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Cadwell Park


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#1 Buford

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:10

Cadwell Park is one of dozens of names I have been aware of for a long time, but never knew anything about. Then recently I downloaded the track for GT Legends http://www.gt-legends.com/home_en.php along with many others. I ran LeMans, Monza with the banking, Nurburgring etc. Great fun and in GT Legends as opposed to GP Legends, I can actually stay on the track through 35 MPH turns. In fact most of the time.

Cadwell Park was left unattended as I ran many other famous tracks. Finally I tried it, just about last of my 68 tracks. What a great little circuit. Up and down hills, hairy esses, all kinds of places to pass, great fun in my virtual Mini Cooper. I have never heard much about this place.

So tell me about Cadwell Park. The real one?

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#2 john aston

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 05:15

Cadwell - my favourite circuit.Situated in lovely and empty countryside on the Lincolnshire Wolds.In awooded valley, lots of gradient changes especially the notorious Mountain - whre quick cars and bikes become airborne.It is narrow and some of the circuit is very 'technical'- slow but very difficult.If you get it wrong you will hurt yourself and your car.But the rest of the circuit is VERY fast, open and - difficult

.Punishes mitakes - especially if you get it wrong in the Gooseneck or at Charlies.

Brilliant circuit to spectate at- even better to drive around- have done many track days there in my Catreham Seven.

Used to host Formula 3 but not any longer.I have seen Gunnar Nilsson, Danny Sullivanin F3 thre and people like Blundell and Lehto in FF2000

Run by Jonathan Palmer's MSV operation and the circuit looks better now than at any time since my first visit in 1975.

#3 Buford

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 05:35

Thanks John. Yeah I can tell if you get the up and downhill esses just right its quite a ride, but mess up the beginning and its a mess all the way through.

#4 2F-001

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 07:19

I first learned something about Cadwell in 1969 (I'm not sure I was even aware it existed before then) ; the colour section in MotorSport had coverage of an F3 race - the one in which Ronnie Peterson drove the March 693. Images of quick cars on such a demanding-looking track, with the prospect of cars aviating, made quite an impression. For some reason it wasn't until '83 that my father and I actually went there to spectate - again for F3, but the expected clash (word used advisedly!) between Senna and Brundle. Despite setting a pole-winning time, Senna was 'defeated' by The Mountain and didn't start the race which was then rather dull (the F3 field was not huge that year and particularly small at Cadwell).

Although there have been detail changes over the years - barriers moved back on the left-hand entry before the Mountain; banks eased away through the Hall Bends (the esses after the Mountain) especially on the right were it used to be like driving through a tunnel of armco - the look, character and the challenge of the place hasn't really changed in all that time, although I feel there are fewer trees in places.

After the hairpin (sharp right-hander after the Hall Bends) there used to be white picket-fence separating the track from the garden of a cottage (now gone); this is now replaced by a very thin ribbon of grass and a tyre wall - still fairly attention-grabbing, but the proximity of such comparative domesticity (sadly gone before I got to drive on the track myself) must have been quite extraordinary if you were brought up with Silverstone and Goodwood! It's always said that the barn (at Barn Corner) had its doors left open to create an escape road - I don't remember if this was still the practice in '83 or not.

There is also a short circuit configuration which uses a tight right-hand hairpin, just before the left on to The Mountain area, to join the adjacent straight (I think it may be a break in the armco off to the left of the pic, rather than the one visible here), thus cutting out the Mountain and woodland section.

Also one of my favourite tracks from a (non-competing) trackday driving perspective as well as for watching racing. 'Coppice' the fast uphill left at the end of the long-ish bottom straight, is a real treat. There used to be 2-litre limit on single-seaters competing there; I don't know what restrictions exist currently. I think I remember seeing Rallycross from there on television. British Superbike series goes there too, which is very spectacular.

For those not familiar with the place, he snapshot below, shows a flavour of the scenery (but not much action), is from a recent HSCC meeting, during a FF2000 race (in which our 'Cirrus' was taking part!). The pic is taken overlooking the straight between Barn and Coppice looking toward the Mountain and the paddock area beyond the track. The section off to the left is faster and more open (but still very hilly) - the section off to the right is tighter, slower and more wooded.



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#5 RAP

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 07:41

Started as a motor cycle racing venue before WW2. 500cc F3 cars ran at some bike meetings in the 1950s. Upgraded and became a car racing venue in 1962. I think the track licence has always limited racing cars to 2000cc.

