Exit the M1 North at junction 16 and take the A45 signposted towards Daventry. When you get to Weedon traffic lights turn right (which is north) up the A5 towards Rugby. Go along this road for about 3 miles and at the top of a hill turn right where it is signposted Whilton and Lt Brington. Go under the railway, over the canal and then over the M1 before taking the third entrance on your left into Whilton Mill. The circuit is now on your right.
A Lap Around Whilton Mill Internation Circuit (by Jamie \”Magic Torch\” Jakins)
Whilton Mill is a picturesque, fast, grippy track with a very smooth surface and very large kerbs. The track is a fast, flowing track with the tighter, technical, ‘boot’ complex at the end of the lap.
Turn 1, Crook, is a high speed left-right sequence where exit speed is paramount as the following straight is all uphill and provides the best overtaking opportunity on the circuit. From the right as you approach Crook turn in quite late, possibly with a small lift of the throttle on turn in so as to apex the left late at the end of the high curb. This will put you just left of the centre of the track as you turn right, fully back on the power now for the right hander. This can, at times be taken flat out although if you turn in too late and run slightly wide you will have to lift. The trick is to turn in and apex as tight as possible on the right, even run the inside curb a bit before letting the kart run out to the left as you start to go up the hill.
At the top of the hill is Christmas corner. This is a great overtaking spot as you can brake so late as its all uphill and of course, following a long straight. On a clear lap you would brake, really quite late, and its one of the rare corners in club100, where it doesn’t slow you down getting too sideways on braking, it actually helps you slow down enough for the corner. Turn in pretty late and get straight back on the power. You really need to exit the hairpin near the centre of the track as straight away there is a left kink that is easily flat unless you have exited Christmas corner too wide.
After the left kink you have a flat right, Inkermans, you don’t necessarily need to be fully left as you approach this as it’s easily flat out.
You now run downhill towards Ashby hairpin. This is pretty much a standard hairpin as far as racing line. Turn in quite late to get a good run out and avoid the huge exit kerb which acts much like the ‘sausage’ at Llandow if you get on it. The tricky bit to this corner is the braking, it’s all downhill and because of this the kart goes light and so seeming to have no grip. The last thing you want here is to get locked up as you will not stop in time. You need to brake in a straight line for this corner. It’s a hard corner that is so easy to mess up, especially if overtaking.
You leave Ashby and head off to another tricky corner, Parker. This corner is hard to get right but when you do you really can go through a lot faster than you think you can. Get to the right hand side to turn into this left hander. Turn in quite early as you take a lift off the throttle, maybe a small amount of braking but not too much as the rear must remain settled. Hug the inside kerb here, if you turn in too late the back goes loose and you drift off to the right and have to let off unnecessarily, much like the second part of Crook. If you turn in early and keep the back settled then you can drive out of the corner, slightly onto the exit kerb and downhill again towards the last new corner on the circuit, Chapmans.
Chapmans can be taken on a variety of lines, not much braking needed and again downhill braking, take a standard turn in (not too early or late). Hug the left hand kerb so you can get a good line through the right hander onto the back straight. Chapmans is another corner where the back wants to go loose so concentration is needed to keep the rear settled.
Along the back straight drift to the right for the boot complex. This is a 90 degree left followed by two short right handers increasing in speed. Don’t overdo the braking into the left hander as it’s easy to miss the apex. Turn in quite late so as to make sure you don’t drift too far to the right on exit. The best way is to hug the left kerb as long as you can and exit the corner towards the left of the track, no further right than centre at worst. Once you are round the left you can get onto full throttle again and apex the right quite late. You will naturally drift towards the left of the circuit on exit and therefore not apex the second right, this is the best line anyway so don’t worry.
You approach the last right hander, pits bend, flat out. Turn in quite late and it’s probable that a small lift is needed before getting back on the throttle. If the kart suits it is possible to go flat out through the last corner but its on the edge. You can run wide on exit, but not too wide as its not far to the chippings!
It’s a good, fast circuit and a lot more technical now than it used to be, in my opinion the new sections are a massive improvement. Whilton always leads to a breakaway lead group so it’s important not to get too caught up in incidents too early.
A Lap Around Whilton Mill Nation Circuit (by Trevor Randall)
The following is a corner by corner account of the correct way to tackle Whilton Mill in the eyes of CLUB 100 Lightweight driver, Trevor Randall.
Whilton Mill is a picturesque, fast, grippy track with a very smooth surface and large saw-tooth kerbs. The track is highly technical and the fast way around requires a late turn in technique as many of the corners do not open out on the exit like other tracks.
Turn 1 (Crook) is a high-speed left-right sequence, where exit speed is paramount as the following straight is uphill. From the far right of the circuit, past the start/finish line, turn into the fast left, maybe with a small lift of the throttle, and apex late just off the high kerb. Let the kart drift to the centre of the track before attempting the right hander flat out. Do not be tempted to turn into the right too early as you will run out of road on the exit and end up on the grass. Instead turn late and keep tight to the right side kerbing for 2 to 3 kart lengths before releasing the steering lock for a smooth exit.
At the end of the uphill straight is the turn 2 right/left complex (Christmas corner). This is a tricky corner to get right every time as it is very inviting too turn in too early and to fast. Brake and turn in late, from the far-left side of the track, taking full advantage of the gradient available to shorten braking distance and get the kart turned in to the right hander. Do not use all the road on the exit, use about 2/3 so that the left hander becomes easier thus allowing the kart to be positioned correctly for the following tight right hand hairpin. In the wet, speed in the left needs to sacrificed even further to accommodate the hairpin.
The hairpin (Inkermans) requires heavy braking and an aggressively late turn-in as on the exit you will need to quickly get back into the middle of the track in order to negotiate the esses properly.
The esses (Zulu) constitute a fast left (flat out!), followed by a similar right, which must be sacrificed so that the final, tighter, left can be turned into later enabling the power to be put down earlier and more decisively onto the back straight. The trick with the esses is not to be over the edge on the first two parts and be ultra smooth exiting the final left section. A lot of time can be gained here by not over driving and smashing the kerbs.
Stay on the right hand side of the straight in preparation for the final section of corners, a 90 deg. left followed by three short right handers increasing in speed. The track has a lot of grip in the 90 deg. left but, again, do not be tempted to over do it. This corner requires medium braking and the exit must again be sacrificed for a late turn in to the following slow right. Stay off the huge kerb and exit mid circuit. If possible, move to the left of the circuit into the pit lane entry before very smoothly turning right into a wide arc around the first right. There is no need to apex the kerb on the second right hander (The Boot), just keep your foot down and be smooth here using the outside line, but be careful not to put a wheel on the dirt.
If the previous two rights have been done properly, some speed needs to be knocked off before turning, again quite late, into the final right (Pits corner). This is a faster corner in full view of the pit lane, so don’t overdo it! The exit here is very wide, but does end in a tyre wall and fence, unlike most of the track where run off is simply a grass field. A smooth exit here is vital to both laptime and gritted teeth overtaking manoeuvres into the mega-quick Turn 1 complex.
Whilton Mill is my favourite track with many challenging sections where the driver who meticulously plans his/her lap will be rewarded with a quick time. One thing worth a mention is that, due to the late turn-in technical layout, the club races here see many incidents of “diving up the inside”. This is certainly a circuit where the leader gets away easily whilst the pack squabble behind. Something to consider before making that desperate lunge.