From the startline, the lap begins with a short straight into Turn 1, a fast and exciting left hander. This is a double bend that’s approached from the middle of the track under racing conditions before running wide to turn in for the second part. The turn in is late, running two wheels over the inside kerb before running wide onto the painted exit kerb. This is a corner which for a very good driver and well set-up kart is almost flat out but it’s very easy to misjudge the entry speed and end up off the edge of the exit kerb on the dirt.
Turns 2,3 and 4
This is a very easy left kink that runs into a downhill approach to Turns 3 and 4. These are two 90 degree corners linked with a 2/3 metre straight which form the “square” hairpin. The complex is approached from the full left before braking and turning into the T3 apex, once there let the kart run just beyond the track centre line before getting on the power and threading the kart between the apex and exit kerb of T4. If done correctly, all the speed braking and turning should be done in T3 leaving T4 to be merely an accerlation zone.
The exit kerb of T4 ends with a huge concrete lump that is best avoided; it has bent many axles over the years! The entry to T3 is a good overtaking spot for experienced drivers coming through from a back of the grid start as the driver being passed is forced into giving room to avoid contact. It’s also one of the most critical areas of the track in a timed qualifying session as the straight that follows is very long. Therefore the driver has to nail this corner and make use of the waft the mechanic has put into the kart!
This is slightly off camber and requires hard braking, which usually kicks the kart sideways, before turning in and apexing mid corner. The track slopes away on the exit which will cause the kart to naturally run wide onto the exit kerb. Be careful not to run too wide though as there is an extra “sausage” kerb similar to one at Llandow which, once attached to, will pull you off the circuit and onto the grass. Overall it’s a difficult but exciting bend as well as offering the best overtaking opportunity on the whole track. It should be noted that Gearbox karts miss out Turns 5,6 and 7 completely as they continue straight on at this point with a flat out curve to the right.
Turn 6 is the first of two infield Hairpins and is approached by running from left to right on the short straight before braking hard over the bumps. Turn in is late but it’s vital to be wary of someone launching it up your inside during the race. This corner has a bit of positive camber so you want to follow the edge of the inside kerb all the way round before coming off at the very end of the corner and drifting out to no more than the middle of the track on the exit. This is vital as you’re immediately into the entry of Turn 7 and too wide will compromise your line for this corner.
This one is a similar corner to T6 but in the opposite direction. From a mid-track position, pull left before swinging deep into the corner getting the inside wheels onto the white line. The exit of the corner is uphill and you should find that the kart will naturally run up towards the exit kerb with ease. This corner is driven at either full acceleration or a very slight lift on entry and requires a kart with good release and bottom end grunt to get the power up the hill. Also a good overtaking spot as when the driver in front pulls left to get a better turn in, simply remain on the right and take the position away from them before the apex. However, be wary of them cutting back underneath on the approach to Turn 8.
Turns 8 and 9
Once leaving Turn 7, a short straight follows to the turns 8 and 9 chicane. This is a downhill S bend which should be easy full throttle for any class of kart apart from Gearbox (they are at the fastest part of the track at this point after gunning it all the way from turn 4). The kerbs use to be flat here but they were made very high after the 2004 track resurfacing meaning that side-by-side racing is a no-goer. It is vital that if the driver behind you has a better run out of T7 and is alongside going into T8; use your head, give them the room, slot in behind and live another day!
Shortly after the S bend you run into Turn 10, the last corner on the track. A lot of rubber gets lay down here so you can brake very late before rolling round the bend to a late apex (off kerb) and getting on the power, running the kart halfway over the exit kerb to start a new lap. This is another good overtaking spot as the inside kerb is low and the track widens slightly on entry, meaning it’s possible to lunge a competitor from several kart lengths back. Quite a handy move to know if you’re 2nd and you catch the leader napping on the last lap….
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