Hit the Circuit: Top 10 Trackdays in the UK

Hit the Circuit: Top 10 Trackdays in the UK
Photo by Louis Verplancken / Unsplash

The UK is known for its strong motorsport heritage, with a wide range of tracks for racing fans. You can find everything from famous Formula One circuits to smaller places for karting and hill climbs. With ten F1 World Champions coming from the UK and the renowned British Grand Prix held at Silverstone, the country is a racing powerhouse. Evaluating these circuits means considering their testing, racing, and spectating aspects. A group of British racers, including MX-5 lovers and Formula One elites, picked their favourites. Brands Hatch came on top for its great spectating and thrilling driving opportunities.

Key Takeaways

  • The UK is a global leader in motorsport with a rich history and numerous iconic tracks.
  • To rank the top circuits, a panel of British racing drivers evaluated testing, racing, and spectating factors.
  • Brands Hatch leads the list with outstanding scores for spectating (9.6), testing (8.1), and racing (7.7).
  • The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is a highlight event, though Silverstone scored lower for spectating (5.3).
  • Track day prices range from £49 to £195, with varying services and facilities.

Brands Hatch: The Iconic Circuit

Brands Hatch in Kent is a key spot in British motorsport, known for its iconic tracks and layout that fans love. It's easy to reach from the M25 and just an hour away from London. This makes Brands Hatch a top choice for those who love speed and excitement.

Track Features

The Grand Prix circuit is 2.433 miles long and has 11 corners. It mixes tough technical parts with fast sections, providing a challenge for drivers. The shorter Indy Circuit, at 1 mile, is also loved for supercar experiences at Brands Hatch. You can find famous turns, like Paddock Hill Bend and Druids, which add to the track's thrill.

Why Brands Hatch Tops the List

Many drivers love Brands Hatch for its great viewing. They rate it as a top choice, giving it 9.6 out of 10. If you plan to visit or drive, there's fun for all. Experience days let you drive a supercar after a safety briefing. They usually include a three or six-mile drive, with cars like the Audi R8 or Ferrari. For young fans, there are Junior Supercar Rides to enjoy too.

Top Tips for Spectators

If you're visiting Brands Hatch, here are some top tips:

  • Best Viewing Spots: Pilgrim’s Rise gives a great view of the track. Don't miss the action at Paddock Hill Bend.
  • Plan Ahead: Events start at 9:00 am and run until 5:00 pm, with a lunch break from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Get there early to grab a good view and skip the crowds.
  • Comfort is Key: Bring sunblock and ear protection. The track has a 101 dB noise limit.
Event Details
Track Day Date 19 September 2024
Track Length 2.433 miles (GP Circuit)
Noise Limit 101 dB
Cancellation Policy £25 admin fee (15+ days); £50 admin fee (within 15 days)

Whether you want to drive or be part of the excitement, Brands Hatch is a must-visit. Use these tips to make your visit to the iconic track day enjoyable and memorable.

Donington Park: A Historian's Favourite

Donington Park is near Derby and has a special place in the motorsport world. It has a mix of rich history and challenging tracks. This mix makes it popular with both historians and racing fans.

Legendary Races

In 1993, Donington Park hosted the European Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna won, and his victory is legendary in F1. The track also saw Kimiya Sato set a record in the Auto GP, showing it's perfect for fast racing.

Optimal Viewing Spots

The grandstand near Redgate Corner and Craner Curves is perfect for watching. It lets you see a lot of the track. Even though it gets an average rating for viewing, the view is stunning and unforgettable.

Track Layouts and Details

Donington Park's layout is loved by drivers and fans. Corners like Redgate and Craner Curves offer both challenge and excitement. Although the track is large, it provides stunning views and tests drivers thoroughly.

Do you want to know about track day reviews or how to make the most of your experience? Donington Park combines rich history with thrilling experiences.

Exploring Silverstone’s Challenges

Silverstone Circuit is one of Britain’s top places for motorsport. It is well-known for its hard tracks and the big races it hosts like the British Grand Prix. With its huge space and tough corners, it's a dream come true for track day lovers.

Home of the British Grand Prix

Each year, the British Grand Prix draws massive crowds to Silverstone. With a 3.667-mile track and 18 challenging turns, it's not easy for the drivers. While watching might be hard due to the size, its rich history and tough tracks still make it a favourite for many.

