Snetterton 300 - 22/08/2023

Hello all,

I will be at Snetterton on Tuesday 22/08/2023 for the open pit lane track day in my NA for my first “proper” track day. Are any other members going to be there? If so, please send me a message and we can have a chat during the day!

If you aren’t going but have driven the 300 circuit before, I’d love to get your thoughts / any tips on tackling it in an MX5.



(A bit late as you are there today) Stay away from the sausage kerbs. Make sure you have plenty of brake pad. Tyre pressure gauge and a pump - if you are on road tyres start at 26 psi do a couple of laps and check/adjust tyre pressures. You want them 28 psi hot.

Coram corner you will get some speed, be gentle with lifting because that unbalance the car, straighten the car and brake on a straight line to get to Murrays

Other than that, just take it easy and build up speed and confidence

Thanks mate. That is all solid advice.

It was a brilliant day. I started out with way too much pressure in my tyres and (as you suggested) found that about 28-29PSI when the tyres are hot to be a good pressure. Next time I will be opting for some stickier tyres as my Proxes TR1’s were definitely the limiting factor of the car. Great for the road, but definitely not a track-focused tyre.

At no point was I really pushing as I was there simply to have fun and learn. However I did manage to capture my one and only brown-trouser moment on my GoPro.

Link to the moment here.

It took me a while to figure out vague lines, gearing and speed for each of the corners. I am no by no means experienced at driving on a track, but the important thing is that I feel like I managed to improve over the course of the day.

I will definitely be going back!

keep hands on steering until you need to change gears
i think you may have lifted and the weight transfer plus turning you lost the back end.
with track tyres you need to get the heat in them to work properly - if you cant keep the heat in them (either because of your not driving hard enough they wont work). i personally still use road tyres just limit my stints to 20 minutes max

You are 100% correct.

On reflection, I think my mistake was taking the corner in 4th gear. Rather than braking and downshifting before the corner, I braked less than usual before the corner without downshifting in an attempt to carry more corner speed. I don’t actually remember lifting, but I guess I must have have slightly lifted mid corner causing the rear to step out.

Luckily it wasn’t too bad, but it was definitely a learning experience.

I noticed that most other cars were using track-focused tyres (maybe because the weather was very hot and dry today). I was thinking about trying a road legal track tyre like R888’s. I’ve heard good things about them.

looking at it again i think you were going way too fast for your car/setup
quite possibly need to be a bit smoother
I still use Michelins ps5… not thinking about changing them to semi slicks yet.

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Nice driving! I noticed that you took “Hamilton” in 3rd gear, which is what I should have done in the video I posted.

Thanks for the feedback on my driving. I want to spend a bit of time and dough on my car this winter so that I can get some more track time next year. I’ve got the basics covered (coilovers, polybushes, wheels, LSD) but I really feel like my current tyres let the car down. I have another track day booked in at Anglesy this weekend in a Clio 197 so it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to my relatively stock mx5.

Regarding setup, the rebound setting on my coilovers was mistakenly set to full “hard”, which could have also reduced body roll and therefore caused a slide. The following session I softened it up a bit, which made a noticable difference.

Great choice with the PS5’s. I’ve used PS4’s on other cars I’ve owned (S3 and 135i) and they are genuinely a phenomenal tyre. Unfortunately, they don’t make them in the correct size for my puny 15 inch wheels and I haven’t yet found a road-going tyre that matches their performance. I noticed a lot of the caterhams with 13/14 inch wheels were running semi-slicks, so I think that it may be the only option if I’m to track the car more.

honestly you can improve a lot on time just by learning to drive your car, you dont need to buy anything else ( but i would ask what tyres they run at the mx5 NA cup series).

My mate James he’s a hell of a driver and does a 2:23 at Snetterton and uses Michelin PS4, no engine mods on his car (just a cone filter but he does use the 5 speed lsd (different gear ratio - shorter)

nice, finding the limits of the car/you is all what trackdays are about. Tr1s are not good tyres as you say, and unfortunately assuming your on 15 inch wheels you cant get michellin pilot sport 4 or 5 they dont make them in that size. recommend picking up a cheap set of oem 15s and putting some semi slicks on. keep the tr1 for the road. or just keep driving the tr1 on track, itll be good to learn to slide the car.

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You’re right. As I said I’m no racing driver and I’m purely out to have fun and to learn to drive my car a bit quicker. I enjoy fiddling with my car, maybe even more so than actually driving it. So I will inevitably be swapping some bits out this year. In terms of getting seat time, I want to make the car as reliable and predictable as possible so that I can spend more time out in track during track days.

Interesting you say that. There were a few mk1’s/ mk2’s yesterday. Some of them had forced induction and they looked bloody quick. However, they didn’t go much quicker through the corners.

The most humbling was a stripped out MK1 liveried with BRSCC decals. I found that he stuck with me on the straights but would catch up with me over the course of a few corners. I let him pass me on a few occasions to watch his lines and that definitely helped.

Thanks Sam.

That was my plan. Whack some semi-slicks on my current wheels (as I really like them and they are slightly wider than OEM) and get a new set of wheels for my TR1’s for driving on the road.

To be honest I’ll probably needs 8 new tyres as my TR1’s did not last very long yesterday!

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Fair enough! I like to run two sets of wheels gives me the confidence that I don’t have to worry about damaging a set or a tyre and I can still drive it.

2:23 is seriously quick!

Reviewing my footage, it looks like the quickest lap I caught on camera was around 2:44. I’m very happy with that given its my first track day and that I was lapping around 2:50 at the start of the day - a 6 second improvement! I’ll post a video later on after I’ve edited it down a little bit.

Video here:

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There is no need to have the two front air brakes on while you are trying to go fast :wink: (especially in an mx5)

Nice lap that.

Thanks! Didn’t you know that the pop-ups add 10bhp when popped up? That more than makes up for the airodynamic disadvantage :wink:

What pressures do you run them at? My nearside PS5’s stated to blister at Donington the other night at 29psi cold, 30/31psi hot.
Possibly due to a combination of too much new tread, a clockwise circuit and my poor cornering technique (Nigel Mansell without the natural ability and upper body strength)

In my car 26.5 psi cold for daily use. for trackdays i start with around 24-24.5 psi cold depends how hot the day is. I don’t want the tyres to be more than 28 psi hot.

You may need to have different pressure in each tyre when cold so in the end they will end up to be about the same. For racecars its does depend from circuit to circuit but i generally not found that much difference between all my tyres (yet)

Just to follow up on this thread regarding tyres.

I bought a set of part-worn R888r’s for £200 from Facebook marketplace (bargain!) as I want to squeeze in one more track day this year before winter. The tyres obviously aren’t brand new but by the looks of them, they have had an easy life and haven’t been used on track according to the seller.

I’m planning on doing an evening session this month (probably at Snetterton 300). It will be interesting to see how they stack up against my regular road-going tyres (Proxes TR1). As I said in a previous message in this thread, it felt like the weakest component was the tyres.

I also put a brand-new aluminium radiator in the car and removed the air conditioning and charcoal canister. The old radiator was fine (no problem with temps) but I wanted to tidy up the engine bay.

More footage incoming later on this month.

Book on the 14th for the day I’m there