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Three Sisters Race Circuit (Wigan, Lancashire)

An image of Three Sisters Race Circuit (Wigan, Lancashire)

Track Information

Three Sisters’ track is among the most varied in Britain as it can take four different routes depending on the experience you have chosen. The shortest length you can race is roughly 400 metres, while the longest route boasts a length of 1,600 metres. The track was primarily developed with karting in mind - it is accredited to host international karting events, but the varying routes can either take you on a twisting route to test the handling of your cars or a straighter circuit, where you will be able to test the speed and acceleration of your chosen experience car.

The start/finish line for all four routes begins at the same place, on the long straight on the far side of the course. The starting line of this track is an exciting place to be as you stare at the long Conrod Straight ahead of you; perfect for testing the acceleration of your vehicle. The track will then vary depending on the route you take. The Conrod Straight could lead to a long, slow-sweeping corner called Pentith Climb, which then leads to another corner (in an oval fashion) called Coward’s Summit. With this route, Pentith Climb takes you up a hill, peaking at Coward’s Summit, aptly named as it will take all of your nerve to keep the pace of your car as you take the corner.

Alternatively, the track may take you on a route full of difficult turns. From the Conrod Straight the track may turn sharply to the right as you enter the winding inner circuit including The Esses chicanes (named for their S shapes) and the sharp right-handed The Valleys turns. This is where the four routes vary the most as you take various corners and twists around the inside of The Esses and The Valleys - each route tests your driving skill to the limit with difficult manoeuvres across a variety of routes inside the main circuit length.

Whichever circuit you take, all courses will meet at one point; the Paddock Bend. This is a tight sweeping left-hand corner that leads all routes onto the short Rodgerson’s Straight. Rodgerson’s Straight extends to the course’s most famous corner; the Lunar Bend. Imagine a bend shaped like a sock (or Christmas stocking to be more accurate) and you have an idea of the magnitude of the corner. The track first bends to the left before sweeping round in a lengthy right handed motion. There is then a short straight accelerating directly upwards before the final right handed turn that leads you back across the start/finish line.

Each of the four courses is designed for a specific purpose. The circuits with more corners are made for the international karting and motorbike weekends as the loops provide real competition in a testing environment. The broader, longer circuits are mainly used for racing cars and are perfect for testing one of the two Formula One cars that the track now offers. The long straights and sweeping corners give a perfect indication of the Formula One cars’ handling, power and speed. Depending on the type of experience you purchase through Experience Mad, you may find yourself racing on any one of the four courses that the circuit has to offer.

Facilities

The Three Sisters race circuit was built with racing in mind; therefore added facilities such as a restaurant are not available. Luckily, the track is ideally situated near to many amenities so your experience will not be lessened by the lack of onsite facilities. Free parking is also available for you to leave your car. Toilets are available alongside the track, while the adjacent briefing room has ample space to leave your belongings as your experience takes place.

Nearby

The circuit is situated about 5 minutes from juntion 25 of the M6 motorway, about 30 minutes from both Manchester and Liverpool.

The track is even closer to the smaller towns of Bryn and Ashton-in-Makerfield; so close that it is only a short drive to either town where you will be able to find a range of local shops, takeaways and restaurants. In fact, Bryn is only about half a mile from the circuit and most experience day guests will have to pass through or near the town from the M6 to get to the track’s location. Bryn is also a good place to find a hotel if you are looking to combine your driving experience with an overnight stop.

The nearest larger town is Wigan, which is only one junction further up the M6 and full of restaurants, hotels and shops if you cannot find what you are looking for in the smaller towns near to the track location.

Spectators

The track allows spectators to watch experience days and, in many respects, this circuit is one of the best for visitors as the compact nature of the track means they are very close to the racing action.

As stated above, the track does not have a great deal of facilities so there is nowhere for spectators to eat while their friend or family member is enjoying their experience day. There is also no sheltered viewing area so prepare for those wet or windy days this part of the country is so famous for. If the weather is favourable you can enjoy the experience as much as the drivers as they are so close to the track that the racing experience can be personal to spectators, too.

History

Three Sisters race circuit had a very unusual and interesting beginning. The site was originally used as a spoil tip (waste disposal area) for three nearby mining sites. This is where the name Three Sisters comes from, in reference to the three collieries that surrounded the area. When the mines ceased to function a racing circuit was made from the remains at the spoil tip. The racing track has stood in place of the spoil tip for over 30 years now.

The track was then accredited so that it was able to host international karting and motorbike race weekends, something that still often happens at the site today. The races are often so exciting that many within the racing community now refer to Three Sisters the ‘Jewel of the North’ due to the enthralling time you can have at the circuit.

Three Sisters has long been a popular venue for budding racing drivers to train through the racing school established there in 1978, so the track has plenty of experience in turning average drivers into speed racers. In 1993 the track joined its racing school with two other tracks on the Experience Mad books; Mallory Park and Rockingham, and the three tracks operate together to offer a variety of driving experiences.

Perhaps the most exciting experience offered through Experience Mad at the track is the genuine Formula One experience day, where drivers will have the chance to race behind the wheel of a real F1 car. Experience Mad also offers experience days in Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches through the track, so there is something for every taste.

Experience Mad also offers junior racing experiences, Formula Three single seater experiences and Mini Cooper S experiences from this location. The track operates with four different routes, with routes to test the handling and movement of cars and routes to test the sheer speed and acceleration of the car you choose to drive during your race experience.

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