Before you take your car out for a spin

Indian supercar owners can now enjoy 'Track Days' at the Buddh International Circuit. Stefan Mucke tells you how to zip around responsibly.

Speed demons, your time has come. In fact, all you now need to do is get in your sports car or supercar, drive to the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida or any other race track in the country and enjoy a track day. But before you do, a professional GT driver has some advice for you.

In safety gear, which includes a helmet and racing suit, your body heats up quickly, while G-forces strain your muscles. An unfit driver can lose control, endangering himself and others. I recommend weight training to build strength as well as high-endurance and cardio exercises such as distance running or mountain biking. Driving a super car is not easy, so be prepared!

Supercars are not like regular cars. You need to understand what's under the hood and how far you can push the machine before it gets dangerous. Sign up for a performance driving course before heading to a race track. These are organised by supercar makers around the world. Schedule a class on your next holiday if you can't find one that is nearer to your home.

If you plan on taking your supercar to a race track, make sure you familiarise yourself with the layout by walk or cycling around it the first time. Learn how each corner flows into the other. Also learn the correct speed and angle with which you should approach each turn. Start your drive slowly and build up speed progressively as you gain confidence with each lap.

Motor racing is expensive. In my bespoke Astron Martin Vantage GTE, it costs Rs 10,000 to race just one kilometre. That's roughly Rs 50,000 per lap of the Buddh Circuit. This includes wear and tear of the tyres and brake pads, which go quickly under racing conditions as well as engine oil, fuel, and track charges. Always check your brakes, gearbox, tyre wear and engine before you begin and once after you end. Happy and safe driving!

The writer is a driver with Aston Martin Racing. He finished third at the gruelling 24-hour Le Mans race.