Track Review: Luddenham Raceway
Luddenham Raceway is the newest racetrack in NSW after it was officially opened in November 2018. Located halfway between Penrith and Oran Park, Luddenham is easily accessible with the drive from the city taking about 45 minutes.
Luddenham Raceway is a family run business and started out as a concept. The track is built on a 100-acre family owned olive farm with industrial use zoning. The track itself is 1.3km long and consists of 7 corners, many of them tight and technical and two straights. The track also enjoys some good elevation changes making for some more interesting elements including the “corkscrew” – a section consisting of a right-hand bend immediately followed by a hard left while dropping more than 15 meters.
The main straight is 400 meters in length and runs up-hill with turn one being a sweeping bend to the right allowing drivers to take the corner at high speed – in the LBR Formula Vee this corner is taken at around 100-110km/h before braking hard and slowing to 50-55km/h to take a tight hair pin to the right.
Turn three is a late apex bend that can easily catch you out, but if you get this corner right you are set up well to get on the accelerator early and power down the back straight which has high speed corner to the right. A word of caution must be given in relation to the high speed turn 4 mid-point on the back straight as the track surface has some rippling – you will be told about this in your drivers briefing – it does not impact speed but if you were not expecting it your car can bounce through this corner and it may catch you by surprise.
At the end of the back straight there is a short climb up to turn 5 which puts you at the top of the corkscrew, across this section the LBR Formula Vee hits a high speed of 115km/h immediately before the corkscrew turning sharply to the right followed by a sweeping hairpin doubling back to the left. This is a great section of track for vehicles with good cornering while some of the larger GT cars such as Mustangs tend to be a bit slower as they roll through this section.
The final turn before entering the main straight is a long sweeping right hander. Some drivers like to attack this corner as a double apex however the Lister Bros prefer the late apex approach as we find this allows us to get on the accelerator as early as possible to maximize straight line speed as we climb the gentle slope hitting a top speed of 125km/h immediately before turn one.
Luddenham Raceway has a large open plan pit area with under cover carports which include power. Refueling is permitted in the refueling bay only while there is a double lane formation area for cars preparing to take to the track. Overseeing the whole track is an officials podium providing unobstructed views of the entire track allowing a dedicated person to control a light signal system around the track which includes a green light for open track conditions, flashing yellow telling drivers to slow down and take caution and a red light indication track closed return to pits or end of session.
Also onsite is a large go-kart facility for those that do not want to take their own car on the full circuit and a paintball facility for those that fancy looking like a bruised banana. A café and main facilities building provides a comfortable place to get something to eat while the track also provides access to a professional photographer for each track session with photos of your car costing an additional $50.
Luddenham Raceway is a short and tight track (pretty good for the Formula Vee), but all in all, it is a good facility for those wanting to get some affordable practice in, to test and tune their car or just get out and go fast legally! Either way Luddenham has something for all track enthusiasts. Most of all its great to see private investment in motorsport facilities that everyone can enjoy.
Track Name: Luddenham Raceway
Track length: 1.3km
Number of Turns: 7
Complexity: Beginner to Medium
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