How Much Dirt Was Used At Bristol Speedway? [Facts!]

The 2019 season was a memorable one for motor racing fans, particularly those who visited the United Kingdom. The country’s biggest race, the coveted Grand Prix, was held at one of the world’s most iconic racetracks, the legendary Bristol Speedway. The race was part of the inaugural International Speedway season and saw teams and drivers from overseas travel to the English city to take on the regulars and legends of British motorsport.

Since 1927, Bristol has been famous for its abrasive, clay pitch that can tear up a car’s undercarriage. The speedway was used as a place of worship by many motor racing fans, with many visiting every week to offer up prayers and songs for the sake of their favorite drivers.

While the pitch is arguably the main reason why Bristol is famous, it’s actually not the only factor. The layout of the track—which was first built in 1922—is also spectacular: The track is banked on both turns, which makes it look longer than it actually is. It’s this unique combination of factors that has made Bristol one of the most popular tracks in the world. Teams, drivers, and fans gathered together for a memorable season, and it was well worth the wait for the green flag to wave once again at the start of the 2020 season.

What Is The Average Dirt Surface At Bristol?

Located in the beautiful British countryside and just an hour from Bristol city center, the M4 motorway opens up the floodgates for race fans en route to the A344 road that leads to the speedway. The M4 was constructed in 1972 and remains one of the most important motorways in the country, carrying a steady stream of traffic to and from the city.

The average dirt surface at Bristol is around 5-7mm, which makes it between the sand dunes of nearby beaches and the tarmac of major motorways. The Bristol Speedway, along with Gravesend, Silverstone, and Oulton Park, make up the so-called ‘quad circuit’ of British motorsport. However, unlike the others, access to the Bristol Speedway is free, with the only fee being for parking. As a result, the vast majority of fans that go there to support a driver are either located in the paddock areas or in the grandstands. Naturally, the stands and the paddock areas are fully equipped with food, drink, and plenty of places to sit and peoplewatch.

How Is The Track Weather-related?

Being the home of motorsport, it’s not a great surprise that Bristol is prone to changing weather conditions. The track is close to the English Channel, so the wind can sometimes whip up and make the track particularly volatile. The speedway is also located on the edge of a large urban area, which means that heavy traffic often tailbacks on the M4 motorway heading to and from the track. This in turn can make the track surface particularly dirty. However, the biggest issue with the track’s weather is the frequent thunderstorms and heavy downpours of rain that make the track surface totally unuseable. It gets so bad that the track surface actually became slushy in winter, which made it challenging for the teams and drivers to get the tires and machinery working at their optimum levels.

How Is The Track Managed?

Anyone who’s driven on an English highway in the middle of a thunderstorm knows how unpleasant it can be. The potholes, speed bumps, and uneven roadsides can take your breath away and shake your confidence in even the most sophisticated of cars. If you’ve ever driven on the M4 before you’ll know what I mean. The A344, on which the speedway is located, is a busy road and regularly sees cars traveling at high speeds, which in turn creates a dangerous situation for anyone on or near the highway. This is one area where speed limits are very strictly enforced.

Bristol is a Grade II listed building, which means that it’s a building that’s considered to be of historic and cultural heritage interest. This interest is expressed in the form of rules and regulations governing the upkeep of the structure and grounds. Among these rules and regulations is the requirement that the track be regularly cleaned. This is carried out by an in-house team of track cleaning professionals who go around the entire track, smoothing it out and removing all the debris that’s accumulated over the years. When this is done, the pitch is given a good hard scrub and left to dry out. After this process, the track is inspected by a member of the JHR Team (Junior High Roadsters), a safety group that organizes races at the site, to make sure all is OK.

What Is JHR Team?

JHR team is a racing society that was established in 1922 and takes its name from the main race at the Bristol Speedway, the Junior Grand Prix. This race is held annually and is the only one of its kind in the world. The society provides a safe place for young people, particularly those who are interested in motorsport, to come together and organize races. The organization also provides a pension scheme for its members, which is a nice touch. JHR team’s headquarters are located near the track and also organize trips to and from the venue for members and prospective members. These trips are usually done during the school holidays to give the kids a taste of what real driving is like and to bring back wonderful memories of the Grand Prix and the Bristol Speedway.

Is The Track Always Clean?

The average surface at Bristol is around 5-7mm, which makes it between the sand dunes of nearby beaches and the tarmac of major motorways. The pitch can sometimes get a bit sticky after a heavy downpour, which means that it needs to be cleaned off and leveled after every race or meeting. The track is cleaned during the off-season, which is generally autumn and winter, to prevent any damage due to heavy usage during the summer months. This is when the risk of surface water being present—due to excessive rain—is at its peak.

What About The Surroundings?

Bristol is located in the English countryside and just 26 miles from the port of Bristol. A 10-minute walk from the M4 motorway will bring you to the city walls, which were built in the 15th century to protect Bristol from attack. The walls aren’t that impregnable though, as shown by the six military sieges that the city has suffered through over the years.

Bristol is home to the University of Bristol, England’s largest university. The institution was originally established in 1912, which makes it the second-oldest university in the country. The campus is actually located near the centre of the city, which means that there’s plenty of places to study and plenty of students around. Many of whom are also involved in racing, which you may know brings us back to the topic at hand.

The English climate is generally good, which means that the country is not prone to the kind of awful winters that turn many tracks into skating rinks. This is also thanks in part to the warm Gulf Stream that runs along the south coast. As a result, you’ll often find people playing sport outdoors during the winter months, which makes for some wonderful picnic spots and barbeques.

Summing Up

Bristol is a place of extremes—either you love it or you hate it. Those who do love it may find that the issue of cleanliness is a constant source of aggravation, but the experience of visiting and even racing there is undeniably unique. For those who do hate it, the experience of visiting and even racing there will still be etched on their minds as one of the most disastrous trips ever. The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a unique destination that you can’t find elsewhere, then the Bristol Speedway should be on your list.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!