and merging in interstate traffic and all the poor drivers, not to mention the texters out there.
Yes, there are concrete walls at Caraway and concrete parking stops at Darlington but the course is designed for such slow speeds in those areas, you would almost have to hit it on purpose. As for concrete outside, it is no different than an on ramp or interstate with walls bordering the roadway.
It is as safe as you make it. If you follow what you are taught, you will have a great chance of zero incident to damage you or your car.
The tracks aren’t “small” they are “short”. The width of 90% of our driving surfaces are equal to or greater than permanent racing circuits.
As for space on the track and space to react, SCDE is MUCH safer than a full racecourse.
You are going much slower so there is inherent safety in that but reaction distance is relative to speed.
At 30 mph (our average corner speed) you travel 44 feet in one second.
On most real tracks where track days are held, corner speeds tend to be between 40 and 90 mph. That means in one second you will go 59 or 132 feet respectively.
We mandate a 2 car length follow rule and one car at a time point bys. There is no mandate as for following distance at most track days and point bys are at the discretion of the driver pointing by.
Would you rather be going 44 feet per second with space and knowing what is happening on a point by or going 60 to 130 feet per second without knowing how close you will be?
Because it is compact, it seems like it should be harder to find room but the facts of physics say otherwise.