Exciting times at Snetterton as plans are revealed

The biggest news of the week for local enthusiasts has to be the redevelopment plans for Snetterton Circuit.

'It's the next phase in the life of the circuit,' said circuit manager Jamie Hooper at the weekend after confirming work would start directly after the last race meeting of the season.

'We have a couple of weeks of ground work to do before the contractors move in at the end of November. We are aiming to be finished by the beginning of March,' continued Hooper.

Next year the Norfolk circuit will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, with racing have first started on the former airfield in 1951 on the original layout of 2.71 miles.

In 1974 the current circuit was introduced, with the long track still occasionally used for the Race of Aces event, where the powerful Superbikes could top 200mph on the Norwich Straight, which is the current location of the Sunday Market.

Gradually over the years the circuit has evolved, with first the Esses, turns nine and 10 on the map, realigned away from the original bridge over the circuit, with the Russell Chicane (turn 13) having gone through many major and subtle changes.

The new lay-out will include part of the former Sear Corner (turn two) before a new hairpin modelled on the Montreal Giles Villeneuve Circuit hairpin, which is the home of the Canada Grand Prix, and should provide an exciting new challenge.

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The International racers will then race around a new one mile infield loop, comprising of turns three through to eight, before rejoining the Revett Straight and follow the existing lay-out until the exit of Coram (turn 12).

Hooper believes the continuation of Coram to almost a complete 180 degree corner, which will lead into a 90 degree left hander to replace current the Russell Chicane, will offer an even greater challenge.

'The competitors will have to continue around the current corner, with the track sloping away from them, which we are hoping will provide two different lines and a perfect overtaking spot when the racers have to brake, off-camber, for the new left hand corner (turn 13)'.

Two spectator areas are planned for this section in the belief that it will provide great excitement.

Club racers will turn sharp left just after the new Sear hairpin (turn 2) and continue on, as now, down the Revett Straight on the circuit which will be called the Snetterton 200 and will be, as now, around two miles long.

The infield loop, of approximately one mile, will also be used for track days and the like with the hope of it hosting a new racing school, similar to the former Jim Russell Racing School, of which Snetterton was the spiritually home.

With a new paddock and pit complex to be constructed the following year Snetterton will not only offer a new and exciting challenge for the country's racers but its facilities could also be the envy of every other circuit.