Buckmore Park has unveiled the latest drawings for the proposed Motorsport Training and Technology Centre (MTTC) project that includes a dedicated technology building, 500m circuit extension (incorporating a training loop for students), a pedestrian bridge, a kart shop, a viewing grandstand and a new circuit reception. After lengthy consultation with local colleges, schools and statutory bodies, the centre’s design has evolved into an integrated complex featuring a core technology building that will nestle unobtrusively in the picturesque woodland and will be linked to the existing clubhouse. The new building will feature a large students’ workshop, engineering demonstration area, tutorial rooms, an IT room/library and a virtual workshop. Buckmore boss Bill Sisley said “We have been running pilot schemes with local schools and colleges. Seventy local students aged between 14 and 18 have undertaken structured, accredited vocational training at Buckmore Park using our existing facilities and this training has been a great success and has helped all parties understand the practicalities and effectiveness of motor based training at the circuit. It has also assisted us in determining the most cost effective building design.” The integrated project includes the construction of a two storey glass fronted kart shop as well as a new circuit reception area that will be linked to the MTTC core building.
A pedestrian bridge will connect the whole complex to the existing paddock and main car park. Additional car parking spaces will be created as well as a strategically situated viewing grandstand. To cater for student driver training, a 500 metre training loop/circuit extension will be constructed. The loop, when connected to the existing circuit, will create an extended venue which will then meet the criteria for a CIK international track licence, enabling the circuit to apply for international kart events. Sisley says “I am very excited about the whole project and the circuit extension should be sensational especially as Buckmore will effectively have two long straights as well as the existing technical twists and turns.
The venue will be ideal for the Formula A and Super ICC classes as we will be able to run the circuit in various configurations. I believe that circuits should flow and co-circuit owner John Surtees and myself, after consultation with the MSA Circuit Inspector John Symes, have designed a circuit that will be exhilarating to drive and not only offer a real challenge to experienced competitors but will also be ideal for novice training. The extension, which features a 20 metre change in elevation, leaves the existing circuit at turn 1 disappearing into woodland with an initial 200 metre uphill section which incorporates a right/left dip leading into a fast 90° steeply banked right hand turn. The circuit then flows into an exhilarating downhill/uphill section followed by a hairpin and a sudden dramatic downhill left hand cambered corner. After a 150 metre level section which kinks right, the circuit plunges downhill into a dramatic S bend complex before rejoining the existing circuit at turn 2 John Surtees believes the next phase of development at Buckmore Park is essential for the future of grass roots motorsport in the UK. “The MTTC project will provide training to cover things like how a basic vehicle works, how to use tools, kart dismantling, assembly and preparation, driving skills and the use of telemetry in relation to both kart and driver.
Not only will we be training Britain’s future Formula One drivers and engineers but we will at the same time be training young technicians for local car dealerships as well as better and safer road drivers. Of course the motorsport world engages many allied trades including media, logistics and catering and we intend to offer youngsters of all backgrounds a whole range of nationally accredited courses. The whole project will raise the profile of British karting and will also create much needed employment. Although we have had assistance from the DTI backed Motorsport Development UK Board in preparing the feasibility study, there are still many hurdles to cross and we need partnerships and funding in order to realise the dream. Britain needs a world class kart circuit, all roads lead from karting and the British motorsport industry is the envy of the world, let’s keep it that way.”
Surbiton Raceway in Surrey opened in 1962 and has been owned by Reg Gange Snr. for the past twenty years. Over the last ten years the circuit has been developed to cater for all with a variety of day and night events including arrive and drive racing, Ironman and team enduros and sprints. Full floodlighting, 7 days a week use and a licensed clubhouse ensure that the circuit can cater for just about every type of event and level of competitor. The main ‘professional’ circuit is 700m long with a rise of 20ft, and its two straights allow Pro-Kart speeds of up to 68mph. In addition there is a ‘Junior Cadet’ track for those aged six and up to enjoy their karting in a safe environment. Surbiton Raceway is located at Surbiton Town Sports Club, Riverhill Estate, Worcester Park Road, Worcester Park, Surrey KT4 7QB. Telephone 020 8337 5550 or fax: 020 8330 3204 for further details.