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Former tracks near to you


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#1 BRG

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:49

There is an interesting thread* in Readers Comments about tracks nearest to members.  A surprisingly international selection which TNFers might enjoy perusing!  

 

As my nearest track is Brooklands which now only hosts an annual VSCC sprint, I thought a TNF thread about your nearest former track might throw up some interesting stuff.  For me, after Brooklands, it must be Crystal Palace I think, unless there was ever anything else in north Surrey or West London that I don't know about.

 

 

* yes, really!  :eek: 



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#2 Stephen W

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:05

The two nearest former permanent race tracks are:

Aintree - which still hosts motorcycle racing, trackdays and sprints on the Club Circuit and is 24 miles from home.

Longridge - which is a caravan park now and is 28 miles from home.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:07

Lulsgate. Standard late 40s aerodrome track which is now Bristol International Airport. About 13 miles.



#4 2F-001

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:32

BRG - not sure exactly where you are, but Great Auclum hill climb (near Reading) couldn't have been too far from you.

Crystal Palace for me (just a few minutes walk).

#5 Dutchy

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:42

Nearest to me is Boreham (I grew up a mere 3 miles away). Sadly there is nothing left other than the control tower (used by the Essex Police helicopter unit) and a tiny bit of track (Tower Bend) used as access.

Sad to see it now considering it was once a credible rival to Silverstone and arguably marginally faster. IIRC Gonzalez lapped at over 100mph in practice for the 1952 Daily Mail Trophy in a V16 BRM



#6 BRG

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:43

BRG - not sure exactly where you are, but Great Auclum hill climb (near Reading) couldn't have been too far from you.

I'm near Hampton Court so very close to Brooklands.  I know of Great Auclum - one of the older members of my former motor club used to marshal there  and spoke of it.  It would perhaps be the third nearest to me after the Palace.



#7 nicanary

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:45

As I look out of my living-room window I can see the Town Hall in Conway Square, Newtownards. It's about 150 yards away from my apartment, and thus I am that distance away from one of the great road-racing tracks of its day. Newtownards Airfield also hosted a few meetings, and that can be no more than a half-a-mile from my home.

 

I reckon the "winner" of this thread will have to live on a street which once comprised part of an old road-racing circuit. Anyone from the Isle of Man?



#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:57

As I look out of my living-room window I can see the Town Hall in Conway Square, Newtownards. It's about 150 yards away from my apartment, and thus I am that distance away from one of the great road-racing tracks of its day. Newtownards Airfield also hosted a few meetings, and that can be no more than a half-a-mile from my home.

 

I reckon the "winner" of this thread will have to live on a street which once comprised part of an old road-racing circuit. Anyone from the Isle of Man?

A friend lives only a hundred yards from the course used for the 1937 Whitchurch Speed Trial: it quite literally goes past the end of her road!



#9 Allan Lupton

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:05

Well my nearest circuit was Gransden Lodge, about 20 miles by road, but in the early days of dodgy hillclimbs, Poynders End at 6 miles and Pegsdon at 8 were nice and close.

I would also include Silverstone (at 45 miles) as no circuit I ever marshalled on, spectated at, drove on or handicapped at is there now.



#10 Gary Davies

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:27

Victor Harbor . Just a mile up the road from my new abode. Barry Boor and I did a lap in my MG back in March. No remaining evidence (as far as I know) of the track which hosted the 1937 Australian Grand Prix. But I'm informed that there will be some activity leading up to the 80th anniversary on December 26 2017, including a proposed permanent marker of some sort.


Edited by Gary Davies, 10 June 2014 - 12:28.


#11 foxyracer

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:36

I live in East Bridgford, Notts., and Gamston Airfield is just up the road from here on the A1.  It is still an active airfield but was used as a motor racing circuit in 1950 and 1951. I understand meetings were organised by Nottingham Sports Car Club and Sheffield and Hallamshire Motor Club.  Colin Chapman and Bob Gerard were among the "names" who competed there. 



