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A circuit to remember


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#1 bill moffat

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 11:00

After a few laps of the Nordschleife you might kid yourself that you are beginning to learn the circuit. You fantasise of JYS looming out of the mist, destroying the opposition. Of those wonderful panning camera shots at the Karrusell with an F1 car stuck to the tarmac with the springs at full compression. Of a flying BMW CSLeichtmetall or perhaps Fangio doing the impossible.

Then reality bites. Out of the Eifel mist that up-and-coming left hander taken with just a dab of the brakes to stabilise the car turns out to be a plummeting adverse camber right. This could hurt in so many ways..

As a perfect antidote may I present to you a circuit map of Llandow from a 1973 race programme:

Posted Image

Even I could remember this one.

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#2 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 11:27

But you have still got to remember - "is this the corner near the paddock that goes on for more than 90 degrees, the tight right hander before the start / finish straight, or the opening right hander at the end of it?"

For a more easily remembered track layout ... http://my.brickyard....00/trackmap.php

edit - FrankB imediately dives for cover in anticipation of incoming artillery

#3 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:28

Or even more easy to learn ...

http://www.daxrush.c...od/DSCF0094.JPG

;)

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:33

Oh I don't know about you blokes...

Leyburn was the easiest... each corner was preceded by over a mile of straight to help you think about what was coming up.

#5 Wolf

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 14:05

Wasn't there a track in US (beggining of last century, might've been used before and during WWI) with only one corner (in shape of a circle)? I can try to dig out where I've learned of it, a bit later...

#6 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 14:22

Originally posted by Wolf
Wasn't there a track in US... with only one corner (in shape of a circle)? I can try to dig out where I've learned of it, a bit later...


Not really a race track, but Millbrook Proving Ground has got a 2 mile circumference circular, banked track...

http://www.skywalker...1_Millbrook.jpg

#7 MCS

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 14:25

I've never really understood why racing has never (to my knowledge) taken place at Millbrook.

There's not much in the way of housing around there so it would be unlikely that people would complain about the noise.

I flew over it earlier this year and was amazed by what I saw - it looked terrific!

Mark

#8 Wolf

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 15:20

Thanks FrankB, but I don't tink it's the one- name doesn't ring a bell, for one, and it was definitely a race track on which races were held (it may even be that last race in 1916 involved fatalities). If only I wasn't that terrible with remembering names... :

#9 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 15:27

Wolf - the Millbrook track is here in the UK and is relatively newly built (1970s?) - you weren't thinking of one of the board tracks mentioned in another thread were you - see the linkks in harryglorydays' second post here... http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=74510

#10 Gokart Mozart

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 17:28

Langhorne, Pennsylvania was a constant circle, with the notable (breath) of a straight in front of the pits. :eek:

Cheers,

Jacques N Dresang
#66 Sunoco Eagle

#11 philippe7

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 18:11

Originally posted by bill moffat

As a perfect antidote may I present to you a circuit map of Llandow from a 1973 race programme:

Posted Image

Even I could remember this one.


I always was puzzled that the programs at Llandow used to show two quite different circuit maps, depending on wether the meeting was organised by the South Wales Automobile Club or the BRSCC or someone else....because if the general idea of the "oval" is indeed good, you can see that the real layout of the track, as illustrated in the following aerial picture pinched from the official Llandow website, is quite different from Bill's plan...the "open" right hander being after the start finish line, and the "tighter" one afterwards....exactly the opposite from the sketch on that program

Posted Image


Oh yes, the "dark" piece of tarmac is the new 9m wide circuit built in 2000.....but the original wider concrete course ( which basically was two parallel runways from the old WW2 airport linked together ) is clearly visible underneath

#12 philippe7

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 18:32

While I'm at it.....I had posted this picture in the "unusual sponsors" thread but it really belongs to Llandow

Posted Image
The mighty Ken Bowen, local Welsh saloon car terror in his Mini 850, challenging such local celebrities as Len Brammer or Joe Gregory....

Bill I have dozens of Llandow pictures from 73/74 in my basement, we might open a thread for "personal photos of the most obscure racing drivers..." :rotfl:

#13 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 18:40

Originally posted by philippe7
...exactly the opposite from the sketch on that program...

My first thought was that perhaps a negative had been reversed in the production of the Llandow website - but this is the multimap image for rhe area ...

http://www.multimap....up.x=291&up.y=7

which ties in with the the website's aerial view.

