Welcome to the lydden hill spectators guide!

Next event SEMSEC 4th April --- Europeon Rallycross 12th and 13th April

This web page will develop in to a spectators guide over the coming months, it will include information about the amenities, corners, history and events at lydden hill race circuit.


Grandstands and hospitality

On the descent of hairy hill two grandstands are located
at rally cross meetings a small charge is made to sit in them but at all other meeting they are free. They provide some excellent views of devils elbow and north bend as well as allowing you to see most of the rest of th circuit.

The lower grandstand is used as a hospitality area at rallycross meetings which again has an extra charge - at the August rallycross meeting this was 30 including admission to the circuit.

Race buildings

A large two story building in the paddock houses the lydden offices, medical centre and paddock office, the only reason you would need to go there as a spectator is if you didn't buy a programme on the gate as they are available here.

The race control building is a two story wooden building located on the startline, no need to go there as a spectator unless instructed, lost property etc.

photo of office block photo of race control


Pilgrims drop

A high bank on the outside of the circuit provides some great views of the cars although viewing is quite restricted by trees preventing you from seeing paddock bend.

Chessons drift

Flat ground around the outside of chessons provides an opportunity to park your car a watch from in the car - great for cold or wet meeting early or late in the season.

photo of chessons

Devils elbow

As the devils elbow is a left hand corner spectating is on the inside of the bend, this provides some great opportunities to take photos, but viewing of the rest of the circuit is quite poor compared to other spots. You can also get good views of devils elbow from the two grandstands.

photo of devils elbow

North bend

A large bank on the outside of the corner provides some great views of north bend and the rest of the circuit.

photo of north bend

Hairy hill

Spectating on the descent of hairy hill is by the two grandstands as detailed in the amenities section, on the ascent spectating is difficult as the ground is lower than the circuit although a new bank is currently being built.

photo of hairy hill photo of pete wilkinson

Paddock bend

Viewing is available all the way round the outside of paddock and provides some great views of the corner and most of the circuit, great spots to take photos.

photo of paddock bend


4th April - SEMSEC club car meeting

12th and 13th April - Europeon Rallycross

9th May - SEMSEC club car meeting

13th May - British supermoto championships

25th May - British Rallycross championships

30th May - Brscc sprint meeting

6th June - SEMSEC club car meeting

27th/28th June - BARC Mini 50th aniversay event

4th July - SEMSEC club car meeting

25th July - CTCRC Classic race meeting

1st/2nd August - VMCC vintage motorcycle racing

9th August SEMSEC club car meeting

15th/16th August - British sprint championship

31st August - British Rallycross Chapionships

5th September - BARC festival of motorsport, circuit, oval and trucks meeting

26th September - SEMSEC club car meeting

3rd/4th October - Brscc club car meeting

24th October - SEMSEC club car meeting

31st October/1st November BMCRC Lord of lydden and sidecar burn up motorcycle meeting

28th November - Lydden winter rallycross series


The track was founded by the late Bill Chesson and the Astra Motor Club in 1955. They promoted stock-car racing and grass-track racing for motorcycles, and it wasn't until 1965 when asphalt was laid for the circuit, for hosting car racing up to Formula 3.

On February 4, 1967 the sport of Rallycross was born at Lydden. Combining tarmac and non-tarmac elements, the inaugural race was won by Vic Elford in a Porsche 911. Between 1973 and 1996 Lydden Circuit saw a total of 23 rounds for the Embassy/ERA European Rallycross Championships and FIA European Championships for Rallycross Drivers, all organised by the Thames Estuary Automobile Club (TEAC). To this day, Lydden, as the so-called "Home of Rallycross", still holds British Rallycross Championship racing, especially with its Easter Monday meeting. For the 40th anniversary event in 2007, 8000 people packed into Lydden, which is currently the spectator record for the circuit.

In 1989, after disagreements between venue owner Chesson and the RAC MSA about the safety precautions of the track, the circuit was bought by plant-hire entrepreneur and regular rallycross competitor Tom Bissett.

In 1991 McLaren bought the track and leased it to the British Motorcycle Racing Club (BMCRC) from 1993 on, thus allowing both cars and bikes to have full use of the track. BMCRC have been based at Lydden since, and it forms this home track, playing host to the annual 'Lord of Lydden' and 'Sidecar burnup' races, together with a number of club motorcycle race meetings.

Another piece in the history of Lydden came in 2003, when McLaren had an application turned down for Lydden to become a private testing venue.

From 2008 on the new lease holder of the circuit will be, for at least five years, the Waste Recycling Consultant, former MSA British Rallycross Champion (2002 and 2005) and FIA European Rallycross Championship runner-up (1992) Pat Doran. "Plastic Paddy" Doran, an Englishman of Irish origin from Thorverton in Devon, is planning several improvements for the venue as well as an extension of the racing programme (for cars and bikes alike) and his oldest daughter Amy (23) has been appointed as director for day-to-day running of the circuit.

From wikipedia

Useful Links

Official circuit website
Marshals guide on marshalspost.com
Motorsport video website
Ten tenths motorsport forum
Snappy racers - Excellent Motorsport Photography Site