#6 FrankB

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 08:13

Youtube is worth a look. Amongst the thirty or so clips that "Cadwell Park" brought up the 1960 clip is good, along with its commentary. The onboard clip certainly gives an impression of just how tight parts of the circuit are.

http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=XjSjYQaTpEk

http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=1fB5WsqLvMc

As an aside to the discussion about Cadwell - is the "Roy James" who won the Formula Junior race the same one that went on to be part of the Great Train Robbery a few years later?

#7 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 08:48

I would echo the comments of John and 2F-001. It is a fabulous circuit, and looking better than ever undr its current ownership. Sadly the barn is no more, but it remains picturesque and challenging.

James King - March 773 atop The Mountain
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Yes, Frank, that is Roy 'The Weasel' James.

#8 GeoffE

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 08:51

The original circuit cut across parallel to the turquoise cushion/barrier in Tony's pic.

The original circuit was chalk surface and was run anticlockwise (sidecars clockwise).

#9 petestenning

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 10:37

Over the years there has been some wonderfull racing at Cadwell a true drivers circuit, VSCC & HSCC type cars bring back stirring memories.


And Gerry Marshall losing a front wheel which passed him on the way to park Corner while he was leading the only thing to pass him while he had 3 wheels lol.


Pete

#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 10:53

Originally posted by FrankB
As an aside to the discussion about Cadwell - is the "Roy James" who won the Formula Junior race the same one that went on to be part of the Great Train Robbery a few years later?

That's the feller .... alias "The Weasel" as mentioned in the commentary.

#11 Buford

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 11:33

As we say in America... "Looks like a real racey little joint."

#12 275 GTB-4

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 11:36

Cadwell looks like a terrific circuit....obviously better suited to the smaller cars...narrow in places.

Loved...

"splendid getaway by James...."

"and so, Roy James weasily wins the wace!!"

Buford, get hold of a copy of this cheap little vid...Cadwell and Minis are featured:

http://www.amazon.co...7/dp/B00004CNGI

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 15:19

Originally posted by FrankB
Youtube is worth a look. Amongst the thirty or so clips that "Cadwell Park" brought up the 1960 clip is good, along with its commentary. The onboard clip certainly gives an impression of just how tight parts of the circuit are.

http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=XjSjYQaTpEk

http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=1fB5WsqLvMc

As an aside to the discussion about Cadwell - is the "Roy James" who won the Formula Junior race the same one that went on to be part of the Great Train Robbery a few years later?


That BRSCC movie which is entitled Cadwell Park 1960 on thieving YouTube actually depicts an event there in 1963. The Weasel is driving his early production FJ Brabham...which did not exist in 1960.

When the rozzers got onto his trail they flooded Goodwood at the RAC Tourist Trophy meeting that year in the belief that The Weasel would be practising there for the FJ race accompanying the feature GT event. I have to say he was a darned good little driver...criminally bent as a corkscrew though he must have been. Subsequently - like many years subsequently - he emerged from his long prison sentence to try, I believe, a March at Silverstone. It caught him out and if I recall correctly he broke a leg when it hit the bank. Sadly, he fell ill and died a few years later, did he not?

DCN

#14 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 15:47

Slightly OT, but Roy James briefly returned to the track following his detention "at Her Majesty's pleasure", driving a Formula Ford Royale entered by Motor Racing Stables, but he failed to set the record book alight.

He was a jeweller by trade, I believe (handy if your friends hand you a bag of glittering "swag"), and he crafted some motor racing trophies while 'inside'. True, or not?

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#15 alansart

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 16:09

I seem to remember Roy James in a Formula Ford race at Silverstone in about 1975/76. There was a bit of publicity at the time but the comeback fizzled out when he broke his leg. Ironically his share of Great Train Robbery was never recovered. Apparently he left it with a friend who spent all of it whilst james was inside!

Back to the thread. Cadwell Park has always been my favourite circuit. Very fast for the first half, tight and twisty for the rest of it.

Even Formula Fords take off at the mountain.

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I had a few good races there and also a few accidents. Not the safest circuit in the country but great fun and nowhere nicer on a warm summers day.

#16 alansart

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 16:11

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Alan Cox
[B] and he crafted some motor racing trophies while 'inside'. True, or not?

