There has been a race track at Brands since 1926, when the land was first used for grass track bike racing. In those days, competitors ran anti-clockwise, but the direction of the circuit was switched in 1954.
The heritage of Brands is vast - name any famous driver from the last 50 years or so and they are bound to have cut their teeth racing here. Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Barry Sheene, Jack Brabham, Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button are among the countless drivers to have raced and won at Brands over the years.
Nigel Mansell scored his first Grand Prix victory there, also winning the final F1 race at Brands in 1986. The circuit became the spiritual home of the World Superbike Championship in the 1990s and 2000s, and hosted the first A1 Grand Prix in 2005. Past winners of the Formula Ford Festival meanwhile have included Jenson Button and Mark Webber. Brands Hatch continues to make history, with the Road Cycling events at the 2012 Paralympic Games based at the Kent circuit proving a huge success, with Alex Zanardi's performances voted as the number one moment of the 2012 Paralympic Games by the International Paralympic Committee. In 2013 it becomes one of few circuits to stage an F1, Indycar and NASCAR event, the latter making its debut at the American SpeedFest with the European Touring series.
Brands Hatch's unique combination of dips, cambers, fearsome corners and hills means it is still one of the world's favourite racing circuits, and continues to go from strength to strength.
Brands Hatch is on the A20 and is well signposted from junction 3 of the M25.
A short circuit at just 1.2 miles, the Indy circuit is challenging nonetheless.
Turn 1 is Paddock Hill bend and requires careful attention in order to achieve the best line. It's deceptive as the track goes up, then drops away from you sharply. The trick is to aim for the Marshal's hut to maximise your time upright for braking.
Turn 2, Druids, is the slowest corner. Braking is up-hill, so gravity aids you slowing the bike down. It can take a while to get your braking marker here but perseverance is worthwhile. The key here is a late turn in to allow you to set the bike up right for the acceleration down the hill to Graham Hill Bend.
Turn 3. Graham Hill bend is the first left-hander and it's always important to remember that the left hand side of your tyre will be a lot cooler than the right. In the wet, it's not the grippiest corner on the exit, so watch out for the rear end losing traction. The key here is to use ALL the track.
Cooper straight is fairly short but you can achieve a good acceleration by getting the bike upright as soon as possible after exiting Graham Hill.
Turn 4, the left-hander of Surtees, is much faster than Graham Hill. Selecting the right place to brake, so that you can tip in and use all the track, is important. You'll have to judge the speed so you are sure to get a good line on the exit as you can give it full gas towards the next turn...
Turns 5, 6 and 7 McLaren, Clearways and Clarke Curve. The initial right-hander of the series of turns is McLaren and the complex is often simply reffered to people as "Clearways". Depending on your bike, you'll be looking to enter this corner slower than might seem possible. This will allow you to take a tighter line through the first part of the right hander and then maximise the straight at the end. As you reach the point of the track where it goes downhill, allowing the bike to use all of the track, by gently gassing it will help you get the best run up onto the straight.
Remember, minimise the corners to maximise the straights!
Brabham straight. This is hardly worth calling a straight! However, on the entry you'll want to be as far left as you can as you pass the start of the Pit Wall (certainly on a bigger bike) as you will be able to use full throttle for longer.