Trac Mon, on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales will no longer allow electric and hybrid cars to be used on track days, unless organisers are able to provide appropriately-trained marshals and suitable safety equipment.
Although the circuit prides itself on being as eco-friendly as possible, with a wind turbine taking advantage of the track’s breezy coastal location, it has decided that risk of electric vehicles running at speed is too great.
“As a circuit we don’t have the equipment and training in place yet to have EVs on a track day,” General Manager Annette Freeman told Hagerty. The circuit will therefore not allow electric and hybrid cars “until we can safeguard both the participants and the marshals.”
Statistics gathered from road use suggest that the risk of fire in electric vehicles is significantly lower than petrol-powered vehicles, but once lithium batteries do ignite they require specialist training and a huge volume of water to extinguish. “We can’t just push a car into the sea (as some internet commentators have suggested),” said Freeman. “Track day insurance might cover the cost of a barrier repair, but not replacing a section of the track which has been fire damaged.”
The decision doesn’t impact the circuit’s ability to host testing sessions for car makers and race teams who come with their own safety teams. “We haven’t completely banned electric vehicles, we are very happy to continue our relationships with manufacturers and factory teams,” added Freeman.
Trac Mon, which is easily Britain’s most picturesque circuit, is independently-run, so the cost of training and equipping for EV eventualities will be a key component of this decision. Looking to the future, when more enthusiast vehicles such as the next generation Porsche Boxster/Cayman go electric, the circuit will have to adapt, but until then the move could well set a precedent for other small circuits.