Bite-Size Track Guide
by Niki Richardson
Llandow is a great little circuit that is extremely technical, grippy and on your drive home you’ll know you’ve done some laps around there because it’s extremely physical due to the high speed turns and bumpy chicanes. Overtaking can be a little tricky but personally speaking, I think there are plenty of places to overtake and also, wet driving is so fun due to the insane amount of grip on the extended section and severe lack of grip leading onto the back straight!
Turns 1, 2 & 3 (The Hook)
So lets start our lap as we head over the Start/Finish line keeping nicely over to the left as we approach Turns 1, 2 and 3 known as the Hook section. Now the key corner out of turns 1-3 is Turn 2 which is a fairly sharp left hander so that means you’ve got to sacrifice Turn 1 in order enter Turn 2 o the correct line. This means as you turn in for the right handed Turn 1, you’ll want to blip the brake on entry, skim the inside kerb and keep over to the right as you exit because Turn 2 appears immediately after. Now the apex for left handed Turn 2 is quite late because this helps you straight line the exit BUT…this does leave the door open for overtakes on the entry of Turn 2 so bare this in mind when you’re racing closely. As i’ve already said, your aim is to straight line the exit of Turn 2 which funnels you straight towards the little right hand kink of Turn 3 and just remember your exit to Turn 2 is so important because you’re flat out through Turn 3, around the little left kink and the all the way down the short straight (Bomber Straight) to Turn 4. As I said, overtaking can be doing going into Turn 2 but be careful because the door closes fast due to the late apex which means plenty of penalties get called here for failed overtakes as well as smashing the stack of tires on the apex of Turn 3 so steer clear of those as well!
Turns 4 (Surtees)
Turn 4 (Surtees) is a double apexed, super grippy left hander which has a seriously fast entry which makes it my most favourite corner on the circuit! On entry you’ll want to be over to the right-hand side of the track practically heading towards the cut through as you then stand on the brakes and turn in. Now you’ll want to get quite close to the first apex but the second apex is the all-important one because if you miss that, your line will be totally compromised for the following corner, the right handed Turn 5 (Mac Whirters) which again appears very quickly after Turn 4. So, by nailing that second apex of Turn 4 you’ll be able to exit in the middle of the track which sets you up perfectly for Turn 5 which in my opinion, is the hardest corner on the track. Note – Turn 4 is a great place to overtake with the track being so wide on the entry.
So we’re exiting Turn 4 heading towards Turn 5 and the key here (and this took me a while to understand!) is to not turn in too early because there is a little misleading right kink which kids you into tuning in when actually, you should be turning in a lot later! Braking wise you’ll want a little dab of brake just before you turn in. Now at the apex you can have a little nibble of inside kerb BUT the most important thing is NOT to run too wide on the exit because you could end up riding the big outside sausage kerb which does mega damage to the underside of the kart. Now you can gently ‘kiss’ the kerb with a little brush of your outside wheels but If you’re caught ‘surfing the sausage’ you’ll most likely be given a straight penalty rather than a usual kerb warning. Again, like Turn 2 and due to the late apex, Turn 5 is anther good overtaking spot but be careful not to overshoot as it’s easy cut back underneath and give the position back in an instant.
Turn 6 (Chandlers)
So as we exit Turn 5 you pass through a slightly curved straight (Lancaster Curve) and quickly arrive at Turn 6 (Chandlers). Turn 6 has a handy little reference point and that is to brake and turn in just as the tarmac changes from the new tarmac to the old tarmac and you’ll want to skim the large inside kerb before letting the kart run wide on the exit. It’s important not to run too wide on the exit because once you get to the edge of the plastic geo-block, you’ll run into a load of mud or dust (depending on what time of year it is) and you’ll carry that dirt on your tires all the way to the following Chicane section (The Dell).
Turns 7 & 9 (The Dell)
The Chicane section (Turns 7-9), is a tricky, bumpy, single file section of track which is key for the run down the long backstraight so it’s important to get this right otherwise your lap time will be severely compromised. The important thing to remember here is to make sure you touch all 3 kerbs to shorten the distance of the circuit but also this sets you up perfectly for the for that key right hander which leads you on to the back straight. Now on entry for the first right hander, you should turn in and brake enough so that it allows you to stay on the inside kerb which opens up the entry for the following left hander. Then you’ll need to turn in and cut across the track, keeping on the inside kerb of the left hander which will then opens up the entry to the all important right hander that leads on to the back straight. Now all the hard work is done, all you need to do now is turn in for that right hander and take some inside kerb before letting the kart run wide on the exit, carrying all the momentum which you’ve built up through the chicane as you charge down the back straight and through the easy flat NGK chicane.
Remember the entry to the chicane is super quick so try not to overshoot the first right hander because it’s easily done and this will mess up the rest of the chicane! Overtaking into the chicane is rare but if the driver in front makes a mistake through Turn 6, it’s not totally uncommon to get a good run and get fully alongside them before you get to the chicane. You must be aware that if you’re not fully alongside the driver by the time you arrive at the Chicane then you should be backing out of the move because you will most likely be taking them out as they turn in.
Also when running wide on the exit of the chicane onto the back straight, try not to run too wide because its so easy to drop a wheel over the lip of the exit kerb and plough straight into the tires (yes I’ve done this!). You must also be careful of the tires and cones surrounding chicane because when we go to Llandow, we call SO MANY penalties for cone abuse at the chicane. One final thing, if it’s raining, bare in mind that as soon as you exit the chicane, the track practically turns into a skid pan with zero grip so be ultra careful because it is actually quite dangerous due to the rears instantly lighting up underneath you.
Turn 10 (Raymonds)
So we’re coming to the end of the lap now, we’re passing through the flat out NGK chicane heading full steam ahead towards the final corner, Turn 10 (Raymonds) which is a sharp right hand hairpin.
Now there’s nothing fancy about this hairpin, it’s a typical hairpin with the apex being in the middle of the corner, so brake nice and hard on approach, turn in and skim the big inside kerb before letting the kart run wide on the exit, carrying all that momentum down the start finish line to complete your lap. The final corner is great overtaking opportunity BUT don’t lunge or out brake yourself because it’s so easy to run wide and for the other driver to cut back underneath you on the exit to re-gain the position.
- Turn 2
- Turn 4
- Turn 5
- Turn 9
- Turn 2
- Turn 4
- Turn 5
- Turn 10