Inside Revolution: Six Fantastic… Corners
The British Isles is blessed with many amazing motorsport venues, boasting a wide range of different cornering challenges. In September’s edition of Revolution we pick six of the best.
Cascades, Oulton Park
This track is full of fantastic bends, but Cascades is where the action – or chaos – often occurs. That is because this tricky, quick and cambered left-hander comes at the end of a long downhill run from the first corner, Old Hall Corner, via a slight right kink at Denton’s. With drivers high on adrenaline, lap one here can often be frantic.
For a driver, it is not only vital to keep it clean on the opening run, but it is crucial to get right on every lap, because there is lots to gain on the straight that follows – or a lot to lose if you are out of shape. As a spectator, it is the perfect spot to see the downhill run, with drama almost guaranteed, especially when there are plenty of races running through the day.
Molecomb, Goodwood Hillclimb
The most infamous corner on this legendary hill, Molecomb is approached at such speed that it often catches people by surprise. The blind left-hander, which rapidly arrives at the end of the track’s first flat-out run, can be a massive challenge and has left plenty of legends with some embarrassing moments to forget.
As a driver, the best way to handle it is to brake before you see it – which can be easier said than done – and if you get more than one shot at it, take it slow the first time then build up for an attack on the second run. There is always something to see here for spectators, who should head to the Molecomb grandstands to catch the action from the best angle.
There are plenty of jaw-dropping views at this circuit, with the ocean wrapping its way all the way around the edge of the island. This corner combines that picture postcard scenery with some frantic action, with a tricky right-hander dropped right on top of the crest of a hill.
It is a fearsome challenge for a driver, with the track rising up hill on entry, hitting the crest on the apex and heading back downhill fast into the next challenge, the Corkscrew chicane. If the weather Gods are being friendly, there is no better place, perhaps in the whole of the UK, to sit down with a picnic and enjoy some thrilling motorsport.
The Mountain, Cadwell Park
Sometimes described as a mini Nürburgring, this circuit has become more famous for bikes than cars, but it still hosts plenty of Club racing events through the season. Of all the twists and turns around the track, The Mountain is the most dramatic as cars can get airborne when they climb the crest.
The left-right corner sequence is as intimidating as it sounds, with a fast entry and plenty of braking required to make the climb up the hill, where the car will go light or take flight. The second grandstand is a popular spot at the top, and the bottom of the hill has great rear views of the crest.
Taylors Hairpin, Knockhill
This is the final corner on the racetrack and it is one of the tightest in the UK. The cars arrive here after a flat-out run down Railway, the second longest straight on the circuit, and with lots of slipstreaming into the heavy braking zone, there is often plenty of action as the drivers jostle for position before finishing the lap.
The uphill apex gives a banking effect that can help an ambitious move stick and, if it is taken well, it is the best overtaking point of the circuit, with hard acceleration out of the corner to climb up the pit straight to the finish. There is lots of room for spectators to get a piece of the action, with plenty of viewing points all around the bend.
Ok, so this is three corners, but they all blend into what is one of the most challenging sets of bends in the UK. Located in a wide-open plain, this high-speed left-right-left takes drivers from the short straight that exits the infamous Copse corner – another treat in itself – onto the long, high-speed Hangar Straight.
For those behind the wheel, it demands perfect balance and rewards commitment with a high exit speed to benefit from all the way down the straight. For spectators, it offers the chance to see cars and drivers on their absolute limit, with the grandstands offering a great view of the changing directions as they dance through the complex.