I do believe he did the trophies for Bernie Ecclestone (who commented later that he would never have been involved in the Great Train Robbery as there wasn't enough money in it!)

#17 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 16:17

It's almost unbelievable when bikes race there


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#18 alansart

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 16:33

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
[B]It's almost unbelievable when bikes race there

Absolutely. I've never been there when bikes have been racing but always watch the Superbikes on the TV.

Frightening

#19 GeoffE

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 17:15

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Sadly, he fell ill and died a few years later, did he not?


Would this be him?
Roy John JAMES: Born 30 Aug 1935 Stepney, died Aug 1997 Kensington

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#20 David Lawson

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 17:19

Although Palmer has improved Cadwell Park in the last couple of years it is still the delightfully informal circuit it has always been as this photograph I took in the paddock at last years VSCC meeting illustrates.

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David

#21 alansart

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 17:34

Some Cadwell Folklore:

The doors on the barn were left open so that if any one went off they could drive straight through. Unfortunately they didn't always move the farming equipment.

I think it was Mike Whately who went off coming out of barn corner and went over the barrier into the trees. Theres a bit of a drop behind the barriers there and he finished up about 6ft off the ground wedged in the branches. I don't know how they got the car out but the incident made the Catchpole cartoon in Autosport the following week.

The house before Barn Corner has a garden on the edge of the track, infact the front gate opens onto the tarmac.I think an old lady lived there at one time but went away when the races were on because of the noise.

I'm sure there's lots more.

#22 Alan Cox

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 20:21

A few more angles for those who have never been fortunate enough to visit Cadwell. All taken at a VSCC meeting some years ago. Not much changed today, apart from the barn and farm buildings which are no more - they made a great backdrop to photos.

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#23 Mark A

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 21:14

Was at Cadwell a few weeks ago for a Trackday which had a good turn out of Exiges.


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I've been there a few times in the last couple of years, and Cadwell is definitely benefiting from the ownership of Mr Palmer. The last time I'd been there previously was in the early 90's and it was a bit different.

One of the biggest differences is the removal of the bank in Hall Bends making it a bit safer.

#24 Cirrus

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 21:45

I think it was Mike Whately who went off coming out of barn corner and went over the barrier into the trees. Theres a bit of a drop behind the barriers there and he finished up about 6ft off the ground wedged in the branches. I don't know how they got the car out but the incident made the Catchpole cartoon in Autosport the following week.



I was in that race - July 1979. Mike was lucky to escape with just a broken foot. We used to have a Formula 4 race, supporting the British F3 round at Cadwell for a number of years. At the same meeting in 1979, Andrea De Cesaris shunted at the top of the Mountain. He immediately ran down the hill to the pits, where he got in his spare car. The next time he went over the Mountain, he passed the marshals, still removing the wreckage of his shunt.

The next time I raced a Cadwell was this year, at the meeting 2F-001 mentioned above. Despite major mechanical problems for me, it was great to know that the essence of the circuit remained intact, even after 28 years. It provided a perfect venue for the first of our Historic FF2000 races.

#25 bigears

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 18:27

This YouTube link contains some entertaining footage between some Rovers and Capris racing along the short circuit.

You should enjoy the engine sounds there!

#26 JSF

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 22:28

My first ever track drive was at Cadwell Park, what a stunning place to start. It lives upto it's nickname extremely well as the mini nurburgring.

The changes they made to the climb up the mountain a few years ago ruined it a bit for me, you used to be able to carry more speed up there until they introduced some high kerbs on the apex points for the fairly substantially tight corners up the hill.

Biggest jump i did was in my cosworth turbo powered westfield, it's huge fun landing sideways with oposite lock on and the back tyres spinning whilst you grin at the spectators in the stands a few feet away, there is a fairly substantial camber to the road as you land which can see a lot of cars spinning off there if they arn't ready for it.

It's got a bit of everything, so is superb for testing, just dont go off because there is no runoff area in a lot of places, where it has some you are on grass which has a lot of gradient to it so in the wet you are going to hit something.

#27 Macca

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:10

http://forums.autosp...635#post2567635

(pictures from another thread)

Paul M

#28 Thundersport

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 11:25

Seem to remember champ of Brands F Ford driver Andrew Guye Johnson hitting the Barn or ending up on top of it anyone got a pic?

