Motorsport Vision (MSV) have unveiled the plans for the extensive redevelopment and redesign of Snetterton as the company aims to bring the circuit up to FIA Grade 2 standard in the hope of attracting international championships to the Norfolk track.
The changes will extend the main track from just under two miles to three miles with 13 corners. The layout – Snetterton 300 – will feature an infield section that dramatically changes the look of the track. While turn one – Riches – the Esses and Bomb Hole will remain largely unchanged the rest of the track is set to undergo a fundamental overhaul.
Instead of the right-hander at Sear to take drivers onto the Revett straight the new circuit will run to a hairpin – modelled on the example on Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – creating a new overtaking opportunity at a point previously only notable for mass running wide.
The corner also sets a trend for the new corners that follow it in taking its cue from turns on Grand Prix tracks.
Turn three is based on Parabolica at Monza, turn six on Rivazza at Imola before turn eight returns to Monza, being inspired by the first of the Lesmo corners on the historic track. Another major change is to the current corners at Corum and Russell, the two being effectively combined into one complex on the new layout.
“For me [Russell was the] worst corner on the existing track,” condemns Jonathan Palmer, MSV Chief Executive. “Providing little overtaking opportunity, no driver challenge and needing various degrees of messy, car damaging kerb crashing to be quick.”
“This is replaced by one tight left hand corner, braking for which will prove a real challenge with cars and bikes loaded up exiting Coram. Drivers and riders face a dilemma – keep left for a fast Coram exit and enter 13 tight and lose exit speed there, or compromise Coram exit speed to get to the right side to give a wide turn in to turn 13 for optimal speed down the pits straight.”
The changes will also spawn two extra permutations of the track. The “200” layout is closest to the current layout, incorporating only the new turn two hairpin, MSV intending the layout for club events, while the “100” layout – which runs exclusively on the new parts of the track – is expected to host test sessions.
“Circuit layout is something I am passionate about and I have enjoyed designing the new Snetterton circuits,” says Palmer. “It was important to combine the best features of old Snetterton with the elimination of its weaknesses and the addition of a major new section to expand it and make it a real competitors' and spectators' favourite. I wanted every corner to either be a really exciting driver/rider challenge, or produce a good overtaking opportunity.”
However, the layouts are just part of the redevelopment, which also include improved facilities and safety standards – the latter best illustrated by a “huge” run-off at the Bomb Hole.
Viewing for fans will also be greatly improved with the addition of three raised banks proving viewing at overtaking points, the bank on the outside of turn four affording a view of almost two miles of the new layout, which will host rounds of the British Touring Car Championship and British Superbike Championship plus other national events.
Fans are also invited to play a part in the redevelopment with the ability to name the corners on the 300 layout on www.snettertonnames.com.