Toddlers and motorsport

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  • Toddlers and motorsport
  • mashr
    Member

    Not participating – sadly.

    Thinking about taking boy 1 to Knockhill this weekend for the Scottish Motor Racing Club (SMRC) race day. I’ve been going for years, so know that Knockhill is probably the one of the best circuits going to take youngsters to (wont be busy, very good viewing points, its short enough to get right round, good paddock access, play park! etc), but I can’t convince myself that it’ll be worth taking a 2 year old along to?

    It’s not too far away, he’ll get in for free (i’m £13, so not exactly scandalous) and there are a good range of races. OTOH, cant help but feel he might be bored out of his mind pretty quickly and just want to head home? There’s then the question of ear defenders…..?

    Anyone here been silly enough to take wee ones along to races? Worthwhile?

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    Best memories I have are being in the pits at bike meetings or touringcars at Oulton

    digga
    Member

    Apparently, I saw Agostini race at Oulton when I was three. Vaguely remember the noise being slightly terrifying but also intriguing and, oddly, the silence when they had to red flag a sidecar race (I think someone was sadly lost).

    Take ’em, just watch their little ears.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    Might be a bit young as they can’t appreciate it, but there’s only one way to find out. Been meaning to take my son to a track day or similar just to watch

    Definitely get ear defenders, I saw some child size ones on amazon when I was looking.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Do you want to spend the day entertaining your kid or watching motorsport?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Similar things I took my lad to when he was small were
    – Monster Trucks – hated that cos they were so loud. Drove for an hour+ to get there, lasted 10 mins.
    – Motocross racing – liked that but mainly cos there were a lot of crashes (or was that me?), especially with the sidecars (or was that me?)
    – Extreme show – monster trucks, freestyle motox, stuff like that, enjoyed that, he was about 10.
    You can never tell when you’re gonna get the “Can we go now?” boredom siren.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Just noticed:
    a 2 year old
    er, well guessing he’ll be in a buggy with earmuffs on, so you can stay as long as you want! 😆

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    My earliest childhood memory is of being at Oulton Park with my dad.

    As a result of which, Castrol R is still my favourite smell in the world. Love it!

    scuttler
    Member

    Take the iPad loaded with Roary the Racing Car just in case but don’t tell him and hold out until you know he’s had enough. Sounds like an ace place to find out if he likes it.

    “Come on Roary one more lap!”

    Took ours to Prescott, they loved it, ages one and four. Youngest slept a lot, in & out the buggy all day, eldest happy to wander around all the time.

    Cars going really fast – great.
    Some really noisy cars going fast – also great.
    Hot dogs – bonus.
    Ice cream – dandy.
    Tons of machinery to wander around – great.
    Lunchtime aerobatic demo by a Pitts – awesome.
    Wander in the pits to watch them lining up to have their go – great.

    Stayed for a good few hours.

    YMMV.

    mashr
    Member

    er, well guessing he’ll be in a buggy with earmuffs on

    Ear muffs yes, buggy no. He can walk/play for hours but will need a nap in the afternoon. Would probably just head up the road at that point as we should’ve seen each type of race at least once by then

    Premier Icon a11y
    Subscriber

    Excellent plan.

    I’ve taken mine (now 4 and 6) to lots of SMRC’s from when my youngest was not quite 2. Attention span doesn’t last the day which is a pity as the later MINI and Legends races are inevitably where the most action happens! Plenty of distractions: playpark next to karting track, walking to different bits of the circuit, walk over bridge into centre of track, wander around the pits, etc. Bench seats in grandstands make great ‘balance beams’ to walk along.

    Arrive early and park somewhere you can view from the car if necessary always helps.

    Never needed ear defenders.

    Biggest issue is almost always the weather. If the weather’s OK I’m planning to go on Sunday too (with kids) – I’ll be in a silver Monaro.

    scuttler
    Member

    Megalike at A11y

    Right race fans – where’s good for this sort of thing along the M62?

    mashr
    Member

    Well played there sir! Parking on the hill with a view towards the hairpin was my thinking to help weather proof the day a bit. Forecast is currently good, but we all know Knockhill cant be trusted!