#29 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 13:51

In the 60s and early 70s there used to be a fairly mad F1 stock car track which ran anti clockwise up towards Charlies then off on the infielf towards Coppice and downhill quite steeply to a sharp hairpin between Mansfield corner and the link....
Think about that for a moment, 30 V8 powered stock cars,the quick guys at the back, full contact allowed, going steeply downhill to a tight hairpin... hmmm.... yes it must have been quite a sight!

#30 alansart

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 14:04

The Rallycross Circuit was pretty spectacular too! I don't think that's been used since the 70's.

#31 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:33

Originally posted by Alan Cox
A few more angles for those who have never been fortunate enough to visit Cadwell. All taken at a VSCC meeting some years ago. Not much changed today, apart from the barn and farm buildings which are no more - they made a great backdrop to photos.


Thanks Alan...priceless shots :up:

#32 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:06

Originally posted by alansart
The Rallycross Circuit was pretty spectacular too! I don't think that's been used since the 70's.


I recall seeing Sky coverage with John Welch & Will Gollop starring in Group B cars so that must have been early 90s I would think. It certainly was a very entertaining circuit - but then they were the right kind of cars to match it.
Rallycross : A great 'TV sport' that TV thoughtlessly cast aside for more of the same old balls (and bats)...

#33 Terry Walker

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:21

The layout looks great from space (Google Map), and with several "vertical corners" as well, it sounds like a lot of fun.

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#34 David McKinney

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:44

It's much prettier on the ground :lol:
Judging by the number of cars in the paddock, the satellite must having been passing over at the time of a race-meeting

#35 GeoffE

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:55

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
In the 60s and early 70s there used to be a fairly mad F1 stock car track which ran anti clockwise up towards Charlies then off on the infielf towards Coppice and downhill quite steeply to a sharp hairpin between Mansfield corner and the link....
Think about that for a moment, 30 V8 powered stock cars,the quick guys at the back, full contact allowed, going steeply downhill to a tight hairpin... hmmm.... yes it must have been quite a sight!


Try as I might, I honestly can't remember which way round they went but the Go Karts (which shared the meetings) went in the opposite direction. The loop of track that they used can clearly be seen on the aerial photograph posted by Terry.

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An excellent stock car site http://giswww1.bcit....itish_stock.htm

#36 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 11:05

There is some cine film od Stock cars at Cadwell that was available on video some years ago. I have one in my collection but at the moment can't bring it to hand. The producer was the photographer chap who always had a stall at Coventry stadium (among other venues) selling new and old photos while the voice over was by Bev Greenhalf. Stocks always run anti clockwise so they definately went up the hill towards Charlie's and back down towards where the new motorcycle chicane is located.

#37 subh

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 16:47

[QUOTE]Originally posted by alansart
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
[B]It's almost unbelievable when bikes race there

Absolutely. I've never been there when bikes have been racing but always watch the Superbikes on the TV.

Frightening
[/QUOTE]

This year’s British Superbike meeting at Cadwell Park is on 27th August - should be on ITV.

#38 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:47

A terrific photograph here. Posted with the kind permission of Ted Walker at Ferret who owns the copyright and taken by my friend Mike Dixon, 'Autosport' snapper and journalist in the '60s/70s.

I'd never seen a shot from here before, featuring Geoff Friswell in clubmans in 1975. From inside the Cadwell barn!
Mike said you had to be very brave to stand in there!

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A funny 'Fris' story that Mike told me. When Geoff was doing FF2000 at Cadwell, Mike got a shot of him spinning at the foot of the mountain. The paddock toilets had a leak and it was running across the track. Geoff 'lost it' crossing this 'river'. When he got out of the car he said 'I was pissed off!'

Thanks Ted, make sure you visit his site.
http://www.ferret1.co.uk/fabout.html

#39 Stephen W

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:59

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This was taken at the british Sprint Championship meeting in 2006 and it is Graham Miller (aka Dusty) giving his Vauxhall powered Escort a good seeing to!

;)

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#40 RS2000

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:20

Hope he was running in Sports Libre...

#41 HiRich

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:07

The first car race I can trace is 20th September 1953, A Louth & District MC meeting. Iota magazine refers to "the opening of the new 1.3 mile road circuit...over 30,000 spectators enjoyed a mixed Formula III car and motor cycle meeting." The rules were set from day 1 as "...a terrific mix-up was taking place on the fast right-hander at the top of Little Everest - Frow shed both his chains - lost control and phenomenal avoidances were the order of the day."
As already mentioned, mixed-events for 500s and bikes were common, particularly the Whit Monday meeting.