Bill Moffat's's posting shows what could be described as a sketch - perhaps that is exactly what it is - an indication of where you will find the loos, the paddock etc once you have entered the site - with no pretence at being an accurate representation of the track or the facilities that it offered.

#14 philippe7

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 20:07

Great picture of the area, thanks a lot Frank ! Brings back a lot of memories ......this photo is probably more recent than the one from the website, since the new kart track appears , although it seems a little dug up.....it certainly wasn't when I visited thz place a few weeks ago .

I'll try to scan and post the "alternate" official map from my office tomorrow .

#15 MCS

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 20:15

Originally posted by Gokart Mozart
Langhorne, Pennsylvania was a constant circle, with the notable (breath) of a straight in front of the pits. :eek:

Cheers,

Jacques N Dresang
#66 Sunoco Eagle


...and now a shopping mall IIRC (for quite some time now?)

Mark

#16 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 20:36

Originally posted by MCS
...and now a shopping mall IIRC (for quite some time now?)


It was subsequently closed after the last meeting held on the 17th October 1971, and a shopping mall built upon it.



http://www.silhouet....s/langhorn.html

also
http://www.vintagemo...2/Langhorne.JPG
and
http://images.google...h...3D&safe=off

#17 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 20:48

Originally posted by philippe7
...this photo is probably more recent than the one from the website, since the new kart track appears...

I'll try to scan and post the "alternate" official map from my office tomorrow .


I find the facility of overlaying maps and photos on multimap to be both functional and entertaining - it's a shame that they don't give some indication of the date of the photos though. I doubt if the photo on the website is more recent than your visit of a few weeks ago, and if the place looks dug up it is probably older work, the scars of which have now healed.

It will be fascinating to see the "alternate" circuit map to see how it compares both with the version that bill moffat posted and also with the aerial photos.

#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 23:11

Originally posted by philippe7
While I'm at it.....I had posted this picture in the "unusual sponsors" thread but it really belongs to Llandow

Posted Image
The mighty Ken Bowen, local Welsh saloon car terror in his Mini 850, challenging such local celebrities as Len Brammer or Joe Gregory....


Ken Bowen, my foot - that's Dick Dastardly! :lol:

#19 FrankB

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 23:18

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Ken Bowen, my foot - that's Dick Dastardly! :lol:


Are you sure that you aren't getting this thread confused with the "Earliest TV motor sport memories" one?

:lol:

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#20 philippe7

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:40

Originally posted by FrankB

I doubt if the photo on the website is more recent than your visit of a few weeks ago, and if the place looks dug up it is probably older work, the scars of which have now healed.


No, I wasn't clear enough : I meant the photo you found is more recent that the one I posted from the official website, not that my recent visist : the kart track is today totally functional , "post partial dig-up" I guess, although I can't swear the layout is the same .


It will be fascinating to see the "alternate" circuit map to see how it compares both with the version that bill moffat posted and also with the aerial photos.


Here we are ; courtesy of the BRSCC, South Western Centre :

Posted Image

#21 philippe7

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 08:09

Just to set things straight : I got it the wrong way round with the dates : the multimap image definitely pre-dates the official website photo, since the 2000 resurfacing wasn't done yet . The kart track ( which pre-dates the resurfacing ) is quite visible on the multimap image , it was probably being overhauled , hence the impression of "digging up" in the clearer looking grounds.

#22 TheStranger

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:12

Here's another American "circular track," Grand Boulevard in Corona which held several AAA National Championship races in the early 1910s and predates Langhorne. In fact, the city of Corona (Spanish for "Circle") got its name from the course, and the Boulevard still functions as a city street.

http://www.racingcir.../ca/Corona.html

On a local public television show about 2 years ago called California's Gold, a few people pulled out the old 1910s championship vehicles and drove them for a little bit of a cruise on Grand Boulevard...dunno if that episode is available on VHS/DVD.

#23 Darren Galpin

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:54

Posted Image

This map places the Corona circuit in context a bit better.

#24 bill moffat

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 12:16

Originally posted by philippe7



It will be fascinating to see the "alternate" circuit map to see how it compares both with the version that bill moffat posted and also with the aerial photos.


