Daytona Blog Thoughts and comments from the UK's leading kart venues Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:36:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 We Host Dare To Be Different Inaugural Event Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:36:55 +0000 We were very proud to be asked to host the first ever Dare To Be Different event. The brainchild of Susie Woolff, D2BD aims to educate and involve girls about the opportunities for them in the Motorsport Industry. 100 Primary School girls attended an amazing day at Daytona Sandown Park. Watch the video now!


Bentley Boy Thu, 17 Mar 2016 15:07:56 +0000 We caught up with Rick Parfitt Junior as he and Team Parker Racing launched their 2016 Bentley Continental GT at Morton’s in Mayfair. Rick started out racing indoors with Daytona and now enjoys a successful racing career – as well as his music.

David Coulthard’s Lucky Underpants Fri, 12 Feb 2016 21:07:45 +0000 We caught up with BBC F1’s David Coulthard at The Race Of Champions in London and talked kart racing and lucky underpants…


The City Go Kart Grand Prix at Daytona Sandown Park Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:12:57 +0000 Daytona Sandown Park was delighted to be chosen to host the inaugural City GoKart Grand Prix. 25 Teams representing the City Livery Companies raced over two hours on the 900m GP Circuit at Daytona to raise awareness and funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

Alonso – last to first in three laps at Daytona Sandown Park Sat, 18 Jul 2015 10:34:22 +0000 Fernando Alonso popped down to Daytona Sandown Park last week for a race with a few friends and colleagues. Opting to start last on the grid, Fernando wasted no time making it to the front within three laps!

Video Evidence Wed, 20 May 2015 09:57:14 +0000 Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.52.36Over the last couple of years, more and more drivers turn up to our championship races with cameras affixed to their helmets. The growth of popularity of Go-Pro and similar cameras means that there are often multiple cameras recording multiple angles of races – and incidents within those races. Some circuits and championships are considering banning cameras, but I actively welcome them.

At the third round of our TW Steel Dmax championships we had quite a few penalties given out by the Official Observers and, as always, we welcome people challenging penalties as long as they have evidence to back up their challenge. I won’t name names, but there was a big coming together on the first corner of the first lap of one of the endurance races. We had three Observers who saw the incident and two of them agreed that driver A was at fault for pushing Driver B into a spin. Driver A was duly given a Stop-Go penalty in the Pits and the race continued.

Driver A rejoined about 60 seconds behind the leaders following his penalty and then spent the next 50 minutes moving up to 9th place in the race. In the last five minutes of the race, Driver A collided with Driver C. Driver A was once again given a Stop-Go penalty as the closest Observer judged it to be Driver A’s fault once again.

A few days after the race, I was contacted by Driver A who wished to discuss the penalties as he felt that they were not fair. I invited him to meet with me and to bring his evidence with him. A few days later, we studied various videos of the incident, including Driver A’s own onboard video, two other drivers’ onboard video and a spectator’s video from outside the circuit. Three of the videos tended to show that Driver A was at fault but one video clearly exonerated the driver as it showed that Driver B turned in on Driver A and that Driver B was the architect of his own spin.

A further review of the available videos of the second Penalty also exonerated Driver A. The video from the onboard camera belonging to Driver C proved that he could clearly see Driver A overtaking him under braking into the corner and, rather than lifting or braking and tucking in behind Driver A, Driver C turned in to Driver A which caused Driver C to leave the circuit and cross the grass. Watch this video at 5mins 15 seconds.

In each of the above cases, it proves that observers’ perspective is very important in terms of finding blame or fault in a racing incident. The use of multiple angles of video evidence is proven useful time and time again in rugby and now we can use it in our championship racing too.

I am looking forward to reviewing some of the video we captured at the last round using our Aerial Drone camera. Of course, now that I have blogged about our use of youtube videos, some drivers may decide not to upload their videos if they think it might prove they were in the wrong!

Jim Graham
Team Daytona


Backdraft Motorsport’s Double Double Podium Weekend Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:27:38 +0000 Brands Hatch 1Daytona Milton Keynes was delighted to welcome UK based Performance car specialists Backdraft Motorsport as new circuit sponsors this year. In addition to offering servicing, repairs and tuning of top end performance cars at their base in Milton Keynes, Backdraft prepare and race 2 Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 cars in the European based Supercar Challenge Championship.

