New future for Buckmore Park karting circuit with £300k investment
Buckmore Park Kart Track,
Chatham. Picture: Peter Still
A karting circuit that helped Lewis Hamilton and Jenson
world champions is in pole position with a £300,000 investment in
new karts and ambitious growth plans.
Buckmore Park Kart Circuit, near Chatham, widely regarded as one
of the finest in the UK, has added 65 karts to its fleet.
The circuit celebrates its 50th annniversary this year and
attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year.
Owner Bill Sisley, managing director of Buckmore Park
Karting, has a long lease with landowner John Surtees.
The former world motor racing and motorcycling champion has
bought the freehold to a further 90 acres for probable track
expansion and an education centre for young people.
Mr Surtees tragically lost his son Henry, a talented young
a freak accident at Brands Hatch. He told Kent Online that karting
and motorsport were great ways of teaching young people, not only
about driving fast and safey, but about engineering and life. They
could transform lives.
"We're living in an age when so many people grow up believing
that the screen produces everything, and half the time it's perhaps
unproductive and negative. I'd like to give an opportunity to
motivate youngsters on the back of motorsport.
"If we can open the door and create enthusiasm, using the kart
to introduce them to technology - yes, a screen again but also
spanners - they can go on to find a career."
"I’d like to give an opportunity to motivate youngsters on the back of motorsport" – John Surtees
He added: "I'd like to create an extension to the circuit for
alternatives for learning, testing and road safety training. I have
dreams, we'll just try and realise them."
Barclays helped fund the new kart purchase. Circuit
managing director Mr Sisley said: “We are proud to be able to offer
our clients in the corporate and leisure sectors, as well as our
junior drivers, these brand new karts that feature the highest
standards of safety and technological advances that money can
"This investment is just the first stage as we have exciting
plans for further circuit expansion and it marks our commitment to
remain the best race and corporate entertainment kart facility in
Jon Emery, Barclays relationship director, said: "We have worked
closely with the management team on this project to support the
funding of the new karts which will undoubtedly increase the
numbers of enthusiastic participants and visitors to this
As youngsters, F1 legends Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and new
F1 Marussia signing Max Chilton all honed their skills at the
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