Normally I stick to one big meeting a year at one circuit, for example if I do Touring Cars at Oulton Park I won’t do them again elsewhere however, last year I did the British Touring Cars at both Oulton Park and Silverstone and the Formula One at both Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.
Now I can add to the list is the British GT and F3 weekend. You may be wondering the significance of this is, but because I ventured down to Snetterton Circuit for the weekend it gives me a chance to compare the racing and of course review a circuit that i’ve never been to before in my life.
First of all let’s address the elephant in the room about Snetterton Circuit and that is of course the drive there. Brands Hatch, Knockhill and Goodwood may all be further away from my home but, timewise only Goodwood trumps the four and a half drive to Snetterton.
The good news is I managed to listen to all the Oasis albums, including their demo and early years material, on the way too and from the circuit. So there are ways and means of making the journey go faster.
Still feeling the effects from the long drive it was all that was in my mind, and trying to do a track walk at night. I recall the track being very long (three miles in fact) and tired from the travel I decided to call it a night, and look upon it with fresh eyes in the morning.
Waking with a fresh mindset, I ventured to sign-on to prepare for the day ahead and find out where I was heading. A slightly different method of sign-on to what I am used to as I had selected a zone from around the circuit and then when I arrived at that zone I was allocated a post. It was different but it kept me on my toes.
I was allocated to Post 18, just between Bomb Hole and Coram, it may have been a straight but I was trying to keep my eyes open as it was a new circuit and should judge a book, or circuit in this case, by its cover. I was rather thankful that I did, to be truthful even when I was allocated to Post 13 on the Sunday which is Williams corner as they come onto the Bentley Straight, the long back straight, I was blown away and here’s why.
I hear thunder but, there’s no rain
GT cars are impressive there is no need to dispute that, the huge amount of metal pounding round the track turning a three mile slog into a two minute sprint. I thought they were quick at Oulton Park but, Snetterton put it into perspective.
First of all, Bomb Hole gave me the understanding of just how much grip these beasts have, they kick it down a gear, let it grip and slam their accelerator a slight mistiming may cause the back of the cars some issues but, done right and they’re already at Coram before you’ve processed what’s going on.
It’s not just the grip they possess that impresses, the Bentley Straight showed first hand how quick these machines are, you can hear the Bentley’s banging and snarling whilst the Lamborghini’s scream and whine all in between the different melodies of Aston Martin’s, McLaren’s and Mustangs. It’s a sight to see as the entire grid charges away from you on lap one and you’re battered by noise.
Come racing, come incidents
At every circuit and every race series there are incidents, some bigger than others but Snetterton has them a plenty, with the tight circuit layout and the somewhat stop start nature of the beginning lap there are opportunities for missed braking points or being a little over zealous on their turn in speed.
Needless to say you’re going to be busy either flagging, writing a report or cleaning up an incident. The good news is though if you are unfortunate not to have anything to do is that Snetterton is such a flat circuit that you can see most things happening around the track.
So, whilst I was driving down I thought i’d probably do Snetterton just the once to tick it off the list, but after the quality of racing I saw and how busy I was as a marshal, I think it’s time to download so more songs and hit the road.