We invited Mark and his team to pen a guest blog about last weekends race outing to Brands Hatch:

For the past 3 years the team have been improving the cars and developing the drivers. There have been plenty of highs and lows including podiums and big crashes. The last outing at Spa saw Fiona James T boned coming out of the hairpin onto the start finish straight. The car received extensive body, suspension and chassis damage. Not to mention a fairly shaken up driver…

So the past 3 months the team have been working tirelessly rebuilding the wrecked car whilst Fiona has been regaining her composure and developing her driver skills at the I Zone simulator facility at Silverstone. Just to add to the mix, our second driver Simon Atkinson has returned to the grid after a break and the 2nd car required a few jobs doing to bring it up to FIA homologation.

On Monday 8th September we tested both cars and both drivers at Silverstone. Simons car ran really well for the day and Simon adapted nicely to the new Pirelli tyres. Fionas newly rebuilt car suffered far too many gremlins including a failed battery, Hydraulic steering hose failure and a Track rod end ball joint. She managed some decent running, but to add insult to injury she ran out of fuel in the last session due to team error!

The next round is a rare treat for us as we usually have to travel around Europe ,a big logistical commitment. Brands Hatch GP is like a home race and new on the Supercar Challenge calender. The weekend consists of a 40 minute practice session, 30 minute qualifying and a 1 hour race on the Saturday. Then the evening re-preparing the cars ready for another 1 hour race on the Sunday. The cars come under some serious abuse in order to make the fast lap times. Simon hit a big curb at the end of first practice and broke a drive shaft bolt. The car was quickly diagnosed and repaired ready for qualifying. Fiona qualified 5th and Simon 7th.

Both cars got a good start in race 1. Simon pretty much followed Fiona for the first half of the race. The pit stop system is designed to equalise cars and make the racing more interesting. Fiona had a 1 minute stationary pit stop. Simon had a 1 minute plus 25 seconds pit stop as he hadn’t competed in the series this season. The pit stops were very slick. Fiona was just bashing out really consistant lap times one after another. Simon had the pace but every now and then he would push a bit hard and lose some time. After the pit window had finished Fiona emerged 2nd with Simon in 4th. Fionas raw speed and consistency allowed her to catch and pass for 1st place. Simon made it up into 3rd too. Meanwhile the team were checking and re-checking, did we do all the checks we were supposed to do? Did we put enough fuel in!? Sure enough the cars ran faultlessly, although getting a bit tired and ragged towards the end of the race. Fiona crossed the line a full 28 seconds in front of 2nd place. With Simon just behind 2nd in a well earned 3rd place and podium! This was a fantastic achievement for the team and both drivers…

Meanwhile there was no time to waste, the cars needed checking over and cleaning, new tyres, fuel, data downloading…

The temperature dropped slightly on the Sunday and there was an air of dampness around. Both cars lined up on the grid. We had formed our bench mark. Could we repeat it? This time fiona had an additional 15 seconds on her pit stop due to winning the day before. Simon had a collosel 25 seconds penalty for being away from the series and finishing 3rd! Both cars got away cleanly on the rolling start. Again Simon followed for most of the first half of the race, but just couldn’t get past. Both cars were being held up by a Porsche, which eventually left the tarmac. Fiona then managed to press on with great pace and amazing confidence and consistency. Simon was fast, but still occasionally made the odd error and gradually fell from the back of Fionas GT3. The pit stops again went very well, although Fiona was so well in the groove she missed her instruction to pit 3 times! So we ended up pitting both cars together. The pit stop time penalty was just too much for Simon to overcome and he managed a very well deserved 3rd place whilst Fiona stormed to the front to gain her 2nd win of the weekend!

Brands Hatch 2The next race for the team is back at Spa at the beginning of October. Can we repeat this good fortune?

Whilst the team at BDM are not racing they are intrusted with, what we consider, our customers pride and joy. We carry out regular servicing, repairs and tuning of top end performance cars. Our pedigree developed racing these cars ensures our attention to detail for every customer. We are an independent specialist so you can receive this level of service without paying main dealer prices. Based in Milton Keynes, we are very convenient for the local community and central for our wider UK audience.

