Palmer stakes his reputation on Snetterton make-over

Jonathan Palmer is confident Snetterton's �3.5m track redevelopment will be completed on schedule.

The winter works to add an extra mile of track to the current layout started in November and are due to be completed at the end of February.

Although freezing conditions before Christmas and wet weather since have not helped their cause, little more than a week has been lost according to Palmer.

The chief executive of circuit owners Motorsport Vision, said: 'I'm absolutely thrilled with the progress. We had a very demanding schedule to start with, and we wanted to tweak the design from the original planning permission to make sure we got it right – we really agonised over that, and got the final permission through mid-November, which left it tight.

'We really had to get the circuit built for the new season so not to compromise the commercial viability of it, and then we had that horrendous weather. But Buckingham, the construction company, have done an exceptional job. When you look at certain other circuits, like Donington, that was supposedly going to have so much done, this is a great example that when we say we're going to do something, we do it.'

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Palmer, a former Formula One driver, designed the new three-mile layout himself, and used the race simulator at Carleton-Rode GP2 team Isport to help get the feel right. He has taken the imprint from some of the world's most iconic corners to help create a new Snetterton circuit he hopes will be one competitors love to take on. In fact he has staked his reputation on it.

'People will come back, hopefully by May when the grass has grown, and think 'Wow, it is truly exceptional',' added Palmer. 'Once the surface is down I'm going to be driving round to see what it's like.

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'It is going to be quite an exciting, anxious time. I spent a lot of time planning this lay-out and it's quite scary when you see it all going down and think, whatever I last designed on that piece of paper, this is it.'

Palmer hopes the track redevelopment is only the start of the changes, with plans for conference and retail facilities also in the offing.

'We've got land area, the road access is improving substantially and I think if we could transform Snetterton from a relatively bland lay-out to being something truly exceptional. We can transform its image, attract more business and tourism, but also more prestige.

'I think people will talk in terms of Snetterton, nationally and internationally, as being an exceptional motor racing track.'

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