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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 345 > BRANDS HATCH GP


Steeped in history, the Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout is easily one of the best tracks in the UK – even if we only get 25 glorious days there a year. As it’s so special, we caught up with Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon to find the best way around it…

Track Attack


1 Brabham Straight

It may be called Brabham Straight, but it’s fair to say you won’t be getting any time to rest. You’ve just exited Clarke Curve which means you’ll be hard on the gas and holding on for dear life as you drift over to the left hand side of the track amid all the bumps. The track dips away before the rise into turn one, so be aware that you’re going to be unsettled, and rear braking helps to keep things in check. In order to make things harder, the track is also fairly undulated as well towards the pit wall, so you’ll be at a constant angle. Here you’ll probably be in about fifth gear (bike and gearing dependant) so it’s incredibly quick, but be thinking about setting up for Paddock early and be prepared for the rollercoaster of a turn that comes up as you climb the hill into the braking zone…

2 Paddock Hill

As mentioned, it’s absolutely vital to get your body shifted over as early as possible before you hit the rise on the entry to the corner as you’ll be hard on the brakes and don’t want things unsettled. For this reason you’ll want to be ready before the braking zone, which can be anywhere between the start-finish line and the top of the crest – dependant on the size of both your engine and your balls. If you’re closer to the crest (about where a 600cc bike would hit the anchors) then it’s best to not hit the brakes at the very top too hard, as it can send the machine very flighty at the rear.

On the way into Paddock Hill there seems to be an array of lines, yet the one that works well for a lot of people (and that I learnt from Leon Haslam) is to stay about a foot to the left of the middle of the track – or just to the left of the pit lane exit paint. You’ll be braking at an angle anyway and there isn’t much gain from being any further out – plus offline can get fairly dusty up there. You’ll be heading in there pretty quick even though it’s uphill so you need to be precise, and as the inside curb protrudes out pretty far you don’t want to be taking it so tight that you catch your pegs. As you tip into the apex you’ll find it actually sticks out slightly giving you a clean indication of where to clip, before making sure you’re on the gas straight away to get the pivotal drive out and up Hailwood hill.

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