Started in 1955 by Bill Chesson, the circuit was originally used for stock cars and grass track racing. By 1965, it had a tarmac surface and hosted car racing up to Formula 3 level, and in 1967 the circuit offered rally cross on a combined tarmac and dirt track. The track was originally known as Lydden Circuit and was later renamed Lydden Hill Race Circuit.
One of the shorter race tracks in the UK, with a length of 1.0 mile (1.609km), Lydden is very popular with both competitors and spectators. The track today hosts the European Rallycross Championships and British Rallycross Championships.
The clockwise-run circuit is only a mile long, but it’s a very challenging mile with some very tight corners and rollercoaster-like gradients. The five right-handers, two left-handers and two short straights keep racing tight and competitors extremely busy. The track record is 0:38.3, set in 1989 by Rob Cox.
There are plenty of quality events to keep both competitors and spectators busy throughout the season, including the much revered Super Moto, championship car racing, classic bike racing, and vintage bike racing. There are also, of course, separate bike and car track days when the public can thrash their machines.
The main entrance feeds into the paddock which is on the outfield of Hairy Hill. Paddock access is free for current meetings and has toilets, a café and a bar. Spectators like Lydden because it’s a natural bowl, so wherever they choose to view, they can see 90 per cent of the track. The best views are from the outfield.