There are three different track layouts used at Oulton Park; the International, Island and Fosters circuits. This article provides a track map and details of each.
Oulton Park International Circuit
Circuit length: 2.69 miles / 4.3 km
Number of corners: 12
The Oulton Park International Circuit is longest of the three different track layouts at Oulton. Like all of the layouts it runs in a clockwise direction. Officially it has 12 corners, but if you include both the rights and lefts of the Hislops and Brittens chicanes as seperate corners then it has 15, including the infamous Knickerbrook.
The official circuit map for the International circuit at Oulton shows the Hislops chicane not being used. However it is very rare that this is the case, almost all events that use the International layout also use the chicane, so the map above shows this.
See our article on Oulton Park lap records for info on the fastest ever lap times set around this circuit.
what races on the International layout?
Despite being the longest circuit layout at Oulton park, the British Touring Car Championship hasn’t been using the International track for almost three decades. Instead it uses the Island layout (see more below).
The only exception to that was in 2014 when the series changed things up and used this layout, sending the cars around the Shell Oils Corner rather than the Island hairpin. The change, however, was to be short lived. The feedback from drivers, team bosses and fans was all very negative; removing the hairpin meant there were two fewer overtaking opportunities and the racing became very processional. Head of the BTCC Alan Gow listened to and agreed with the criticism and the following year the series went back to using the Island layout.
The British Superbike Championship uses the International layout with the Hislops chicane, as does the British GT, the GB3 & GB4 single seater championships and the Oulton Park Gold Cup.
Some of the other series that race on the International layout include:
- British Endurance Championship
- Ferrari Challenge UK
- No Limits bike championships
- MSVR Club championships
Oulton Park Island Circuit
Circuit length: 2.26 miles / 3.62 km
Number of corners: 10
The Oulton Park Island Circuit is the second longest of the track layouts at Oulton. Rather than continuing around the long, fast left hander of Island Bend to the banked 180 degree right hand corner of Shell Oils, Island bend becomes Island Hairpin and Shell Oils is missed out completely.
This incredibly tight hairpin is 1st gear in pretty much any car or bike. It’s a fantastic overtaking opportunity, both for passes on the way into the corner and for lining up a pass on the way down the following straight by getting more traction and a better exit from the hairpin.
The Island layout means you also lose the Brittens chicane. Whilst this tight left-right-left chicane is enjoyable to drive and encourages you to use lots of kerb on both sides, it doesn’t add much of an overtaking spot so nothing is lost from a racing perspective.
The rest of the Island circuit is the same as the International layout.
what races on the Island layout?
The BTCC and its support races are the most prominent series that race on the Island layout at Oulton park. The hairpin is conducive to lots of good overtaking and normally there’s some bumper banging action at that point on each lap of the race, especially the first few when the cars are well bunched together.
The TCR UK championship also uses the Island track layout, as does its support series such as the Fiesta championships and the Civic Cup.
Occasionally there are some Oulton Park testing days held on the island circuit, for competitors looking to fine-tune their car’s setup.
Oulton Park Fosters Circuit
Circuit length: 1.66 miles / 2.66km
Number of corners: 9
The Oulton Park Fosters circuit layout is the shortest of the three different configurations. At just over a mile and a half and with only 9 corners, it shortcuts from half way through Cascades straight to Knickerbrook. This means you don’t get to fully enjoy Cascades in its entirety which is a shame as that is one of the fastest, most challenging and most rewarding corners on the circuit.
The additional bit of track used on the Fosters layout is just a 90 degree right hander. It re-joins the normal track right at Hislops chicane, but doesn’t use the chicane. Instead it heads straight until it reaches Knickerbrook which is taken much faster when Hislops isn’t in use.
what races on the Fosters layout?
Currently no race events or track days are held on the Fosters layout. Either the International or Island circuits are favoured for all motorsport events at Oulton Park.
The last time the Fosters layout seems to have been used for a competitive race event was in 2017 when the MSVR Mini Festival raced on it. This included various championships running both the classic Minis and the newer BMW variants.
In 1997 and 1998, for just two years, the BTCC used the Fosters layout. This was the only time in the series’ history that it has used this circuit, and it produced lots of close racing. Without Island Hairpin or either of the chicanes the track became much faster with a higher average speed, giving no rest to the drivers and quite a spectacle for the fans.
However the shorter circuit also meant less room for spectators to view from, and as the BTCC reached the peak of the Super Touring era in 1999 when its popularity was off the scale, it moved back to the longer Island circuit where it has been ever since.
Oulton Park circuit changes
Unlike some of the other circuits owned and run by MSV, the layout of Oulton Park circuit hasn’t changed much for a few decades. When the BTCC was racing on the International circuit in the early ‘90s the track layout was pretty much identical.
Only the surrounding landscape, safety precautions, buildings and advertising banners have changed dramatically. There is now a campsite at Oulton Park, on the outside of the circuit next to Cascades. The kerbs have had a fresh lick of paint and the circuit’s been resurfaced but other wise it looks very similar.
Check out our guide to the best viewpoints and grandstands at Oulton Park for some ideas on the best places to watch the action from if you’re heading there to spectate.