Bayford Meadows – Bite Size Track Guide
by Niki Richardson
Bayford Meadows is one of my all-time fave tracks and in my opinion, is such an underrated track! The reason I think it’s such a good track is because the circuit has all types of corners, low speed, mid speed and high speed corners as well as plenty of overtaking opportunities so for me, it’s a proper drivers circuit.
So let’s start the lap as we cross the Start/Finish line and we should be drifting over to the left as we approach the very quick right handed Turn 1. On approach we should be aiming to almost head down the pit lane entry before a quick sharp turn of the wheel before a little blip of the brake to settle kart as you aim for the last part of the inside kerb which is your apex as you power through the bend. Now on the exit, it’s so easy to run too wide by carrying too much speed through the corner where you could get penalised for track limits for running over that nasty outside kerb so don’t attack the corner too much. Also, Turn 1 is a really important corner due to the long run to Turn 2 so mistakes can be costly here.
Turn 1 is also your first overtaking opportunity but be ultra careful when doing late overtakes here because it’s all too easy to overshoot and run wide on the exit which means the driver you have overtaken can easily undercut you on the exit.
So we’re charging down to one of my favourite sections on the calendar which is the right handed Turn 2 and the left handed Turn 3. Turn 2 is basically 2 corners because it’s double apexed and your braking point is just as you turn in and just before the first inside kerb. At that point, stay hard on the brakes and let the kart drift to the edge of the track to open up the second part of the corner before turning in and nailing that second apex and straight lining the exit, running over the left kerb as you pass through Turn 3 as you then head down towards the hairpin of Turn 4. Turn 2 is another fantastic overtaking spot due to the racing line being so wide on entry to the second apex which leaves the door wide open to attack.
Turn 4 is a standard left hand hairpin so you’ll want to brake firmly, nail the apex mid corner and let the kart run nice and wide on the exit although don’t run too wide as you need to get back over to the left hand side of the circuit for the second hairpin, the right handed Turn 5. Again, Turn 4 is yet ANOTHER overtaking opportunity!
So as we’re shooting over to the left for Turn 5, we need a real late turn in because as you exit Turn 5, you head straight into the left handed Turn 6 which means keeping over to right hand side as you exit Turn 5 so the late turn in is so important. So the key thing is take some late inside kerb and don’t let the kart run wide on the exit and you’ll be perfectly positioned for Turn 6. And guess what guys and gals….Turn 5 is your FOURTH overtaking opportunity of the lap due to the late turn in required!
Now if you nail Turn 5, Turn 6 should be completely flat out and all you need to do is take a little inside kerb and let the kart run wide on the exit and carry that momentum down the little back straight as you head towards the long left hander of Turn 7. Like Turn 1, the exit is important and also don’t run too wide on the exit of Turn 6 as you’ll incur a track limits warning.
So the long left handed Turn 7 can be taken in 2 different ways but my preferred line is turn in and take the shorter route around the inside before braking aggressively as the corner tightens up, almost treating it like a hairpin. Now the key here is to keep over to the left on the exit because Turn 7 leads immediately into the long right handers of Turn 8 and 9 so keeping left really opens the following corner up on entry. Oh and yes, Turn 7 can be ANOTHER overtaking opportunity!
So Turns 8 and 9 go hand in hand with one another so as you exit Turn 7, turn in and clip the apex of Turn 8 before letting the kart run over to the middle of the circuit before drifting back over to the right and take a little bit of kerb as you pass through Turn 9, around the big infield mound and then on the exit, let the kart run to the edge of the circuit. Note – from the exit of Turn 7 all the way through Turns 8 and 9, this should be done on full throttle.
So we’re coming to the end of the lap and we’re approaching the very fast 90 degree right hander of Turn 10. Now Turn 10 can be done on full gas if you dare so take some laps to gain confidence before you attempt this! Just make sure you turn in at the right time so that you take a little inside kerb before letting the kart run wide on the exit.
Now we’re quickly approaching the penultimate corner of the lap, the right handed Turn 11 and it’s one of those corners that you can really attack because the approach is uphill which means you can brake nice late. When braking, brake nice and aggressively and turn in so that you get close to the stack of tires on the apex and this is where the kart goes a bit light as you pass over the crest and then you’ll need to shoot back over to the left as you run downhill on the exit, passing through the final corner which is a slight left kink which brings you back onto the Start/Finish line. Just make sure you use all of the circuit on the exit of the final corner as this will help you carry all that momentum all the way down the Start/Finish straight to Turn 1.
- Turn 1
- Turn 6
- Turn 7
- Turn 1
- Turn 2
- Turn 4
- Turn 5
- Turn 7