Silverstone has unveiled the provisional circuit layout for the British round of the MotoGP World Championship, which it will host from 2010.
The most significant addition to the present layout will be a new section of track running from the approach at Abbey corner to an 'Arrowhead' section at the inside of Becketts. The Arrowhead will then join up with the existing National Straight before entry into the final complex, therefore missing out the present Bridge corner.
The Arrowhead and its approach should provide an excellent chance for overtaking and will be surrounded by several new spectator areas. It will also be overlooked by the grandstand at Becketts, providing fans with an opportunity to see two sections of track from one vantage point.
Both MotoGP and British Superbike riders will also be pleased to see that the plans include the moving of grandstands and safety barriers at Woodcote. This will enable the circuit to build a new run off area at the fast entry to Pit Straight and dispose of the unpopular slow chicane seen in WSBK and BSB, currently a necessity for safety purposes.
As part of the 'bike-friendly' efforts, additional sections of track will also be laid at Chapel and Club.
The new plans form part of a £5 million investment by Silverstone, with work set to be carried out between November 2009 and March 2010. In addition to changes to the track, improvements to spectator viewing facilities will include moving some of the existing grandstands to bring them closer to the track.
“Silverstone is one of the easiest circuits to get in and out of in the world, we have sizeable hard-standing car parks, and the facilities for teams, media and fans are second to none,” said Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Limited. “We are happy with the infrastructure, but we now have an opportunity to make some exciting changes to the circuit and fundamental improvements to the viewing experience for fans.
“The new Arrowhead on the inside of Becketts will be a major new feature of the circuit. The fast approach and sharp left should provide plenty of opportunities to overtake, making it a real focal point for spectators. The views will be fantastic, especially from the new spectator banking areas and grandstands we will be building around the Arrowhead.
“The viewing experience for fans is hugely important and we now have an opportunity to make sure it is absolutely right, all around the circuit. The new layout will also enable fans to circulate around the venue more easily, to watch all the action from different vantage points. We are making a significant investment but it is absolutely worth it. Early feedback from both riders and drivers has been very positive. The chicane at Woodcote is going and changes to other sections of the circuit should result in increased overtaking opportunities.”
Phillips also confirmed that the planned changes would not mean the end for the current Grand Prix circuit.
“This year's Formula 1 British Grand Prix will take place on the current Grand Prix circuit and that circuit will continue to be available to us for appropriate events,” he said. “However, the new layout will be more suitable for two- wheeled racing, and will be an exciting circuit for both two and four-wheeled events.”
Silverstone has agreed a five-year deal with Dorna to host the British round of the MotoGP World Championship. The 2009 event will be held at Donington Park.