#12 427MkIV

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 14:43

Occoneechee Speedway near Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA, was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open. It closed in 1968 and is the only dirt track remaining from the inaugural 1949 season. It was a 9/10-mile track. Bill France saw the horse track and was originally on the property and decided to build a larger stock car oval around it.

 

occonoccee-speedway-484x332.jpg

 

Wilson County (N.C.) Speedway was at the county fairgrounds and hosted racing for years before it closed in the 1980s or early 90s. That's cigar-chomping Carl Horton on the dirt at Wilson in 1976 driving his Pender County Special -

 

carl.jpg



#13 2F-001

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 15:07

427 - from the Wiki link you provided, it's pleasing to see that the Occoneechee site is afforded heritage status (and some degree of protection perhaps?) by the National Register of Historic Places.

#14 garyfrogeye

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 15:07

Erm... I'm in Camden Town. Apart from the North Circular I can only think of the one that used to be near Manor House, Harringey Stadium.


Edited by garyfrogeye, 10 June 2014 - 15:10.


#15 barrykm

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 15:09

Kyalami may soon be a former track...



#16 Mistron

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 17:19

I'm in Dunfermline (near Knockhill). In terms of former tracks, Beveridge Park in Kircaldy and Ingliston would be the nearest



#17 d j fox

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 17:26

Here from sunny Schwenksville, Pennsylvania that would be Nazareth Speedway where I saw a couple of exciting Indy car races—now defunct. Then the nearest other defunct track would be Langhorn in New Jersey….oh and maybe the proposed New Jersey GP track—is that defunct yet?!!!



#18 Rob G

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 17:33

Occoneechee Speedway near Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA, was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open. It closed in 1968 and is the only dirt track remaining from the inaugural 1949 season. It was a 9/10-mile track. Bill France saw the horse track and was originally on the property and decided to build a larger stock car oval around it.

 

 

 

Wilson County (N.C.) Speedway was at the county fairgrounds and hosted racing for years before it closed in the 1980s or early 90s. That's cigar-chomping Carl Horton on the dirt at Wilson in 1976 driving his Pender County Special -

 

 

 

And right in between was the former one-mile Raleigh Speedway, or Southland Speedway, located just a few miles from where I now live. It held both Indycar and NASCAR races during the 1950s.



#19 Option1

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 17:51

While there are probably a couple close by here in Ottawa, one that interests me is one I'd never heard about until the weekend. 

 

I was at Shannonville Motorsport Park, about 2.5 hours drive south-west of Ottawa, for the first round of the Canadian Superbike Championships and someone mentioned there was an abandoned racetrack some 10 miles or so nearby.  Apparently it was a full-blown road course and was abandoned in (I think) the 1950s. 

 

A look at Darren Galpin's excellent World Track Database failed to turn up any contenders.  Anyone have any ideas on where exactly it is, assuming that it even existed?

 

Neil



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#20 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:12

Guido di Carli's site has quite a few listed in Ontario, but I suspect you might know more about where they are than I do, Neil. Can't link directly to the page - click on CAN on the left.

 

http://www.gdecarli....p?var1=1&var2=2



#21 dbltop

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:12

There was a drag strip nearby to Shannonville in the Tyendinaga Indian reservation, but I've never heard of a road course there. I'm just 25 minutes east of Shannonville, in Kingston, and been here all my 57 years. 



#22 Option1

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:21

Guido di Carli's site has quite a few listed in Ontario, but I suspect you might know more about where they are than I do, Neil. Can't link directly to the page - click on CAN on the left.

 

http://www.gdecarli....p?var1=1&var2=2

Thanks Richard, I'd forgotten about Guido's site, but nothing there that matches.

 

There was a drag strip nearby to Shannonville in the Tyendinaga Indian reservation, but I've never heard of a road course there. I'm just 25 minutes east of Shannonville, in Kingston, and been here all my 57 years. 

I hadn't heard of one either, but then again I've only been in Canada since 2006.  I'm willing to bet that if you hadn't heard of it then it simply didn't exist. 

