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BEDFORD AUTODROME, Bedfordshire
5 Star out of 5 Stars
26%
 26%  [ 7 ]
4 Star out of 5 Stars
42%
 42%  [ 11 ]
3 Star out of 5 Stars
23%
 23%  [ 6 ]
2 Star out of 5 Stars
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
1 Star out of 5 Stars
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 26

Author Message
911UK
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Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 8920
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:28 pm    Post subject: Bedford Autodrome, Bedfordshire Reply with quote

Please review this Trackday Circuit on this thread........

Bedford Autodrome
Thurleigh Airfield
Thurleigh
Bedfordshire
MK44 2YP




Circuit Dimensions:

Note, at the time of writing an image of the revised and 4.2 miles GT Circuit is not yet available.

West Circuit. Length 1.7 miles.
South Circuit. Length 1.3 miles.
South West Circuit. Length 2.1 miles.
Gran Turismo Circuit. Length 3.6 miles.
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Last edited by 911UK on Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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911UK
World Domination
World Domination


Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 8920
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Bedford Autodrome, Bedfordshire Reply with quote

User Review-1 wrote:
Date : March 2005
Car : 993
Track Day ability : Beginner

Now this circuit is long, indeed very long ! especially if you run the full GT circuit at 3.6 miles , which means even on a track of 100 cars it isn't that busy, but still can be now and again!.

The 1st few laps has everyone on the track at a set speed which is very useful in finding your way around. Good quality & modern pit lane with garages, on track the lack of hard barriers close up make this a great circuit for beginners, providing confidence to intermediate drivers to push their machinary even further, but at times its lack of features and gradients can make you, (especially the more seasoned driver) wanting more from it.

A number of long straights can make it bit boring between corners if there is no traffic (being so big even with 50+ cars on a day the GT circuit can feel lonely at times!) but it does allows you to flex the power of your car.

There are a few very heavy braking areas, so watch those brakes ! With a fair few long stretches, don't forget to check your mirrors as faster machinery can catch you very quickly. Surface texture is very good for an airfield circuit, my road tyres have always coped very well although off-line there can be a lot of disguarded rubber that will stick to your tyres, especially on that cooling down lap, but that long GT Lap makes a perfect 'cooling' down lap !

Otherwise very recommended. A job well done by JP ! but needs to work on the catering facilities in the pit lane ! and if only there was more of a variety of the camera shots from the on-track photographer (hint = not just close ups !)

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Last edited by 911UK on Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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911UK
World Domination
World Domination


Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 8920
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Bedford Autodrome, Bedfordshire Reply with quote

User Review-2 wrote:
Bedford was my first ever trackday in August 2004, one year after taking delivery of my Boxster 2.7, so these comments are from a novice's point of view. The attraction of the circuit to a beginner is that there are no crash barriers to hit and there are lots of run-off areas. The corner before the long straight has changed since this circuit map was published and now turns sharp right before curling back on itself to launch you onto the straight. Before this, there was the possibility of ending up in a grass bank. I found it difficult to learn (I was near the end of the crocodile on the demo laps) and found some of the corners very challenging - I am told it is regarded as a "technical" circuit - but it taught me a lot in one day.

There are a lot of corners (some open, some very tight) and the flat nature of the circuit doesn't help in recognising where you are. Having an open pit lane was a bit scary at first with the GT3s whizzing past but meant that I could go out when I chose and then come in and reflect on the last few laps. The instructor was good and sorted out quite a few of the basics with me.

I recommend getting instruction early in the day rather than later as I did and that will help in getting to a base level of competence sooner. Overall, its a good circuit to start on but perhaps too long and featureless to learn quickly. It is certainly worth a repeat visit or more.


User Review-3 wrote:
I think it is a great venue (GT circuit), very, very well thought out and designed, you need to be good to drive it quickly and it is incredibly rewarding when you get it right, very flowing corners that feel fantastic.

It is my personal favourite. It is a world of difference if driven correctly after some decent tuition, you can go through many of the corner complexes without even using the brakes on a balanced throttle - can be less satisfying if you just try and monster round it with loads of hard braking and power down the straights.

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911UK
World Domination
World Domination


Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 8920
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Bedford Autodrome, Bedfordshire Reply with quote

User Review-4 wrote:
Good venue for a first track day (or first after a long break) but otherwise a bit boring & hard on brakes.


User Review-5 wrote:
The lack of any gradients - like BH for instance - makes it a bit dull but for a relative novice I think its a great circuit. The lack of too much to hit is a great help. Having said that, I spun last year in the wet, and the garage wall did get very close. I've done it twice now and the first time I was really unhappy as I couldn't remember where I was; this time around a lot happier and a lot quicker.

