Motorsport legends, local heroes and historical figures are amongst those with a corner named after them on the redeveloped Snetterton Circuit. MotorSport Vision invited fans to propose names for the new corners and after more than two thousand entries were collected, MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer made the final decision on new names.
2011 see's the circuit celebrate Snetterton's 60th anniversary and the circuit's heritage has been honoured with several iconic corners keeping their existing names. Turn one will still be know as Riches, after circuit founder Fred, whilst Bomb Hole, Coram and the Senna Straight also remain the same.
Three current and former Formula One drivers, Lewis Hamilton MBE, Martin Brundle and Jonathan Palmer himself have been honoured on the 2.99 mile full layout, as well as Williams F1 founder Sir Frank Williams CBE and legendary commentator Murray Walker OBE.
These five motorsport personalities were chosen due to their strong links to the Norfolk venue. The most popular name suggested for fans was Brundle, who resides in King's Lynn and won at the circuit during the 1983 British F3 Championship. Both Hamilton and Palmer have also secured podiums at the track, whilst Walker has commentated at the track many times during the years. Sir Frank's influence at the track comes through the Williams designed JPH1 Formula Two car, which was developed at Snetterton.
As well as car racers being honoured, one of the great motorcycle racers in history Giacomo Agostini sees the new turn four named after him. The Italian won the 1972 Snetterton Race of Aces on two wheels, while also picked up his first four wheel podium at the track in the British Formula 1 Series.
Also honoured is legendary British car manufacturer Bentley, who has the 800 metre back straight named after them. They used the circuit as the main development track for its Speed 8 Le Mans prototype, which went on to win the 2002 Le Mans 24 Hour race.
When designing the new 300 layout, circuit bosses took inspiration from many of the world's greatest motorsport circuits. Amongst these was Montreal, the venue for the Canadian Grand Prix, with Palner using the exact dimensions of its Casino Hairpin for turn two, leading to it being named Montreal.
Turn Six, 'Oggies' is inspired by co-founder of MotorSport Vision Sir Peter Ogden, while Turn Nine 'Nelson' sees its name come from the Norfolk Admiral who led Britain to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar. The circuit is also paying tribute to Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, with turn three on the 200 layout named after him, while turn four on the 100 configuration is named after founder of Van Diemen International Ralph Firman.
MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer commented on the new circuit corner names, saying: “This is an extremely important time for Snetterton, and I'm delighted not only with what we have achieved but also with the volume of glowing tributes we have already received. When we started the process we invited people to contribute to the naming of the new corners, and our web campaign received a phenomenal response. Fortunately there were some pretty dominant names and suggestions, many of which have been incorporated with my own views.
“It was important to select the most appropriate corner for each person however, and I am delighted that that each famous name fits with the character and nature of their corner – like Agostini, one of the best motorcycle racing overtaking corners, or Murrays, which will see an enormous amount of drama and is just the place where Murray's excited commentary would be in its element. When we embarked upon this project we wanted to completely transform Snetterton and give pride to competitors, spectators, fans and local residents alike, and I believe the announcement of such superb names for the new Snetterton circuit features will play an important part in achieving this.”
Snetterton circuit corner names:
|1 – Riches||1 – Riches||1 – Agostini|
|2 – Montreal||2 – Montreal||2 – Hamilton|
|3 – Palmer||3 – Chapman||3 – Oggies|
|4 – Agostini||Bentley Straight||4 – Firmans|
|5 – Hamilton||4 – Brundle||5 – Palmer|
|6 – Oggies||5 – Nelson|
|7 – Williams||6 – Bomb Hole|
|Bentley Straight||7 – Coram|
|8 – Brundle||8 – Murrays|