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CATEGORIES (articles) > Motor Sport > Circuits > Oulton Park Race Circuit

Oulton Park Race Circuit


Oulton Park Circuit is a motor racing track in the small village of Little Budworth, Cheshire, northwest England. It is about 5 miles from Winsford, 13 miles to Chester City Center, 8 miles to Northwich and 17 miles to Warrington with nearby rail connection along the Mid-Cheshire Line set in rolling English countryside and forest. The track is set in the grounds of Oulton Hall, which were used as an army staging camp by General Patton prior to the Normandy landings.

The circuit was originally developed by the Mid-Cheshire Car Club, with the track attracting a crowd of 40,000 during the 1950s. Oulton Park regularly housed the 'Gold Cup' event which attracted many Formula One teams (Stirling Moss won it 5 times), but as the F1 calendar shrunk to include only Grand Prix events, the Cup became less well-known. The event has been run for a number of other categories including Formula 5000, sports cars and touring cars. It has now, however, been re-established as a highlight of the classic racing calendar. The British Touring Car Championship, the Formula Three/British GT Championship and the British Superbike Championship meetings are also highlights of the year.

The track is famous for its rapidly changing gradients and blind crests leading into unforgiving corners. The full track is 2.8 miles long, with a selection of shorter circuits also possible.

The paddock facilities are reasonable, with large areas of hard-standing and some power points.

A highly-entertaining though rather risqué monologue about the construction of one part of the circuit, "The Naming of Knicker Brook", is told by demolition expert/raconteur Blaster Bates.


Knickerbrook corner

Pre 1991: The corner was generally known as a 'racers' corner as it required courage and full commitment from the driver. The corner is notorious for causing multiple accidents. There have been several fatalities of racing drivers at this corner. One death in particular, Paul Warwick, caused the corner to be reconstructed as a chicane.

The corner led from a downhill straight [Hill top] into a fifth gear, off camber right bend. There was a deep kerbing section on the inside of the corner which combined with the off camber nature of the corner caused a car to become very difficult to control. The kerbing and camber tended to make the car veer to the outside of the circuit. The armco barrier on the outside of the corner eventually intersected with the grass verge and caused a lack of run off area.

Such is the notoriety of this corner a series of videos were produced showing clips of cars crashing and spinning primarily at this corner. The series is named Oulton Park's Greatest Hits.




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