Castle Combe Circuit opened just 18 months after Silverstone, in the summer of 1950, making it one of the longest established circuits in the UK. Until 1999, the circuit followed its original layout around the perimeter of the old air base. In that first year, a young Stirling Moss won a race here and over the next few years the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Colin Chapman and John Surtees thrilled huge crowds.
The 1960s and 70s were blighted by planning problems and the track didn’t take off until 1976, when a lease was eventually obtained and the development of the circuit as a modern national racing venue began. The resurfaced, and now reshaped circuit provides what is generally recognised as the closest circuit racing in British motor sport.
The 1.85 mile (2.977km) undulating track runs clockwise and is renowned for having some of the most challenging corners among UK racing circuits. There are four right-handers, two fast left-handers, an esses section and a quick chicane. The lap record is currently held by Dan Clarke with 0:59.387, set in 2005.
The track no longer hosts major international car and bike championships, but is home to Club Lotus Track Day, Audi Driver International Track Day and karting – which is very popular. Visitors also have the chance to race their own cars or bikes around the circuit on track days which feature throughout the season. The circuit also hosts a monthly car boot sale.
Once visitors arrive, they find first class facilities in an attractive park-like setting. Some 15,000 lorry loads of earth have been landscaped into fine, banked viewing areas all around the circuit. The paddock area, overlooking Camp Corner, is accessible at a cost and has toilets and refreshments. Tarmac roads allow easy vehicle movement around the circuit’s 240-acre site.