The 2.7km National circuit is the original layout of Hampton Downs and has been used since 2009. With the rise and fall of the track being one of the most unique features, it has provided some fabulous racing over the years.
A lap of Hampton Downs with Jonny Reid
Turn1: The unique turn one with its side, sweeping entry line allows you to carry a lot of speed into the corner. At the apex where the car is under compression you gain grip briefly as the corner tightens up. The exit is a true challenge as a driver because you lose the compression load after the apex and you are keen to apply to throttle as early as possible before the lengthy straight. The cars will be tending to over-steer here.
Turn2: Turn two is hairpin corner which trails off a long straight. This provides a hard braking zone and a prime opportunity for a driver to cut brake the opposition on the way in. There is also plenty of space (15m wide to be exact) to hustle your opponent around the race track.
Turn3: There is a nice sequence of corners throughout this section of the circuit. Turn three flows nicely into turn four. From a driver’s perspective, the smoother driver will be rewarded here.
Turn4: I am excited by turn four. The longer duration spent with the car loaded to the left side means the left front and left rear will be working here. With a straight away after the exit it is crucial to have the car balance set perfect and with little under steer for a fast exit speed.
Turn5: With an uphill approach braking points and brake pressure used on the entry can be deceiving. Turn five is a 90 degree right hander which leads into a challenging crest before T6.
Turn6: On entry it will be hard to see you exit. With the circuit rolling downhill throughout the corner finding the perfect car balance between driver and engineer will be a true challenge.
Turn7& 8: On the entry to 7 & 8 we have another two hairpins which created hard braking in a straight line. This will open up passing opportunities. These are possibly the slowest two corners on the circuit.
Turn9: Car balance and driver technique will be the two elements of being quick here. Not to mention having tremendous courage. Turn nine is the fastest sweeper on the Hampton Downs circuit. The tires take massive load on the left side of the car. Applying the throttle at exactly the right moment is vital for the uphill climb to the finish. Slip streaming or drafting will also prove to be an interesting factor down the lengthy curve to the start/finish.