Silverstone track day guide: Everything you need to know

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Track day at Silverstone with a Clio 172 and Honda Civic Type R Fk8

If you’re attending a Silverstone track day, make sure you read this guide first. It includes everything from the nearest fuel stations, noise limits and pit garages to track day prices and where to eat on the day.

Contents

Where are Silverstone track days held?

Track days at Silverstone usually take place on either the National circuit or the Grand Prix circuit. Very occasionally there may also be a motorbike track day at Silverstone International.

Read our full guide to the Silverstone circuit layouts for more informaton on each.

How good is Silverstone to drive?

The National and Grand Prix circuit configurations are very different driving experiences.

The National circuit feels like it is dominated by the three long straights, connected by three corners. The Brooklands and Luffield section of track is the most technically challenging to drive, whilst the high-speed Copse is fairly exhilarating and tough to get just right. 

The rest of the circuit feels like you’re just on the power all the time. If you are in a high powered car and get a buzz from seeing how fast you can go in a straight line then this is probably a good track for you.

Clio 172 on a track day at Silverstone grand prix circuit

The Grand Prix circuit is an entirely different story. It’s a long track so in a low or medium powered car the laps can feel very like they go on forever. 

But the variety of corner types is massive; high speed sections such as Maggots and Becketts or Abbey and Farm are a challenge of nerve; low speed sections such as Vale and Club or Village and the Loop are very tight and technical.

Before I did a trackday on the GP track I was worried my Clio 172 would be too slow for the circuit. How wrong I was. Chasing a couple of friends in similar powered cars it felt like we had our own mini Grand Prix. It was amazing fun to be driving on a Formula 1 circuit, and I would recommend it to everyone.

Silverstone circuit driving score

The only reason the GP track doesn’t quite score full marks is because it’s completely flat. If there was some elevation change I’d give it a 5 out of 5, but that’s my opinion.

Run-off and danger areas

Being a Formula 1 circuit the track is one of the safest and least risky in the UK. Most corners have large run-off areas and big gravel traps. But there are a couple of places where you could still get it slightly wrong that are worth bearing in mind.

Club corner

The first is exiting Club corner on to the Hamilton Straight. If you’re in something RWD with a good bit of power, or if it’s wet, taking too much of the inside kerb can result in some oversteer. If you don’t correct it in time there’s no run-off on the inside of the corner, just a hard concrete pit wall.

Silverstone club corner 1
Silverstone club corner drift and oversteer

Woodcote corner

The next spot is Woodcote, and for a very similar reason to Club. Except you are going a lot faster as you are coming around Woodcote on to the National Pits Straight. In some fast cars you might be tempted to lift half-way through the corner. If you do, and that results in oversteer, than again there’s nowhere to go on the inside of the track other than the concrete pit wall.

Woodcote corner
Woodcote corner in a Clio 172 at Silverstone

Maggots corner

The third spot is coming in to Maggots corner. This first left-hand kink usually requires braking around a bit of a corner and downshifting. If you don’t keep the car balanced when you’re doing that, you can get some oversteer and end up off to the left of the circuit here where there’s minimal run-off.

Maggots corner at Silverstone
oversteer at Maggots corner in a Clio 172

What's it like in the wet?

Like most race circuits in the wet the dry line becomes the most slippery part of the track. Going wider than the dry line is likely to find you some more grip.

Luffield would be a good corner to experiment with this on. You’d find that hugging the inside of the long, slow-to-medium speed right hander in the wet would be pretty greasy, where driving a much wider line closer to the edge of the track will be a bit more grippy.

Is Silverstone hard on brakes?

Being a fast F1 circuit, Silverstone is reasonably hard on brakes.

There two main heavy braking sections at Silverstone, entering Village corner and entering Vale corner. Both of these are preceded by a fast straight so require a pretty hard step on the anchors.

There’s also a couple of other long straights – Hangar and Wellington – that lead to medium speed corners which need a good bit of braking. So make sure you’ve got plenty of brake pad life left before heading to the track.

Getting there / entrance / parking

For whichever circuit layout you’re a doing a Silverstone track day on, you need to enter the track via the main entrance on Dadford Road and head to the National pits and paddock area. The new pit lane and paddock by The Wing is not used for track days.

To get to the National pits you’ll be sent over two bridges through an access road on the infield which will lead to the back of the paddock. All of the hard standing area behind the pit garages is available for parking of track cars / bikes and support vehicles.

Silverstone national pits access

Silverstone noise limits

The noise limit at Silverstone is 105db drive-by, for both cars and bikes. If you trip one of the drive-by noise meters you will then have to pass a static limit of 102db. You are normally given an opportunity to modify your vehicle’s exhaust to make it a bit quieter before re-doing the static test.

Silverstone noise limits

Silverstone pit garages

Whether you’re on a track day at the National or GP track, you’ll be based in the National pits and paddock area. The pit garages in the Silverstone National pit lane are pretty big, and you’re able to get around 4 or 5 cars in each one (maybe 6 if you’ve all got Citreon C1s).

They’re arranged in blocks of three so if there’s a big bunch of you going you can ask to be put in one of the adjacent shared garages with your friends, so you can get more of the space. There are lots of power outlets in each.

Silverstone pit garages with Toyota MR2s in them
Silverstone national pit garages

Some have toilets in them which do encroach on the space available a little bit, so those you might struggle to fit more than 3 or 4 cars in.

Silverstone pit garage with a Clio 172 and Toyota Celica in it

Silverstone petrol station on-site

There is a Gulf petrol station in the National circuit paddock area that is open during a Silverstone track day. This sells 97, 99 and 102 RON petrol.

Silverstone petrol station - Gulf

Petrol stations near Silverstone

The nearest petrol station to Silverstone is a BP on the A43 Northbound, just outside Towcester. This is less than a 10 minute drive away.

There are also a few others dotted around, some in Brackley, some in Buckingham and some more in Towcester.

BP petrol station near Towcester

Sign on / wristband collection

There will normally be a sign on / wristband collection area in one of the end garages that the track day organiser has reserved for themselves. This may also be in the control tower to the left of the National pit garages as you look at them from the back.

Cafe / food and drink

The Pit Stop Café located in the paddock area behind the National pits and paddock will serve food and drink during a Silverstone track day.

Silverstone track day organisers and prices

In years gone by, private track day organisers (TDOs) offered days on both the National and Grand Prix circuits at Silverstone. However, in 2023, it looks as if none of the usual TDOs are offering days at Silverstone. The only way you can now do a Silverstone track day, either in a car or on a bike, is by booking through the Silverstone website directly here. 

This is a real shame. It means Silverstone can charge what they like for trackdays and there is no competition to keep the prices reasonable.

It also means the days of a cheap winter Silverstone track day on the GP circuit seem to be behind us. In 2020 I booked a Silverstone GP track day in January with a private TDO that cost less than £160. This was incredible value to get access to a GP circuit for a full day open pitlane.

Now a Silverstone GP car track day in March will cost you £450, and even more in the summer months.

Motorbike track days are more reasonably priced and can be booked here, usually for less than £300. There is even a chance to ride on the International circuit layout. 

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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John Swift

Good guide here Alex. Can you tell me if Radicals are allowed at Silverstone track days? I can’t seem to get a definitive answer. If not then why not….most other circuits have them without problem.

John Swift

Thanks – thought as much. I wish MSV ran the place, Silverstone has to be the least customer-friendly company in motorsport. Great circuit, horrible company to deal with.

Dan

Great guide really informative, is there tickets to go and watch a public track day if your’e not driving? or can anyone just show up and watch? thanks.

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