Snetterton Circuit

Snetterton Circuit is a motor racing course in Norfolk, England, originally opened in 1953. Owned by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation, it is situated on the A11 road 12 mi (19 km) north-east of the town of Thetford and 19 mi (31 km) south-west of the city of Norwich. The circuit is named after the nearby village of Snetterton to the north-west of the circuit, although much of the circuit lies in the adjoining civil parish of Quidenham.[3]

Snetterton Circuit
Snetterton 2011 300 annotated.svg
Snetterton 300 Circuit
LocationSnetterton, Norfolk, England
Time zoneGMT (UTC+0)
BST (April–October, UTC+1)
Coordinates52°27′59.47″N 0°56′53.66″E / 52.4665194°N 0.9482389°E / 52.4665194; 0.9482389Coordinates: 52°27′59.47″N 0°56′53.66″E / 52.4665194°N 0.9482389°E / 52.4665194; 0.9482389
FIA Grade2
Opened1951
Major eventsCurrent:
BTCC (1979, 1984–present)
British GT (1993–1996, 1998–2004, 2006–present)
BSB (1996–present)
Former:
British F3 (1977–2004, 2006–2012)
F5000 (1969–1975)
ETCC (1965–1968)
F2 (1967)
Lombank Trophy (1960–1963)
Snetterton 300 Circuit (2011–present)[1]
Length2.969 miles (4.779 km)
Turns12
Race lap record1:39.933 (Felipe Nasr, Dallara F308, 2011, F3)
Snetterton 200 Circuit (2011–present)[1]
Length2.000 miles (3.219 km)
Turns8
Race lap record1:06.572 (Chris Dittmann, Dallara F312, 2017, F3)
Snetterton 100 Circuit (2011–present)[1]
Length0.980 miles (1.577 km)
Turns5
Race lap record1:16.210[a] (Colin Calder, Gould GR37, 2011, British Sprint Championship)
Snetterton Circuit (1997–2010)
Length1.952 miles (3.141 km)
Turns8
Race lap record0:56.095 (Klaas Zwart, Benetton B197, 2007, F1)
Snetterton Circuit (1990–1996)
Length1.949 miles (3.137 km)
Turns8
Race lap record0:59.470 (Luiz Garcia Jr., Reynard 95D, 1996, F3000)
Snetterton Circuit (1974–1989)
Length1.917 miles (3.085 km)
Turns8
Race lap record0:55.370 (Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Reynard 88D, 1989, F3000)
Snetterton Circuit (1965–1973)
Length2.710 miles (4.361 km)
Turns9
Race lap record1:18.400 (Brett Lunger, Trojan T101, 1973, F5000)
Snetterton Circuit (1951–1964)
Length2.710 miles (4.361 km)
Turns8
Race lap record1:32.600 (Jim Clark, Lotus 18, 1960, F1)

The circuit hosts races from series including the British Touring Car Championship, British Formula Three Championship and British Superbike Championship. From 1980 to 1994, the track hosted the UK's first 24-hour race, the Willhire 24 Hour. From 2003 to 2013 the Citroën 2CV 24 Hour Race was held at Snetterton on the 200 Circuit. After a short stint racing at Anglesey the 2CV 24Hr race has again returned to Snetterton and is usually held around the August bank holiday weekend. [4]

Pre-racing historyEdit

 
photograph of WW2 Airfield

Snetterton was originally an RAF airfield, RAF Snetterton Heath, later used by the United States Army Air Force. The airfield opened in May 1943 and closed in November 1948.

Racing historyEdit

 
The original Snetterton Circuit (shown in green) was laid out on the runways and taxiways of the former RAF Snetterton Heath air base (in light brown)

After its use as a USAF base, in 1948 Snetterton Heath was returned to the local landowner, Fred Riches. Oliver Sear and Dudley Coram of the Aston Martin Owners Club (AMOC) approached Riches in early 1951 to suggest using the defunct airbase roadways as a circuit for club racing. Mr. Riches agreed, but, being a local churchwarden, only on condition that there was no racing between 10:45 am and noon on Sundays, and that all racing stopped before Evensong started, to avoid disturbing church services. The AMOC held the first open meeting on 27 October 1951, for what were dubbed "speed trials", but were actually a series of one lap sprint races. The first meeting was described by Motor Sport magazine as "an excellent event over an interesting new course." Fastest time of the day was set by Ken Wharton, driving ERA R11B, who averaged 82.4 mph (132.6 km/h).[5][6]

The circuit was first used for motorcycle racing in 1953, organised by the Snetterton Combine, an association of clubs in Norfolk and Suffolk.[7]

The track was used by both Team Lotus (Formula One) and Norfolk Racing Co (Le Mans) to test their racing cars.

