RAISING the bar is Knockhill Racing Circuit's New Year resolution and the wheels are in motion for a high-class and action-packed 2020.

Scotland's national motorsport centre, to the north of Dunfermline, is ready for the lights to turn green and to accelerate into 12 months of thrills and spills on its unique 1.3-mile track of twists, drops and climbs.

An estimated 175,000 visitors are set to flock there throughout the course of the year for corporate events, for the chance to get behind the wheel themselves in one of Knockhill's driving experiences, and to watch some of highest-calibre racing Britain has to offer.

Two of its highest-profile events – the Bennetts British Superbikes and the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – will be back on the grid this summer, on July 10-12 and August 29-30 respectively.

Reaching speeds of up to 180mph, the fifth Superbike weekend of the season will treat fans to some of the world's best riders and teams to some stunning elbow-to-elbow action, while rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the BTCC will see Rory Butcher – whose dad, Derek, is Knockhill's CEO – take to the track seeking glory on his home circuit.

But, in addition, a third major event will visit in October when Knockhill plays host to the McRae Rally Challenge, commemorating 25 years since the late rally car star, Colin McRae, became Britain's first world champion.

The invitational event will take place on October 3-4 and Stuart Gray, the circuit's events manager, explained: "It last happened in 2015 and, this year, it celebrates the 25th anniversary of Colin winning the world championship.

"We've got six world champions already confirmed to be attending, and we're reaching out to others, but I'm fully expecting that will be in double figures by October.

"The event is in three parts. We've taken over the Keavil House Hotel in its entirety, with a block booking for the whole weekend, and on the Friday night there is a night with the stars. Anybody can come along – it's a sort of theatre style for 300 people – and we'll have a panel of some of the world's top rally names for a question-and-answer session. There'll be some superstars on stage and it's a chance for rally to fans to meet and mingle.

"The event itself is on the Saturday and Sunday and, on the Saturday night, we have another new feature back down at Keavil House. We're having a celebratory dinner for 250 people – we've already sold 60 places – and this is open to rally fans to buy places.

"It's great to have three big events this year, being the Superbikes, Touring Cars and the McRae."

Knockhill's car racing season begins in earnest on Sunday, April 5, with its SMRC (Scottish Motor Racing Club), Long Karts and Armed Forces Day event.

Up to 18 races at the start of SMRC's Scottish Championship, and in long circuit karts, will be on track, with serving armed forces personnel or veterans admitted free of charge.

Those accompanying them will be admitted for a concession price, while current and historic military vehicles will be on display during the day.

Following that, "two very special events" will take place in the shape of a Caterham Festival, on June 20-21, and a collaborative 'Best of Scottish Motorsport' festival, on July 4-5, in which SMRC and Knockhill Motor Sports Club (KMSC), which runs Super Lap Scotland (SLS), will run together on the same weekend for the first time.

That will also feature a round of the Dunlop Saloon Car Cup, and modified Fords, and Gray continued: "If people can't make it to touring cars, then this is a stonking event, because it's the full SLS on the Saturday, full SMRC and KMSC on the Sunday, and on both days is the Dunlop Saloon Car Cup. That features old touring cars from the 1970s up to the 2000s.

"That is tremendous as a feature and, in addition to that, the modified Fords are coming up. Between those two events, the SMRC and the SLS, it is, outside of touring cars, the best racing event we've probably had in the last 10 years.

"Over the weekend of June 20-21, there's a sports car manufacturer called Caterham and it's almost like a motorbike on four wheels.

"They're open, with very little body work, and are fantastically competitive. The car was invented by Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Formula One back in the 1950s, and the design has evolved very little over the last 50 years.

"There's six Caterham championships and racing happens all over Europe but we're hosting the first-ever Caterham-only race weekend. Normally, two or three championships of Caterhams would be part of another event.

"There will be 180 of them, all of different engine sizes and categories. The racing is amongst the best in the UK; they're absolutely sensational."

Other highlights on Knockhill's calendar include hosting four 'Show Car Sunday' events, held on an SLS race day for anyone to show off their motor, and taking delivery of a brand new Aston Martin V8 Vantage for one of their driving experiences.

Gray added: "There's already an upturn in interest (this year).

"Advanced sales for touring cars in August is ahead of where we were last year already so there's definitely a good optimism within the sporting scene this year compared to 2019.

"Across the board, whether it's the events, the corporate or the driving experiences, this year is all about raising standards, raising the bar, and raising the quality of what we do."