 

I suspected what I'd been told was well-intentioned, but not based in fact.  The context was the rather shoddy (understatement) treatment the current owner of Shannonville serves up to organizations who use the track.

 

As an aside, there was another dragstrip in addition to the one at Shannonville itself?

 

Neil



#23 john winfield

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 22:28

I live in East Bridgford, Notts., and Gamston Airfield is just up the road from here on the A1.  It is still an active airfield but was used as a motor racing circuit in 1950 and 1951. I understand meetings were organised by Nottingham Sports Car Club and Sheffield and Hallamshire Motor Club.  Colin Chapman and Bob Gerard were among the "names" who competed there. 

I live in the same area, foxy, so Gamston must also be my nearest former established circuit, although Langar apparently hosted at least two meetings. NSCC ran their first meeting there in 1949, and a TNF thread refers to a second, earlier meeting.  There is no 'circuit' anymore, but most of the airfield perimeter track is still there.



#24 GMACKIE

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 22:42

Quite a few around Syney have vanished :( . Here are some that I have raced on/visited over the years :-

 

Warwick Farm

Amaroo Park

Catalina Park

Oran Park

Mount Druitt

Orange

Parramatta Park



#25 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:06

Here in South Oz we have the near defunct AIR which sporadically runs some drag meetings only. Hopefully more will happen in the near future. It appears Rodney Jane has some interest in getting the whole complex up and running again. The Fuel and alcohol cars raced on the 1000ft track as ANDRA has specified not enough run off for them. The same as many US tracks, the cars have exceeded the facilitys.

Pt Wakefield long closed. Victor Harbor which is primarily public roads and Woodside and Lobethal, again public roads.

A few defunct speedways, Skyline at Heathfield which is where the school oval for Heathfield High is, Hambley Bridge, Jamestown, Rowley Pk now filled in and a housing estate plus the bitumen bowl at AIR which is there still as part of the near useable [besides drags] AIR complex.

Drag Strips have been at Brooksfield [1/8] north of Adelaide and Tailem Bend east which may be part of a new complex that may be built on the old Mitsubishi testing grounds. 

Rallycross at the old Tailem Bend horse racing facility, still all there I think but not used since 1980 and again at AIR but I am pretty certain all of that has been landscaped now. There was to be a new version that never got any further than surveyors pegs in about 81. It used parts of the existing rallycross track. I believe was to be all inside the bowl coming onto the main straight at the pit entrance and using the existing water splash at the back of the bowl. The splash MAY still be there, I have not been anywhere except the startline area since the early 90s.

I have competed, spectated or driven around all of these except for Pt Wakefield which I tried to find, drove past where you could see a faint outline on Google Earth but could see no evidence from the road. [It is a crop paddock]


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 11 June 2014 - 00:21.


#26 wagons46

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:27

The Gnoo Blas circuit is still intact and is probably in better condition now than it was in the 1950's, being a public road like Bathurst. People who fly into Orange and then travel into town by car from the airport, drive either on the main straight or pit straight depending on the route chosen, without knowing that they are on the once famous circuit. It is still possible to drive a complete lap of the original circuit, although one corner that leads onto the main straight has been altered and the odd medium strip has ruined the racing line in some corners.
The area inside the circuit is quite huge and was Orange's original airport and now houses the new hospital, the old hospital, a golf course and former bowling club, plus many soccer/ football fields that are used most weekends. Named after the late Sir Jack Brabham it is gratifying to hear little kids saying when asked where they are playing next weekend "We're at Jack Brabham" .

Edited by wagons46, 11 June 2014 - 07:46.


#27 David Birchall

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:25

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada we had Westwood Motorsport Park.  Built by enthusiasts, killed by greed:



#28 dbltop

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:56

The old dragstrip near Shannonville was a right off highway 49 just before crossing the bridge, heading south. It was shortened to an eighth of a mile in the 70's. I don't believe it is still in operation.. As for the road course, perhaps he was talking about the go-kart track that existed before Shannonville circuit was built in the same location. It was 1.1 miles around and could be driven flat out the entire lap with the slow rental karts they had. Still fun tho.


