Snetterton eyes possible Champ Car race UPDATE #2 Another person adds, I think it must have been years since Gavin Lawrence has been to Snetterton. I spent 24 years of my life in the next village, and worked at Snetterton for some of those years. 2 years ago a new freeway was completed just by the circuit. It now has its own junction off the freeway too (about 1/2 mile distance). The access is at least as good as Silverstone now. From looking at the new development's website the business park is on top of the 'Sunday market', so there wont be much traffic for a market that has been plowed under.
It's quite incorrect that the circuit is nowhere near train lines or an airport. The plans for the new development include a purpose built train station on the adjacent mainline railway line (London - Cambridge - Norwich). Also the circuit is on the main freeway to London Stansted Airport (currently the 3rd busiest airport in the UK and with impending expansion will soon be the second busiest). The international airport is only 60 miles away. I doubt if Snetterton would ever hold a Champ Car race, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some other major series race there. Gary Parravani, England
10/13/05 A reader adds, Dear Autoracing1, I grew up in the UK and cut my teeth photographing at the British Tracks and I will agree Snetterton is too agricultural to host anything more than a F3 or BTC (British Touring Car meeting). Access to it is a nightmare and on a Sunday the traffic is doubled as a result of a Sunday Market (Clothes, Fruit and Veg stalls etc.)
It will be 20m more than I would spend on something that no one can get to. Granted Norwich nearby (about 25-30mins) is great for a night out but the nearest airports and train lines are miles away. Gavin Lawrence
Related story from local TV station10/12/05 Snetterton circuit will have a $20 million upgrade if plans unveiled by the 1.952-mile circuit owners are approved. MotorSport Vision want to redevelop the England track as a venue for international motor racing events and hope to start work at the end of the 2006 season. "Part of the development is to bring the track up to FIA Grade 2 specification and that would mean we could hold races for anything from the World Touring Car Championship, Champ Cars or the Le Mans Endurance Series sportscars - anything apart from Formula One," MotorSport Vision boss Jonathan Palmer said. We think the track is too remote for Champ Car's business model, but time will tell.
The radical proposals, which are now at the planning stages with the local councils around Snetterton, include significant changes to the layout of the circuit itself, as well as the building of a brand new, state-of-the-art commercial complex called the Snetterton Business Park.
The park, for which MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer hopes to gain planning permission within a year, will include a race school, hotel with cafe, restaurant and conference facilities, shops and industrial units for race teams, car dealerships and engineering firms.
Snetterton Business Park has been proposed in conjunction with the local Breckland Council, whose Rural Enterprise Valley initiative aims to create a corridor of world-class Motorsport and advanced engineering expertise in the Norfolk area, with Snetterton as its core.
The exciting plans will bring hundreds of jobs to the Snetterton area give the circuit new life and propel it firmly into the world of international Motorsport.
Palmer said: "We have big plans for Snetterton. It's all subject to planning permission but we are optimistic that will go through. I've always been very keen that all MSV circuits should be fantastic places to drive at.
"Snetterton has always been one of the tracks with a good, workmanlike reputation but it is not going to be top of many drivers' list of favorite tracks. We want to put it up there."
Also planned are some radical alterations to the layout of the Snetterton circuit itself, with Russell chicane being replaced by a double hairpin complex and Sear corner going out wider and featuring a sharper turn to bring it back in to rejoin the Revett Straight.
A small section of infield track between Riches and Sear corner will not only provide a short test track which can be used independently of the main circuit but also the possibility of extending the main circuit for selected race events.
With plans to make Snetterton the first UK circuit to have its own train station and the introduction of the huge Snetterton Business Park complex, Palmer is aiming to attract Snetterton's first truly international motor racing event in its 54-year history.
"Part of the development is to bring the track up to FIA Grade 2 specification and that would mean we could hold races for anything from the World Touring Car Championship, Champ Cars or the Le Mans Endurance Series sportscars - anything apart from Formula 1."
Snetterton circuit manager Jamie Hopper said: "At last Snetterton is to receive the investment that it deserves. Since Jonathan acquired the venue in 2004, he has already given us the tools and encouragement to bring about a vast improvement in the venue. With this next major phase, Snetterton will become an exciting and first class destination for all those interested in motorsport and performance driving and riding. The whole team here is very excited about the project and the challenges it will bring."
It is hoped that planning permission will be granted within a year, and that the whole project will be completed within five years.