Your description of what it is to be a racer is dead accurate. Not to be inflamatory but haven't I stood through a hundred trackday riders meetings where they emphasize that what you wrote is exactly the wrong attitude to have at a trackday?
Yes, an amateur grid is a frightening place to be. I'll buy your statement that many A group riders are at a higher skill level than many amateur racers. I would however like to think that the riders in the A group won't be stuffing, block passing and possibly even making contact.
I've run hard against trusted friends at trackdays but if it comes to making that truly bloodthirsty pass, I won't do it and neither will they. Plus that, if we run up on traffic, it's game suspended until we find a polite way around the slower rider. None of this is the case in a race.
The awesome Marshal Skloss created a huge controversy while writing for Roadracing World when he tried to describe the difference in mentality between trackday riding and racing. It was unfortunate that his most enticing article came out right on the heels of a few highly public racing incidents (not involving Skloss) where it was percieved that one rider had deliberatly taken another out in order to win. Suddenly, by virtue of what he'd written, Marshal was undeservedly the poster boy for overly agressive racing. (I'll admit that I was one of his internet persecutors then and am not exactly proud of it now....)
Honestly, I've been off course a few times and crashed once avoiding trackday riders who did something unpredictable. In those cases, it was my responsability as the faster trackday rider to make the polite pass and I got too agressive, so I chose to take actions less favorable to myself in order to spare the other rider. In a race, I'd have been less generous.
At a trackday rider's meeting, you are specifically instructed not to pull agressive, full race passes. in a race, you are expected to pass that way. If you wanted to draw an "Us and Them" line, that would be it.
Last edited by TrackdayMag; 11-03-2009 at 11:11 PM.