A racing pulse
The motor sports heart of Scotland beats at the Knockhill Racing Circuit. The circuit is the only racetrack in the country with FIA accreditation.
The track owes its existence to visionary sheep farmer Tom Kinnaird. In the early 1970s, the motor sports enthusiast even dreamt of holding a Grand Prix on his land on the leeward side of Knock Hill.
Knock Hill, the mountain that gave the circuit its name, rises to a height of 364 metres and can be recognised by its communication masts.
Construction started in 1972, and the first motorbike race was held at Knockhill Racing Circuit in 1974.
In the gravel
In 1988, the British Formula 3 Championship held a race on the former pasture land for the first time. Damon Hill started from pole position, but collided with Martin Donnelly after only 200 metres, with the result that both ended up stuck in the gravel.
Today, season highlights are the British Superbike
Championship (since 1989) and the British Touring Car Championship (since 1992).
A lap on the permanent race circuit measures 2.04 kilometres (1.27 miles) and passes through six right-hand and two left-hand corners. It is possible to drive round the track in both directions.
In the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), the lap record has been held by Jason Plato since 2015: he completed the circuit in a VW Passat in 51.521 seconds. In the British Superbike Championship, Shane Byrne has been the record holder at Knockhill since 2015 – doing a lap on his Kawasaki in 48.252 seconds.
The second corner after the start is named after David Leslie, who died in a plane crash in 2008 at the age of 57. The Scotsman was himself a successful race driver, later a TV commentator, and also ran a race team at the track together with his father. Leslie is credited with promoting the talent of Allan McNish and David Coulthard.
In addition to the race circuit, the facility also offers a hillside rally stage, a 4x4 off-road track, a 500-metre outdoor karting circuit and a skid pan.
Knockhill Racing Circuit can be reached by car from Edinburgh within 45 minutes. Since 2017, the route northwards has passed over one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world. “Queensferry Crossing” is the 2.6 km long link between the two banks of the Firth of Forth.
Glasgow is located just under 70 km south-west of Knockhill. Those travelling from this city cross the Forth at a much narrower point.
Knockhill Racing Circuit is located in the former county of Fife, one of Scotland’s 32 council areas. Covering 1,325 square kilometres, the area between the Firth of Tay in the north and the Firth of Forth in the south projects like a tongue out into the sea.