The Track - History

Castle Combe Circuit opened just 18 months after Silverstone in the summer of 1950, making it one of the longest established circuits in the UK, and for over 60 years has been at the forefront of motor sport in the South West.

From a venue struggling to survive in the 1950s, to a track facing imminent closure in the early 1970s, since 1976 owned and run by the Strawford family, the now thriving circuit today provides thrills and enjoyment for thousands.

Among the many famous drivers to have tackled the challenging Wiltshire track are seven who went on to become Formula 1 World Champions: Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jody Scheckter, Alan Jones, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, while on two wheels John Surtees, Derek Minter, Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene and Carl Fogarty have also starred.

Today, the circuit boasts modern facilities for competitors and spectators, providing what is generally recognised as the closest circuit racing in British motorsport. In addition, Action Days, Racing & Rally School Driving Experiences and Track Days provide many opportunities for car and bike enthusiasts to drive on this fast and demanding circuit.

Castle Combe - The Comprehensive Story

The comprehensive story of the Circuit is available in a book published for the Diamond Jubilee in 2010. From the days of the Castle Combe estate and RAF airfield, the 154 page book charts the history of the Circuit, illustrated with numerous colour and black & white photos.

Copies of Castle Combe Circuit – The First 60 Years by Paul Lawrence and Peter Stowe are available from the Castle Combe Circuit Office or from the Circuit Shop at major events.

Castle Combe Circuit book

The Circuit Archive includes programmes, news reports, results sheets, photographs and memorabilia from 1950 onwards, and we are always interested in donation or loan of more of the same.

Although the Archive is not open to the public, we always endeavour to answer any questions relating to the Circuit’s history. Please contact the Circuit for further information.

Castle Combe Sporting Highlights

1950 - 1960
1950 Circuit Opens Stirling Moss wins 2.5 litre race
timeline image
1952 John Surtees wins 500cc Motorcycle race
1953 Ken Wharton wins in BRM V16
1955 Last F1 race in Wiltshire. Harry Schell wins in Vanwall
1960 - 1970
1962 Mike Hailwood wins 250cc race on legendary 250cc Honda Four
1965 First 100mph lap. Chris Summers in Lotus 24 Chevy
1970 - 1990
1971 Future World Champions Alan Jones & Jody Scheckter on F3 podium
1972 Barry Sheene wins 125cc rac
1976 Nigel Mansell wins Formula Ford race
1982 Ayrton Senna wins Formula Ford 2000 race
1985 Damon Hill finished 6th in Formula Ford race
1989 Carl Fogarty stars in motorcycle meeting
1989 David Coulthard wins Formula Ford race
1990 - 2000
1995 First 2 day race meeting
1997 First 130mph lap establishes new outright lap record
1999 New corners increase circuit length to 1.85 miles
2000 - Today
2000 Circuit celebrates 50th Year Anniversary
2001 F3 returns to Castle Combe Circuit after 25 years
2003 Three times F1 world champion Nelson Piquet watches his son race in F3 at the circuit
2004 First ever two day motorcycle meeting at the circuit, Castle Combe Superbike Grand National draws record crowds
2005 Handful of local residents force the local council to issue a noise nuisance order, effectively preventing the running of the British F3 & GT Championships
2006 Castle Combe launch it's own Racing Club and run the British round of the World Superside Championship, our first ever World Championship event
2010 Circuit celebrates Diamond Anniversary
2011 Circuit celebrates 60 years of motorcycle racing
2012 First race meeting dedicated to historic cars, the Autumn Classic, gets great reviews

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Phone: 01249 782417     Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7EY