Motorcycle adventures – Places to go on a Motorcycle – Motorcycling destinations – or our preferred term – The Bucket List. Call it what you will, these are places to go, people to meet and things to be getting on with. Essentially … Life is short, so ride the damn bike!
Tucked away along a winding set of side roads in the coastal town of Scarbrough, North Yorkshire in England is Oliver’s Mount, one of the most amazing race tracks in England.
With a circuit created from narrow public roads, Oliver’s Mount has been hosting motor racing since 1946 and since 1966 the races have been organised by the Auto66 club.
The roads around the Mount are tight and twisting and in many places around the 2.4-mile track, narrower than your average town road. From the start line, it is a short squirt to the Mere Hairpin, which is a first gear corner on a road bike and consequently, on race days there are a lot of riders dipping the clutch and dragging the bike up Sheene’s Rise. It can be tough on a four-stroke, and even more complex on a two-stroke.
There are two other hairpins on the circuit, along with a magnificent mix of fast flowing bends, straights that are more continuous radius arcs than actual straights, and the wonderful Farm Bends, where you always think you could have carried more speed into them, right up to the point you dive for the escape road.
For the spectator, the vantage points to watch the racing from are perhaps only rivalled by the Isle of Man. There are very few points around the circuit you cannot watch from. Rather than needing to build grandstands, all you do is stroll a little further along the fence line, or go a little higher up the grass bank that overlooks the start finish straight. Such a high level of access does come at a small price, though. The best vantage points can be a healthy walk away from where you parked your bike and with the roads closed for racing, walking is the only option.
As the circuit uses public roads, you can ride the circuit on non-race days or the whole circuit is available on Google Maps if you wish to look around. The following link will place you on the start finish straight facing in race direction. Oliver’s Mount Starting Grid.
The entrance and circuit parking is at one of the highest points of the circuit, close to The Esses. There is a footbridge over the track here which essentially puts you on the inside of the circuit. The other path is down through the woods on the outside of Quarry Hill. As much of the parking can be on the grass areas, you are well advised to take something to put under your bike’s stand in case the ground is soft.
Access to the Paddock on race weekends is only available by purchasing your paddock admission ticket in advance. The paddock tickets when exchanged for a wristband at the circuit, gives the holder access into the Paddock. Advance tickets can be purchased via the Auto 66 Club official website or contacting the Circuit Office on +44 (0) 1723 – 373000. Tickets bought on the day do not permit access to the paddock.
Space in the paddock is limited and you will find yourself up close and personal with everything that is going on. Whereas for the ardent supporter this is an amazing opportunity, it is worth remembering that during race meetings competitors are often fully focused on the racing and not always in the most sociable frame of mind, especially if the races are not going to plan.
Oliver’s Mount Race Weekends 2017
22nd & 23rd April – Bob Smith Spring Cup Road Races
24th & 25th June – Cock O’ the North Continental Road Races
22nd & 23rd July – Barry Sheene Race Festival & Rally
23rd & 24th September – The 67th Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup
There is an abundance of good quality accommodation in and around Scarborough, often at an attractive rate. The town is a regular destination for tourists and so it is worth planning your visit in advance rather than last minute, to ensure you get the best deal. Father Confessor ended up 20 miles out of town in a superb hotel whose idea of a meal for one would have fed several.
Being located on the coast, Scarborough has a choice of roads converging on it. The most common route from anywhere south and west typically uses the A1 (Great North Road) and then the A64 via York. Or there are routes across the Humber Estuary and even a route with additional motorway sections if that is your thing.
By far the most picturesque route though is reserved for those coming from the north who can divert off the main arterial roads around Middlesborough and travel across country via the North Yorkshire Moor National Park, to reach the coast at Whitby and then south to Scarborough.
Whereas the information on these pages is as correct as we could make it, inevitably things will change. We can’t guarantee that everything will be as we describe, but then again where would the fun be in that