Fondly nicknamed the ‘mini-Nürburgring’, Cadwell Park celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014. It remains as closely-held in the hearts of many motorsport fans as it ever has. Located 10 miles north of Horncastle and five miles south of Louth, the Lincolnshire circuit is especially popular with bikers nationwide.
Cadwell Park’s twisty and undulating nature, winding through open park and woodland, has marked it out as one of the best circuits in the country. Once discovered, it is often a firm favourite amongst many who visit, whether as a spectator or participant.
The circuit is also one of the most popular destinations on the MCE Insurance British Superbike calendar, with the infamous ‘Mountain’ section, which riders usually tackle airborne, providing a particular challenge.
As the circuit’s reputation continues to build, there are an increasing number of club car events taking place at the circuit including the Historic Sports Car Club’s Wolds Trophy and the popular Vintage Sports Car Club Festival, along with two vintage and classic motorcycle events.
Set in the rolling Lincolnshire countryside, Cadwell Park was established when land owner Mansfield Wilkinson’s sons raced motorcycles around the park. Charles Wilkinson formed the Louth and District Motorcycle Club in 1932 and staged the first race meeting on the track in 1934. The length of the track almost doubled to 1.3 miles in 1953, when the ascendant 500cc motorcycle-engined F3 class was invited to race in a traditional bike meeting. Reg Spreckley thus became the track’s first car race winner in his Cooper. Some 30,000 spectators were said to have watched the meeting.
The original track, with its fearsome and photogenic Mountain feature, grew to its current 2.25-mile layout in 1962 and hosted the British F3 series the following May. It has three configurations – the rarely used Woodlands circuit, the short Club circuit, and the splendid, daunting Full circuit.
These days, its car racing exploits are confined to club meetings but they are invariably superb as the track’s swooping nature provides fantastic racing, and the challenge has proven irresistible to drivers and riders alike.
Cadwell Park remains a firm favourite with motorcycle fans, who flock to the Lincolnshire venue every August to see their heroes in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship. The most popular spot is still the Mountain, where the competitors’ airborne leaps echo those of legends including Barry Sheene, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Derek Chatterton.