Snetterton Circuit, situated in the picturesque landscape of the United Kingdom, holds a rich history that seamlessly blends the thrill of motorsports with the echoes of its past. Initially an RAF airfield designated for use by the 96th United States Air Force Bomber Group between May 1943 and November 1948, Snetterton underwent a dramatic transformation to become the iconic motorsports hub it is today.
The journey of Snetterton Circuit began in 1951, when the remnants of the airfield's runways were ingeniously molded into a racing track. The Aston Martin Owner's Club hosted the first race event, setting the wheels of history in motion. As the decades passed, Snetterton Circuit evolved, with its layout undergoing several significant changes.
In the 1960s and early 70s, Snetterton stretched across a 2.7-mile expanse, running parallel to the A11 road before a dramatic hairpin turn led racers on a long dash back to what we now know as the Brundle and Nelson corners. During this period, Russell Bend was introduced as the final corner, strategically slowing down race vehicles as they approached the pits.
However, from the 1970s until 2010, the lap length was considerably shortened to just under two miles. Then, in 2010, a momentous chapter in Snetterton's history unfolded when the circuit's owner, MSV, unveiled a visionary redevelopment project. This transformation birthed a new multi-configuration layout, breathing fresh life into the circuit. By February 2011, the new Snetterton was ready to host a new era of racing.
Snetterton Circuit has witnessed numerous historic events over its six-decade legacy. It played host to non-championship Formula 1 encounters, including the exhilarating first Formula Ford events. A truly remarkable moment in the circuit's history was the inception of the UK's first-ever 24-hour race, the Willhire 24 Hour, which captivated motorsport enthusiasts from 1980 to 1994.
Not merely a racing venue, Snetterton has earned a reputation as a renowned testing ground. It has contributed significantly to the development of race-winning cars, a testament to its importance in the motorsport world. Legendary vehicles like the Lotus DFV-powered 49 and the Indy 500-winning 38 bear the Snetterton imprint. In more recent times, the circuit has been instrumental in the creation of Le Mans 24 Hour cars, including Bentley's first Le Mans car in 70 years, the EXP Speed Eight. The Audi R8 and Williams BMW LMP, dominant forces on the racing stage, also took their initial breaths at Snetterton.
For those planning to experience the thrill of Snetterton Circuit up close and personal, there are several accommodation options available nearby. Here are a few recommendations:
Enjoy the exhilarating world of motorsports at Snetterton Circuit, and rest your weary head in one of these comfortable accommodations to make the most of your visit.