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Ingliston Racing Circuit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ingliston Racing Circuit
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland
OwnerRoyal Highland Agricultural Society Of Scotland (RHASS)
Opened11 April 1965
Closed16 September 1994 (officially)
Major eventsDunfermline Car Club Rally, Ingliston Revival, Scottish Motor Racing Club (SMRC) Events, Various car club heats, Scottish Car Show, British Cycling
Length1.03 mi (1.657 km)
Turns7
Race lap record43.50 D Duffield
Turns
Arena
Esses
Caravan
Southstand
Hairpin
Lefthander
Clock

Ingliston Racing Circuit is 1.03-mile motor racing circuit that was built at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston, Edinburgh. The circuit was created by widening and linking the network of access roads at the venue which had previously been used exclusively as an agricultural showground.

The first racing took place at Ingliston on 11 April 1965 and it fast became recognised as one of Scotland's top motorsport venues. The first race was almost 10 years before Knockhill in Fife opened in 1974 . Ingliston became infamous for its tight corners and plethora of obstacles such as trees and buildings close to the track and was therefore considered to be more hazardous than other similar facilities in the UK. There were extensive spectator facilities including a 5000-person grandstand which was built around the southern part of the track and thus named 'Arena'.

The venue saw many famous drivers compete at races including the late Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss and lately David Coulthard.

History

1968 expansion

On 4 September 1968 the track re-opened benefiting from an extension to the northeast of 600 ft including a long straight leading to hairpin and back to left-hander where the new section rejoined the original circuit. This took the full circuit to a length of just over one mile, allowing for a more fulfilling experience for drivers and spectators alike and more racing as a result. Two circuits could be operated, the original or extended, both in a clockwise direction.

Scottish Motorsport Centre

In the winter of 1989 Sir Jackie Stewart publicly announced his plans for a Scottish Motorsport centre. An investment of £80 million was proposed to create a motoring centre of excellence, to include research and development facilities, showrooms and garages around the perimeter of the circuit. The plans received public approval but full funding was shortcoming and a planning application never submitted to Edinburgh District Council.

In addition to a two-mile Grand Prix standard racing circuit and motor industry test facilities, the New Ingliston proposals would embody a luxury hotel, multi-screen cinema, bowling alley, garden centre, ''autopark'' trading units, and heritage museum, within its perimeters.

Jackie Stewart, who designed the track, said his involvement with the McGregor Holdings concept which includes personal investment, came afterpersistent requests from throughout the world to participate indeveloping race circuits.[1]

1995 closure

During the downturn of the early 1990s the circuit started to fall behind modern standards. Increased competition from Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife and a lack of investment in modern safety facilities as well as increased pressure from the venue for other non-motoring related activity spelled the end of motorsport at Ingliston. The track was de-commissioned and infrastructure removed, paving the way for the venue to pursue its main ambition as a public showground.

Today

Much of the original circuit remains in place with the only major missing piece being Arena, where a grandstand overlooking the main ring of the venue (used principally for the Royal Highland Show) has been constructed. Other parts of the track are used as access roads, car parking and for occasional track days and driving events. The pits area has been removed.

Revival

2015 sees the 50th anniversary of the circuit and a revival is planned for September 2015.[2] The event plans to relive the excitement of old Ingliston where owners are invited to drive their cars on the re-opened circuit. The event is expected to attract 10,000 people over the weekend.

The original circuit has been built over at Arena, so an access road adjacent to the structure has been widened and graded to allow a full-circuit to be driveable, the first time this has been possible in over 20 years.

Other uses

The northern part of Ingliston Racing Circuit is used by driving experience companies Experience Voucher[3] and Ingliston,[4] and also by the Dunfermline Car Club[5] for Rally and cycling races, amongst others.

References

  1. ^ "Plan unveiled for #80m Scottish motorsport centre". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  2. ^ Ingliston Revival
  3. ^ Experience Voucher
  4. ^ Ingliston
  5. ^ Dunfermline Car Club

This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 16:48
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