Pembrey Circuit in Wales is adding extra variety to its offering to racers and teams with the introduction of new track layout options, designed to offer new challenges for novice racers as they learn their craft.
The track - now in its 27th year under the stewardship of the British Automobile Racing Club is building new sections of track to allow for two different layouts to be used over a single weekend.
Crossing the start/finish line, cars and bikes will proceed through Hatchets Hairpin, Spitfires and Dibeni before approaching the new configuration. Heading over the circuit crossing, competitors will now have a circuit option to continue straight on instead of traditionally turning left, filing into a tight left hander before rejoining the existing layout and building up both speed and momentum.
This introduction of a heavy braking section followed by consecutive high speed right handers will test both the performance of the car/bike and the skill set of the competitor.
In conjunction with this latest track development currently taking place, plans are also being formulated for further work to be undertaken on the back straight. Once plans are finalised in early 2017, an alternative corner sequence will be introduced down the back straight heading into the infamous Honda Curve.
Rallycross will also welcome a new layout for 2017 too following the introduction of running events in both directions last year. Competitors will once again begin on the existing rallycross layout with the first change coming on the approach to the loose section.
Whereas previously drivers would head over the circuit crossing and onto the loose, they will now bear left and continue on the original circuit thus giving spectators another vantage point.
Tackling the new section in reverse via a chicane, competitors will rejoin the existing rallycross track and move further round the lap to tackle the newly improved joker section - all targeted towards providing even more challenging, entertaining racing and also offering the option to be run in the opposite direction too.
The former RAF airfield is a popular testing facility for British teams such as Double R Racing and Carlin, through which it has become extremely familiar for up-and-coming stars as they learn their craft. Formula 1 stars Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen all cut their teeth around the Welsh circuit, cementing its reputation as a valuable proving ground..
Phil Davies, Pembrey Circuit Manager, said: "These plans have been discussed for quite a while now so it is great to finally be able to start moving forward with them. Motor racing is a difficult business with constant changes, and we are determined to stay ahead of the game and offer test teams and competitors what they need to succeed. With these new developments as part of an ongoing upgrade program, the future looks bright.
"The reason we looked into this idea originally was regarding the younger drivers that are making their way through the ranks. When they come down and test with these big teams there are always going to be differing stages of driver experience as talent develops, so these changes are aimed at making it a little bit easier to develop core skills. We've worked alongside a lot of highly experienced motorsport people and taken their ideas on board to come up with the best package for everyone."
Get an in-depth look into the changes that are being made with this mini documentary provided by Overdrive and Driven International: