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Three sisters – Alive and kicking

Three Sisters circuit, Wigan has been a favourite amongst British karters for many years, however its future was put at risk when in 2017 when it went into liquidation. Despite this, support for the circuit is massive, and people took to social media in their thousands to help, with the group ‘Save Three sisters Race Circuit’ getting well over 4k likes on Facebook. Recently we paid the circuit and the new owners a visit to see what’s been going on and discuss the plans for the future.

Chris Pullman, who is now in charge of the daily running of the circuit spoke to us about what has been done so far.

“The resurface was completed at the beginning of January” adding “It was nice at the Autosport show when people were asking ‘when’s it going to be resurfaced?’ and being able to say ‘It’s done!’”

I think the circuit itself is a great place to start. Having never personally been to Three Sisters I had heard great things about the layout, but less rave reviews about the surface itself due to the extensive repair ‘patches’. The large investment into resurfacing the whole circuit and all its layouts has certainly cured this. The track surface is now beautifully smooth with perfect lines bordering the circuit, but the topography of the circuit has not changed, maintaining its charm.

 

 

The Investment into Three sisters won’t only be beneficial for the karting scene, but it will benefit every one of the motorsports that take place there, from car sprints, to Mini motos. Updated and upgraded barriers and Armco, general facility improvements, and plans for the club house are ongoing.

With this being my first visit to Three sisters, I was instantly impressed with speed and enjoyment driving this circuit brought me. The circuit is also used for drifting, special stage rallies, Super moto, etc. meaning it is far wider than most other many other British kart tracks, and with its long radius corners and very long start/finish straight the club layout must be one of the fastest kart circuits in the country. Moreover, having the option to run either of the club, or valley layouts is a huge asset to what is already an amazing track.

 

Chris Pullman and Sam Pollitt on the brand new tarmac

To drive the circuit, Sam Pollitt of Sam Pollitt Racing was kind enough to loan us one of his race prepared Tonykart Rotax evo karts for a couple of session on each layout. The kart was well suited the track and I felt instantly at home driving it (once I had figured out which way to go). Despite the sub-zero temperatures I didn’t want to stop driving.

It is well known that people love both layouts with the club circuit offering high speed corners and slipstream racing, and the valley circuit for a more technical challenge. The rapid triple chicane that’s notoriously hard to master but hugely rewarding to drive.

 

 

Thinking about the fast nature of the circuit, it doesn’t surprise me that the MBKC field a grid of gearbox drivers who relish in being able to stretch the legs of their karts, something not possible at many circuits in the UK.

Speaking again to Chris after driving the circuit we discussed the resident kart club MBKC (Manchester and Buxton Kart Club) and how they use alternating Club and Valley layouts for their club championship, which I think is a brilliant idea. It gives the local members the opportunity to race on both circuits throughout the year. Furthering this, Chris was enthused to tell me that they had secured a round of the British drift championship on September 15-16th, this being one of their first national events since the handover.

I was interested to know about Three sisters’ plans for national karting championships with the track hosting Super1 and other notable series in the past, Chris noted “I would like to think so. We had a meeting with one of the organisers of a big championship run within the UK. For the work that needed doing it was a little too late for the dates that were set for this year [2018], lets hope for next year… or possibly something later on in the year maybe.” Furthering this he mentioned “The club themselves also hold the ‘Gold Cup’ event which is later this year, that’s their big one. Hopefully that’s a chance for people who haven’t been back since the resurfacing to come along to race.”

Bill Sisely is the new CEO of the circuit and has been instrumental in all the upgrades and improvements made so far, along with his team at the circuit. He has had many years’ experience in running kart circuits, being the owner of Buckmore Park until it was recently bought by John Surtees, and this experience should hopefully allow it to thrive re-establish itself on the British motorsport map.

Wigan has without doubt gone through some ups and downs over its history, the past few years especially, but we are glad that the future is looking bright for such a great circuit. Karting, cars, rallying and drifting alike should all benefit thanks to the investments being made and the commitment Bill, Chris and the whole team continue to make. I could feel the passion and belief everyone has for the place and this should help it succeed in the future.

We would like to thank Three sisters, as well as Bill Sisley and Chris Pullman especially for allowing us their time to relay everything that is going on. Thanks also to Sam Pollitt who prepared and provided a kart for us to test the circuit, despite the arctic temperatures.

 

Written by Piers Prior

 

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