There are few sports that offer the raw power, energy and drama of motorsports and while this translates fairly well to televised coverage (who doesn’t love a breathtaking car chase in a good action film) there’s nothing quite like seeing it in person.
The beauty of living in the UK is that Brits have (if you’ll pardon the phrasing) the inside track when it comes to our choice of spectacular tracks that are brimming not only with precision engineered drama but with a sense of history and pedigree. The Uk may be a small nation but we have some of the most spectacular tracks in the world even if our weather never quite reaches Daytona International Speedway standards.
Wherever you live in the UK the chances are that there’s a historically rich and topographically dramatic track within convenient driving distance.
The Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit has one of the most dramatic layouts in Formula One. Former commentator and F1 legend Murray Walker compared Brands Hatch favourably to Silverstone and it’s not very hard to see why. Both drivers and spectators love the circuit for the drama afforded by its narrow, high speed topography that serves as an unforgiving proving ground even for experienced drivers. Karun Chandhok also has fond memories of the track, particularly the old (not redesigned) run at Dingle Dell where the wheels would actually lift off when the track dipped. It’s perfectly situated too, just outside of London and served by all the capital’s major motorways.
The Snetterton track in Norfolk may not have the most glamorous sounding name but it has undergone something of a renaissance since enjoying a multi million pound redevelopment in 2011. The track is designed to be an acid test for both power and handling with long straights and an uncommonly wide variety of turns. The track wears its influences very much on its sleeve with echoes of the Montreal hairpin and Monza’s Parabolica in its many bends.
Among the country’s best presented tracks, Donington Park is situated close to the nearby Leicestershire castle of the same name and boasting an impressive 10 turns in its 1.9 miles. The Old Hairpin, however, is oft regarded as a favourite amongst motorists offering the exact combination of precision and drama. Donington also prides itself on its coaching courses.
By far the most iconic track in Britain, and certainly the most widely recognised outside of motorsport fandom, Silverstone is rich in history and the only track to have been visited by a reigning Monarch (George VI). The UK’s only Formula 1 track it is justly famed for its Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS) courses that are comprehensive and so affordable you won’t even need any microloans to cover the costs. Starting at £299 the courses make for a great gift experience for the seasoned driver in your life.
Who says that southerners get all the fun? Located near picturesque and historic Chester, Oulton Park offers an island configuration that many drivers consider one of the most dramatic and thrilling in the country. A particular favourite is the notorious Druids; an off-camber double right hand turn taken in fourth gear the execution of which can make or break a race!