Coastal road

elise

The coastal circuit at Anglesey’s Trac Môn will be the first place I drive a Formula Vee with a full grid of cars for company. After studying YouTube videos of last year’s race, I decided that it would worth heading to Wales in advance for some local words of wisdom and a lesson on the track.

The staff were incredibly generous and arranged for me to have time on the coastal circuit, despite normally only doing tuition on a shorter layout. Me and my brilliant local instructor JJ ended up having the track all to ourselves.

What a track it is. YouTube videos don’t capture the speed of the corners, the banking and camber, nor the absolutely stunning view of Anglesey’s coastline framed by distant mountains.

anglesey

JJ guided me through the lap. The first corner that radiuses more tightly than you expect before opening into the banking of turn 2. Exiting here leads onto the entry to the fast Church corner, and then onto a long kinking straight which ends abruptly in a hard uphill braking zone at Rocket. After feeding through two right-handers, the track then begins to tumble back down the hill and into a Laguna Seca-stye corkscrew. A tricky last corner involves waiting to put the power down and avoiding a nasty exit kerb to complete the lap.

anglesey

The Elise I was driving felt fantastic through both the fast and slow corners. Over-enthusiastic entries were punished by understeer, and I could occasionally feel the weight in the back of the car urging it to break away.

In the Vee, I know each straight will seem shorter and each apex will come sooner. Despite being still nervous of keeping it together and staying out of the way of faster traffic, my lesson here will allow me to enter next month’s Friday practice with the confidence of knowing the track. I will try to keep JJ’s voice in my head, to remember to check my mirrors on exits, and to try not to gawk too much at the view.

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