Stock cars on the Clearways Oval at Brands Hatch in July 1971
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Clearways Oval Brands Hatch

BriSCA Stock Cars at the 1971 Brands Hatch Festival of Speed

After the main circuit racing at the 1971 Brands Hatch Festival of Speed, spectator attention moved to the Clearways Oval.  At this time, a full BriSCA Formula 1 meeting took place supported by bangers.

The previous evening 1970 World Champion Jim Esau 244 had taken the semi-final win at Harringay.  Certainly, that meeting was the primary reason for 2 schoolboys travelling from the north east to the big city.  An early start of the Sunday saw us take a train and bus journey to Brands Hatch.  I don’t think there’s been any other meeting where public transport was the sole means of getting to a racing venue not in the heart of London.  It was a long day.  Well at the time it was.  Meetings taking 5-6 hours or more are now common in the name of providing value for money.

No return visit has happened.  Yet.  The annual American SpeedFest with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is very tempting.  More so with the UK Pickup trucks in attendance.  So what’s happening these days.  Here AI tells us:

Brands Hatch today and the Clearways Oval

The Clearways Oval at Brands Hatch is a unique and lesser-known feature of the famous racing circuit. The traditional Grand Prix circuit is a challenging and technical road course.  Instead, the Clearways Oval offers a simpler, oval-shaped track primarily used for testing and training purposes.

Located within the confines of the main Brands Hatch circuit, the Clearways Oval is a compact oval track with banked turns.  As such, this provides drivers with an opportunity to hone their skills in a controlled environment. While it lacks the intricate corners and elevation changes of the Grand Prix circuit, the Clearways Oval offers a different set of challenges.  These focus on high-speed handling and smooth driving techniques.

Track days using the Clearways Oval

The oval track is often used for driver training programs, racing school courses, and testing sessions for both professional and amateur drivers. In contrast, its simple layout is ideal for drivers to focus on fundamental skills such as cornering, throttle control, and race craft.

Despite its secondary role compared to the main Brands Hatch circuit, the Clearways Oval plays an important role in the overall operations of the venue. It provides a versatile space for a variety of motorsport activities.  Accordingly, it’s a valuable resource for drivers looking to improve their racing abilities.

While the Clearways Oval may not boast the same level of prestige as its counterpart, it remains an integral part of the Brands Hatch experience.  Meaning it contributes to the venue’s reputation as a world-class racing facility.

Gallery Update

In addition to the album for Brands Hatch there are new sub folders in the Coventry Drivers’ section.  These are for Dave Berresford and Nigel Whorton.  Len Wolfenden joins the Fan Club section at Aycliffe.  And finally there are a few photos from the 1988 World Final held at Hednesford.