    The ear defenders thing is interesting, as exposure is limited (especially with more and more turbos being used), but it certainly wouldn’t do him any harm to have them.

    scuttler

    Member

    Take the iPad loaded with Roary the Racing Car

    Currently a Lightning McQueen fan, so will adjust to taste.

    kittyr
    Member

    Take him, don’t expect to stay all day or stay at any one thing for very long!

    digga
    Member

    Just think, at least, unlike my dad, you won’t have to attempt the journey there and back in a Hillman Hunter. What could possibly go wrong?

    mashr
    Member

    There’s a point, i won’t be going anywhere near A11y as his car is nice and mine is a boring family wagon(but not a van) 😢

    Premier Icon mesh
    Subscriber

    Taken my lad to a few events a year since he was 4/5, he’s always enjoyed the day but can flag a bit after a few hours. Also don’t underestimate how much walking you may do in a typical day if you like to view at different points of the circuit. Worth noting that the Palmer circuits all have good facilities, including kids play areas which can break the day up for them.
    Worth investing in a pair of ear defenders as you’ll often get at least a few cars during the day which can be properly loud close up – we use Peltor Kids.
    Took 3yr old daughter to Harewood hill climb a few weeks ago and her attention was waning after about two hours though, but when it is local and only a tenner, club level stuff is a great introduction.

    philjunior
    Member

    A circuit is relatively safe, when I read the title I thought you might be marching him into a forest to stand in a ditch by the course or right next to a hairpin bend.

    I’d go for it, if you want a good day out bring cake in large quantities (along with other toddler essentials). Get forgiveness for this afterwards from other parent.

    I’d bring ear defenders too, or ear plugs if toddler will be happy with them. They might like the noise enough but if they get scared by the first race you’re on the way home pretty soon.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Right race fans – where’s good for this sort of thing along the M62?

    Which bit of the M62? Scouse end? Or Yaaaaaaaaarkshire?

    Anywhere in the North West and your nearest track will be Oulton Park

    Premier Icon ceept
    Subscriber

    We have tried a couple of times (ours is now 4) and find boredom kicks in after 2-3 races.

    We popped up to the tracknight last night to see how it went (and catch up with a few people). Lasted about 15 minutes of watching before other entertainment was required. If we took the tablet for her to play with while we are watching it we could probably stretch to a 1/2 day there now. I think it’ll still be a trip to granny’s house if we want to go to the BTCC though.

    mashr
    Member

    Yeah I quickly ruled out anything busy and (by default) uses a shuttle bus!

    scuttler
    Member

    Which bit of the M62? Scouse end? Or Yaaaaaaaaarkshire?

    Not bothered as I live in the borderlands and have all the necessary papers to travel west due to my Lancastrian heritage. Will look at Oulton.

    Premier Icon a11y
    Subscriber

    Ear defenders: we brought some first time but didn’t need them. Kids loved the noise and the stuff at KH generally isn’t that loud. In contrast, LMP cars at Nurburging were (far) too loud for them, so if you’ve got them bring them – it’s one less thing to avoid disaster.

    Cake, large quantities of, is a great bit of advice.

    My little weirdos love hot chocolate which always goes down well when it’s baltic at KH. i.e. every time.

    mashr
    Member

    Yeah from prior SMRC visits (been a while) I can think of 1 or 2 cars that wee proper loud, does the Marcos even still race?? I’ve got a set ordered though so will have them ready to go if required

    Always willing to provide cake. Mine currently loves a “babycino” so a wee flask of hot milk might come along – although the forecast is oddly warm….. still don’t trust it

    Right race fans – where’s good for this sort of thing along the M62?

    How about short track stock cars and bangers? Lots of noise and crashes

    Stoke and Manchester both have circuits

    Premier Icon Davesport
    Subscriber

    Scottish Hillclimb & Srint Championship venues were my go to with the boys when they were young. You don’t have to walk for miles and there’s loads to see. How long toddlers will last???

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