Brundle excited by new developments at Snetterton

Martin Brundle has backed Snetterton's new lay-out to deliver for competitors and spectators – and admits he is 'delighted but a bit miffed' to have one of the new turns named after him.

Former King's Lynn racer arrived with long-time friend and circuit owner Jonathan Palmer by helicopter yesterday to see at first hand the work going into the �3.5m track redevelopment ahead of the 2011 season – coincidentally Snetterton's 60th anniversary.

Be it watching Jim Clark race in the 1960s, racing alongside his father and brother at the Snetterton 24-hour in a demonstration car from their own Toyota forecourt or watching his son Alex's own burgeoning career, Snetterton is where Brundle's passion for racing started. And following Palmer's competition to rename the 13 corners on the circuit, ex-Formula One driver Brundle was a repeated suggestion from the 2,000 entries – leading Palmer to confirm his friend would have a part of the circuit named after him.

Brundle took a shine to the new hairpin at the site of the old Sears turn, although he admitted he is yet to make up his mind which corner he would like to give his name to.

But in the end, he is just glad to see the circuit that played such a key role in his career being given a new lease of life.

'The problem with Snetterton was that, while it had six or seven corners, in the end only four of them mattered,' said Brundle. 'So it either needed to be switched off or developed, and Jonathan inevitably has gone for the development route – which is great news.

'The new lay-out will definitely deliver. There are some really tough corners in the mid-section that will keep the drivers on their toes. I've been round a lot of race tracks now, I'm 51 and I started when I was 12, and you can see instantly when a corner is going to challenge you – even if it is in a 4x4 doing 10mph.

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'They are going to be difficult corners, and it's three miles long – that is a long race track, probably second only to Silverstone GP.

'I think the car and the bike riders are going to love it, but most importantly the fans – there are going to be some viewing points where you won't know where to look next for the action, because it will be all around you.'

Brundle, now an F1 pundit with the BBC among others following a successful career as a driver, believes no one should underplay the influence of Snetterton – and Norfolk's racing heritage – in the sport's past, and its future.

'Every great driver in the last 60 years will have driven around this track,' beamed Brundle. 'They all know Snetterton. I had some legendary fights here with Ayrton Senna back in 1983 in Formula Three. All the truly great drivers have been to this circuit, they understand it, they've crashed at Corum, been off through the cabbages at Riches. Snetterton needs to be a destination. This has always been a centre of activity for motorsport and Norfolk is famous for it, with the Lotus team in particular, Van Diemen, so many important teams and manufacturers.

'I've seen it before. I was chairman of the board at Silverstone and when somewhere becomes a destination, a lot of stuff gets built around in terms of hotels and businesses and support industries. If a place has got a positive vibe, it's just incredible what grows up around that, and East Anglia just doesn't want to be throwing away that position lightly, because someone else will grab it.'

Palmer held a competition to help name all the corners on the new circuit last year, and he confirmed the final names will be taken and announced over the coming weeks.