Clay Pigeon is one of the UK's oldest and most prestigious circuits.
The Clay Pigeon Kart Circuit was founded in the late 1950’s early 1960’s on a disused Second World War Military Hospital site. The original track was built by joining the hut (ward) concrete bases together with tarmac to make a 500 metre track. The Blandford Karting Club was formed and a Royal Automobile Club Permit was obtained and the first ‘official’ race took place on Sunday, 5th May 1963.
Of the 93 drivers who competed on that day 42 years ago some are still known to us today. Richard Bruce White (Charlie’s Dad), Jonathan Buncombe who became a well known saloon racer, the late Dave Hockey, John Button, Keith Jeans (Oliver’s Grandfather), Billy Graham (well known Clay bend named after him ‘Billy’s Blind’).
An advert in the programme of the day offered a ‘new’ Brise Continental Kart for £85 (less engine) and a JLO (UK) engine for £77 or Bultaco 99cc engine for £119.15. Barwell remoulds in stock at reduced prices. Hire purchase can be arranged.
What the drivers think -
Clay Pigeon is a brilliant mix of sweeping & tight corners. It's a high speed rollercoaster and is such a drivers favourite as the racing is usually so close and frantic. It's also one of those tracks that hasn't changed much over the years and so is very pure and enjoyable to drive in modern karts.
Setup advice -
The right setup at Clay Pigeon is tricky due to the mix of low speed corners and fast sections.
Gearing wise a reasonably small rear spocket ( for example a 12-78 for Rotax) is used due to the high speed nature of the circuit. Of particular importance driving wise is using the curbs through the chicane section. Hitting these wrong can upset the balance of the kart and so great care must be made to use them sensibly to give you a good run down to the best overtaking opportunity of the circuit (T4 - the hairpin).