In the 1960s and early 1970s the circuit was 2.7 mi (4.3 km) in length. Sear corner was 80 metres (260 ft) further from Riches corner and led onto the "Norwich Straight" clearly visible in satellite maps and currently used by a Sunday market. The straight ended in a hairpin bend leading to Home Straight, which joined the existing track at the Esses, and is now a main access road for the circuit. Russell bend was added in the 1960s and named after Jim Russell who ran a racing drivers school at the circuit. Initially added to improve safety by slowing vehicles as they approached the pits, Russell bend was the scene of many accidents and was later altered to its present configuration.

Layout historyEdit

Circuit developmentsEdit

 
Snetterton layout in 2010, prior to redevelopment

In October 2005, Jonathan Palmer of MotorSport Vision, the owners of Snetterton Circuit, announced that the circuit would undergo extensive rebuilding work, in order to lengthen the circuit and improve its facilities.

On 23 September 2010, MSV announced that construction of the new infield section and track improvements would be finished in time for the 2011 motorsport season.[8] The main development was the addition of a new one mile infield section, after Sear Corner, which was replaced and renamed Montreal, in deference to it being modelled on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve hairpin. The final chicane before Senna Straight was also removed and replaced by an extension to Coram curve coupled with a new, tight, left-hand corner named Murrays. In addition to the track work, the redevelopment also improved spectator viewing and increased safety.

Snetterton 300 CircuitEdit

 
Snetterton 300 Circuit as of 2015. The Montreal Hairpin has since been renamed Justin Wilson.

The 300 Circuit is 2.969 mi (4.778 km) long, Snetterton's longest layout and the second longest racing track in the country.[8] The track incorporates much of the previous circuit with the infield section that was completed in 2011. The 300 track has been designed to bring international levels of racing to the circuit by gaining an FIA Grade 2 Licence. The layout also hosts major British motorsport championships. The British Formula 3 Championship and British GT Championship were the first of these to visit the new layout on 14 and 15 May 2011. The British Touring Car Championship with its ToCA support package also uses this layout, as does the British Superbike Championship.[9] In 2016, ahead of Justin Wilson's 38th birthday, the Montreal hairpin was renamed Wilson, in memory of the Yorkshire IndyCar driver killed at the 2015 Pocono 500.[10]

Snetterton 200Edit

This layout is closest to the pre-2011 layout. The main differences between the original layout and the 200 layout are the re-profiled Justin Wilson, Coram, and Murray's corners, which have been designed to provide better opportunities for overtaking. This 2.000 mi (3.219 km) layout is mainly used for club and local racing.[8]

Snetterton 100Edit

The 100 layout is made up solely of the new 0.980 mi (1.577 km) infield section and is mainly used for testing and as a race school.[8] Both the 100 layout and the 200 layout can be used simultaneously.

The first event which both events were used simultaneously was the BRSCC meeting held on the 29 and 30 May 2011. There was club racing on the outer circuit (VW Fun Cup, Saker Challenge, TVRs and Mighty Minis) and two rounds of the British Sprint Championship on the inner circuit.