Here we are ; courtesy of the BRSCC, South Western Centre :

Posted Image


What neither the circuit maps nor the aerial photos convey fully is the kink in the midst of the bend prior to the start line. There was a pronounced Rt/Lt /Rt wiggle which coincided with a change in track surface. This caught out many a driver and, atleast locally, was known as "Devil's Elbow". Adjacent to this challenge was a heavily fortified Marshals post so not a very good place to have an accident.

An ultimately famous driver suffered an unscheduled shortening and lowering of his Escort Mexico in this general area. As a cub reporter for Motoring News I promised him that I would overlook this incident as a means of preserving his name and career, it seemed to work..

The other memorable aspect at Llandow was the track surface. It was appalling. The circuit was sometimes used as a special stage of the FRAM Welsh Rally, the standing joke being that it was one of the rougher stages...

#25 ian senior

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 12:34

Something that always sticks in my mind - and there is no reason why it should, except that for some bizarre reason I found it highly amusing at the time - is that I remember (not very succesful) F3 driver Martyn Howse being described as the "Welsh hamburger tycoon". Did he by any chance have the burger concession at Llandow?

#26 RTH

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 12:43

Originally posted by philippe7
While I'm at it..... we might open a thread for "personal photos of the most obscure racing drivers..." :rotfl:


Great Idea - do it !

#27 BRG

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 12:44

Originally posted by MCS
I've never really understood why racing has never (to my knowledge) taken place at Millbrook.

It has been used quite extensively (not to mention expensively - the daily hire fee is pretty heavy) for rallying. I have competed there once, although we only managed two stages before the car expired. The 'alpine' course is really challenging with bumps and dips and adverse cambers of all sorts.

It was used as a Network Q RAC Rally stage for a few years and famously saw Tommi Makinen retire after hitting a concrete block, ending his WR Championship hopes - at least until Carlos Sainz's infamous engine blow-up in the last 400 metres of the final stage at Margam gifted the title back to him.

It would not be very suitable for racing though. It is purpose built for testing cars (by Vauxhall originally) and hence the tracks are deliberately designed to test cars suspension, handling and brakes in a way that circuit racers might find a bit tiresome, although it is meat and drink to rally drivers. The roads aren't wide enough for racing, apart from the high speed circle whcih would be a pretty tedious race track - even the IRL would find it too easy.

#28 RTH

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 12:48

Don't we have the 'Real' RAC Rally starting in Sheffield this week for pre- '81 cars ?

#29 BRG

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 13:03

Indeed we do - even as we speak (or type...) classic rally cars are thundering through classic British forest stages on the Roger Albert Clark Rally - even held on the classic RAC Rally dates! And even better, my all-time no 1 driver, the incomparable Stig Blomqvist is leading!

#30 Wolf

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 14:21

Originally posted by TheStranger
Here's another American "circular track," Grand Boulevard in Corona which held several AAA National Championship races in the early 1910s and predates Langhorne. In fact, the city of Corona (Spanish for "Circle") got its name from the course, and the Boulevard still functions as a city street.

http://www.racingcir.../ca/Corona.html

On a local public television show about 2 years ago called California's Gold, a few people pulled out the old 1910s championship vehicles and drove them for a little bit of a cruise on Grand Boulevard...dunno if that episode is available on VHS/DVD.


Thanks a million, TheStranger- that's the track I was talking about! :clap: Where did I chance upon this track is a thing that still bugs me...

#31 BRG

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 14:32

Originally posted by TheStranger
Corona (Spanish for "Circle")

Sorry to nit-pick, but the Spanish for circle is circulo. The word corona in Spanish means 'crown'.

#32 TheStranger

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 17:55

Originally posted by BRG
Sorry to nit-pick, but the Spanish for circle is circulo. The word corona in Spanish means 'crown'.


Doh, I kew that would be an issue! :lol:

So is it "circle" in Latin? Something...I forget what specifically it is.

#33 bill moffat

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 18:23

Originally posted by philippe7

Bill I have dozens of Llandow pictures from 73/74 in my basement, we might open a thread for "personal photos of the most obscure racing drivers..." :rotfl:


Phillipe get digging in that basement ( a Frenchman without a cellar?).

We fully expect images of the Risca Garages Jaguars, Baglan Bay Minis, Tyndall Motor Services' Hornet, Fromstock Escort BDA etc.

Driver-wise how about Ken Wilson (McLaren M1C), Basil Dagge (Imp), Bob Miller (Dulon LD8), Dave McCloy and poor Joe Gregory (Escort/Anglia) or Vernon Davies (U2). FF would be represented by such as Buzz Buzaglo, Ted Wentz and Colin Mock.