We tend to deal with Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley and the Audi R8. We do occasionally work on other brands too such as Maserati, Aston Martin and others. We have a good reputation specialising in 4 wheel alignments both to standard road specification or to improve the cars handling and response.

We can be found on the social media sites like facebook and twitter, by email on, by telephone on 01908648081 or why not just pop in and meet the team and have a look around?

Daytona Deliver at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands Again – Video Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:33:11 +0000 Daytona Motorsport were delighted to be asked to provide their fleet of High-Performance Dmax karts, along with their unrivalled experience in event production and race management, for the 2014 Henry Surtees Brooklands Team Challenge.

The 2014 event would be the third running of this unique event, where 35 teams race on the Brooklands Circuit at Mercedes-Benz World and, as the event was the brainchild of Daytona CEO Charles Graham, we always aim to deliver a better event each time. The 2014 event featured a host of celebs and racing drivers and raised £60,000 for the Henry Surtees Foundation.

We brought along a few cameras this time and filmed the day:

If you would like Daytona to bring their special events team to deliver a unique event for you, please contact us

So who’s going to win the 2014 World Drivers Championship and why? Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:29:20 +0000 _74119543_74119143F1 2014 has been pretty good so far. The first few races of the year have provided fans with plenty to talk about – and with the new quieter engines you can even hear what the fans are saying! It has been a very mixed year for the actual teams though.

Obviously Mercedes are enjoying the fruits of their investment over the last couple years – as are most of the Mercedes-powered teams. I say most because there are huge differences in fortunes so far between Williams, McLaren and Force India – especially compared to their respective performances over the last few years. Who would have predicted that Williams would get Pole Position and be threatening race wins this year? And who would have predicted that Sahara Force India would be outperforming McLaren again?

I was lucky enough to be enjoying a drink and dinner with @WillBuxton who is a very knowledgeable chap about these sorts of things the other night. We were at the Brooklands Hotel enjoying dinner after the Henry Surtees Brooklands Team Challenge event and it doesn’t take a lot to get Will talking about his favourite subject. Apparently the reason that the Mercedes car is so good this year is partly due to the superb power delivery from the engine but the differentiator between Mercedes AMG Petronas and the other Mercedes engined teams is more down to two key benefits that Hamiltion and Rosberg have over the other drivers.

Firstly the Mercedes team have come up with a really effective way of managing the cooling requirement of the car (and this year’s cars need a lot of cooling) which means that the aerodynamicists have had pretty free ride in designing the rear of the car. The other teams have until now had to compromise the aero design to fit in the with engine and cooling requirements – I say “until now” as it appears that Williams have worked out how to replicate the Mercedes cooling and their recent results reflect that. How long until Force India and McLaren work it out too?

Secondly, the new hybrid engines power recovery systems have made a big difference to the way that drivers have to use the brakes – unless you drive for Mercedes AMG Petronas. The new MGU-K system harvests kinetic energy from the rear wheels under braking. It stores that energy in batteries until the drivers wish to use the ERS extra horsepower. Apart from the enhanced cooling requirement that this demands, it also means that F1 drivers are having to adapt their braking style.

In previous F1 Cars, the driver simply stamped on the brakes as hard as they could to slow the car as quickly as possible and then immediately start to lift off the brakes . In a 2014 car, the drivers have to work with the MGU-K system that effectively acts as a brake on the rear wheels, harvesting all that energy rather than simply converting it into heat and noise which are wasted. For most of the drivers this means they have to activate the brakes/MGU-K system with an initial brake push, then they have to lift off quickly whilst the MGU-K system harvests the energy and slows the car down – and then crucially they have to be ready to push the pedal again to actually get the car down to the speed they want, rather than the speed that that results from the system braking. All of the above has to done in mere split seconds and with a brake pedal that has hardly any travel.

Where the Mercedes team have a massive benefit is that the software guys have worked out how to make all of the above work really quickly, really efficiently and delivering a braking control experience that the drivers were already used to. So whilst all 22 drivers on the grid are having to adapt their driving to make the most of the power delivery of the turbo engines, the best of the ERS system AND the new braking requirements, Lewis and Nico don’t have to worry about the brakes as they just use them as they always have.