Edited by dbltop, 11 June 2014 - 06:02.


#29 john aston

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:27

Julian Hunt's excellent Motorsport Explorer tells me that Yorkshire has had 8 race tracks - we are now down to one - Croft. Lost local venues are Rufforth (where I spent many happy days )RAF Linton on Ouse (not used since FJ car killed a marshal in early 60s) and RAF Catterick- too close to A1 road 



#30 eldougo

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 06:54

Warwick Farm

Amaroo Park

Catalina Park

Oran Park

All Gone thankfully i got to race on them before they vanished into real space and time.

 

Memories will never fade away.



#31 Stephen W

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:11

The two nearest former permanent race tracks are:

Aintree - which still hosts motorcycle racing, trackdays and sprints on the Club Circuit and is 24 miles from home.

Longridge - which is a caravan park now and is 28 miles from home.

284826_10150270515793560_2304614_n.jpg

 

Above: Longridge from the top of the quarry

 

285982_10150313152148560_160883762_o.jpg

 

Above: Aintree's Village corner



#32 Rob29

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:31

Nearest to me must be Dunholme used for one car race won by Stirling Moss in Oct 1948-former WW2 Lancaster base now a school which I pass on way to Lincoln.



#33 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:43

Just as an addition to this thread there is another 'Lost Australian Speedways'  which has a lot of interesting venues. 

IF you look at the Maroubra Speedway story there is a link to a good article which links to the Brian Darby collection of sites that has a LOT of interesting speedway and road racing history. You can lose a couple of hours there alone. The Aussie Road Racing link has an article about a Sydney Midget driver that dies recently. He also won some World Championships!

Or just google 'Vintage Speedway' and you will find all the links.


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 11 June 2014 - 07:48.


#34 Adrian Beese

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:38

I live a mile away from Pontypool Park in Monmouthshire, a superb hill  climb in the 70's. It was killed off by short sighted locals who could not see the benefits of a national entry seeing the area. The town is now in its death throws



#35 Graham Clayton

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:08

The Windsor RSL Speedway site is a 5 minute walk from where I live in South Windsor, NSW, Australia. The track operated between 1949 and 1968, and is now an industrial estate.


Edited by Graham Clayton, 11 June 2014 - 12:08.


#36 427MkIV

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 13:37

And right in between was the former one-mile Raleigh Speedway, or Southland Speedway, located just a few miles from where I now live. It held both Indycar and NASCAR races during the 1950s.

 

Good addition. And farther west is North Wilkesboro, which still exists but sadly gets closer to "former" status with each passing day. Uphill on the backstretch, downhill on the front. South of Raleigh is Rockingham, which is still used for testing, a racing school but no racing is scheduled. The drag strip across US 1 still hosts some low-level events. North Wilkesboro and The Rock are good tracks that got left behind in the move to bigger TV markets and more fan amenities.



#37 f1steveuk

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 14:28

Nearest to me where I live would be Cadours, I think, I've not heard of any others near Belves/Bergerac.

 

Nearest to where I stay in the UK, well, it was never actually finished, though I have read some of it was built, but there was to be a very large "oval" (though more like Avus) to be built on the Downs somehwere near Peacehaven. Other than that it would be Lewes or Firle Hillclimbs.



#38 chunder27

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 15:55

Near to me there are a couple pof styock car tracks at Rye House and a very brief one near Hatfield.



#39 Simon Thomas

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 16:12

Yesterday I set off for a couple of bits of old car business from Comber County Down anti clockwise on the old TT circuit to Newtwownards and onward over the 1934 County Down Trophy circuit to Donaghadee. Left there to cover part of the 1935 and 1936 County Down Trophy in Bangor, drove down Craigantlet hillclimb course and back to Comber again anti clockwise on the TT circuit. Most days I cover the stretch from Comber to Dundonald Hairpin to drive to Belfast.