Best Corners for Thrills

If you love excitement, then you'd enjoy Silverstone’s famous corners like Copse and the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. These are some of the best parts of the track, according to top drivers. For the best views, Becketts and the Club Silverstone Grandstand give you a front-row seat to all the action.

Why Silverstone Isn't Always First

Silverstone might have great tracks, but it's not always everyone's first choice. Because of its large size, watching the action isn't easy. Also, they have limited groups of 20 riders each, which can make it feel less fun for some.

But, the circuit has many good things too. Like, it offers six 20-minute riding sessions for each group. It has skilled instructors to help you get better. Plus, there's a great atmosphere, and you get power and refreshments. This makes it a wonderful place to have fun and make friends with others.

The Pomeroy Trophy is a special event at Silverstone that shows its fun side. Vintage cars from the last 100 years come to race and do tests. People do everything from fixing cars to driving them. This creates a friendly community feeling, unlike the usual competitive races we see today.

Oulton Park's Natural Beauty

In Cheshire's stunning countryside, Oulton Park is a top track for speed lovers. It's not just pretty; it's also famous for its tricky twists and turns. Fans and photographers love it. This track has been the scene of many thrilling races since it opened in 1953.

Challenging Corners

The 2.692 mile International circuit at Oulton Park has 17 tough corners. Each turn, including the famous 'Knickerbrook', tests drivers' skills. Even with gear troubles, Rob Dowsett showed his talent by climbing from 14th to third place. His story proves Oulton Park is tough but rewarding.

Spectator Viewpoints

Planning the ideal track day? Oulton Park offers great views and excitement. The Cascades spot is perfect for feeling the cars zoom by. It's ideal for action photos or just enjoying the races. Oulton Park's high marks in all aspects make it a favourite for any racing enthusiast.

Feature Description
Circuit Length 2.692 miles
Number of Corners 17
Notable Corners Knickerbrook, Cascades
Rob Dowsett's Achievement Third place overall
Key Challenges Elevation changes, complex turns

Thruxton: High-Speed Heaven

Would you love to experience unbelievable speed? Then, head to Thruxton for an amazing time behind the wheel. It has been offering driving events for over 40 years. This features a thrilling 2.4-mile race track that is FIA approved.

Track Characteristics

Thruxton's track has 11 corners. One famous spot is Church Corner, known for challenging even the best drivers. It combines long straights with technical parts. This means mastering cornering and braking is as important as being fast.

On Thruxton, you may hit 160km/h on the main straight but some go beyond 200km/h. This shows the difference in speed between different vehicles. It highlights the need for skill over just speed.

The Thrill of Church Corner

Church Corner tests your ability to keep calm at high speeds. It's a moment where your driving skills are really put to the test. It's a key reason why Thruxton is highly regarded for track events. There's a great spot for spectators to watch the excitement from the starting complex.

Testing Limits and Skills

Thruxton is not all about matching fast bikes. It's about improving your driving abilities. By using a custom suspension setup, you can shape your performance. Rather than racing against supercars, think of it as a fun learning experience.

Car Power (bhp) Torque (lb/ft) Top Speed (mph) Laps
Porsche Cayman 261 - - 3
Aston Martin V8 Vantage 380 302 - 3
McLaren 570S 562 443 204 3

The Thruxton experience costs £699 with a small extra fee for Saturdays. You get to drive three supercars for three laps each. It's more than just going fast. Expert instructors like Rob Barff help you improve your skills. Plus, watching is free, making it an all-round great experience.

Snetterton's Expanded Horizons

Snetterton Circuit sits in stunning Norfolk. It's been upgraded, now reaching 2.969 miles. There are 12 exciting corners that invite both drivers and fans. This makes Snetterton a key spot in UK motor racing.

Track Layout and Length

The circuit's new design is perfect for track days in the UK. It has fast straights and tricky corners, keeping everyone on their toes. This track is a challenge even for skilled racers. It's a big hit with those looking for varied, exciting races.

Racing Experience

Snetterton stands out for its special racing environment. It's famous for its long history in racing. The record set by Felipe Nasr in British F3 shows how tough it is. While not top-scoring in viewing or testing, it still draws racers. Choose a paddock ticket for the best view during races.

