Silverstone unveils new circuit layout

Silverstone Circuits Limited has unveiled provisional plans for a number of striking modifications to the track and spectator viewing areas at the UK’s premier motor racing venue. The most significant addition to the circuit will be a new section of track running from the approach at Abbey corner to a spectacular ‘Arrowhead’ at the inside of Becketts.

The Arrowhead will then join up with the existing National Straight. Additional sections of track will also  be  laid  at  Chapel  and  Club  in  anticipation  of  FIM  MotoGP  World  Championship  motorcycle  racing  at Silverstone. Computer generated overview of track changes planned at Silverstone Circuit The announcement follows the recent signing of a five year agreement between Silverstone and Dorna that will see  MotoGP  racing  at  the  iconic  Northamptonshire  circuit  from  2010. 

Several  alterations  are  being  made  to make the circuit more bike-friendly. The alterations have already been extensively discussed with FIM and will be  in  accordance  with  their  regulations  and  subject  to  final  homologation.  However,  the  new  Arrowhead,  and fast section of circuit leading up to it, are designed to be a stunning feature for riders, drivers and spectators alike.

 The Arrowhead and its approach will provide a focal point for overtaking and will be surrounded by several new spectator areas. It will also be overlooked by the grandstand at Becketts, providing fans with an opportunity to see two sections of track from the one vantage point. Both  MotoGP  and  British  Superbike  riders  will  also  be  pleased  to  see  that  the  plans  include  the  moving  of grandstands and safety barriers at Woodcote. This will enable the circuit to build a new run off area at the fast entry to Pit Straight and dispose of the slow chicane, which is currently a necessity for safety purposes.

The  new  plans  form  part  of  a  £5  million  investment  by  Silverstone,  with  work  set  to  be  carried  out  between November  2009  and  March  2010.  In  addition  to  changes  to  the  track,  improvements  to  spectator  viewing facilities will include moving some of the existing grandstands to bring them closer to the track.

Richard  Phillips,  Managing  Director  of  Silverstone  Circuits  Limited,  commented,  “Silverstone  is  one  of  the easiest circuits to get in and out of in the world, we have sizeable hard-standing car parks, and the facilities for teams,  media  and  fans  are  second  to  none.  We  are  happy  with  the  infrastructure,  but  we  now  have  an opportunity  to  make  some  exciting  changes  to  the  circuit  and  fundamental  improvements  to  the  viewing experience for fans. “The new Arrowhead on the inside of Becketts will be a major new feature of the circuit. The fast approach and sharp  left  should  provide  plenty  of  opportunities  to  overtake,  making  it  a  real  focal  point  for  spectators.  The views  will  be  fantastic,  especially  from  the  new  spectator  banking  areas  and  grandstands  we  will  be  building around the Arrowhead.

“The  viewing  experience  for  fans  is  hugely  important  and  we  now  have  an  opportunity  to  make  sure  it  is absolutely right, all around the circuit. The new layout will also enable fans to circulate around the venue more easily,  to  watch  all  the  action  from  different  vantage  points.  We  are  making  a  significant  investment  but  it  is absolutely  worth  it.  Early  feedback  from  both  riders  and  drivers  has  been  very  positive.  The  chicane  at Woodcote   is   going   and   changes   to   other   sections   of   the   circuit   should   result   in   increased  overtaking opportunities.”

Phillips  also  confirmed  that  the  planned  changes  would  not  mean  the  end  for  the  current  Grand  Prix  circuit,

“This  year’s  Formula  1  British  Grand  Prix  will  take  place  on  the  current  Grand  Prix  circuit and that circuit will continue  to  be  available  to  us  for  appropriate  events.  However,  the  new  layout  will  be  more  suitable  for  two- wheeled racing, and will be an exciting circuit for both two and four-wheeled events.”

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