Video: A lap around the new Snetterton 300 circuit
EDP journalist Michael Bailey got the chance to sample the new Snetterton 300 circuit.
The old circuit was frighteningly quick and maybe after a few laps, equally dull.
But the new full lay-out at the Norfolk track is something special.
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It has kept hold of the power points where you have to be brave, and added a mile of track that should make races fascinating and those who want to feel the thrill come back for more.
The Montreal hairpin leads into a tight network of testing corners, split by straights where you have to push the sort of combinations Snetterton desperately lacked before this year.
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Agostini is a real challenge and will offer the best views for spectators on a new raised bank, another great addition to the circuit.
The simple extension of Coram and refining of the final corner now Murrays helps deliver a Snetterton where its fantastic new section gives it an exhilarating edge, smoothed by clever improvements to what was already there.
What a way for a circuit to mark its 60th anniversary.
SNETTERTON 2011 ADDITIONS:
• Montreal: The new hairpin replaces Sears. Replicates the Casino Hairpin at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Canadian city, a prime F1 overtaking spot.
• Palmer: Based on the famous Parabolica at Monza a favourite of of circuit owner and Snetterton race winner Jonathan Palmer. He admits nabbing a corner for himself was too tempting to resist.
• Agostini: Italian Giacomo Agostini, arguably the greatest motorcycle rider in history, won the 1972 Race of Aces and scored his first podium in the British F1 Series, both at Snetterton.
• Hamilton: McLaren driver and former world champion Lewis Hamilton made his car racing debut in the 2001 British Formula Renault Winter Series, with Snetterton the site for several of his early career successes.
• Oggies: A nod to Motorsport Vision founder, Sir Peter Ogden and a cracking name for a corner.
• Williams: The team led by Frank Williams and Patrick Head gave Palmer his F1 debut, while much of the development work on their F2 car took place at Snetterton.
• Bentley Straight: The famous back straight is labelled with the iconic British marque, who manufactured their EXP Speed 8 Le Mans prototype at Racing Technology Norfolk. It led to a Norfolk-bred car dominating the 24 hour endurance race in 2002.
• Brundle: From competing at grass track racing in the Norfolk village of Pott Row, Brundle lost out on the 1983 British F3 title to Ayrton Senna at Snetterton before being an F1 success.
• Nelson: A racing monument to Lord Horatio Nelson formerly the second corner of the old Esses.
• Murrays: Iconic commentator Murray Walker is handed the final corner on the 300 lap; a frequent visitor to the Norfolk circuit with the British touring cars in the 1980s and 1990s.
• Senna Straight: An F1 legend, race winner with Norfolk outfit Lotus and three-time world champion. UK Formula Ford and British F3 success arrived around Snetterton for the Norfolk-based Brazilian.
ON SNETTERTON 200
• Chapman: A tribute to the Lotus founder, the godfather of motor racing heritage in Norfolk and one of the finest engineers to operate in Formula One Colin Chapman.
ON SNETTERTON 100
• Firmans: Acknowledging Ralph Firman Senior founder of the Snetterton-based Van Diemen car manufacturer, and a man who has helped develop plenty of top young driving talent.
NEW CIRCUITS AT SNETTERTON:
• SNETTERTON 300: 1 Riches, 2 Montreal, 3 Palmer, 4 Agostini, 5 Hamilton, 6 Oggies, 7 Williams, Bentley Straight, 8 Brundle, 9 Nelson, 10 Bomb Hole, 11 Coram, 12 Murrays, Senna Straight.
• SNETTERTON 200: 1 Riches, 2 Montreal, 3 Chapman, Bentley Straight, 4 Brundle, 5 Nelson, 6 Bomb Hole, 7 Coram, 8 Murrays, Senna Straight.
• SNETTERTON 100: 1 Agostini, 2 Hamilton, 3 Oggies, 4 Firmans, 5 Palmer.