Brands Hatch opened in 1926 for grass track bike racing, initially was raced in an anti-clockwise direction, changed to clockwise in 1954. Hosted the British Grand Prix alternate years with Silverstone until the final race in 1986 when Silverstone was granted sole rights. Brands has a unique combination of dips, hills, cambers and challenging corners making it one of the world's favourite racing circuits.
Since being bought by Jonathan Palmers Motorsport Vision Group in 2004 the circuit has received much needed investment and now attracts some of the biggest car and bike racing events in the UK highlights include World Touring Cars, DTM and two rounds of BTCC. In 2007 the inaugural race of the Elise Trophy was held at Brands before going on to become one of the most successful race series in the UK.
Brands Hatch is located on the A20, signposted from junction 3 of the M25 (3miles).
The Club House is the Kentagon with hot and cold food and a fully stocked bar, there are camping facilities on site and a cash machine located to the left and rear of Paddock Hill grandstand. Spectating at the circuit is unparalleled in Europe, with almost uninterrupted views of all the Indy circuit from Paddock Hill grandstand.
The shorter Indy circuit is one of the true classic tracks starting with paddock hill bend the braking point is difficult to judge but the turn in point is level with the end of the access road at the very top of the hill just before the start of the gravel trap. Its important that once you have taken the apex that you let the car out using the full width of the track on the exit. Running up to Druids, use the bridge to judge your braking point. There are several options for a turn in point. The apex point is a long way around the corner and care should be taken not to pick up the power too early to avoid under steering off the track. From the exit draw a straight line to the turn point at Graham Hill bend in line with the green and white board on the barrier. Care should be taken in wet conditions not to run wide on the exit of Graham Hill bend as the kerbs and eco block can be extremely slippery.
Running along Cooper Straight to Surtees, the turn in point is the seam in the tarmac that runs the full width of the track, and the apex is around two thirds along the kerb on the left side of the track before making a straight line to the turn in point for Clearways keeping the braking in as straight a line as possible. After turning into Clearways ensure you either take both the apexes or prolong the initial apex long enough to let the car then drift out to the outside edge of the circuit. You should be right out to the edge of the circuit meeting in the same point where the white line crosses the track. Then bring the car back to the right-hand side of the track right by the marshals box ( post 24) and hold the car to the right hand side of the pit straight. At about the pole position point begin to move the car back to the left for Paddock Hill bend.
The longer GP circuit leaves the Indy circuit at Surtees and rejoins at Clearways. The turn in point at Surtees is at the end of the kerb on the right hand side of the circuit. You can get away with an earlier turn in but both have advantages and disadvantages. The circuit then runs under Johnny Herbert Bridge and down Pilgrims Drop before the slight climb to Hawthorns. A late turn here is important to open the corner out but be careful on the exit as there is little room for error. The run into Westfield's is very fast and use the seam in the tarmac to judge your braking. It is important to take the apex because if you are slightly wide here it will force you even wider on the exit. From the bottom of Dingle Dell you will be looking up hill towards the marshal box on the left at the top of the rise before turning into Sheene Curve and ensuring you use the full width of the circuit on the exit. You only have a short distance to get the car back to the right before Stirlings. The camber means you can carry a good deal of speed into the apex but be careful of the kerb on the exit as this can pick the car up quite a bit. Bring the car back to the left for the fast approach to Clearways using the bridge to judge your braking point, and the access road to the left as a turn in reference. The rest of the corner is similar to the Indy layout as is the end of the lap.
Words kindly provided by Jamie Stanley.