If you’re attending Oulton Park trackdays, make sure you read this guide first. It includes everything from the nearest fuel stations, noise limits and pit garages to track day prices and where to eat on the day.
which circuit is used for Oulton Park trackdays?
Oulton Park trackdays are almost always held on the International layout. This is the longest of the three track layouts at Oulton Park, which means more cars can be on track at any given time allowing track day organisers to sell more spots.
The International circuit includes two corners which wouldn’t be included on the other layouts; Shell Oils and Brittens chicane. These are both exciting to drive and challenging to get right, so Oulton Park trackdays only being held on the International layout is no bad thing.
how good is Oulton to drive?
Oulton Park is one of the best tracks in the country to drive. It feels like a very slightly wider version of Cadwell Park, but in some places it is equally as narrow..
The thing that makes Oulton so great to drive is the elevation change. Unlike a number of other tracks in the UK that are built on old flat airfields, Oulton was built in the hilly Chesire countryside. The most notable elevation changes are coming around and down the fast left of Cascades, climbing up Clay Hill after Knickerbrook and dropping through the compression just before Deer Leap.
A big part of why the Nordschleife is the best track in the world is because of its elevation change. Sections of Oulton Park have a very similar feel. It’s narrow in places and carves its way through woodland, often with the barriers not far from the edge of the track. It all adds to the drama.
Oulton Park has a good mixture of fast corners, like Old Hall, Cascades and Druids, and slower more technical sections like the Brittens and Hislops chicanes.
Shell Oils corner is a steeply banked 180 degree turn, and driving it makes you realise how much faster you can corner when a big bank is involved.
Oulton is in my top 3 UK circuits and I have to give it 5 out of 5 for circuit awesomeness.
run-off and danger areas
Being narrow and with pretty little run off in a number of places, Oulton Park is not without its risks. If you’re new to track days, a more open circuit such as Silverstone or Bedford Autodrome would be a better and safer place to start exploring your car’s handling.
Below are a few of the danger hot-spots to be aware of at Oulton.
The first corner on the circuit is Lodge corner. This has a slight dip at the apex which makes your car feel nice and grippy, and then a small little crest in the road just as you get towards the outside exit kerb which, once you’re over it, makes it feel understeery. This means it’s easy to carry a bit too much speed here and find yourself running wide.
Whilst there’s a big grassy runoff area on the outside, the reality is that it’s always very slippery. If you do end up running a bit wide it’s common to get a bit of oversteer. If you’re not quick with your corrections that can send you across the track in to the barrier on the inside.
On the International layout Island Bend is a long fast left hander. You’ll be approaching it at over 100mph in most cars, and at that speed you quickly become aware of how narrow the track is.
The biggest mistake you can make here is going in too fast. The corner continues tightening before immediately turning in to the braking zone for Shell Oils. If you go too fast in to Island Bend, run out of track and end up on the grass to the right, you will crash, make no mistake. At the speeds you’re carrying you won’t be able to slow down on the grass and you’ll end up in the tyres on the inside of Shell Oils.
Build your corner speed up slowly here before you find the limits.
Druids is one of the most challenging sections of the track to get right. There are three seperate parts to this corner which are tricky and can be the source of some brown trouser moments.
The first is the slight left hand kink as you come towards Druids. At this point you’ll probably be doing close to 100mph after having been flat out since exiting Knickerbrook. This left hand kink is a little bit nasty, as it’s tight enough to unsettle the car slightly at high speed, plus you have to start braking for Druids.
Be smooth with your inputs here – do not suddendly lift off the throttle just as you dial in some left hand steering lock. If you do there’s a chance you’ll find yourself oversteering towards the barriers on the left.
The next part is the double right hander of Druids itself. Not only are these hard to get right, but they are very slippery in the rain and there’s not a lot of room for error.
Build your speed up gradually as by the time you realise you’ve gone in to the first right hander too fast you will do well to make it around the rest of the corner.
The final danger spot here is mainly a risk for RWD cars. Just as you are exiting Druids there’s a small crest in the track, right at the point where you’re accelerating out of the corner. It’s also at the point where you still need some right hand steering lock.
If you are too greedy on the accelerator in a powerful RWD car as you come over this crest it can easily spin up the rear wheels and kick the back of the car sideways, especially in the wet.
