The UK’s best racing tracks
16 February, 2018
Britain has a celebrated relationship with competitive motor racing, and fortunately we’re a country not short of great circuits…
The birth of motorsport was not in France, Monaco or Italy, in fact, the world’s first race track was formed in leafy Surrey, indicating our true affiliation with the sport.
Although only sections of the 32-acre Brooklands circuit survive today, you can still visit the museum and walk in the steps of motorsport greats, such John Cobb, Noel Pope and the Bentley Boys.
But if you fancy more of a hands-on exploration of a British track, here are 10 that are worth your time…
This Fife circuit is Scotland's National Motorsport Centre and its blind uphill corners pose a challenge for even the most skilled drivers. Opening in 1974, the track has a unique history, and was created by joining service roads that led a disused railway which closed in 1951.
Overlooking the Irish Sea and picturesque surroundings of Mount Snowdon, the lesser-known Anglesey Circuit is definitely one of the prettiest tracks in the UK. With its varied elevations, notably smooth surface and fantastic vantage points, this circuit is a favourite of professionals, amateurs and spectators alike.
Probably Britain’s most famous racing circuit, this Formula 1 track is built on a World War II airfield, nestled between the villages Silverstone and Whittlebury.
With an impressive backdrop of Northamptonshire countryside, the circuit has a newly refreshed layout that will push competition drivers to the limit, all atop a piece of authentic British history.
Silverstone is the host of the first Grand Prix following WWII in 1948. Two years later, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II met drivers, including Sir Stirling Moss, in the first and only occasion a reigning British monarch attended a motor race in the UK.
Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Ayrton Senna have all taken on the curves of this impressive course in Kent. While it’s not as big as Silverstone, the track has hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and today pitches itself as “the UK's best loved race circuit”.
Close to the village of Thruxton in Hampshire, this track is synonymous with some of the UK’s best competitions, including British Touring Cars and Formula 3 racing. The headquarters of the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) is also based here; an indication of the track’s quality.
Set in the Cheshire village of Little Budworth, this 320-acre track is surrounded by picturesque countryside and plays host to car and bike competitions between April and October. With barely a flat stretch, Oulton has a seemingly never-ending sequence of climbs, curves and descents making for an exciting race.
This circuit's premier event is the annual FIM Superbike World Championship; fitting as the track was initiated by amateur motorcycle racer Fred Craner in 1931, after convincing a farmer to let racing take place on his land.
When the 9th Duke of Richmond, Freddie March, a renowned amateur racer, tore around the post-war track in September 1948, the Goodwood Motorsport Circuit was officially on the scene. Now world-famous, the track plays host to competitions, rallies and of course the legendary Goodwood Revival.
Rockingham Motor Speedway
Located in Corby, Northamptonshire, this claims to be “Europe's fastest racing circuit”, with average lap speeds for British F3 at 1 minute 12 seconds. The International Super Sportscar Circuit measure 1.94 miles and is a favourite of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Rockingham also boasts a 1.5-mile oval track – a rarity in Europe – and a 2.3-mile infield road course as well. The circuit hosts touring car comps, F3 races and claims to be one of the best tracks in the UK to set up and test competition cars.
Famed as the home of Welsh motorsport and set in Pembrey village, Carmarthenshire, this track plays host to car, bike, kart and truck racing. This hidden gem circuit is atop the old RAF Pembrey airfield and has been developed by the Welsh Race Drivers’ Association.
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