Thruxton Circuit

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Thruxton
Thuxton Motor Racing Circuit map.svg
LocationHampshire, England
Major eventsBTCC, Pickup Truck Racing, British F3, British Superbikes, British Truck Racing Championship
Length3.793 km (2.356 mi)
Turns11
Race lap record1:01.96 (Earl Goddard, Fred Goddard Racing, 2000, EuroBOSS)

Thruxton Motorsport Centre is a motor-racing circuit located near the village of Thruxton in Hampshire, England which hosts motorsport events including British Touring Cars and Formula 3 racing. It is often referred to as the "Fastest Circuit in the UK" where drivers can reach speeds of over 300kph and has earnt the reputation of being a true driver's track. To illustrate this, Damon Hill drove his Williams Formula One car around the circuit at an average speed of 147mph in 1993.

The site also houses the headquarters of the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC).[1]

History[edit]

The site was originally constructed in 1942 as RAF Thruxton, a World War II airfield which was home to both the RAF and USAAF and was used for troop-carrying aircraft and gliders, including operations during the D-Day landings. Also, the paratroopers who took part in the successful Bruneval Raid (Operation Biting), in which German radar equipment was seized on the coast of France, took off from here.

The circuit, which follows the line of the airfield's perimeter road, was established in 1968. From 1950–1965, motorbike races had taken place on the runways and perimeter road.[2]

Motorsport activities[edit]

Racing at Thruxton

Owing to planning restrictions, the circuit can only run 12 days of motorsport each year. Currently, three are devoted to motorbike racing, with a weekend dedicated to the British Superbike Championship, Britain’s premier motorcycle racing category; with the third day being used for club racing.

The remaining days are devoted to car racing with weekends being used for the TOCA British Touring Car Championship, the British Formula 3 and British GT package and the Dunlop Great and British Festival, which features rounds of the British Truck Racing Championship, the International Truck Racing Challenge as well as the staples of the festival, including the Radical endurance races. Two separate one day meetings are run for amateur championships of the BARC, one of which is titled the Thruxton Classic, which features races for Classic Touring Cars, Classic Formula Ford 1600 and Formula Ford 2000. The remaining day is allocated to other organising clubs, such as the 750 Motor Club and Historic Sports Car Club. Owing to the relative infrequency of race meetings, Thruxton continues to be a popular part of the motorsport calendar.

Medical and safety services[edit]

Thruxton has a fully equipped medical centre in line with Motor Sports Association standards.

The MSA circuit licence requires a minimum of two doctors and two rescue units for a race meeting. Most meetings are operated with three rescue units plus a medical car, along with ambulances and first aiders.

Points of interest[edit]

During race weekends, a radio commentary service called Radio Thruxton operates in the medium wave band on 1602 kHz. This has commentators at key points of the track as well as a pit reporter, who conducts interviews with the race winners.

Outside of motor racing, the circuit offers a driving school for aspiring racing drivers. It has featured as the venue for BBC3’s 2005 series Stars in Fast Cars.

The "Thruxton" heritage[edit]

As a result of its racing associations, the name "Thruxton" has been used for:

Thruxton Hospitality Centre[edit]

The Thruxton Hospitality Centre was opened in June 2018 by British motorsport legends Nigel Mansell and Murray Walker. The £2million flagship building is the latest addition to the circuit, forming part of the track's modernisation project. The new building is a 1415m² state-of-the-art facility with more than ten conference and function rooms as well as a host of hospitality suites, a restaurant and bar, an exhibition space and catering facilities. A first floor terrace and balcony provides a bird's-eye view of the first-corner action and views across the venue.

Driving experiences[edit]

Aside from hosting major motor racing events, Thruxton Motorsport Centre offers the greatest range of driving experiences in the country. The latest models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Formula Renault single-seater racing cars can be driven around the flowing corners of the track.

Racing fans can experience ex-Le Mans driver Tiff Needell's legendary car control from the passenger seat of the BMW M4 while he drives them sideways around the 2.4 mile circuit.

Opened in 2014, the Thruxton Skid Pan is a 3200m² low-grip, polished concrete driving area. Water towers holding over 50,000 litres of clean water feed 34 ground-level jets to allow drivers to hone their car control in a safe environment. Drivers have the opportunity to drive the Toyota 86 and Mini Cooper S.

The centre also offers the opportunity to drive a Land Rover Defender on the 4x4 facility to help master off-road driving across difficult terrain, bridges and water crossings.

Next to the main circuit is the recently resurfaced, 1100m long Thruxton Karting Circuit for aspiring drivers. Children as young as 8 years old can drive around the karting track and adults can experience 13hp Thunderkarts that are capable of over 50mph.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Contacts". BARC. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Circuit Facilities - History of Thruxton". Thruxton Motorsport Centre. Retrieved 18 November 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°12′37″N 1°36′2″W / 51.21028°N 1.60056°W / 51.21028; -1.60056