Charles Sgonina's in the ex Jimmy Clark Aston DBR1 was also a Llandow regular but more so in the late 1960s (often up against interloper Ron Fry in either a 250LM or a GT40!).

#34 Frank S

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 18:47

Originally posted by Darren Galpin


This map places the Corona circuit in context a bit better.


Reprise:

This eBay auction includes historical information..

#35 gdecarli

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 00:01

In Southern Italy we have Nardò proving ground: diameter 4 km, lenght 12566 m, banked. It's used for prototype tests and speed records. More info on official website (in English) and my website.

Posted Image

This map doesn't show all sections just built (they were under costruction in Summer 2003).

Ciao,
Guido

#36 FrankB

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 00:06

Originally posted by philippe7
Here we are ; courtesy of the BRSCC, South Western Centre... :


Well the BRSCC map certainly apears to tie in with the aerial photos doesn't it?

#37 philippe7

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 17:27

Originally posted by bill moffat


What neither the circuit maps nor the aerial photos convey fully is the kink in the midst of the bend prior to the start line. There was a pronounced Rt/Lt /Rt wiggle which coincided with a change in track surface. This caught out many a driver and, atleast locally, was known as "Devil's Elbow".


Yep.....here it is , from a biker's perspective....

Posted Image
The leftish kink between the two right-handers


Posted Image
The change in track surface....

#38 philippe7

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 17:42

Originally posted by bill moffat


Phillipe get digging in that basement ( a Frenchman without a cellar?).

We fully expect images of the Risca Garages Jaguars, Baglan Bay Minis, Tyndall Motor Services' Hornet, Fromstock Escort BDA etc.


Not wishing to waste everybody's time with my Llandow reminescences, so just a few .....

Posted Image
Minis at full blast through "Devil's Elbow"....notice the hughe queue of spectators cars waiting to come in for the fun !

Posted Image
Denny Hulme, Brabham BT 13 FVA , Invercargill, 1966 ? No, A.N.other, Formula Ford, Llandow, 1973 !

Posted Image
A couple more Welsh F.Ford aces...

Posted Image
Businessman-Sponsor-Racer Chris Meek brought his mighty "Princess Ita" Escort BDA....

Posted Image
.....and also his nice italian car for the prodsports race....

Posted Image
....while Count Giovanni di Stefano (!) was getting some track experience in his immaculate brand new Porsche Carrera...

#39 johnwilliamdavies

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 11:56

There is a story in this week's Glamorgan Gazette of plans to build a new village of 2,700 homes (plus amenities) on Llandow industrial estate. As this is a brown-field site, and there is a very high demand for houses in the Vale of Glamorgan (especially with the recent expansion of St. Athan), I would have thought that planning permission would more than likely be granted.

This will mean the end of Llandow circuit, which is currently used as a sprint venue.

Here is a link to the story http://icwales.icnet...-name_page.html



-------------

Welsh Motor Sport History

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#40 bill moffat

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 12:53

Did Graham Hill really "open" Llandow circuit ? That's a new one on me...

#41 philippe7

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 14:57

Sad news indeed.....I'm glad I made a nostalgia stop at Llandow a couple of years ago , 30 years after my last visit as a spectator....

Mentioning St Athan's RAF village also brings back ancient memories of initial scuba diving training in the covered and heated pool.....which was a welcome alternative to the freezing and murky waters of the Bristol Channel !

Oh and if I may ask : what's a "brownfield" site ? :confused:

#42 FrankB

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 15:15

Originally posted by philippe7


Oh and if I may ask : what's a "brownfield" site ? :confused:


A brownfield site is one that has been developed or built on previously (as opposed to a greenfield site which has had no previous development or building work on it). The previous land use could have been such things a now defunct industry, redundant military sites or even currently occupied premises. Planning authorities tend to favour re-development of such sites where possible, especially if the site has been unused for sometime and is considered unsightly.

As an aside, the assumption tends to be that developing farmland (greenfield) is detrimental to the environment, whereas brownfield redevelopment / regeneration will enhance the environment. It has been argued that given the sterile nature of a lot of farmland, with huge, hedgeless fields there is very little wildlife present, whereas a site that is slowly reverting to nature can be providing habitat for many species of flora and fauna.

#43 philippe7

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 18:09

Merci beaucoup, FrankB :wave: