Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough is the only natural road circuit on the British mainland and has become an incredibly popular location for a whole host of motorbike races. A long list of big names have raced here, including: John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Steve Hislop, Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Guy Martin and Ian Hutchinson. Six-time world champion Geoff Duke said that no other circuit presented “greater difficulty, or more fun and thrills, than Oliver’s Mount”.
Barry Sheene also said that Oliver’s Mount was his favourite circuit, “mainly because of the atmosphere and the fact that the actual racing was so much fun with the track being so tight”.
The circuit remains a key tourist attraction for the coastal town and continues to draw huge crowds throughout the season. Up to the mid-1950s the largest crowd was nearly 40,000 in the 1953 international meeting. Needless to say the 3,356 cars, 6,511 motorbikes and 25 coaches brought Scarborough to a standstill!
At the 50th anniversary in September 1996 a record 63,000 people squeezed through the gates to see the all-star line-up take to the roads. They included Giacamo Agostini on his MV Agusta, Jim Redman on his Honda-6, Barry Sheene on a Suzuki RG500 and Carl Fogarty on a Honda RC45.
Oliver’s Mount is a must-see place for any biker. It offers an unrivalled opportunity to get up close and personal with the action and is set in a beautiful wooded parkland just outside of the town centre. No need to bring binoculars, but do wrap up warm! Something of a mini TT by the seaside, many people choose to stay for the weekend and make the most of the scenery, the wonderful biking roads and, of course, the fish and chips!
The current circuit outright lap record holder since the introduction of Farm Bends is Guy Martin. He rode a 1min 44.269sec lap on his GSXR Suzuki 1000 in September 2013.
The 2014 calendar of events at Oliver’s Mount is as packed as ever:
Ian Watson Spring Cup Road Races – Sunday 13th April
Barry Sheene Road Race Festival – Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd June
Cock ‘o’ the North Continental Road Races – Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th July
64th Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Road Races – Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th September
If you have never been to Oliver’s Mount then be sure to add it to your list for things to do this year – you will not be disappointed.