Address: Ellough Park, Benacre Road, Nr Beccles, Suffolk NR34 7XD
Phone Number: 01502 717 718
Web Site: www.elloughparkraceway.co.uk | www.beccleskartclub.co.uk
Track Length: 800M / 7.5 M wide.
Facilities: Clubhouse, changing rooms, toilets and a burger van.
Weather Forecast: Click here for next 10 days
Ellough Park was first used by Club100 in 2001, and it is now a regular on the Club 100 calendar for both Sprint & Endurance events.
The facilities at Ellough consist of a small clubhouse, a changing/viewing area (combined!) with patio doors facing the track and a burger van that is usually in attendance on race days. There are also toilet facilities that look quite new.
The pits entrance is at the chicane and hence you go straight on instead of negotiating this corner. Once in the pit lane, you turn right (this is a tight turn so beware!) then left onto the dummy grid. The pits exit runs onto the main start/finish straight, to the left of which is the old track surface that can be used if extra room is needed. Care should be taken when leaving the pit leave and drivers are requested to keep to the far left of the circuit to avoid any incidents with those already travelling at full racing speeds!
Unfortunately there are no cut throughs, which is annoying because it would be very easy to make one at the end of the back straight (going straight onto the hairpin), creating an oval for the formation laps. Missing out the final chicane is the only real short -cut and CLUB100 will use this at both the Sprint and Endurance events on the formation laps. With no cut-throughs of any significance, it will be important for drivers to get into position quickly and for the front row drivers to ensure a uniform speed on the approach to the start line.
A Lap Around Ellough Park (by Francesco Volpe)
Ellough Park Raceway is my local track and one that I love driving, due to the technical demands and close racing that it offers. The circuit has been redeveloped several times over the last few years, with the final section undergoing an overhaul and sizeable extension in 2005/6, and again being modified at the start of 2010. The circuit has no significant gradients to speak of, although the new extension now offers a noticeable undulation in the track surface on the exit of turn 6. The track itself offers plenty of grip and does tend to dry out very quickly after rain. The circuit layout is very technical, with the first part being very fast and flowing, and the latter, new complex offering some slower corners.
Turn 1 is a quick, almost 180, right hander. The best approach is at top speed from the far left of the track after crossing the start/finish line. Begin braking around the point where the old track surface (on the left) changes colour. Do not turn in too early as you will run out of road on the exit. Get back on the throttle before taking the apex two thirds of the way around the inside kerb. The inside kerb is best avoided as it will unbalance the kart and compromise your exit onto the back straight. Use all the available road on the exit for a good run down the back straight towards turns 2 & 3. The kerb to the outside of turn 1 can be utilised, although one or two cracks and divots in the surface beyond the kerb can suck you further in and throw you off-line, so be cautious if using it. A good line out of this corner should mean that you need not use much of the exit kerb.
Notes: Turn 1 can often be the scene of incidents at this track as although some braking is required, it is not really enough to pass someone of similar ability in the dry unless they have problems or you’ve had a particularly better drive out of the final corner and onto the straight. Be wary of this, and avoid out-braking yourself and running too deep as the outer reaches of the track can be very slippery and is likely to spin you off.
Turns 2 & 3 are a flowing combination of right-handers that tighten up as you go round. This should be treated more as one sweeping corner, due to the fact that the natural line out of turn 2 would put you on the correct line for turning in and apexing turn 3. The first right is nearly flat out if you turn in at the point where the track surface join is. In dry conditions, there is sufficient grip for just a slight lift on the entry. Stay a foot or more away from the inside kerb here as otherwise you will be off line for turning in to turn 3. Turn 3 is slower and requires some braking. The exit does widen up, however, and the flat kerb on the outside can be fully utilised, allowing you to carry more speed than you might initially think. This part of the track is very grippy in the dry, so don’t be afraid to put the power down. Smoothness is very important through turns 2 and 3. Get it right and you will carry a lot of momentum heading into the following left hander, potentially giving you a good overtaking opportunity.
Notes: Turns 2 and 3 do offer an overtaking opportunity. Again, smoothness is the key here, and if the driver in front runs particularly wide it’s a fairly straight-forward move down the inside at turn 3. Likewise if they go too narrow, a good exit out of turn 3 would see you onto the inside line for turn 4, again setting you up for a fairly easy pass. Although turns 2 and 3 offer plenty of grip in the dry, it tends to be a very slippery part of the track in the wet, so be mindful of this. Running too deep or locking up into the entry to turn 3 in the wet will almost certainly see you spinning out and into the tire wall.
The circuit is very wide on the approach to turn 4, a long, sweeping slow to medium speed left with a large concrete run-off on the exit. Ideally a very late turn in will give the best exit, but in race conditions this invites attacks up the inside so use between a half and 2/3rds of the width. Brake deep into the corner to turn in for a very late apex, just off the inside kerb about 2/3rds of the way around. Then unwind the steering lock for a smooth run down the short straight to turn 5. The concrete run-off, which has now been painted red, can be utilised to carry as much speed out of the corner as possible.
Notes: If the driver ahead has entered turn 3 too fast and compromised their exit speed it is well worth attempting an out braking move into turn 4, the circuit is very wide here allowing racing room. There’s plenty of grip in this corner, and it is even possible to overtake around the outside if you’re carrying considerably more speed and feeling particularly brave!
Turn 5, a fast left, is approached flat out from the right hand side of the track. Build up to taking this corner without lifting but be warned that there is no room for error on the exit as it’s deceptively tight, and often turning in too early is the reason for crashing here. Apex just after half way around the corner. Use the flat inside kerb here and be ready to switch back towards the left of the track ready for the rapidly following right-hander as you enter the new section of the track.
