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Pembrey Circuit
Pembrey Circuit track map.svg
Location Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°42′20″N 4°19′14″W / 51.70556°N 4.32056°W / 51.70556; -4.32056Coordinates: 51°42′20″N 4°19′14″W / 51.70556°N 4.32056°W / 51.70556; -4.32056
Major events British Rallycross
British Truck Racing
Pickup Truck Racing
BTCC
British F3
Length 2.348 km (1.456 mi)
Turns 8
Lap record 0:50.079 (Brian Smith, Fortec Motorsport, 1997, British F3)

Pembrey Circuit is a racing circuit outside Pembrey village, south Wales. It is deemed to be the home of Welsh motorsport, providing racing for cars, motorcycles, karts and trucks. The circuit's facilities have also been used for a single venue rally.

Contents

History

The stimulus for the creation of a racing circuit at Pembrey was the closure of the motor racing facility at Llandow near Cardiff. In 1981 the Welsh Race Drivers’ Association (WRDA) was formed with the expressed intention of developing a new race circuit in Wales. At the same time the former RAF airfield at Pembrey, which had been used a chicken farm, was acquired by Llanelli Borough Council. Following a representation by the WRDA the decision was taken to construct a racing circuit at the venue. The first race meeting was held on the 21st May 1989, and the winner of the first race at the circuit was Nigel Petch in an MGB. In 1990 the BARC signed a 50 year lease to operate the circuit on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council.

Testing

The circuit is also popular for testing, due to its varied corners and its secluded location. Formula One teams have tested at the circuit in the past including McLaren and their drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the late 1980's. Arrows, Benetton, Jordan and Williams have all tested at Pembrey in the early 1990s with BAR being the last F1 team to test at Pembrey in 1998. The Seat and VX Racing BTCC teams have also recently tested there as has Nigel Mansell in a GP Masters car. These cars are likely to have set times far faster than the official lap record, However, convention suggests that lap record is the fastest lap set under racing conditions. Therefore, that honour goes to Argentine Formula 3 driver, Brian Smith, who drove a Dallara F397 HKS Mitsubishi.

Configurations

The circuit has two different sections, an all tarmac race circuit and a rally cross circuit utilizing some of the race circuit with an addition off-road surface. The circuit is operated by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) under the terms of a 50 year lease from Carmarthenshire County Council. A third configuration was also used in 1996, which was that of a short oval. This followed the race circuit from the Start/Finish straight, through the first two corners of the track, before turning left at the third corner and returning to the Start/Finish straight.

Major Events

The circuit has hosted the British Touring Car Championship twice, in 1992 and 1993 at which time the championship was the most popular motorsport series in the UK outside Formula One. Formula 3 races have also been run at Pembrey Circuit.

Today the circuit does not host such high prestige events. The facilities currently at the circuit are no longer suitable for hosting such events and the circuit would need some investment in order to get back onto the BTCC and F3 calendars. Currently the circuit's owners are spending money improving their other circuits including Mallory Park and Thruxton.

However, over the winter of 2005/06 a new pit lane was constructed. Highlights on the current calendar include a round of the British Rallycross championship and two rounds of the British Truck Racing championship, organized by the BTRA[1]. Also a Great and British Motorsport Festival is held at the Welsh track. The circuit serves as the main venue for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship and 3 single venue rallys held in February, October and in late December.

See also

External links


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