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British Race Tracks – Thruxton Circuit

Article by: Hannah in General - 9 September

Thruxton Circuit, near Andover, Hampshire, is a 2.3 mile circuit that plays host to British Touring Car and Formula 3 racing events. Its particular distinction is that it is known as the ‘Fastest Circuit in the UK’, a boast that was proved largely accurate in 1993 when Damon Hill averaged 147 mph around it in a Formula One car. Many comment, in particular about how nerve-wracking some of the track is, at the speeds you can achieve – particularly coming into the chicane at ‘the complex’.

The site was originally a World War 2 airfield, used by both the RAF and USAAF. It played a role in the D-Day Landings and as a base for paratroopers in the Bruneval Raid. The circuit follows the old perimeter road of the airfield and dates from 1968. Motorcycle racing had been taking place on the runways and perimeter road since 1950, and the site was well-established as one of southern England’s premier racing venues, so the potential properly to develop the site for motor racing was abundantly clear but a push was needed.

This came in 1966, when Goodwood closed its doors to motor racing and the British Automobile Racing Club went in search of a new home. It took a mammoth fundraising effort, but by 1968 the new circuit – boasting corners named Campbell, Cobb and Seagrave, three of Britain’s legendary ‘speed kings’ – was ready for business.

Thruxton hosts twelve days of motorsport each year, including a weekend given over to the British Superbike Championship. Other days see the track playing host to the TOCA British Touring Car Championship, Formula 3, the British GT Championship and the British Truck Racing Championship. But of perhaps greater interest to us here at Fiennes Performance is the one day Thruxton Classic, which includes Classic Touring Car, Classic Formula Ford 1600, and Formula Ford 2000 racing, and another day given over to classic sports car clubs.

Planning restrictions at the site limit the racing events that can be held there, but this has the advantage of making those that do take place very popular and extremely well-supported.

At Fiennes Performance we offer a range of specialist services to breathe new life into track day, competition, classic, and performance engines and vehicles, using our experience and expertise to get better results and reliability from them than their original creators ever imagined. We can carry out a detailed inspection on an engine, recondition the head and block, improve your gearbox, uprate your brakes, in fact anything from a service to a total rebuild can be done by our team of expert craftsmen, supported by our world class facilities for machining replacement and upgraded parts.

So, if the challenges of Thruxton appeals to you and you would like our help with any and all aspects of preparing a performance engine or car for competition, Fiennes Performance is here to help you.