WHEN YOU own a nice car, it’s tempting to take it to a track day and see what man and machine can do. But as one unlucky Subaru driver discovered, a split-second mistake can leave your car wrecked and ego bruised.
A track day allows members of the public to pay to drive their car at high speeds around a racing circuit. It’s a way of exploring the performance limits of a car, and a driver’s abilities behind the wheel, within the comparatively safe confines of a private track where speed limits don’t apply.
Unfortunately, as the driver of this rare and desirable Subaru found, things can go horribly wrong in the blink of an eye.
The race track is Castle Combe, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, and the driver is taking part in one of its popular Spring Action Days, earlier this month.
On a particularly wet day, the owner of a rare, Impreza WRX STi Type 25 Spec C, which had been tuned to 460bhp, by Subaru specialist Litchfield and would have cost £40,000 when new, appears to be driving with all the care and attention such weather conditions deserve.
But when he approaches a slower Skoda Octavia vRS, and moves to the outside to overtake it, everything unravels in a split-second.
By moving to the outside of a slight left kink, his Subaru’s tyres are suddenly overwhelmed by standing water and the greasy surface that typically builds up off to the side of the well-trodden racing line.
Suddenly, the tyres lose grip and the Impreza is pitched into a terrifying spin. In no time at all, the car has skidded across the track, over the grass verge and smash backwards into unforgiving crash barrier, before coming to a rest on the passenger-side door.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt during the incident. But it is a lesson to anyone who regularly enoys track days or novices contemplating their first event. Be mindful that things can go wrong, and make sure your car is insured for use on a race track.