Pembrey

Head West on the M4 for long enough, and you'll get to Pembrey, the home of Welsh motorsport. The weather can be inclement, but it's worth the trip as it's a cracking little circuit. Pembrey, like so many other circuits was an RAF base until it was abandoned and then used as a chicken farm before the Welsh Race Drivers Association chose it as the venue for a new circuit which opened in 1989. Some of the banking around the track edge was made from the abundant chicken guano around the site, and in the 1980s the circuit had a decidedly rustic feel! In 1990 BARC signed a 50-year lease to operate the circuit which has at times been used for testing by a number of Formula 1 teams including BAR, Williams and Benetton.

Pembrey is easy to find: exit the M4 at J48 and head to Llanelli on the A4138. Take the A484 west, through Burry Port (watch out for speed cameras!) to the circuit which is just off the road and is clearly signposted.

It's a circuit of two halves: a fast outer section and a slower, technically challenging inner section. The Dibeni/Paddock left hander is probably the hardest to get right, but it's the Brooklands hairpin and Honda Curve right hander that have the most effect on lap times.

Over the start finish line and into the braking zone for Hatchets hairpin. The turn is very late: if you do out brake yourself there is an escape road straight ahead. From the apex you can get back on the power hard and early. The right of Spitfires is fast in with the lightest dab of brakes if not flat. The following two corners, Dibeni bend and Paddock, should be treated as one. The first has a very fast approach and most cars will again only require a very light dab of the brakes, if any. Take an early apex letting the car drift out to the right nice and early to give you as much time as possible for the second part. On approach to this part either a small brake or a lift is required which helps a good turn in. On the exit of Paddock there is a wide expanse of concrete. If needed you can take a little bit of the concrete but don’t be greedy.

The run down to the Esses is a fast approach and again will need a light break or lift depending on the car. Take a late apex and it is important to run right out to the exit. This is because you need all the space available for Brooklands hairpin, which has two parts. The first is a slight right and it is best to set the car up so that as you go through the first part you are braking in a straight line. This will open up the second and most important part up much more. Getting a good exit from here is important as a small loss of speed hear will hurt you all the way down to the final corner. There is a slight right kink on this straight known as Woodlands which is taken flat in any car. The final corner of the lap, Honda curve, has a very fast approach and the high speed turn in makes this corner very tricky. Its important to be accurate with your apex. If you miss the apex the car will start to wander to the outside of the corner. There is limited space on the exit.

Words kindly provided by Jamie Stanley.

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