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. Early years saw solo bikes run anticlockwise around the circuit, while sidecars raced clockwise.
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 became the track’s first car race winner in his Cooper when 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, allowing it to hold international motorcycling events. It also hosted the British F3 series the following May. Esteemed motorcycle racer Giacomo Agostini made his first visit to Cadwell Park in 1969, while in the same year James Hunt and Ronnie Peterson enjoyed a famous F3 battle, with the pair finishing side by side. Other notable events included World of Sport Rallycross and Formula 1 Stock Car racing that used a specially-designed anti-clockwise circuit at Coppice and Mansfield corners.
Modern-day Cadwell Park has three configurations – the rarely-used Woodlands circuit, the short Club circuit, and the splendid, daunting Full circuit. The venue has always posed a challenge for drivers and riders, with the legendary Ayrton Senna among those to have been caught out at the ‘Mountain’!
These days, 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.