The first car appearance was five years earlier, when the White-Lloyd 500cc car did some parade laps before a healthy motorcycle crowd. It seems odd that it took five years for cars to face the flag, especially as 500s would drive on any strip of tarmac more than a couple of hundred yards long. So I wouldn't be surprised if there was something earlier.

#42 Stephen W

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:11

Originally posted by RS2000
Hope he was running in Sports Libre...


Naturally! Along with Simon Bainbridge's Audi TT Replica.

:wave:

#43 EDWARD FITZGERALD

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:11

Originally posted by Alan Cox
Slightly OT, but Roy James briefly returned to the track following his detention "at Her Majesty's pleasure", driving a Formula Ford Royale entered by Motor Racing Stables, but he failed to set the record book alight.

He was a jeweller by trade, I believe (handy if your friends hand you a bag of glittering "swag"), and he crafted some motor racing trophies while 'inside'. True, or not?

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Roy created The IMRC Club Championship trophy while outside in civvie street , maybe he did a bit of when in the HM hotel.

#44 ErleMin

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 13:11

Andrew Kitson's post with the Ted Walker/Mike Dixon photo reminds me of the Cadwell Park barn folklore which had it that they opened the barn doors when racing was on so that you had the option of going through it without any damage if you were having a "moment" there. Mind you, the lake would be the next obstacle.

#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 13:54

Originally posted by ErleMin
Andrew Kitson's post with the Ted Walker/Mike Dixon photo reminds me of the Cadwell Park barn folklore which had it that they opened the barn doors when racing was on so that you had the option of going through it without any damage if you were having a "moment" there. Mind you, the lake would be the next obstacle.


The open barn door was said to have been a condition of the track licence. . . .

#46 llmaurice

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:25

Cadwell Park still has Karts racing but they are combined with the New Era Motorcycle club events .
Another one of Palmers circuits which for bike racers has suffered recently with a silly chicane just before the Mountain . One good thing for bikes though was the widening of the run off area out of Barn.
You still need crampons to climb up to the paddock from the pit lane .
Formula 3 cars can still run there (Classic F3 up to 1980) . Unfortunately ,with the scarcity of suitable Toyota motors ,the entries have to be suplemented with FF2000 (only up to 1980) . Because of this ,the Hscc frequently drop the F3 cars from their events as they can cram the grids with saloon cars to bring in still more revenue .
Altogether a superb circuit which unfortunately also holds tragic memories for quite a few Motorcycling families !

#47 ian senior

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:13

Originally posted by llmaurice
You still need crampons to climb up to the paddock from the pit lane .


I can confirm that. As a teenage marshall at Cadwell, I was once given the job of acting as "runner" between race control, by the pit lane, and the paddock. I spent most of my time literally running backwards and forwards between these two points and I was absolutely shattered at the end of the day. If I was carrying any spare weight as the day started, it had long gone by the time the last race finished. Hopefully the latest round of circuit improvements have included the installation of a chairlift.

I did get time to watch the racing, though, and the sight of a pack of 1-litre F3 cars coming over the top of the Mountain and then piling into Hall Bends with no-one prepared to back off was truly stirring. A great circuit, without doubt.

#48 subh

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 23:25

A lap of Cadwell Park on board a Suzuki:



#49 chris shaw

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 20:51

Memories of Cadwell as a kid in the 60s are bike meetings when all the stars were there. On the car side -
1.Spectating in the middle area - great views/photos.
2. Getting passed on the journey home by Lincoln-based George Dixon in a Lotus sports car (15?).
3. Barn Corner - didn't Ben Moores end up inside barn? -also Peter Fattorini spinning F3 Brabham on exit and in duck pond.
4. The F3 internationals in '69,'70 - debut of March with Ronnie.
5. Hill climb late '60s.
6. Seeing Roger Williamson total his F3 Cooper just before Mountain and then sitting on bank with head in hands - followed his career from that day.
Good to see it cared for by JP- remember seeing him race there in Marcos.

#50 MCS

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 22:21

Originally posted by Alan Cox
He was a jeweller by trade, I believe [/IMG]


Certainly was. He produced the F1 Constructors trophies whilst still inside - interesting in itself.

One can only assume somebody must have asked him to do so......