Notes: Not really an overtaking place against a driver of similar ability, unless they have messed up the turn 4 exit. It’s more a case of carrying good speed through here to get a tow and run through the following right-hander, and a possible move into the new hairpin at the bottom of the track.
Turn 6, formerly the very slow hairpin, signals the start of the new extension for 2010. This has now become a very fast right-hander which in the dry can be pretty much taken flat out. After drifting out to the right of the track from the previous corner, sweep across to as far left of the track as possible. On the approach to this right-hander, the track gradient changes slightly and dips. Aim to turn in to the centre of the apex. The inside kerb can be used as it doesn’t particularly unbalance the kart in any way, but it’s not necessary to use it and I don’t really believe that there’s any advantage to be gained from it. Instead, aim to get your inside wheel between the white line and the kerb itself as you apex, keeping the back end in line to carry as much speed as possible into the subsequent hairpin. Unwind the steering wheel and allow the kart to drift out naturally as you exit, but keep away from the outside kerb.
Notes: This is not an overtaking opportunity as such unless you’re already alongside the kart in front. Here it’s more a case of carrying as much speed through as possible in order to get a run for a pass into the following hairpin. On the exit of this right-hander there is an undulation (or banking, as the Ellough staff would have you believe) in the road to the left of the track. The natural line out of this turn will carry you over this banking, and shouldn’t really unbalance your kart in any way unless you’re already out of shape on the exit. Ensure you’re exit from turn 6 is smooth and let the kart do the work as you come over the crest and head towards turn 7.
Turns 7 and 8 are a new medium/slow speed right-hand hairpin, quickly followed by a flat out left-hand kink. As you approach this hairpin be as far left as possible and start braking just after the track surface levels out. Aim for a late apex in order to get as straight a line through the following left kink as possible. The inside kerbs to both the hairpin and the left hand kink are to be avoided. These are raised and riding these will at best compromise your exit speeds and chuck you off line. Keep to the centre of the track as you exit the hairpin and sweep across to take the left kink flat out, letting the kart drift out to the right on the exit. Use all of the road on the exit but again avoid the kerb/run-off as you get onto the short straight.
Notes: This hairpin offers good levels of grip and you can carry a decent amount of speed through if taken well, but straight-line braking is required. This hairpin presents you with a good overtaking opportunity if you have a decent run through the previous two corners. The late apex also invites dives up the inside and if not careful, could result in one or two incidents. This hairpin is easy enough to defend though if you go narrow, with the left-hand kink making it difficult for the following driver to get past on the exit even if carrying more speed.
Turn 9 is another right-hand hairpin, which was installed during the previous revamp to the track in 2005/2006. As you come out of the left hand kink that is turn 8, bring the kart to the left of the track as you accelerate along the straight alongside the new extended paddock/dummy grid area. This hairpin requires braking, but not as much as you might think due to the good grip levels on offer. This is a standard hairpin apex, aiming to turn in at the middle to two thirds of the way along the inside kerb. The exit is fairly wide so you can use as much exit as possible, but you then need to sweep back across to the right-hand side for the final corner. Once again, stay away from the inside kerb as this is raised and will not do you any favours. Aim to get the inside front wheel between the white line and the kerb as you turn in, and keep your exit smooth.
Notes: Another potential overtaking opportunity if the driver in front has a poor exit from turns 7 and 8, but not easy to make stick due to the following left-hander giving the inside line to the other driver. If carrying more speed through on the exit, sticking to the left hand side will give you the inside line for a pass into the final corner, but this will almost certainly compromise your speed onto the start/finish straight.
Turn 10 is the final corner of the track, and a tight left-hander that opens up on the exit, allowing you to get the power on early if taken well. As you exit the previous corner, you need to quickly sweep the kart across to the right in order to get onto the right line for turn 10. Turn in and apex late, around 2/3rds to 3/4's of the way round in order to get a nice straight exit onto the straight. A slight lift is all that’s required to take this corner, as all the speed will have been scrubbed off by the previous hairpin. Turning in too early will mean you can’t put the power down as quickly and will allow any quick drivers behind you a run and tow down to turn 1. Once again, the inside kerb is slightly raised so no benefits of using it, although it’s a little more forgiving than the previous 3 corners. The exit offers some run off which can be used to help carry the speed out onto the straight, but don’t use too much and be careful of the barriers jutting out as the road curves to the right. Once out of this turn, plant your foot down and follow the inside barrier as the track sweeps to the right and opens up onto the long straight to start another lap.
Notes: This final corner does offer an overtaking opportunity if you’ve got a particularly good exit from turn 9, and a late apex again invites dives up the inside. This will most certainly compromise your speed and momentum as you come onto the start/finish straight though, so be prepared to have to defend into turn 1 if overtaking here.
The key difference between Ellough and most other circuits we visit is the combination of an ultra high grip track surface and the long left hander (turn 4), which stresses the back muscles and ribs on the opposite side to normal.
If you are coming from Norwich, then come down the A146 and turn left at the roundabout with the McDonalds next to it. Continue on the A146 and go past the Superstore, following the signs for the Ellough Industrial area. Turn right onto the B1127 and go over the first roundabout. The Kart track is just a bit further on from here.
If you are coming from Ipswich, take the A12 to Lowerstoft and then take the A143 then A146 to the B1127. Then follow the same directions as above, once you are on this road. This is not an easy circuit to find, so we suggest you leave yourselves plenty of time on race das & check the website(s) noted above for a graphical representation of how to find the circuit!