Lap RecordsEdit

The fastest official race lap records at Snetterton Circuit are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date Circuit Map
Snetterton 300 Circuit (2011–present): 4.779 km
Formula 3 1:39.933[11] Felipe Nasr Dallara F308 2011 Snetterton British F3 round  
GB3 1:41.885[12] Javier Sagrera Tatuus MSV-022 2022 Snetterton GB3 round
BSB 1:47.143[13] Shane Byrne Ducati 1199 Panigale 2017 Snetterton BSB round
GT3 1:47.469[14] Ulysse de Pauw Mercedes-AMG GT3 2022 Snetterton British GT round
GB4 1:49.380[15] Jack Sherwood Tatuus F4-T014 2022 2nd Snetterton GB4 round
Formula 4 1:51.651[16] Colton Herta Mygale M14-F4 2015 Snetterton MSA Formula round
NGTC 1:55.682[17] Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R (FK8) 2019 Snetterton BTCC round
GT4 1:57.901[14] Jamie Orton Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport 2022 Snetterton British GT round
Snetterton 200 Circuit (2011–present): 3.219 km
Formula 3 1:06.572 Chris Dittmann Dallara F312 2017 Snetterton F3 Cup round  
Snetterton 100 Circuit (2011–present): 1.577 km
British Sprint Championship 1:16.210 Colin Calder Gould GR37 2011 Snetterton British Sprint Championship round  
Grand Prix Circuit (1997–2010): 3.141 km[18]
Formula One 56.095[19] Klaas Zwart Benetton B197 2007 Snetterton EuroBOSS Super Prix  
Formula 3 1:01.200[20] Adriano Buzaid Dallara F308 2010 Snetterton British F3 round
GT1 (Prototype) 1:03.393[21] Tim Sugden McLaren F1 GTR 1999 Snetterton British GT round
BSB 1:47.143[22] Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR 2006 Snetterton BSB round
GT2 1:08.563[23] Geoff Lister Porsche 911 GT2 (993) 1998 Snetterton British GT round
Super Touring 1:09.011[24] David Leslie Nissan Primera GT 1999 Snetterton BTCC round
Formula BMW 1:09.849[25] Henry Surtees Mygale FB02 2007 Snetterton Formula BMW UK round
Super 2000 1:11.711[26] Darren Turner SEAT León TDI 2008 Snetterton BTCC round
BTC Touring 1:12.249[27] Matt Neal BTC-T Honda Integra Type R 2005 Snetterton BTCC round
Grand Prix Circuit (1990–1996): 3.137 km
British F2 59.470[28] Luiz Garcia Jr. Reynard 95D 1996 2nd Snetterton British F2 round  
Formula 3 1:06.550[29] Kelvin Burt Dallara F393 1993 Snetterton British F3 round
GT1 1:09.570[30] Ian Flux McLaren F1 GTR 1996 Snetterton British GT round
Group 4 1:11.660[31] Thorkild Thyrring De Tomaso Pantera 1995 1st Snetterton British GT round
Super Touring 1:13.130[32] Rickard Rydell Volvo 850 20V 1995 Snetterton BTCC round
Group A 1:14.020[33] Robb Gravett Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth 1990 Snetterton BTCC round
Group 5 1:15.080[34] John Greasley Porsche 935 K3 1993 Snetterton British GT round
GT2 1:24.470[35] John Morrison Porsche 911 GT2 (993) 1995 2nd Snetterton British GT round
Grand Prix Circuit (1974–1989): 3.085 km
British Formula 3000 55.370[36] Andrew Gilbert-Scott Reynard 88D 1989 Snetterton British F3000 round  
Formula One 56.530[37] Rupert Keegan Arrows A1 1979 Budweiser Trophy
Group C2 59.510[38] Tim Harvey Spice SE89C 1989 RAC Championship Car Races Snetterton
Formula 5000 1:00.000[39] Teddy Pilette Lola T400 1975 2nd Snetterton F5000 round
Group A 1:07.500[40] Robb Gravett Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth 1989 Snetterton BTCC round
Grand Prix Circuit (with Russell Bend Chicane added) (1965–1973): 4.361 km
Formula 5000 1:18.400[41] Brett Lunger Trojan T101 1973 1st Snetterton F5000 round  
Group 4 1:26.200[42] Brian Redman Lola T70 Mk.IIIB GT 1969 Guards Trophy Snetterton
Sports 2000 1:27.200[43] Guy Edwards Lola T290 1972 Anglia Television Trophy
Formula Two 1:28.200 Jackie Stewart[b]
Graham Hill[b]
Jochen Rindt[b]
Matra MS5[b]
Lotus 48[b]
Brabham BT23[b]
1967 Guards 100
Group 6 1:35.200[44] Jeremy Lord Astra RNR1 1970 Snetterton MN GT round
Original Grand Prix Circuit (1951–1964): 4.361 km
Formula One 1:32.600[45] Jim Clark Lotus 18 1960 Lombank Trophy  
Group 4 1:35.600[46] Innes Ireland Lotus 19 1963 Snetterton Sports Car race
Formula Libre 1:38.200[47] Brian Naylor JBW-Maserati 1959 Snetterton Formula Libre race
Group 3 1:39.200[48] Roy Salvadori Ferrari 250 LM 1964 Scott-Brown Memorial Snetterton

