6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today CLICK HERE

Oulton Park race track - The formula for success

22:25 14 November 2009

Two rounds of the British Superbike Championships. The final round will be held at Oulton Park on October 10 and 11

Two rounds of the British Superbike Championships. The final round will be held at Oulton Park on October 10 and 11

The peace of the Cheshire countryside is broken by the roar of engines at the North West's only motor racing circuit, as Paul Mackenzie reports

The Cheshire countryside is a place of quiet beauty with gently rolling hills, ancient woodlands and quaint calm villages. But for more than 50 years the tranquillity has been shattered in one of those beautiful villages by the roar of powerful engines.
And this month about 40,000 people will head for Little Budworth to watch the thunderous culmination of the British Superbikes season.

The Oulton Park race track which cars and bikes have roared around since the early 1950s follows the contours of the countryside on the fringe of the village and through the grounds of Oulton Hall.

Once the site of a Tudor house which burned down, the hall was re-built in the early 18th century and was surrounded by formal gardens and farmland. The hall was destroyed by fire in the 1920s and its grounds were used as an army staging camp during World War Two. General Patton was based there in the run up to the Normandy landings and his PT instructor, world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, held exhibition bouts in the parkland.

These days there's even more power on show at Oulton Park, with some of the biggest events in British motorsport. The circuit is now owned by Motor Sport Vision, whose chief executive is Jonathan Palmer, a qualified doctor who raced in 87 Formula One grand prix.

He said: 'Before I moved to Formula One I raced in Formula Three so although we only took over Oulton Park five years ago, I have known the track for years.

'I won the Formula Three championship there in1981 and I broke my arm at Lodge Corner in 1978. I was on a practice lap in the rain and braked too late and smashed into a wall but despite that I have some very fond memories of Oulton Park.

'The track flows through wonderful scenery and its natural topography gives it a very challenging layout, with hills, blind brows and difficult corners. It presents an enormous challenge for a driver - from a driver's point of view it's a classic. And spectators have great views, too.'

Although Oulton Park doesn't have a licence for international events - Grand Prix and the like - it does attract large crowds for its calendar of races which include Formula Three, touring cars, superbikes and vintage cars.

And Jonathan, whose company also operates Brands Hatch and three other circuits around the country, added: 'We have a big loyal following for races at Oulton Park and some people have been attending races at Oulton Park since it opened in 1953.

'We hold big national events like a round of the British Touring Car championships and two rounds of the British Superbike Championships. The final round will be held at Oulton Park on October 10 and 11 and that will be a great weekend. There will be three races over the weekend and there should be a crowd of between 30,000 and 40,000 and there's always a great atmosphere.

'It's a very traditional and very successful circuit and I don't envisage much will change in the future. Oulton Park is a real jewel in our crown and every time I go there I really enjoy my visit.'

For tickets or more information about Oulton Park, including their driving experience days, visit www.motorsportvision.co.uk

0 comments

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Cheshire Life

Yesterday, 00:00
Aurora Chesterfield

Born and raised in Altrincham, Matt Dunton, with his wife Jacqui, founded Sweetpea & Willow and is responsible for furnishing the homes of francophiles far and wide, writes Kate Houghton

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00
Hanson Hall

A contemporary hall situated in Nether Alderley, this property is spacious and bright

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Pampered Pooch

One reader will win a leather Chesterfield dog bed worth £999 for their pampered pooch, courtesy of Charltons of England

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Burton Mere Bluebells by Ron Sutton

Let us know where you have seen bluebells in Cheshire

Read more
Friday, April 24, 2015
Victoria Clewley, Carmel McLoughlin, Vivien Foster, Pamela Blackburn and Penny Wrinch

Celebrities helped Beechwood Cancer Care celebrate its 25th anniversary at this year’s ladies lunch and fashion show. Held at the Mere Golf Resort and Spa in Knutsford, the Silver Butterflies event raised thousands of pounds and saw 130 guests attend, including Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor and Tricia Penrose.

Read more
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Top cookery schools in Cheshire

Cheshire is full of fine dining locations, but there are plenty of places in the area to learn some culinary skills of your own

Read more
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Boodles model, Katie Hughes, wearing the Grosvenor Suite of jewellery commemorating the Hotel's 150th anniversary

Vintage champagne and delectable canapés in the Arkle Bar and Lounge started the glamorous Boodles Celebratory Dinner at The Chester Grosvenor.

Read more
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Forest Gin

Cheshire is a county that likes a drink and one Macclesfield family hopes their brand of gin will stir our interest, writes Heidi Nagaitis

Read more
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Aston, Nantwich

Stunning grounds

Read more
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The New Jaguar XE 2ltr R-Sport with some admirers

The new Jaguar XE 2ltr R-Sport thrilled guests when it arrived as part of its preview tour at Royles Jaguar in Wilmslow.

Read more
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Michelle Stubbs, Danniella Westbrook

A decadent VIP party launched the opening of Delamere Manor, the former home of Gary Barlow, as a new wedding and event venue.

Read more
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Miura Lamborghini

Chester classic car dealer Iain Tyrrell is the proud owner of the Lamborghini Miura featured in the film The Italian Job. What will he do with this automotive icon, asks Howard Bradbury

Read more
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso

The Liverpool All-Star Charity match, hosted by Liverpool FC’s official charity, the Liverpool FC Foundation, took place at Anfield Stadium on Sunday March 29th to raise funds for local charities including Liverpool FC Foundation, Claire House children’s hospice, Positive Futures, Centre 56 and Alder Hey Hospital.

Read more
Best Visiting Production presented by Jane Asher
The Curious Incident Of the Dog In The Night-Time, from the National Theatre, at The Lowry received here by Bunny Christie

Top actors gathered at the Royal Northern College of Music to see who would take home a trophy from the region’s most prestigious theatre awards. Words by David Upton

Read more

Food and Drink Directory

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP




Cheshire's trusted business finder

Latest Competitions & Offers

Visit Cheshire Life's profile on Pinterest.