WHILTON MILL ‘BITE SIZE’ TRACK GUIDE by Nikki Richardson
So bizarrely, Whilton Mill is a track that I’ve never actually raced on (apart from a few cooperate events) but I would say with Whilton being our second home after Buckmore Park, I must have done thousands upon thousands of laps around there so I certainly know a trick or two!
What I will say about Whilton though, is that it’s a tricky track with a lack of surface grip which means getting a consistent run of laps together can be really difficult although there are at least 4 really decent overtaking spots which great racing!
So, we’ll start the lap as we cross the Start/Finish line on the pit straight, heading towards the left handed Turn 1 and the right handed Turn 2 (Oblivion and Crook). Now as we pass the Start/Finish line you should be heading over to the right handside of the circuit which opens up Turn 1 as you approach. Now Turns 1 and 2 go hand in hand so if you compromise your line through Turn 1 it will affect your line through Turn 2 and therefore your run all the way up the hill towards Turn 3 so make sure as you pass through Turn 1, take some inside kerb and exit over to the left so that you have all the circuit available as you Turn in for Turn 2. On the exit of Turn 2, use the concrete run off which will help keep the momentum up as you pass through Fine Lady which is the right handed kink on the back straight. Now Turns 1 and 2 are really great fun and the more experienced drivers will get Turns 1 and 2 flat out but if you’re not confident enough to attempt this, have a little lift off the gas as you turn in for Turn 2 and that will keep the kart relatively stable and you won’t lose that much time.
So we’ve exited Turn 2, running over the concrete run off then passing through Fine Lady before heading up the hill towards the right handed Turn 3 of Christmas Corner. On approach we should be over to the left handside of the circuit and we can use the marshal’s post on the left as a little braking marker which is really useful. Now the left handed Turn 4 and the right handed Turn 5 (Inkermans) immediately follow Christmas corner so we can’t carry too much speed through the corner as we’ll run too wide on the exit which means it’s better to go slightly slower in and then faster out on the exit. Christmas corner is your first overtaking opportunity. Now Turn 4 is flat out but make sure that you exit in the middle of circuit so that you can drift over to the left before turning in for the right handed Turn 5, passing over the flat inside kerb before letting the kart run wide on the exit. Note, it’s flat out from Christmas Corner all the way to the right handed Turn 6 hairpin (Ashby) so try and carry all that momentum by being as smooth as possible.
So now we’re thundering downhill towards the Turn 6 hairpin where we need a short, sharp stab of brake before turning in, aiming for the nice flat inside kerb before letting the kart drift nice and wide on the exit, using the excess concrete run off to help carry that momentum. This corner is another very good overtaking opportunity.
Once we’ve exited Turn 6, we need to drift back over to the right hand side of the circuit as we set the kart up for the fast left handed Turn 7 (Parker). Now Turn 7 can ALMOST be taken flat out but it’s faster to dab the brake and take more of a controlled approach, running the nice flat inside kerb before drifting wide on the exit, getting real close to that outside kerb. Note – there’s usually a huge stack of tires placed on the exit kerb to protect the karts which is one of the reasons why you should take this turn flat out as there’s a high chance you’ll hit them!
The left handed Turn 8 (Chapmans) quickly appears once you’ve exited Turn 7 which is a great little corner and a great place to overtake. Now the key with Turn 8 is that the apex is very late which means a later turn in….and that leaves the door wide open on the inside! Now under brakes, again you just want a quick, sharp stab before turning in and hooking up that late apex. Just remember here that the key here is to get a perfect run down the back straight on the exit so you can’t afford any mistakes here. Note – don’t carry too much speed through the corner as you’ll run wide on the exit and end up thumping the huge outside kerb which is well protected by stacks of tires although, you can run the kerb but don’t thump it with your rear wheel as it will kill the revs.
Now we’re nearing the end of the lap as we approach The Boot section which are a really key couple of corners, starting with the first left hander of Turn 9. So on approach we should be over to the right hand side of the circuit and we can use the marshal’s post for our braking reference. Now the key here is not to carry too much speed through the left hander because this will compromise the immediate right hander that follows so keep it nice and left on the exit before swinging into the right hander, skimming that nasty inside kerb and keeping to the middle of the circuit on the exit as we approach the final corner. Note – There is a very risky overtaking opportunity between Turns 9 and 10 but be very careful as it’s easily miss-timed!
So, we’ve got the final corner to go, the right handed Turn 11 (Pit Bend) which is very quick. Now on a good, dry day, with warm tires the final corner is just about flat out but ONLY if you turn in at the right time and therefore skim the inside kerb! Then and just about only then, you should be able to keep the kart within track limits as you exit the final corner, so don’t let the kart run onto the smooth concrete run off as you will warned. Then as you exit the final corner, drift back over to the right for Turn 1 at which point you’ll cross the Start/Finish line to complete the lap of Whilton Mill!
Note – You ‘should’ be flat out all the way from Turn 9 (the left hander as you enter The Boot) to……….Christmas corner, Turn 3 which makes the final few corners so key around this circuit!
Exit the M1 North at junction 16 and take the A45 signposted towards Daventry. When you get to Weedon traffic lights turn right (which is north) up the A5 towards Rugby. Go along this road for about 3 miles and at the top of a hill turn right where it is signposted Whilton and Lt Brington. Go under the railway, over the canal and then over the M1 before taking the third entrance on your left into Whilton Mill. The circuit is now on your right.