Be patient on the throttle and get the car straight as soon as possible to avoid coming over the crest with an armful of opposite lock.
what's it like in the wet?
Oulton Park is incredibly slippery in the rain. Like most circuits, the dry racing line becomes the least grippy part of the track when it starts to rain.
Going wide of the dry line is a good way to find some grip, but Oulton being as narrow as it is doesn’t leave much margin for error if you do this.
Some of the most slippery parts in the rain are Old Hall, the two chicanes and Druids.
is Oulton Park hard on brakes?
The biggest deceleration point will be as you come down the Hilltop straight and have to brake for the slow Hislops chicane. The next heaviest braking zone will be Island Bend in to Shell Oils, but that isn’t as extreme.
Overall Oulton Park is pretty easy going on your brakes, as most of the corners are of a reasonable pace and there are no incredibly long straights where you reach very high speeds.
getting there / entrance / parking
For Oulton Park trackdays you need to enter the track via the main entrance on Park Road. You will immediately go over a bridge across the circuit, and then drop down in to the circuit infield. See our article on Oulton Park entrances for more information.
Go through the turnstiles and soon you’ll reach the inner paddock area. Turn left and you’ll see the pit garages and trackday parking area directly behind them.
Oulton Park noise limit
The noise limits at Oulton Park are:
- 105db(A) static
- 92 db(A) drive-by
You will normally have to pass a static noise test at the start of the day before you are allowed out on track.
If you trip the drive-by noise meters during the day you’ll often first be given a warning. If it happens again it’s likely you’ll have to pass another static noise test and demosntrate that you’ve made some modifications to your car’s exhaust / intake before being allowed on track again.
Oulton Park pit garages
If you reserve a pit garage at Oulton Park , you will get one garage that is just about big enough for two cars squeezed in nose to tail.
The garages are arranged in blocks where two garages share the same open space. If you and some friends are going to an Oulton Park trackday with 4 cars, you can book two pit garages and ask to be put in adjacent garages so you share the same space.
There are loads of plug sockets in all garages and most have a water tap outside.
Silverstone fuel station on-site
There is a fuel station within the paddock at Oulton Park. This has two pumps which will usually offer premium unleaded at inflated prices. The petrol station is likely to only be open for around 30 minutes at pre-determined times throughout the day, which you’ll be made aware of by the track day organiser.
petrol stations near Oulton Park
If you don’t want to pay the higher price for fuel at the track, there are a couple of other petrol stations near Oulton Park that are 10 minutes or less to drive to.
If you don’t care about premium grade fuel, there is a Murco just a 4 minute drive away. If you want some higher Octane stuff there are two Shell garages nearby, each a 10 minute drive away. The one shown on the map below is the easiest to get to.
If you have a jerry can it’s always worth filling that up before the day and brining it with you. The additional few litres of fuel that gives you might just mean you can last until the lunch break before heading out to top up the tank.
sign on / wristband collection
The sign on and wristband collection will normally be done in Chequers Restaurant before the day begins. This is located just at the back of the paddock. Most track day organisers now have online briefings but any i- person ones will be held here too.
cafe / food and drink
Chequers Restaurant is a big cafe and diner that will serve food and drinks throughout all Oulton Park trackdays. Don’t expect Michelin star cuisine, but you’ll get some half-decent trackside grub to warm the cockels on a wet and windy day at the circuit.
Oulton Park trackday organisers and prices
Outon Park trackdays are run by a number of different providers including the following:
- MSVT (cars and bikes)
- Circuit days
- Open Track
- Track Obsession
- RMA Trackdays
- MOT Trackdays
- BMW Car Club GB
- No Limits (bikes)
March to October is usually peak season when Oulton Park trackdays are at their most expensive. Weekend dates are also uncommon in the peak season but will also cost more than mid-week days.
This full open pitlane trackday with Goldtrack on a Friday in July for example costs almost £400.
Whereas this full open pitlane trackday with Javelin on a Tuesday in November only costs £139, a third of the price of the summer day. I would always rather do the cheapers days in the winter; usually there will be less people on track and the cooler temperatures are easier on your car. You may have to deal with some slippery conditions but that’s part of the fun.
Bike trackdays at Oulton Park usually max out at around £200 in the summer months. Towards the start and end of the summer season prices are a little cheaper, but the days usually come to and end around September / October time for the year.