Scotland’s only permanent racing facility was the realisation of a dream by farmer and motorbike racing fan Tom Kinnaird, who created the 1.3 mile (2.092km) course in 1975 by linking service roads and a disused railway line to form the simple, yet demanding layout. The result is one of the most exciting circuits in the UK.
Knockhill has an unusual license allowing it to run in either direction. Spectators can get close to the track at most points, although the infield hill affords unrivalled viewing, and, no matter whether it’s cars or bikes, the racing is fantastic. Winter 2000/2001 saw a £250,000 upgrade of the venue, with kerbs being lowered and a complete overhaul and re-profiling of the Taylor’s Hairpin. In 2008, the track renamed a corner the Leslie’s Bend, in honour of Scottish race David Leslie, who died in a plane crash.
The track is a challenging layout of twists and turns, drops and climbs, representing a natural road-style circuit. The 10-metre wide track has eight turns consisting of six rights, two lefts, a left/right chicane (when running clockwise) and a long straight. The current lap record was set by Ryan Lewis, a mind-boggling 0:47.039 set in 2005.
Events at Knockhill include Stock Car racing, British Touring Car Championships, British Rallycross Championships, British Superbikes and various other meets. Hot Hatch track days and bike track days are suitable for all types of cars and road legal bikes. Hot Marques track days are for cars that have a value of £10,000 or more.
The paddock is on the outfield behind the start/finish line and gets fairly tight for space especially on BTCC days, but access for cars is good. The paddock has a café and there are toilets at various locations. The central mound on the infield is an excellent viewing point and many other places around the track offer very close-up action. There’s also plenty of mobile food.