When I was low on petrol I was braking from 130mph at the end of the back straight which for an old barge isn't too bad - a higher exit speed from the last corner would improve that too. The instruction was very helpful and answered my biggest query/problem - understeer. A totally new technique (to me) saw my tyres last the day out, much reduced understeer and higher speedas everywhere.


User Review-6 wrote:
I 've been there 6 times now, once on a corporate event which was very very good, it was great to drive others cars (under instruction) to the limit and not worry about the bills.

BA is quite sterile (as others have said), but a great place for a novice to start out. For the record I've always attended on dry days, cars include my old Oettinger A3Tdi Quattro, AMD R32, M3 and my current 987S.
I always choose BA when I want to track a new car, as the place is quite safe. It is also quite easy to get lost and the undulating track and you must keep your eyes open for the cones to indicate bends and corners.

In summary - a good place to start out on.

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Deepak Madan
Newbie


Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 28



PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great circuit to learn and push yourself to the limit on. SW and GT are good, the shorter circuit layouts are just too short. Its great when there are 70+ cars on a session and you still never have to queue to get out, always someone to play cat and mouse with too.
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Porsche
Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch


Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 13126
Location: Nürburgring Nordschleife

2003 Porsche 996 GT3 Mk2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deepak Madan wrote:
Great circuit to learn and push yourself to the limit on. SW and GT are good, the shorter circuit layouts are just too short. Its great when there are 70+ cars on a session and you still never have to queue to get out, always someone to play cat and mouse with too.


Any tips on the 1st corner, I hear that can get slippery when wet ?
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Boxsey
Watkins Glen


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 2208
Location: Part of the NorthWest Crew

1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great place to the learn IMO. The full GT is too hard on the brakes. The South West circuit we used on the 911UK day was ideal.
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UncleM
Newbie


Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Location: London


PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been there maybe 20+ times.
Used to accelerate and break hard trying to go round as fast as I can. Nowadays find it more enjoyable to take it easy along the straight bits and push on the corners instead with assurance there's almost nothing to hit when inevitably there will be a spin - that's the way to learn and experiment.
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PolarExpress
Loser


Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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2000 Porsche 996 GT3 Mk1

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great circuit to test a new car on, or to test a new setup, or just learn your car in ways not safely possible on the public road. Flat and featureless, it's also a great place to go when it's wet and practice oversteer!
 
  
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matt_964
Loser


Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 1329



PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic track - i did the GT circuit. Great way to learn a new car to be honest, not much to hit apart from the odd place, and if you hit that, you shouldn't really be driving!

Dead flat, I found that rather than attacking hard throughout, as someone else mentioned take it easy and learn to carry the speed through the corners, its much more fun and makes you a much better driver.

I'm looking forward to that one again!
 
  
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Tertius
Barcelona


Joined: 22 Jul 2003
Posts: 1420
Location: SW London


PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only done the GT circuit so perhaps coloured by that but anyway:

OK for learning the limits of a new car, or as a first track day of the year, but otherwise crushingly, mind-numbingly dull.

I actually don't think its that good for a novice because it is flat as a pancake and with no features its really hard to learn esp. the GT circuit which as previously mentioned is very long and has been created by adding a series of identical short straights, joined by identical hairpins.

Also darn hard on brakes.

I wouldn't hurry back.
 
  
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Roro
Long Beach


Joined: 01 Oct 2010
Posts: 6034



PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did my first ever trackday here last month. The weather was appalling (snow, rain, sleet, 0 degrees, the works), and I spun 3 times (all at quite low speeds, one of the spins seeing me pirouette in slow motion onto the grass it was so slippery. No damage at all).

A good first track I thought though, quite a lot of space between cars, even though there was probably around 20 or 30 cars out at a time (when the track started to dry up).

However I agree with Tertius, I found it difficult to get to know the track due to the lack of landmarks, and there's just no visual excitement either. It felt more like hooning around in a massive Waitrose car park, rather than being on a race track.

On a practical level I did also find it hard to learn the circuit - I ended up driving past the pits a couple of times too while looking for the entrance! A bit unnerving when you're a trackday newbie...

I would go again though, but that's more down to the location and relative low trackday cost, rather than chomping at the bit to do the actual circuit. Also the noise limit is very low which could potentially cause issues.
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LondonRob
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 295
Location: West London


PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a good novice day at Bedford yesterday - see this thread for my comments.

http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?p=1158409#1158409
 
  
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