For top track days or advice, Snetterton is a top choice. Although many circuits compete, its recent changes make it stand out. It's a must-visit for motor racing fans.

Track Experience Price (approx)
Snetterton Circuit 3 miles in each of four chosen supercars £199
Silverstone Circuit 6 miles in Aston Martin V8 Vantage £249
Brands Hatch 3 miles in each of chosen supercars £189

The Magic of Knockhill Circuit

Knockhill Circuit is known for its exciting track and unique features. It's a top location for trackdays in the UK. This circuit is 1.27 miles long and has a 200-foot height change, making it thrilling for drivers and fans. It's a key destination for those who love pushing their driving skills to new limits.

One great thing about Knockhill is you can race in both ways. This means every visit brings a new challenge. You might drive a quick Alpine A110, or feel the speed of a Formula Race Car. Knockhill always offers an exciting day.

Vehicle 0-60 mph Drivetrain Engine Specs Transmission
Formula Race Car 5 secs Rear Wheel Drive 130bhp 4 speed Manual
Alpine A110 Sports Car 4.5 secs Double Clutch Gertrag Automatic
Ford Fiesta Zetec Rally Car 7.5 secs Front Wheel Drive 150bhp 5 speed Manual
Sodi GT5 Pro Kart 50mph Top Speed -- GX270cc Honda Engine Automatic

Knockhill has a fantastic karting track that's open all year. The track is 500 meters and fully lit, perfect for karting lovers. You can race on a fast Sodi GT5 Pro Kart and work on mastering your turns. It gets you ready for the challenges of the main track.

Past visitors have lots of good things to say. B. McAlpine called it a "Fantastic day," and Colin Murray found it "excellent and thrilling." The view from the hilltop is a special experience. It's a panoramic reward for those who make the climb up. Knockhill's track days are known for their amazing times and are a must for anyone who loves racing.

Top 10 Trackdays: Unleashing the Racer Within

Starting your journey with the top 10 trackdays in the UK is amazing. You'll find a perfect mix of fun for drivers and spectators. On this list are circuits that offer excitement, challenges, and great memories. They meet the needs of both experienced racers and fans.

The Best of the Best

  • Silverstone Circuit: Since 1948, Silverstone has been an icon, hosting events like Formula 1 and MotoGP. With a variety of layouts and packages, it’s perfect for both pros and amateurs.
  • Donington Park: Located in Leicestershire, it’s famed for its Grand Prix circuit and offers a thrilling experience for both veterans and beginners.
  • Thruxton Circuit: Known for its high-speed straights and corners, this Hampshire track is a favourite for adrenaline junkies, hosting events like the British Touring Car Championship.
  • Oulton Park: This Cheshire track, dating back to 1953, enchants with picturesque surroundings and challenging circuits, appealing to both professionals and amateurs.

What Makes a Perfect Trackday?

The best trackdays have exciting tracks, a great atmosphere, and good services. These things make sure everyone has a brilliant time. To ensure you enjoy yourself, here are some track day tips and tricks.

  1. Layout and Surface: The circuit layout and surface are crucial. Thruxton has smooth straights and tight corners for the bravest. Silverstone has variety, appealing to all skill levels.
  2. Facilities: Good facilities make the day better for all. Donington Park is a great example, offering what racers and beginners need.
  3. Spectator Views: The best places to watch make the day more exciting. At Silverstone, spots like Becketts and Club offer amazing views.

Picking the right track event means finding one with speed, challenge, and a fun view. From Thruxton's fast corners to Oulton Park's scenic tracks, the UK's top 10 have everything.

Bedford Autodrome: Modern and Versatile

Bedford Autodrome is one of the UK's top trackday areas. It has a modern design that spans 384 acres. Former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer created it. It offers over five miles of track for a premier driving experience.

Facilities and Services

It has plenty of run-offs for safety during high-speed racing. The facilities are modern and top-notch. They ensure a smooth track day for every driver. Services are provided, making sure your racing experience here is enjoyable and exciting.

Track Configurations

The Autodrome stands out with its four different tracks. Each one is for various racing types. You can enjoy either technical tracks or high-speed circuits. They make every visit challenging and unique.

For those looking to visit other UK tracks, Bedford Autodrome is close to places like Aintree and Brands Hatch. These tracks offer different experiences, whether you love speed or complex corners.