CarsEdit

The current 300 circuit lap record was set by Felipe Nasr from Brazil driving a Carlin prepared Dallara F308 in the 2nd race of the 2011 British F3 meeting. The lap was 1m 39.933s at an average speed of 106.95 mph (172.12 km/h).[49]

Prior to the introduction of the 300 circuit in 2011, the lap record stood at 56.095 (125.27 mph (201.60 km/h)) set by Klaas Zwart, during a BRSCC meeting in August 2007. During qualifying he set an unofficial lap record of 54.687 (128.50 mph (206.80 km/h)).[49]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Sprint competition, held over 1.75 laps.[2]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Three drivers took the same lap time independently.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "MotorSport Vision". Snetterton.motorsportvision.co.uk. 2011-02-17. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  2. ^ "Calder's debut win". Britishsprint.org. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey (1999). OS Explorer Map 237 - Norwich. ISBN 0-319-21868-6.
  4. ^ 24hr – Getting Involved Retrieved 15 June 2016
  5. ^ Hunt, Julian (2012). Motorsport Explorer. Yeovil, Somerset: Haynes Publishing. pp. 182–183. ISBN 978 1 84425 634 1.
  6. ^ "Reports of Recent Events: Snetterton Speed Trials". Motor Sport. Vol. 27, no. 12. December 1951. p. 602.
  7. ^ Britain's Top Circuits, race circuit guide, 1966 hard copy (free supplement with Motor Cycle), Accessed 2015-05-02
  8. ^ a b c d [1] Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [2] Archived November 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "2011 Snetterton British F3 - Round 9". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  12. ^ "2022 GB3 Championship Partnered by the BRDC Race 7 - Round 11 - Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  13. ^ "MCE British Superbikes - Round 5 - 30th-2nd July - Snetterton - 2017 Race 13 - Classification". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  14. ^ a b "2022 Intelligent Money British GT Championship Race 8 - Round 5 - Classification - Amended" (PDF). Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  15. ^ "2022 GB4 Championship Partnered by the BRDC Race 4 - Round 13 - Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  16. ^ "2015 MSA Formula Championship Round 16 - Classification". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  17. ^ "BTCC 2019 » Snetterton 300 Round 16 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Snetterton". Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  19. ^ "EuroBOSS Super Prix Race 3 - Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  20. ^ "2010 Snetterton British F3 - Round 27". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  21. ^ "British GT Championship Snetterton 1999". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  22. ^ "BSB - Round 7 - Snetterton - 2006". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  23. ^ "British GT Snetterton 1998". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  24. ^ "BTCC 1999 » Snetterton Round 15 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  25. ^ "TOCA - Round 7 - Snetterton - 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship Round 14 - Classification". Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  26. ^ "BTCC 2008 » Snetterton Round 16 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  27. ^ "BTCC 2005 » Snetterton Round 19 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  28. ^ "1996 Snetterton British F2". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  29. ^ "1993 Snetterton British F3". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  30. ^ "British GT Championship Snetterton 1996". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  31. ^ "British GT Snetterton I 1995". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  32. ^ "BTCC 1995 » Snetterton Round 21 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  33. ^ "BTCC 1990 » Snetterton Round 8 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  34. ^ "British GT Championship Snetterton 1993". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  35. ^ "British GT Snetterton II 1995". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  36. ^ "1989 Snetterton British F3000". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  37. ^ "1979 Snetterton F1". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  38. ^ "Thundersports Snetterton 1989". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  39. ^ "1975 Snetterton F5000". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  40. ^ "BTCC 1989 » Snetterton Round 9 Results". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  41. ^ "1973 Snetterton F5000 - Round 4". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  42. ^ "Guards Trophy Snetterton 1969". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  43. ^ "British Sports Car Championship Snetterton 1972". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  44. ^ "MN GT Snetterton 1970". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  45. ^ "1960 Snetterton F1". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  46. ^ "Snetterton [Sports] 1963". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  47. ^ "Snetterton [Formula Libre] 1959". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  48. ^ "Scott-Brown Memorial Snetterton 1964". Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  49. ^ a b "EuroBOSS Super Prix Race 3 - Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2022.

External linksEdit