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Aintree Sprint Circuit

These pages have moved to http://www.nwsprints.co.uk where there are no annoying adverts, pop-ups or spyware and it responds quicker too! Aintree is an excellent, fast sprint course on the outskirts of Liverpool.   In the '50's and early '60s it was a Grand Prix course, though we only use part of it now.  It is, of course, home to the Grand National.  Whilst it is used as a round of the British Sprint Championship it is also a fine place to start being fast, yet relatively safe (as long as you keep off the grass).  For visitors it also has the advantage of being quite easy to learn.

Liverpool Motor Club, who run events there have their own WebPagesNote they have track days there too on 29th May and 2nd October.

Try the BBC 5-day weather forecast for Aintree.

There is also an alternative description by Steve Liptrott of how to get around this place somewhat quicker published in Speedscene, the HSA magazine. Then, why not have a look at Fluke motorsport for another description and more videos.

Mallock at Aintree
Course Description How to get there Likes Dislikes Class Records

The Course

Aintree is flat and very wide.  The course is now 1847 metres long.  It has been both longer and shorter in the recent past.  It consists of only three bends and is a good place to start with its wide run-offs.  Although it is obviously a "power" course, a good exit speed from all three bends is probably worth 50 bhp.  It goes something like this:

The start is clean and flat, but watch out if there is a strong tailwind - it just might push you through the beam inadvertently.  You get up to third before the first bend, Country Corner,  which is a 90 degree?  lefthander.  I think it tightens up a bit on the exit.  There is plenty of run-off on the outside (been there, done that when the throttle stuck open!).  If you do go off it's probably safest to let it go as I have seen a few people try to recover from the grass on the outside and end up in the solid earth bank on the inside.

Then there is a decent straight where you get into top.  Next comes, Village Corner, a fast sweeping right-hander which goes on for a while.  This is one of my favourites as you really have time to feel what the car is doing.  Of course, if it is not doing what is is supposed to then you have plenty of time to regret it too!  I think a late entry is best - there used to be a gravel footpath on the left of the track which could be used as a marker for turning in.  Be warned though, if you run out of road on the exit you'll be on the Grand National course at about 100mph with no grip and some jumps to think about.

Next comes another straight which is now probably the fastest part of the course.  This is followed by Beechers, a right hander with a fairly tight entry but which opens out a lot on the exit.   I find this really difficult to get right, usually braking too heavily then cursing myself for the lack of speed during the rest of the bend and all the way up the final straight.   In something of moderate speed and power if you turn in successfully you know you are going to be OK, but I am sure the big single seaters have to consider the final right kink before they are home and dry.  In the Mallock with a 4 speed box Beechers may be taken in top if you:

a) have a reasonably torquey engine;

b) don't run a high final drive - 4.2 on 21" tyres seems OK to me;

c) are too shortsighted to see the fence blocking your escape route; and

d) have no intention of ever asking my daughter out for a drive.

The Beechers Brook fence is on the outside of this bend, hence the name.  Although the fences look a long way away, they really are solid and it takes a long time to stop on the grass.  To add insult to injury I believe you are charged for repairing damage to fences or ploughing up the adjacent golf links.  Nowadays there is just a shortish blast to the finish line about 200? yards after Beechers.  The final straight used to go on for another 200-300 yards, but has been shortened for safety reasons.  Anything fast used to carry on up the escape road rather than take the normal return to the paddock, but in a slower car you could get out your knitting whilst waiting for the finish line.  A chicane was tried for a while.

There are rumours of adding a completely new bend on the final straight, which would certainly get my vote, but tarmac is unbelievably expensive..

Course layout

See also the BMRC page.

How to get there

It is about 5 miles north of Liverpool.  At the M57/M58/A59 junction, take the A59 towards Liverpool.  Go past ASDA then a few hundred yards later turn left at the lights.  Follow the road around to the right keeping the shops on your left.  A mile or so later turn right just before some shops onto the Melling Road (B5184).  Go over the hump back bridge then a few yards further on turn left onto the service road.  Park somewhere on the right.  Map.

Likes

  • Village corner.
  • No hassles getting to the start line.
  • Washing facilities.
  • Having a beer in the club house afterwards.

Dislikes

  • Nothing really (apart from being 4 seconds off the class record).

Class Records

These are courtesy of Ron Hunt of the Liverpool Motor Club.  They relate to the current course as run over the last 2 years.  Immediately prior to that the course was considerably shorter (as reflected in the times in the table following this one). 

