A drivers view
Mallory Park Website: https://www.malloryparkcircuit.com/
Track length 2.17km / 1.35 miles
Another centrally located track in England. Mallory is near Hinkley. Mallory is a short track, with a very long corner. Folks with big cars don’t visit here much, but a bit of power helps for the Stebbe Straight. However lower power, nimble cars can definitely hold their own. Although they went bust following envirnomental issues (noise) the track was taken over and is open & running.
From the start line, it’s a short run in to Gerard’s, which is the long bend. This is also quiet fast on a flying lap and can be challenging to the engine’s oil pick-up due to the speed & length of the corner. Coming out on to the Stebbe straight, you have to be careful not to run wide on the exit. All the chicanes are for motorbike racing, not cars, so the speed carried on to the straight is good.
At the end of the straight, it’s late braking & late turn-in to the Esses, trying to carry as much speed as possible, as it’s then slightly up hill to Shaw’s Hairpin. The cars can move around a bit through the Esses, confidence in your car is key, if it’s doing funny / unpredictable thinks in the right left transition, you will know about it here.
The entry to the hairpin widens out, so it encourages different lines for either an attempt at overtaking on the entry, or more likely, a set-up to try an overtake on the exit, on the run to Devils elbow.
The banking on the outside of the track from the hairpin to Devils elbow is raised above the track and gives great viewing for spectators, from there you can see all the track excepting from Devils elbow to Gerard’s. Also as it’s a short track, it’s not long to wait for the cars to come round again. The hairpin is slow, so you see people making mistakes anchoring up and lots of action with people having a go at overtakes.
Back on track, Devils Elbow is a blind, off-camber, down hill corner, so it can be tricky. As it’s a blind entry, turning in too early is an easy mistake to make, but then you quickly run out of track on the exit and have to back off. This is at the point you need to be carrying as much speed as possible on to the Kirby straight, to see if you can out-drag anyone to the entry to Gerard’s.
A flying lap in to Gerard’s is very different to the standing start; you are going a lot faster and there’s a big gravel trap in front of you. If you brake too early, someone will try and nip up the inside. However, as the corner is so long and quite wide, there are options for lines, so you can get past people on the bend too.
The paddock is quite tight and basic, there are no garages (bar some narrow open fronted ones in the pit lane). To get in, you have to drive on the track from the hairpin, down to the Esses, so if you turn-up late, you will have to wait for the race / qually session to end. Likewise for getting out after you are done. Although the facilities are limited, a breakfast in the cafe is pretty much a requirement.
As a spectator, aside from the banking mentioned above, the viewing all around is good. The track runs around a lake so it’s a natural bowl, so most of the viewing is slightly elevated. If you are there for the day, moving around is easy and you can get to most points on the track, including viewing from the paddock, where you can get close to the Stebbe straight & the Esses, leaning on the fence. However, if the weather is bad, it’s exposed, with no stands to shelter in. There are some spots where you can park you car and view from the car.
Mallory used to run test days every Wednesday through Spring & Summer, so was great for testing. Although this has come to an end, test sessions run roughly once a month, for the start of the year, so is still useful as long as you can plan around the sessions. You do need to hold a race licence to test though. When I started racing, I was able to use the half day test to fix the little niggles on my SE5a and then run a full race distance (40 minutes). This saved turning up at my first race & having issues that prevented me racing – which is expensive as you waste a race entry fee.
The exit from Devils Elbow, John Leslie's Sabre 6 with My & Iain Daniels' Marcos
Photograph David Stallard photography: http://www.davidstallardphotography.com ... /i-JrrV37p
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