BTCC » 24 September 2010
Snetterton to receive major upgrade
"Turn eight follows the turn seven curve and is a medium-fast corner leading on to the original main straight – such corners provide the best opportunity to keep close to a competitor ahead leading on to a long straight. Another great Italian corner provides inspiration, and this is essentially Monza Lesmo 1.
"Turns nine and ten are the existing Esses corners, with tidying up of the run off areas and surrounds. Popular competitor opinion was that this should remain as a unique traditional feature of Snetterton providing good overtaking opportunities. Turn eleven – the Bomb Hole – continues unchanged, its mid-corner depression always creating a challenge and now enjoying a huge new run off area outside.
"Turn twelve is the existing fast sweeping Coram, one of the country's favourites, which will in effect become a bit tighter by continuing through a larger angle and for longer. If a car was just flat before, it won't be now.
"Turn 13 replaces the old Russells chicane. For me, the worst corner on the existing track, providing little overtaking opportunity, no driver challenge and needing various degrees of messy, car damaging kerb crashing to be quick. This is replaced by one tight left-hand corner, braking for which will prove a real challenge with cars and bikes loaded up exiting Coram. Drivers and riders face a dilemma – keep left for a fast Coram exit and enter 13 tight and lose exit speed there, or compromise Coram exit speed to get to the right side to give a wide turn in to turn 13 for optimal speed down the pits straight.”
In addition to providing great excitement and challenge for the drivers, a key consideration for Snetterton 300 was to provide a circuit with the best viewing in the UK, along with Brands Hatch Indy. To achieve this, the new section is all within an infield arena that can be entirely viewed from three separate elevated viewing embankments. The central viewing bank by turn four will enable easy viewing over an incredible two miles of circuit and, equally importantly, three new major overtaking points will be within this area.
With the recent major pushing back of the Bomb Hole bank to increase the amount of run off available, Snetterton has become an even safer circuit, but all of the new sections have also been designed with big run-off areas to minimise the chances of a car or bike making contact with the tyre walls, to both maximise safety and minimise the risk of damage to vehicles.
As well as the track revisions, the asphalted areas of the Snetterton paddock will be extended to provide more hard-standing for competitors, and allow a paddock with direct access to the Snetterton 100 circuit via its own pit-lane. Power supply to existing garages will be increased and the ramps from the garages modified to enable low single-seaters better ground clearance. In the future, the existing garages will be refurbished and a new pit garage complex built to service Snetterton 100.
Phase two of the Snetterton transformation will be to develop the 30 acres of land to the east of the entrance old runway approach to build motor racing team workshops, engineering workshops, car and motor cycle retail outlets and accessory shops. The Snetterton Business Park planning permission also includes a hotel and conference centre near the entrance, with development planned to commence in 2012.
As has happened at other circuit, fans will be able to contribute to the redesign at Snetterton, having been given the opportunity to name some of the new corners. To enable this, a website has been created, at www.snettertonnames.com, where fans can leave their suggestions.
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