Anglesey Race Circuit Track Day
For my second track day in my Lotus, I had decided to try out the Anglesey Circuit (Trac Mon), which is located on the west coast of Anglesey, overlooking the Irish Sea and the Snowdonia mountain range. The circuit is challenging and exciting with amazing views.
TDue to the time and distance to travel to the circuit, I decided to drive up the night before and stayed at the Anglesey Arms Hotel, which is about 20 minutes away from the circuit. Unfortunately, the weather did not look ideal for a track day, being dry in the morning before raining in the afternoon.
The track day was utilising two of the Anglesey circuit configurations. The morning session would be around the 2.1 miles International GP Circuit and the afternoon would be around the 1.2 miles Coastal Circuit. The main difference between the two circuit layouts was that the Coastal Circuit omitted the Tom Pryce straight, the Hairpin and the Pit 2 straight. These were replaced with the Corkscrew.
After the mandatory briefing each car completed a couple of sighting laps of the GP circuit to get an understanding of the circuit and the racing lines. It was also the only time that I was actually able to look at the spectacular views from the track. As I had not driven the circuit before I decided to have some instruction an hour after the track had opened. I went out for a 30 minute stint early on and then another short stint before waiting in the pits for my instructor. As on previous occasions I had watched a couple of YouTube videos of instructors giving advice and training to other drivers. It became apparent that there were a few corners where I had not got the best line either into or out of them. After a few laps with the instructor I started to improve and after the instruction session I had a few areas to focus on to improve further.
Unfortunately, by 12:30 the rain had started and this meant that a little more care was required particularly around Church and through the high-speed School curve and also the approach to the slow Rocket corner.
After the lunch break, the circuit changed over to the Coastal configuration. The rain swapped between being very light to pretty hard and the track had standing water at various locations on a number of occasions. Parts of the circuit became treacherous. The Church and School Curves had to be taken with great care and the approach to Rocket became perilous. Indeed I had a few scary moments in these high speed / hard braking areas, although I was very impressed with the overall grip of my Lotus Exige LF1.
The day started to draw to a close and the rain came in very hard. After a couple of laps where the car lost grip due to the standing water a couple of times in quick succession, I decided to call it a day.
A lap of the circuits went like this:
Cross the start finish line in third gear on the right hand of the circuit, braking with a mid-corner apex for the left hand corner of Target and exiting over the right hand curb before moving over to the left braking for the late apex of the Banking corner, which is also taken in third. Speed is increased with an up change before Church. A dab of the brakes to just scrub some speed off the car before Church and then powering out. In the dry there is an upshift into fifth gear but in the damp / wet the car is balanced on the throttle in fourth moving over to the left of the circuit for School and trying to ensure the car is on the right and is straight going uphill towards Rocket. The brakes are pressed hard, approaching Rocket, and the gears dropped down to second. Going round the first corner of Rocket move over to the left of mid-track to open the second part of the Rocket corners out and then upshifting along the left hand side of the straight into third gear towards Peel. Peel is taken in third and it is important to get the exit right. Upon exiting the corner keep turning to get over to the right hand side of the track trying to get the car as straight as possible going downhill towards the next corner.
International GP – If the car is straight then the left hand corner onto the Tom Bryce Straight is pretty much straight forward. Going up the Tom Bryce Straight the car gets up into 4th Gear, before braking late and keeping it tight for the late apex of The Hairpin, which is taken in second gear. The car accelerates up to 4th gear to approach the Bus Stop, which is a mid-apex corner taken in third gear then over the start finish line.
Coastal Circuit – The first part of the downhill Cookscrew complex is a left followed by a right and down to the Bus Stop, which is a mid-apex corner taken in third gear then over the start finish line.