TRACKDAY BRIEFING: Oulton Park (Cheshire)

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TRACKDAY BRIEFING: Oulton Park (Cheshire)

Post by casey »

All information in this thread is provided for helpful guidance only. The author and club will not accept any responsibility for errors or omissions. Trackdays are for fun and enjoyment of your car, but is a form of motorsport and, although strict safety rules are applied, all motorsports can be dangerous. Damage to cars is rare, injuries even rarer (I've not seen anyone injured at a trackday in the 8 years I've participated).

Note this applies to the FULL circuit option at Oulton Park, including Shell Oils Corner.

Option to read here or download:
Oulton Park Circuit Guide.docx
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THE CIRCUIT (nothing original – mostly distilled from Google searches!)

The track is characterised by its rapidly changing gradients and blind crests leading into unforgiving corners. Among many British and foreign drivers it is considered one of the most challenging and thrilling circuits ever constructed.

You exit the pit lane already past Old Hall and halfway down the Avenue to the fast, long and downhill left-hander Cascades. You’ll need to go wide as you can on the exit, though watch out you don’t clip the grass, many a trackday hero has had trouble here. It's all down to concentration. It’s then on the power towards Island. This corner is faster than it may look and feel, but you’ll have to build up to that, especially as you’ll need to get on the brakes sharpish to get ready for the banked right hand hairpin - Shell. Once you are through the next two chicanes of Foulstons and Knickerbrook and the peaked straight that connects them, it’s up Clay hill for the most exhilarating part of the circuit. Druids takes a while to get right, but you really don’t want to get it wrong here, as you’ll see on your first visit. It’s much faster but takes skill. A tyre on the grass on exit will lead to an accident. You then get to test your brakes and turn in as you enter the Lodge complex that brings you back up (after a bit of a dip!) onto the main start/finish straight, with the track exit on the right. Watch the armco on the left as you get on the power for that straight. Enjoy it, it's longer than it looks and be ready at the end of it for Old Hall, which again is a fast challenging corner.

No responsibility is taken for this corner by corner guide – use your own judgement!

Old Hall is the first corner after the start and is a fast right-hander, slightly off-camber. There's plenty of run-off on the exit, but in the wet, it's extremely slippery.

Dentons is more of a curve to the right than a corner and is taken flat out, dropping downhill towards Cascades.
Cascades is a fast left-hander, approached downhill from Dentons. Exit speed is crucial here, as this corner opens onto the Lakeside straight and the driver must be on the limit.

Island Bend is an extremely fast left-hand curve which can just be taken flat out in the dry. Extreme care is required, though, as the slightest mistake will end in tears! (casey’s note - Yep, Ian Mothersole went well off track here but managed not to hit anything! Get the line right though and amazing speed through here!)

Shell Oils Corner is a tight hairpin with a positive camber. Drivers must be hard on the brakes on the approach to this from the flat out Island Bend. Shell is taken in third gear at a higher speed than seems possible. (casey’s note – really great corner due to the banking, some experimenting with lines to be had here!)

Foulstons is the first of two sets of chicanes, taken after the short sprint from Shell. Braking from fourth gear, the cars mounts the left-hand kerb before swinging right and then left again up the hill. Excellent throttle control is required on the exit to maximise the speed over the small hill.

Knickerbrook is the second of the two chicanes. A tricky right-left complex of bends which rewards the patient driver: too much speed in here can ruin the line into the final right-hand bend of this complex which compromises the car's speed up Clay Hill and onto the most famous bend on this circuit: Druids. (casey’s Note – unless changed since 2011, exit kerb here is deeply corrugated and buckled my rear left wheel due to high load on exit – beware!!)

Druids is a demanding, double-apex, off-camber right-hander. Extremely fast in the dry, it is incredibly tricky in the wet due to the sap and leaves from the overhanging trees. Druids can essentially be taken as one continuous corner, but demands bravery and commitment from the driver to make the most of it. (casey’s note – the surface on this corner rarely dries out and is very high speed, catching out a lot of divers on my last outing here – caution advised!)

Lodge is the final corner on this circuit and is approached flat out in fifth. Braking hard and changing down into third, the driver turns right into a sharp corner which drops away to the left. A gentle right foot is needed until the car straightens out, then it's flat out up the Deer Leap hill and on to the finish line. (casey’s Note – very easy to run wide on the exit here, work up to it if unfamiliar.)

Oulton Park Circuit Map.JPG
These users thanked the author casey for the post:
GreySilver Beast (Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:33 pm)
Essex Rotary Full Bridgeport
Seibon Carbon Fibre Bonnet, "Racing Brake" front calipers, Racing Beat (RB) ARB's F&R, RB REVI intake, full RB Stainless Steel Exhaust & Mani, 20mm Eibach spacers, KOYO Ali Rad, Lightened Fly, Tein MonoFlex coilovers & strut brace, Axial short-shifter, BHR Coils & Engine Mounts, Greddy Sump
Federal 595RS-R or Rainsport 3
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