Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Do Drivers Do During the Week?

Races take place during the weekend, so what happens during the rest of the week? Well, teams test their cars. Teams and drivers can rent track time from circuits. This allows the teams to experiment with the cars and the drivers can learn the track and more about their car.

The reason I mention midweek testing is because Tammy likes multi-class sports car racing. Well, midweek testing is the nearest thing to multi-class racing I ever did. I don’t know how they do test sessions in the US, but it’s a little rough and ready back in the UK. Except for Formula One, every kind of racecar will go out on the track at the same time. If a lot of cars have signed up, open wheel cars and tin tops are separated, but if the day isn't too busy, it’s a free for all. I have to say I loved mixed testing sessions because it was so wild. I raced Formula Ford and the cars I competed against were other Formula Fords, so the difference between the cars’ performance is measured in inches. Not so in mixed testing. My Formula Ford could be sharing the track with Formula Renaults, Formula Threes, Formula 3000 (back then), but also Porsche Cup and Ferrari Challenge cars as well as a touring cars, Miatas and anything else that had race series dedicated to it.

In these situations, you got to know where you stood in the automotive evolutionary scale. My little Formula Ford would make mincemeat of most production car based series. I could give the Porsche Cup 911s & Ferraris a run for their money. The F3s and F3000s made me look arthritic in comparison. I remember a Porsche sports prototype getting in some laps before setting of for Le Mans. That thing was stunning. I could be halfway down a straight and that thing could come up out the corner behind me, catch me and leave me in its wake before I reached the next corner. We were warned to keep an eye on our mirrors at all times. But with a car like that, you didn't need to. It made the ground shake under you when it got within a hundred yards of you. Midweek testing was sometimes as exciting as an actual race.

Like I say, I never got to race in a multi-class event, but my midweek testing experiences taught me that I would have liked it. :-)

Yours in the pit lane,


  1. Think of the fun we'll have out on the Nurburgring ... they won't all be racecars, but there will be plenty of different speeds!