Class Time Driver Car CC Date
Standard saloon & sports to 1400 - - - - -
Standard saloon & sports 1400-2000 - - - - -
Standard saloon & sports over 2000 - - - - -
1A Road mod saloon & sports to 1400 55.33 David West Mini Cooper S 1380 5/00
1B Road mod saloon & sports 1400-2000 52.26 Alan Clark Lotus Elise 1800 9/02
1C Road mod saloon & sports over 2000 50.12 Mark Wallwork Ford Sierra Cosworth 2000T 9/01
2A Road mod kit  to 1700 50.14 Tim Seipel Caterham Super Seven 1588 9/01
2B Road mod kit  over 1700 48.74 Guy Gibson Westfield SEIW 1998 5/01
2C Road mod kit  with motorbike engines 51.94 Graeme MacTavish Locost 899 6/02
3A Mod prod to 1400 51.95 Tony Higgins Rover Mini 1380 4/02
3B Mod prod 1400-2000 48.04 Dennis Crompton BMW 2002 Touring 2000 9/00
3C Mod prod over 2000 45.24 Bev Fawkes TVR Tuscan Speed 8 ? 9/00
3D Mod kit to 1800 45.03 John Sampson Quantum Extreme 5000 9/02
4A Sports libre  to 1700 45.83 Mark Goodyear Vision V86 1700 5/01
4B Sports libre  over 1700 48.49 Les Procter OMS SC3G 1800 9/02
5A Racing to 600 52.13 Peter Brogden Jedi 600 5/00
5B Racing 600-1300 44.74 Mike Musson Force 8 1098 6/01
5C Formula Ford pre '96 48.78 Graham Curwen Van Diemen RF91 1600 9/00
5D Racing 1100-1600 42.90 Guy Gibson Force TTS 1500 9/02
5E Racing 1600-2200 41.68 Stephen Liptrott Ralt RH430 1985 9/00
5F Racing over 2000 37.62 John Garnett Reynard 94D/DFR 3500 5/00
P4 Porsche to 160bhp 53.95. Simon Butterworth Porsche 924S 2479 9/02
P3 Porsche to 205bhp 52.66 Geraint Evans Porsche 911 Carrera 2994 9/02
P2 Porsche to 250bhp 51.25 Jeff Archer Porsche 911 Carrera 3164 9/02
P1 Porsche over 250bhp 49.36 Paul Howells Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3800 6/01
Outright 37.19 John Garnett Reynard 94D/DFR 3500 5/00

and here are the times from the short course ran in 98-99

Class Time Driver Car CC Date
Standard saloon & sports to 1400 57.59 Brad Gould Mini Cooper 1275 5/99
Standard saloon & sports 1400-2000 51.04 Phil Hall Lotus Elan 1558 5/99
Standard saloon & sports over 2000 51.25 John Gallagher Toyota MR2 Turbo 2000T? 5/99
Road mod saloon & sports to 1400 51.00 David West Mini Cooper S 1380 5/99
Road mod saloon & sports 1400-2000 49.92 Mark Wallwork Ford Sierra Cosworth 2000? 6/99
Road mod saloon & sports over 2000 47.35 Richard Hargreaves Mitsubishi Lancer 1997T 6/99
Road mod kit  to 1700 46.45 John Palmer Westfield 1700 5/99
Road mod kit  over 1700 47.78 Terry Whiteman CC Cyclone 2000 6/99
Mod prod to 1400 48.67 Mike Bastiana Mini Marcos 1380 9/99
Mod prod 1400-2000 45.00 Graham Oates Lotus Europa 1800 9/99
Mod prod over 2000 43.23 Keith Murray Audi Quattro Turbo 2226 6/99
Mod kit  to 1800 - - - - -
Mod kit  over 1800 44.23 Dave Kilkoyne Caterham 7 SS 1998 6/99
Sports libre  to 1700 43.97 Dennis Doyle Mallock Mk14B 1598 5/99
Sports libre  over 1700 39.60 Steve Broughton Jade SBD 1998 6/99
Racing to 600 44.87 Colin Arnold Jedi F600 600 9/99
Racing 600-1300 40.47 James Belton Megapin MSR 197 1200 9/99
Formula Ford pre '95 45.51 David Sturdy Van Dieman RF86 1600 6/99
Racing 1300-1700 42.87 Peter Howgate Reynard SF79 1600 9/99
Racing 1700-2200 38.03 Stephen Liptrott Ralt RH430 1985 9/99
Unlimited Racing 36.94 John Fellows Roman VJ 3500 9/99
 

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