OF CLAY PIGEON RACEWAY
1950s - 2023
The Clay Pigeon Raceway was founded in the late 1950's early 1960's on a disused Second World War Military Hospital site. The original track was built by joining the hut (ward) concrete bases together with tarmac to make a 500 metre track. The Blandford Karting Club was formed and a Roval Automobile Club Permit was obtained and the first "official" race took place on Sunday 5th May 1963.
Shortly after this first race meeting the Bath Karting Club assumed the responsibility of organising RACMSA race meetings.
In the early 1970's the Clay Pigeon Kart Club was formed and has continued to organise and promote MSA race meetings at Clay, leasing the circuit for 14 days a year from a long list of owners of the circuit. Neil Hann was chairman in the early years and he and his volunteers extended the circuit to the 815 metres that it is today.
In the mid 1980's Ian Rennison joined the committee of the Clay Pigeon Kart Club and together with Neil Hann, Trevor Brown, John Donovan, Colin Clark (and later Ron Davies) were responsible for saving the circuit in 1989 when the owners Lane Racing Ltd went into liquidation. They formed Chelborough Ltd, who purchased the freehold of the circuit to maintain MSA racing in this area.
The circuit was in a poor state and once the trade tenants of the circuit were removed in 1994 improvements to the circuit were started - new fencing, track widened and totally resurfaced, tarmac pit areas etc. The club erected a new clubhouse followed by a new lap scorers hut and new scrutineering facilities.
The circuit has now become a seven days a week business organising arrive and drive hire karts, Corporate events, practice and hosting most major championships that tour Britain.
Recently Chelborough Ltd (the Circuit owners) has come under control of Southern Counties Leisure who now own all the leisure facilities around the circuit including the new 39 room George Albert Hotel and new improvements to the circuit and it facilities are on the way including a new purpose built Clubhouse and corporate area.
The future is bright for the Clay Pigeon Kart Circuit and Clay Pigeon Kart Club.
Jenson Button started his racing career here at Clay Pigeon Raceway. One of his greatest achievements was in Formula 1, where he became the 2009 F1 World Champion!
Lando Norris also started is career here at Clay Pigeon
He made his Formula 1 debut in 2019 for Mclaren and to this day (2021) is still with them for his 3rd year in the sport, with his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.