Alex Zanardi
Ex Formula One Pilot Alex Zanardi will race for gold (Reuters) Reuters

Thousands of fans are expected to converge on the world famous motor racing circuit of Brands Hatch, Kent, and the surrounding areas to watch the Paralympics road cycling, which in which Team GB star Sarah Storey will compete alongside 12 other British athletes.

The historic track, which hosted the Formula One British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986, will be the testing ground for 255 athletes - 155 men and 70 women - competing in 32 medal events spread over four days.

Athletes will race in three main events - time trial, road race and team relay - and will be divided into different categories according to their level of impairment.

The mechanical structure of the bikes will also vary according to the nature of the riders' disability.

A tandem is used by athletes with visual impairment, who sit at the back with a sighted pilot at front; athletes with an impairment which affects their legs will utilise a hand cycle, while a tricycle is used by those with balance difficulties.

All other athletes will use a normal bicycle, slightly modified in accordance with their disability.

The time trial takes place on 5 September and the Road Races on 6-8 September. Events start at 10.30am on each day.

Apart from Storey, Britain's gold medal hopes are carried by Jon-Allan Butterworth, Mark Lee Colbourne and Shaun McKeown - all of whom have already won medals in the Paralympics cycling track - as well as David Stone, a double gold medallist in Beijing.

Each of them is up against a strong field which includes Italian Alex Zanardi, a former Formula One racing driver.

Zanardi, 45, had both his legs amputated in a racing crash at Lausitz, Germay, in 2001. Ten years earlier he had recorded his first Formula 3000 pole position at Brands Hatch.

"[Brands Hatch] is a crucial place in my career: here I climbed ranks in the car racing world with my first pole position in Formula 3000 in 1991. I pulled ahead of Damon Hill by one second. What a great satisfaction," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Road Cycling paralympics
Brands Hatch makes up approximately half the cycling route with the remaining part of the track passing through Kent county and the district of Sevenoaks (London 2012) London 2012

The races finish in the ticketed area of Brands Hatch, on the Brabham straight.

However the route is made of an 8-10km loop, access to which is mostly free. Brands Hatch makes up approximately half the route with the remaining part of the track passing through the Kent countryside and the district of Sevenoaks.

Athletes will complete a different number of laps, depending on the event distance.

Access to the Brands Hatch circuit will be allowed only in for ticket-holders. There are a few places outside along public roads were visitors may see the race free.

Many roads will be closed to traffic. Gorse Hill and Scratchers Lane are good spots from which to watch the races' most striking parts if you get there early enough.