Simon Thomas



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#40 BRG

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 18:45

I'm near Hampton Court so very close to Brooklands.  I know of Great Auclum - one of the older members of my former motor club used to marshal there  and spoke of it.  It would perhaps be the third nearest to me after the Palace.

As hillclimbs have been included, I recall that Rotherfield Park (just S. of Alton, Hants) was used for a few years.  Might be my third nearest instead of Gt Auclum - quick, fire up Google Maps!

 

Nearest to where I stay in the UK, well, it was never actually finished, though I have read some of it was built, but there was to be a very large "oval" (though more like Avus) to be built on the Downs somehwere near Peacehaven. 

 

Does anyone know anything about this??  Sounds intriguing, and probably the best thing that never happened to Peacehaven.



#41 ChrisJson

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 20:19

For me the nearest venue was Björbobacken about 5 km away.

It was used for hillclimbs in the early ´70s. Per Eklund and Stig

Blomquist were the most famous drivers.

 

Around 10 km farther away was the Toarp Ring, a karting track

which saw among it´s winners a certain Bengt Ronald Peterson.

It´s now used as a training ground for Byrackan i Borås.

 

http://byrackanhundk...moss/hitta-hit/

 

Christer



#42 LittleChris

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 20:41

Westbrook Hay hillclimb for me, approx 1 mile away from where I live in Hemel Hempstead. It forms the driveway to Westbrook Hay school and was used during the late 50's for British Championship rounds. They also hold banger racing at Bovingdon Aerodrome about 3 miles away.



#43 GMACKIE

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 20:56

If hillclimbs are included, here are some around Sydney that are no longer in use :-

 

Silverdale

Amaroo

Foley's

Razorback

Hawksbury

Waterfall

Oxley's Hill

Robertson

Artillery Hill

Forty Bends


Edited by GMACKIE, 11 June 2014 - 21:17.


#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 00:51

After the unfortunate dramas I suspect that the 'new' Windy Point road course hillclimb here in SA was a one off. Pity as it seemed a good idea. 



#45 gtsmunro

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:17

The closest former and current racks near me (Maitland NSW) are the defunct Maitland Speedway (now trotting track) Newcastle International Motordrome ( aka Jerilderie Speedway, Tomago Speedway, Winfield Speedway and Wynns Speedway now Industrial estate), Tomago (former RAAF emergency airstrip, now home to a line of power poles and trees)  Heddon Greta Speedway (now housing estate) Hamilton Speedway (now sports ground, Darling Oval). Current are Ringwood Park hillclimb (Seaham), King Edward Park hillclimb (Newcastle), Kurri Kurri Speedway (Kurri Kurri), Newcastle Showground (Broadmeadow). 



#46 GMACKIE

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:24

I thought King Edward Park hillclimb was still operating. :confused:



#47 Dale Harvey

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:49

Greg,
It is still in use but, a shadow of it's former self. A great pity.
Dale

#48 eldougo

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:51


 
THE 2014 SHANNONS NEWCASTLE HILLCLIMB

 

OCTOBER LONG WEEKEND SUN 5th/MON 6TH   King Edward Park  NSW, Australia 
 


#49 nicanary

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:00

Yesterday I set off for a couple of bits of old car business from Comber County Down anti clockwise on the old TT circuit to Newtwownards and onward over the 1934 County Down Trophy circuit to Donaghadee. Left there to cover part of the 1935 and 1936 County Down Trophy in Bangor, drove down Craigantlet hillclimb course and back to Comber again anti clockwise on the TT circuit. Most days I cover the stretch from Comber to Dundonald Hairpin to drive to Belfast.

Simon Thomas

I reckon the section near Pear Tree Hill can't have changed much since the '30s - it's still fairly narrow and twisting. Did you "cheat" at Craigantlet and just go down the modern road? :lol:



#50 Simon Thomas

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:58

Yes, I cheated. But if I am driving up the hill I always use the old road.

Simon