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Daytona Milton Keynes Karting Circuit
Daytona Milton Keynes is my local track and has had the pleasure of taking my hard earned money on numerous occasions over the last 5 years or so. From corporate evenings to prokart arrive and drive, DMax and owner driver events I’ve done them all so have been able to get a good broad view of how the circuit is run.
Daytona, as a company, comes across as being a little more corporate than some other tracks, which has both positives and negatives, but I’ve generally had a fantastic experience when racing there. The first thing I need to say is that the staff there are fantastic. Safety briefings are fairly formulaic, but the mandatory video is presented by Martin Brundle and your race coordinator will do his/her best to throw enough jokes in to stop you falling asleep. They’re also very friendly, happy to help, and have great banter.
During the race you’ll find the stewards generally know what they’re doing. For arrive and drive I’d say that the amount of black flags given out is about right. A few light prangs here and there are fine but once you start punting people into the wall you’ll end up in the pit lane for 30 seconds or so. If you find yourself in a tyre wall they’ll dig you out nice and quickly too – the stewards tend to sprint over to any incident, which is something you don’t see everywhere.
With regards to facilities for arrive and drive, Daytona Milton Keynes are probably on a par with the likes of Buckmore Park (although a little smaller). Food and soft drinks are served downstairs and there’s a big area with seating and lockers. The briefing room is big enough to house even the largest of events, and there are sofas (and a bar) upstairs for post-race awards or commiserations. Race winners tend to receive a voucher to give them discount in Dmax events, along with a trophy for the top 3 (this is in both corporate and ‘D’ races) and timing sheets for everyone.
If you’re there for Dmax, which are Daytona’s fleet of 2-stroke karts, expect things to be a bit more relaxed. The assumption is that if you can race the faster karts you know what you’re doing so briefings are a bit shorter and, in my experience, you get a bit more ‘respect’ for your skills. More onto owner driver days and it’s just a case of ‘getting on with things’. Sadly you still have to go through the briefing but this is down to insurance so there can’t really be any complaints.
Finally, and most importantly, the track (don’t forget to read out track guide too). Daytona Milton Keynes splits opinion massively – some love it, others don’t see the appeal. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic circuit that has enough speed to be fun and enough corners to keep the more technical drivers interested. The learning curve is relatively steep. Unlike shorter tracks, such as Clay Pigeon, there tends to be quite a big gap between the faster and slower drivers. The key to success is not holding back and just sticking one up the inside as soon as you get chance (which there’ll be lots of as there are so many slower corners).
So, in short, I can’t rate Daytona Milton Keynes highly enough. Of all the circuits I’ve been to it’s probably my second favourite (nowhere beats Buckmore Park) so is well worth a visit!
As you cross the start/finish line at the top of the track you’ll be going flat out. The viewing area is to your right, as is race control so any warning boards / black flags will be shown here… For the most part you’re not worrying about that – turn 1 hits you like a hammer as you start out wide and ease the kart through this left hander without lifting off. This will naturally push you to the right and onto a short straight before the chicane at turns 2 and 3.
You can actually take these faster than you think, so stay out to the right, hit the brakes, and then aim to just miss the tyres at the entrance to 2 on the left, before flicking the kart over to the right, hitting the apex, and then moving back to the left hand side of the track. This all happens very quickly and takes some time to get used to but you’ll make up a huge amount of time here once you get it right.
After turn 3 you’ll see some rougher concrete on the left hand side of the track. Using this lets you carry more speed, but you instantly want to move about 3/4 of the way to the right ready for turn 4. Again, there’s some rougher concrete – this time on the inside of the corner – that you can use, but in essence you’re aiming for a reasonably late apex which moves you out to the right of the track (don’t run wide as you’ll end up on the grass) and then heading to the left ready for turn 6.
This long right hander is a double apex, so you’ll want to brake and then turn in early, feathering the throttle and being careful not to drift out too wide, before cutting in to hit the middle of the exit. The key with all of this is not carry too much speed on your way in – if you do you’ll end up running wide and losing a load of time. On the exit there’s a raised bit of track that you can use to help you carry more speed and then you’re heading down the hill towards turn 7.
Start out wide on the left, hit the middle of the corner, and let the kart take you out to the right of the track. Again, be careful not to carry too much speed as you’ll end up hurtling towards the grass (and a tyre wall), meaning that you lose speed before getting to the hairpin at turn 8.
The exit of this corner is really important so you want to move to the right, hit the brakes, and turn in to get in a straight line through the late apex which will mean your foot is to the floor as you head down the hill. Exiting too early means you can’t carry as much pace, while too late means you have to avoid running wide and can’t go flat out.
Next, as you head down the hill, there’s a left hand kink which you take on the inside before drifting to the right and hitting the brakes ready for the 90 degree turn 9 left hander. This is the fastest part of the circuit so finding the correct braking point is essential (build up slowly until you can use the line in the tarmac as your guide). You then need to turn in quickly, just missing the tyres on the inside of the corner, and carry as much speed as you can through the exit. At this point you’ll see some raised track on the outside, which can use if you need to, and are then able to take a breather as you head up the hill.
Keep to the right of the track as turn 10, with practice, can be taken flat out with a bit of practice and a lift half way through so that you can position the kart on the left of the track as you exit. Again, the exit here is really important as if you’re too far to the right you won’t be ready for the first of two really slow corners. One word of warning – build up your speed on this corner and don’t try to take it flat out on your first try… It’s all too easy to end up in a tyre wall!
The first of the slow corners, turn 11, is really tricky to get right. You approach it carrying a lot of speed and then need to brake as hard as you dare to slow the kart down to what feels like a crawl. Turn right, hit the middle of the corner, and then get your foot down to try and build up some speed before you get to turn 12. This left hander has some rough concrete on the inside, so start out to the left of the track and aim for a late apex to help you carry plenty of pace on the exit. Here you’ll naturally move over to the right, putting a wheel on the raised section of track, and heading flat out over the start/finish line.
Thanks for reading our Daytona Milton Keynes track guide – we hope you win!!
Buckmore Park Directions – How to Get There
From the M1
If you’re coming from the M1, leave at Junction 14 and follow the signs for Central Milton Keynes. When you get to the first roundabout turn right and exit onto H5 Portway (A509). At that point you’ll go past Seat and Jaguar, which will be on your left, and then you’ll need to carry on along H5 over 9 (Yes, 9!) roundabouts. When you reach the traffic lights at North Grafton roundabout take the third exit onto V6 (Grafton Street). When you get to the next roundabout turn left onto H4 Dansteed Way and you’re just about there – Daytona Milton Keynes second on the left and signposted!
From the A5
Alternatively, if you’re on the A5, take the exit for Central Milton Keynes (A509). If you’re approaching from the south, go right at the roundabout – from the north go left – and head towards North Grafton roundabout. Turn left onto V6 Grafton Street and then, at next roundabout, go left onto H4 Dansteed Way. Keep an eye out for the chequered flag signs but it’s really easy from here – Daytona Milton Keynes is the second on the left.