Knockhill Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2024

3rd April 2024

Located high in the rolling hills above Dunfermline in Fife, Knockhill Racing Circuit is Scotland’s only permanent motorsport circuit and is Scotland's National Motorsport Centre. It has been the setting for some of the most memorable moments in Scottish racing history as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024. Champions Niall Mackenzie, Gordon Shedden, Damon Hill, Steve Hislop, Joey Dunlop and Colin McRae are just a few of the racing legends who have tackled the famous course, which opened in 1974.

The plans for a circuit began in the early 1970s when landowner Tom Kinnaird had a vision, with friend David Brown, to create a permanent circuit on 200 acres of moorland. The first bike meeting happened on September 22nd 1974, with the circuit not yet having its final top surface of tarmac laid. But the riders loved the track’s twists and turns and the spectators enjoyed great vantage points and a panoramic view across Fife to Edinburgh. In September 1983 the track was bought by Derek Butcher, who had raced at that first bike meeting a decade before who started a life-long improvement programme. It is only 1.3 miles long and is the only racing circuit in the world licensed to run both clockwise and anticlockwise, giving Scotland two top-class circuits at one venue.

The decades have seen the circuit grow stronger and stronger over the years with a diverse range of activities now hosted all year round including track days, car launch events, Supertruck and fireworks events as well as one of the most extensive range of Driving Experiences in the UK. Drivers can have the thrill of driving the British Touring Car circuit behind the wheel of a 2024 Alpine A110 sports car before driving a Formula Single Seater, Legends, Ferrari 430 or even a classic Jaguar E Type. Teenagers from 13 can get behind the wheel and youngsters from the age of 4 can be a passenger in their newly acquired two-seater go-karts!

Guests over the 50 years have been many and varied including Prince William when he tested an Extreme E Odyssey 21 electric car in 2020. Other stars include Sir Ian Botham, Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Beaumont, film star Idris Elba and many of the Scotland rugby and football teams including David Sole, Doddie Weir, Ally McCoist and Jim Leishman. Colin McRae made his racing debut at the first British Touring Car event in 1992 in a BMW M3 where he infamously pushed Matt Neal off at the hairpin, to a cheer from the crowd, but to the anger of Matt’s father Steve, who chased after him – all memorable and magical moments!

The team at Knockhill are also dedicated to supporting a number of charities including Scotlands Charity Air Ambulance and the Armed Forces Benevolent Funds having been awarded the Gold Covenant in 2019. Working with the education sector and road safety programmes is also high on the list as well as working towards both the FIA and Motorsport UK standards and recognitions for sustainability and environmental activities.

As Knockhill celebrates its 50th anniversary, including the publication of a coffee table style book Knockhill 50 Years of Racing, the team are looking forward to hosting a special season with a number of extra features at the Superbikes in June, Touring Cars in August and the Circuit’s birthday bike event on September 22nd, 50 years to the day since the first bike meeting in 1974.

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