David Pittard’s #TrackTalk: Knockhill


The British Touring Car Championship and its support championships makes its traditional trip north of the border this weekend to Fife in Scotland and the unique Knockhill circuit.

The package goes from one of the longest tracks on the calendar, Snetterton 300, to one of the shortest circuits, and here Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup front-runner David Pittard’s talks us through the ‘rollercoaster’ Scottish circuit.

History

Knockhill is Scotland’s premier motorsport venue. The undulating 1.3 mile circuit sits six miles north of Dunfermline, 25 miles for central Edinburgh. The circuit was opened in 1974, originally using service roads from a disused mineral railway.

The circuit hosts some of the premier championships in the UK, including the BTCC, British Superbikes and the British Rallycross Championship, as well as being the base for a number of Scottish championships. The short circuit is renowned for providing lots of action, with it’s high kerbs and undulations keeping both drivers and spectators on point!

A classic race at Knockhill … An epic battle in 2008 between Shedden, Neal & Turkington!

Track Walk

Duffus Dip

A great corner! A 90 degree right that drops away right at the apex, with a big kerb on the inside that flings the car round the bend. It’s a fast corner which means there’s a short braking zone, making it a difficult place to pass unless you’re alongside down the start finish straight. The short left afterwards compresses at the dip of the hill which creates a single line.

McIntyre - Credit: Jakob Ebrey PhotographyMcIntyre

A short and difficult right. Braking on the turn from the left from Duffus, you must settle and slow the car down as far left as you can to open up the corner. A large kerb on the inside can unsettle the car, but a large exit kerb gives you room for error. Important to get a good exit to get up and over the chicane and over to Clark. A lunge is possible here but you must be committed, but you can unsettle someone on the way in to get the cutback on the way out!

Butchers

More of a kink than a corner. It will be flat during qualifying in the Ginetta but somewhere to look after the rears through the weekend. Set yourself up nicely for the chicane.

Chicane - Credit: Jakob Ebrey PhotographyChicane

The signature corner of Knockhill. Basically a jump! The chicane is taken as straight as possible as the 2nd apex is taken in the air a small brake is needed so that the car lands before the gravel on the exit! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this corner! Especially in qualifying on the new tyres. Amazing spectator viewing point especially with the touring cars!

Clark

Another short sharp right hander that rises over a crest. A short braking zone, before getting the car in and on the throttle asap for the long drag down the straight after it. A lunge is possible here if you can unsettle the car ahead through the chicane.

FInal Corner - Credit: Jakob Ebrey PhotographyTaylors

A big point of action, it’s main overtaking opportunity at the circuit as it is the only big braking zone and the widest bit of track. A very bumpy braking zone will still keep all drivers on their toes. The apex rises steeply and flattens off meaning traction can be an issue in the Ginetta before the drag up the hill across the start finish. A great corner for the spectators!

This lap is taken from KX Akademy graduate Dan Lloyd in his Porsche 997 Cup car… hold on!

Thoughts

The track looks fantastic. To hook a lap up here will be a great feeling. All the corners require 100% commitment which will make the racing action packed! Overtaking maybe hard here so again qualifying will be crucial. I’m especially looking forward to jumping the chicane! Tyre wear will come into play by the third race… that’s if it stays dry!

*Photo Credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography*

Pittard TrackTalk