Address: Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent, ME5 9QG
Phone Number: 01634 201562
Web Site: www.buckmore.co.uk
Track Length: 1200m / 900m
Facilities: Clubhouse, Briefing Room, changing room, cafeteria, toilets.
Weather Forecast: Click here for next 10 days
Buckmore Park is one of the leading Kart circuits in the UK and is continually undergoing major improvements to its facilities and circuit alike. The track was extended in 1999 to its current 1200 length although it has a number of different possible circuit layouts to suit customers needs. C-100 uses the full circuit and this is described below in more detail.
Club 100 has used Buckmore Park since its very first race (C-100 race that is) back in 1993. It has been a regular feature on the C-100 calendar and there are always at least two races scheduled at the track each year as it is so popular with the drivers. The pit lane and pit facilities are next to the major car park at the back of the circuit and this means that the drivers are a little remote from the briefing room, toilets and cafeteria that are situated near the start / finish line. It is therefore essential the customers spend as little time as possible in the café/toilets and remain around the pits area in order to ensure they do not miss their races!
The pit lane exit is at the bottom of the long downhill section although it is rather refreshing to push start the karts downhill that does assist those doing the pushing! The circuit has a number of cut through's and C-100 tends to use the cut through at hairpin one and at Pullmans in order to create a oval type rolling up lap. This will be made clear at any driver briefing at any C-100 event. The pits entrance is on the left-hand side of the fast downhill section at Symes Sweeps and drivers are reminded to pull to the left hand side of the circuit and raise their hand before coming into the pits.
The marshalling is always first class at Buckmore and most marshall posts are manned on race days. Drivers should pay attention to any waved flags (especially yellow flags) as a number of the corners have blind spots that obscure the drivers view. These corners (café curve in particular) are high-speed corners so it is essential that drivers are vigilant at all times when on the circuit.
Buckmore Park is always the most popular event of the season and the entry lists for all events tend to fill up a long time in advance of the races themselves, so it is always worth booking in at least a month in advance to avoid disappointment. The circuit is both demanding and exciting and the changes of gradient make a refreshing change from the other circuits visited during the year. All in all, a great track that always delivers some great racing.
A Lap Around Buckmore Park (by Will Alderson)
Will Alderson has thorough knowledge of the Buckmore Park circuit having raced here many times in C-100 and at MSA club meetings.
"Heading along Sisley straight (this is the start/finish straight), move to the left of the circuit ready for Conways, a double apex right hand bend. A slight dab on the brakes is required before turning in just before the marshals post on the left. Aim to take the first apex at the surface change, running close to the kerb, then getting back on the power and letting the kart run to the middle of the track being sure to stay within the patched tarmac that covers the inside of this bend. As you approach the second apex, bring the kart back close to the inside kerb before using the full width of the track on the exit.
The exit from Conways sets you up perfectly for Hairpin One. Start to brake very hard between the end of the kerb on the left, and the surface change, then aim to turn in just before the next surface change. An early apex can be taken here as the bend opens out on the exit. Reapply the power at the apex and use the full width of the track, being careful not to run too wide over the geo blocking as this will cost you time.
From the exit of Hairpin One, drive a diagonal line from the left to the right of the short straight, then brake before turning into Hairpin Two, just before the surface change. This corner is one of the most important corners on the track, as it leads into the fastest part of the circuit. Any extra speed that can be found here will be carried all the way to the bottom of the hill and will shave vital tenths off the laptime. The corner has a very square apex, and you should aim to miss the first part, and run close to or just over the second 'corner' of the square. Get on the power as early as possible to maximise the exit speed, but be careful not to run wide on the exit as this can cost time.
Stay on the right of the short straight as you approach The Esses. This S bend requires very smooth driving to carry as much speed as possible through the corner. Turn into a fairly early apex on the first kerb, this kerb is flat and can be used without damage to the kart. Next, drive a straight line to the next kerb, which is again flat and can be used in moderation. The exit of the corner will take you to the extreme left of the track, ready for Symes Sweep.
Symes Sweep is a very fast, down hill right hand corner. In good conditions it can be taken flat, although a small lift may be required to keep the kart on the correct line for Pullmans(the next corner). Turn in just as you crest the hill, and aim to run close to, or just on the inside kerb. Be careful not to use too much of this vicious kerb as it will damage the kart and throw you off line for Pullmans, and consequently Paddock. Aim to exit this bend 1 to 2 kart widths away from the left of the track as this will set you up perfectly for Pullmans. Run wide and you will mess up the next two corners.
Pullmans follows on closely from Symes Sweep, and requires a small dab on the brakes. This is a very tricky part of the track as you have to brake whilst turning the kart. Be careful not to brake too hard, as you will be liable to lock the brakes, and spin into the tyres - not a good idea at this speed! Aim to apex towards the end of the kerb, running the left-hand wheels just on the kerb, using as much power as possible without running wide. It is very important to keep the kart on a tight line, as you must be on the left hand side of the track to get a good line through Paddock.
The entry to Paddock bend requires heavy braking - you will often see drivers locking up here. Turn in and run close to or on the flat inside kerb, but beware of the small drain in the middle of the corner. Get back on the power as early as possible, often before the apex to ensure that you carry good speed up Damon Hill.
Garda is another very important corner, as the exit starts a long run to the top of the circuit. It is also a corner where the ideal line will leave you open to being overtaken. The ideal line is to turn in very late, getting back on the power just before a late apex, 3 to 4 blocks from the end of the kerb. Keep the kart tight to the right hand side of the track, ideally running the right wheels over the geo blocking on the right of the track giving you the best line for the Senna Chicane. If you are being followed closely and especially if you have made a mistake through the preceding corners, it is better to take a tighter line in, although you must ensure that you do not run wide past the apex as this will allow following driver to pass you on the exit of this corner.
The Senna Chicane is, in reality, a very simple flat out left hand corner. Turn in to run your left hand wheels over the flat inside kerb, then let the kart run to the extreme right of the track. Stay on the right as you ascend Herbet Rise ready for Café Curve, one of the best corners on the track.
Café is a blind, left hand corner that can usually be taken flat. Turn in just at the start of the small kerb on the right, being as smooth with the steering as possible. Aim to apex 2/3 of the way along the inside kerb, then let the kart run to the extreme right of the track. Finally drive through the final right hander onto Sisley Straight and over the start/finish line to start another lap."
Thanks to Will for a very detailed and accurate account of a lap around the superb Buckmore Park circuit.
Leave the M20 at junction 6 and head up the A229 towards the M2. The circuit is signposted towards the top of the hill and you leave the A229 to go up the slip road before turning left into the Buckmore Park complex. Follow the signs to the circuit once inside the complex.
If approaching from the M2, leave this motorway at junction 3 and go straight on at the roundabout to cross over the A229. On the next roundabout, turn left into the circuit following the signs for the Buckmore Park complex/Kart track.