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Circuit Guide: Oulton Park

oulton

The track is characterised by its rapidly changing gradients and blind crests leading into unforgiving corners but is loved by all who take part at this unique venue.

1 Old Hall Corner
I approach Old Hall Corner in 5th gear at 115 mph pulling 10,600 revs. and keep tight to the left hand side of the circuit using the extra bit of tarmac. Giving the brake pedal a tap, I come down one gear to 4th. Aim for a normal apex, but you can attack the corner as it has a good positive camber. Flick the kart into the apex and let it drift through the corner at about 98mph using the camber of the corner to hug the inside. Let the kart naturally run out wide with the left hand side tyres touching the rumble strip on the exit.

2 Denton’s
Click into 5th gear along the Avenue keeping the kart to the left hand side. I take a late apex into Denton’s as the track drops away and keep to the right hand side as the track continues to fall. At this point I am doing about 118mph pulling 10,700 revs.

paulplus_6403c-x

Oulton Park is a firm favourite on the Superkart Calendar

3 Cascades
Keeping to the right hand side of the track approaching Cascades I aim for a normal apex. With a lift off the power, I tap the brake on the entry to the corner and come down to 4th gear. I hold the kart tight to the inside kerb but don’t touch it keeping the revs up at 100mph through the corner. Let the kart run out to the edge of the circuit on the exit but keep off the kerb as the track runs a bit off camber.

4 Island Bend
Grabbing 5th gear before the crest along Lakeside, I stay on the right hand side of the track all the way along Lakeside. Island Bend is taken flat in 5th gear at 122mph. The entry to the corner must be smooth and easy on the steering. Brush the normal apex and let the kart run to the middle of the circuit on the exit and then pull it back to the left hand side on the approach to Shell.

5 Shell Oils Corner
At Shell Oils Corner it’s hard on the brakes and down to 2nd gear. Turn in for a normal apex and hug the inside about two feet from the kerb at 65 mph using the banking of the corner. As the camber starts to flatten out and change to off camber aim for the marshals post on the outside and as I approach the exit kerb I grab 3rd gear.

OULTON

Home to more than just karts, Oulton is narrow and technical

Turn 6
After the hairpin the circuit is still on a gradual right hand curve. Gently bring the kart to the right hand side of the circuit and grab 4th gear.

7, 8 & 9 Britten’s
I approach the Britten’s chicane at 107mph pulling 10,700 revs still in 4th gear. Then it’s hard on the brakes and down one gear to 3rd as I turn into the left hand kerb and down to 2nd gear for the right hand kerb. As you go through the left hand exit kerb you then hit a bump where the Island circuit joins the International circuit. At this point I grab 3rd gear letting the kart run out to the right hand side of the circuit.

10 & 11 Hislop’s
Over the crest of Hilltop I keep the kart over to the right hand side of the track and grab 4th gear and then 5th as I go down the hill towards the next chicane. I approach Hislop’s at 115mph and bring the kart across to the left hand side of the circuit. At Hislop’s it’s hard on the brakes and down to 2nd gear turn as I turn into the right hand apex keeping off the kerb. Then I take a late apex for the left hand kerb at 60mph and try to keep the kart to the left hand side to set me up for the next corner.

12 Knickerbrook
Along the short straight I grab 3rd gear before Knickerbrook and then flick the kart into the right-hander so that the kart drifts to the left hand side on the exit.

dear leap

The gradient changes and undulations can unsettle a kart

13 & 14 Clay
Hill I bring the kart to the middle of the track as the circuit starts to rise for Clay Hill and take 4th gear. Hold the kart to the left hand side over the crest and grab 5th gear on the little straight. Through the left hand kink keep the kart hard over to the left hand side taking a late apex.

15 Druids
The approach to Druids is at 120mph pulling 10,900 revs. in 5th gear. I take a slight lift off the power and just feather the brake pedal with the left foot at the turn in point. Aiming for the second apex still in 5th gear I trail the brake to keep the kart stable and drift it to scrub off a bit of speed through the corner. I take Druids at 105mph and get back on the power at the apex letting the kart drift to the left hand side of the track over the crest on the exit and making sure to keep off the kerb.

16 Lodge Corner
Increasing the speed to 120 mph along the straight, I try and stay down inside the bubble as the kart floats over the crests under Warwick Bridge keeping the kart to the left hand side of the track on the approach to Lodge Corner. Then it’s hard on the brakes and down three into 2nd gear at 70mph. I take a late apex as the exit of the corner drops away steeply downhill and the kart understeers on the way out.

17 Deer Leap
I grab 3rd gear in the dip and then 4th over the crest at Deer Leap quickly followed by 5th gear and let the kart run to the middle of the track as I cross the grid to start another lap having just recorded a time of 1m 39.863s at an average speed of 97.04mph to set a new lap record.

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