Knockhill plans anti-clockwise BSBposted in BSB11 | 02 | 2014

    KNOCKHILL IS PLANNING to make history this summer by running the British Superbike Championship double-header on its new anti-clockwise track (watch our video of Knockhill ... the Wrong Way Round!).

    The Fife circuit, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, has traditionally been used as an clockwise circuit. However, in 2012 Knockhill re-introduced racing, track days and experiences in the anti-clockwise direction.

    Interestingly, events using this alternative layout used to take place right up until the early 1990s, before the decision was taken to use the 1.3-mile circuit in Fife solely as a clockwise track.

    Now though, following a £100,000 investment programme of circuit improvements — which allowed it to to receive its official race licence from the Motor Sports Association, the governing body in the UK — British Superbike (BSB) will race anti-clockwise on June 28/29.

    Before that, a further series of modifications — including lengthening and widening the acceleration lane exiting the pits, re-profiling the apex of the Hairpin to increase track width, and adding a number of additional safety features — will be undertaken.

    Once completed, the Motorcycle Circuit Racing Control Board will grant a new track licence and organise an official multi-class test on May 8/9. This will then give the green light to the BSB double-header in June running anti-clockwise.

    Related: Knockhill goes electric

    The work on the Knockhill circuit has involved triple British Superbike champ Niall Mackenzie from Doune, and 2013 British Supersport champ, Stuart Easton (pictured) from Hawick.

    "Since the circuit restarted events in the counter clockwise direction in 2012, we've been curious to learn how they've been received," Stuart Higgs, BSB director, said today.

    "In talking with Niall and Stuart, amongst others who have had firsthand experience, they were very enthusiastic and positive as to how it was to ride.

    "In fact there are a number of factors which have shown this configuration to be better for competitors and spectators and viewers, with some of the well-known features of the circuit much enhanced."

    And while the circuit will revert to its traditional clockwise format for the return of the British Touring Car Championship in August, the BSB plans were welcomed by Knockhill chief executive, Derek Butcher.

    "We invested in giving Scotland, and Britain, another circuit over the winter of 2011/12 and since then, the 'new' circuit has provided such a different challenge," Butcher said.

    "In fact, for many, they prefer competing on the anti-clockwise format. Once a rider has done 40-50 laps to get into a rhythm, we're convinced all the BSB riders and those in the support classes, and not least the thousands of spectators, will love the new challenges of this new layout.

    "It will be fascinating to hear the feedback from the riders in May after they have had a few sessions to get familiar with Britain's newest track."

    Related: GoMotor Racing targets young Scots

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    Jim McGill


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