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Jason Plato's guide to the Snetterton 300 circuit

Thursday, September 30 2010

Following the announcement of a major circuit redevelopment at Snetterton ahead of the 2011 season, Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato has offered his thoughts on the new 300 track configuration.

Turn 1
JP: "A great corner, very tricky and requires total commitment. This corner remains unchanged, however the approach speed will be faster because of the changes at turn thirteen, making it even more of a 'hold your breath' corner.

Turn 2
"A tight first or second gear hairpin. This should prove to be a great overtaking point on the lap, wide enough on the way in and also enough space past the corner to not punish a late lunge. With the clever addition of extra camber on the outside line, awesome round-the-outside moves could be on.

Turn 3
"I think this will be a driver favourite, modelled on the fantastic Parabolica at Monza. It should reward the driver who is 'on it' and has a good setup. A fast corner which should give an opportunity to carry good exit speed to open up a chance to overtake into turn four.

Turn 4
"A medium speed almost hairpin, wide enough to lunge. Should be a great overtaking point and when not racing I'll be in Tyrrells bar to watch the action!

Turn 5
"This should be a another 'breath holder' almost flat in fourth if you have the perfect setup. It should also give an opportunity to make up ground to the car in front and maybe open up an opportunity into turn six.

Turn 6
Hard on the brakes for this slow 90 right will provide the third good overtaking opportunity, especially if you've closed through five.

Turn 8
"A great corner, fast entry with an exit that always feels tight. Modelled on the legendary Lesmo 1 at Monza. Not a place to overtake, and defend at your peril, as exit speed is crucial for the long back straight. Get this corner perfect and you should sail past the car in front going down the back straight. With a higher than before entry speed to the straight, top speeds at the end could be even higher.

Turn 9 and 10
"This corner remains unchanged apart from the increased speed on entry. For me, on the old Snetterton it was the hardest corner to get right, super-fast entry, braking hard whilst turning and going down the gears. A real challenge and also a corner that the brave can go around the outside and nick the inside line into ten. The exit of ten is super important also as it dictates your momentum towards eleven. You often see overtaking on the exit.

Turn 11
"This great corner remains unchanged, almost flat, easy to make a mistake as you fall into the dip, a great corner to make up ground to position yourself for turn thirteen two corners ahead.

Turn 12
"One of the most famous corners in the UK, long and super, super fast. Flat out on turn in, blending in and out of throttle through the mid part. I am always busy playing with the throttle to get the last 0.1 mph out of the car. Now however, the corner will continue to turn right after the old apex which will present the driver with a real problem the exit of the next corner 13 is crucial, so do you position your car for this, exiting Coram, and leave the door open into 13, or do you take the fast Coram exit line and then lose out up the next straight after 13. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

Turn 13
"At last the old chicane at Russell has gone, now we have a tricky 2nd gear left hander, exit speed will be crucial for the next straight, but, it will be easy to get this corner wrong as the braking zone is smack bang in the middle of the super-fast Coram. I predict this will be the scene of many a great move."

The British Touring Car Championship is just one of the series that will compete on the 300 circuit in 2011. Motorsport fans can sh