Once again, I wonder how long until the other teams’ software guys get it sorted – especially as they have a testing opportunity next week at Silverstone after the Grand Prix – where they can test these sorts of things without worrying about too much about race set up etc.

IMG_1096We were very pleased to be running the Brooklands event with our friends at Mercedes-Benz World on Tuesday – whilst simultaneously hosting media and fan events for Red Bull Racing at our Milton Keynes Circuit. What was very apparent to the Daytona team in Milton Keynes on Tuesday is that the Red Bull team were very relaxed amongst the fans and the media. It was Daniel Ricciardo’s 25th Birthday on tuesday and he had to spend the morning driving around with helium balloons attached to his kart – but he didn’t stop smiling and nor did Christian Horner or Adrian Newey.

So whilst the Renault engines woes this year have put paid to Red Bull winning yet another championship, the people at the team are still smiling – and working just as hard at their racing and at their PR.

We have also hosted events this year for Sahara Force India – and are sending one lucky Daytona customer to be their guest at the aforementioned Silverstone test, courtesy of our partners TW Steel. Whilst I am lucky enough to be popping up to the F1 Qualifying on Saturday, I must admit that I am slightly jealous of our prize winner as he will be getting so much closer to Force India next Tuesday than I will on Race Weekend.

Whatever happens this weekend, lets all hope that Mercedes continue to let their drivers race – the Hamilton-Rosberg duels have been a big highlight for me.

Jim Graham


The Deafening Silence of F1? Wed, 28 May 2014 13:22:56 +0000 IMG_1801wF1 2014 is proving to be a bit of a two horse race – and both horses are Mercedes. Whilst Lewis and Nico obviously need to resolve their issues following the qualifying incident at Monaco, I am delighted that Mercedes have decided that they will provide fans with the maximum entertainment, despite the cars’ obvious advantages over the other teams.

I personally applaud whoever made the decision to allow the guys to race each other properly as this season could have been a bit boring if they simply drove line astern from the start lights to the flags.

The other much discussed issue in F1 2014 is the noise – or rather the lack of it. I may be swimming against the stream but I like the sound of this year’s cars. I find it rather ironic that people who spend so much time complaining about noise near their own homes, from loud music to go kart circuits, complain that F1 isn’t loud enough.

In 2000-2003, I was privileged enough to be a Board Director of Octagon Motorsport. Octagon owned and ran Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park so I spent quite a few weekends acting as Duty Director at a race track as the British Touring Cars or British Superbikes visited.

We also managed and operated Silverstone, so each July, I would join my colleagues with a much envied Access All Areas pass for the British Grand Prix. Whilst this pass meant that I could access the Grid, Pitlane and Paddock, I didn’t have that much time to do so as there were always car parks or Arrive&Drive temporary kart circuits to inspect.

The noise of 22 V8 F1 cars racing around Silverstone was incredible. Incredibly loud that is. You didn’t really get the full aural experience on the TV, but the noise was simply unbelievably loud. In the Winter, teams were allowed to test at Silverstone back then. I recall driving to Silverstone on a weekday in January and being able to hear the one F1 car out on track from over 2 miles away from the circuit – so you can imagine how loud 22 cars were from the Octagon hospitality suite.

As 2014 started, fans and pundits complained about the lack of noise from the new turbo engined cars. I understand that some of the “uproar” was the shock of change. After years and years of screaming V8’s, it simply didn’t sound right. But if you listened carefully during the TV coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix last Sunday, you could hear when drivers lifted their right feet and their turbo waste-gates opened and dumped air pressure. You could also hear the turbos spinning up as the cars accelerated – and you could hear the tyres when a driver locked up the brakes!

For me, being able to enjoy the technical sounds of the car and driver working together far outweighs the screaming V8’s that simply drowned out everything else. I hope that the people behind the tv coverage of F1 work out where best to set up their microphones so that us fans can experience even more of the sport we love!

Jim Graham

Thanks to Autosport for the image of the Mercedes with the trumpet exhaust system.