Renaissance of the Snetterton Circuit
Snetterton Circuit, located in Norfolk, some 30 km south-west of the city of Norwich, is one of the oldest racing venues in the Unted Kingdom, opened in 1953. This venue is one of the old school circuits what makes it quite popular among drivers and the fans, but in the 2010s it was modernized to meet higher standards.
Built on the site of former airfield
The circuit named after the nearby village was built on the airfield used by US Army and RAF during World War 2 before was abandoned in 1948. The demands for the proper racing circuits were growing in the 1950s and Snetterton became one of the places that have become ideal for construction of the racing track.
Famous Norwich straight
In the early years, Snetterton Circuit was mainly used for motorcycles racing. The first layout, made mainly of perimeter roads, was more than 4 km long with the unusually long Norwich straight of almost 1.5 km. The conditions and safety on the track weren’t at a high level, just as outbuildings and facilities, but slowly started to attract many racing competitions. The famous Formula 1 Lotus team during the 1970s used Snetterton as a test track.
Redevelopment for the new beginning
Over the years the layout of the track was changed but Snetterton always was very fast track. The last major multi-million-pound redevelopment has started in 2005 when the owner, MotorSport Vision (MSV), announced that venue will be modernized to meet all on and off the track demands. The old layout of 3.123 km with 7 turns was dismissed and the new track with 3 layouts was built and finally opened in 2011.
Snetterton Circuit has FIA Grade 2 license
Nowadays Snetterton Circuit has three layouts. The longest is Snetterton 300, inspired by Monza and Montreal circuits, with a length of 4.779 km and 13 turns. It has FIA Grade 2 licence and hosts the events of British GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship, British Formula 3 and also national Superbike Championship. Lap record time holder is Felipe Nasr who drove a lap in 1:39.933 during 2011 British Formula 3 race.
The Snetterton 200 layout, used mostly for the club racing and which closest to the pre-2011 layout, is 3.22 km long and has 8 turns while the Snetterton 100, what is the infield section of the track mainly used for tests and race school, is 1.58 km in a length with 7 turns.
Popular venue for many British racing series
The main aim of the owners is to bring some big international racing event to the Snetterton but it looks unlikely in the foreseeable future even after the state of the track and facilities is now at the high level. Until that, Snetterton will stay home of some British racing series.
In addition to racing, Snetterton is still a popular test track and has been used to develop a host of cars including the Williams F1-designed Formula Two car and various Le Mans machinery including the Bentley Speed 8, and the futuristic Nissan Deltawing and ZEOD cars.
Just before the 2016 BTCC round, one turn at Snetterton Circuit was named after Justin Wilson, British driver who was killed in the IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway in 2015.
Getting to the Snetterton Circuit
The nearest international airport is Stansted in London, around 100 km away. Airport in Norwich is closer to the venue and offers flights to many destinations in Europe and England. The nearest train stations are Eccles Road, Attleborough, and Thetford, on the main Cambridge to Norwich line. Eccles Road is closest at two miles and is about a 40-minute walk to the circuit.
Local accommodation around Snetterton Circuit offers many bed &breakfast inns, cottages and small hotels with various types of rooms and services.
Video – Snetterton Circuit guide
Address: Norwich NR16 2JU, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1953 887303
Photo: snetterton.co.uk chrisknox.co.uk britishf3.com youtube.com