Back at the end of last year, I wrote about road legal racing cars. This time, I’d like to introduce you to road racing – races that take place on public roads. The Forumla One Monaco Grand Prix may be the most famous example of road racing, but it happens much closer to home here in Blighty, too.
Real road racing may sound like something out of Fast and Furious, but it’s for real – albeit the roads are closed while the racing takes place. Real road racing has a long and high profile history in British motorsport, mostly in the world of motorcycle racing. The most famous UK road race is the Isle of Man TT, which takes place on the Isle of Man’s country roads and is seriously hardcore.
If you don’t believe me, watch a couple of minutes of this video, which features an onboard camera and road racing hero Guy Martin:
A special kind of madness is required to be able to do this and it’s something I saw replicated recently a bit closer to where I live, on one of the UK’s lesser known road racing circuits, Oliver’s Mount, in Scarborough.
The road circuit here is open to the public for most of the year but several times a year, it is closed off and becomes an exciting racing circuit. The circuit is 2.5 miles long and includes hairpin bends, steep gradients and a variety of other corners. Top riders manage an average speed of around 80mph and can complete a lap in about 1 minute 45 second – it is not for the faint-hearted.
The circuit at Oliver’s Mount isn’t big enough for car racing (except hill climbs) but it does host motorcycle sidecar races, too – and you need to be a special kind of crazy to be the passenger on one of those:
If you’d like to see some road racing in the UK, there are a number of events on through the season that offer the chance to see racing at very close quarters, away from the relatively sterile conditions of a racetrack. Why not treat yourself to a weekend at the seaside and spend a day at Oliver’s Mount?
The last meeting of the season is the International Gold Cup on the 17th and 18th of September 2011. This will feature some of the best road racers in the UK and Ireland (including Guy Martin, who is riding the TT circuit in the video above).
Racing at Oliver’s Mount is organised by the Auto 66 racing club – visit its website for full details of upcoming events.