"Rocket" Ron Haslam, former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, multiple World and British Champion and now owner of the famous Ron Haslam Race School thinks Silverstone has done a phenomenal job of their new circuit – with so much racing experience behind him he ought to know.
Haslam and his son Leon took to the new circuit as part of the launch along with Damon Hill who was driving HRH the Duke of York round in a two seater F1 car, whilst David Coulthard was also on track in his Red BullF1 car. It was a truly unique event, speaking exclusively to Crash.net
at the launch Haslam said: “They have done phenomenal job the track, the layout, the design of it – it looks so exciting. It was really good to see the F1 cars and be on the same track at the same, time it was incredible. Me and Leon were out there just checking the circuit out when one came past us and the noise from it was unbelievable, it was an incredible experience.”
The launch took place just after Leon, who is currently leading the World Superbike Championship, took a superb podium finish in Assen. Even the hardened former Champ found it difficult to watch his son in the middle of the melee. He said: “That was very hard; it was just incredible to see that battle between so many Brits and so many people up there. It just shows how good World Superbikes is now; wait until it comes to Silverstone it will be unbelievable. All the Brits will be trying that much harder again. Can't wait but I don't know about watching it. It's a bit one against the other, I like to see it but it is more relaxing when it's over.”
Due to the unfortunate demise of the Donington circuit, Haslam has had to move his race school to Silverstone. It may have caused a bit of upheaval but in the longer term it was the right decision. Haslam explained: “Shame really as Donington has had a lot of problems finance wise. Coming to Silverstone and seeing the lay out and how much effort has been put into this place, not just for the bikes, but all over for the spectators and everything, it really opens your eyes. To see how much has been put back into the sport in every way it is fantastic to be honest.”
Having been so familiar with the previous track both Haslam and his instructors had to get on track and learn their way round. “There is a little bit of the old circuit there which is nice to see,” he said. “We had to go out on the new stuff to see what they had done to it. Sometimes there is a part of the circuit which isn't great but they have really done their research. There are no real tight chicanes for the bike side of it, and the run-off is phenomenal so safety wise it is really good. I can't wait, I've done one school here and everyone was happy plus I enjoyed it too. Next, Leon will be racing on it so we will see what that brings.”
World Superbikes comes to Silverstone on the 30th July – 1st August when Leon Haslam will be in action alongside his fellow British rivals.