Jonathan Palmer relished record-breaking Snetterton
Circuit owner and ex-Formula One driver Jonathan Palmer was left beaming after a record-breaking weekend brought his revamped Snetterton circuit truly to life.
More than 43,000 fans packed into the bulging Norfolk track for the three-day British Superbikes meeting – believed to be the largest attendance in the circuit's 60-year history and a grand endorsement of its �4m redevelopment.
The figure was a huge rise on last year's 28,000 crowd and the perfect way for Snetterton to mark its new lease of life.
'I'm absolutely thrilled,' said Palmer, chief executive of owners Motorsport Vision. 'We clearly invested a great deal of money over the winter completely revamping Snetterton and the British Superbikes is always its biggest event of the year, and therefore this was the acid test.
'The weather has been kind but there has been a huge amount of work in the last eight months to get it from just being started to all finished and looking green. The team and contractors have done a brilliant job.
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'I'm not saying it's perfect but I think we've got it pretty right straight away. It has gone down really well with the riders and it's been a big hit with the fans.'
The record crowd saw Snetterton almost run out of parking on a baking hot weekend.
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'As ever we want the grass to be greener and tidier, some of the run-off areas haven't grassed in fully yet because of the lack of rain,' said Palmer.
'What we are going to need is more parking. With the increasing crowd now we are going to have to think carefully about where we are going to park people, because we got close to running out of space.
'And we will probably need more viewing banks as well, because the concept has clearly been hugely popular. People are watching a lot more now than they have done, they can see more, and I think we need to look at maybe building some more banks for next year too.'
But those issues are minor. For now, Palmer is happy to revel in Norfolk's rejuvenated motorsport jewel.
Palmer added: 'It's tremendously exciting for the area and the development really has transformed the image of Snetterton from a bit of an also ran – OK but certainly nothing special and no one's favourite – into being what some people are saying is the best circuit in the country.'