Two of Britain’s most popular car racing circuits, Brands Hatch and Castle Combe, will be realigned in the interests of greater safety when the 1999 season opens.
The major change to Brands Hatch’s current layout – the original has been modified many times – concerns the remodelling of Graham Hill Bend (formerly Bottom Bend) which will not only be deeper and tighter than at present, but also considerably raised to improve trackside viewing. The Grand Prix loop will not escape the bulldozers either, for, in an attempt to mollify vociferous noise complaints from locals (the vast majority of whom took up residence after the extension was opened in 1960), Stirlings Bend is now to be repositioned and a new straight to Clearways is being built behind a huge earth screen.
Castle Combe, whose contours of have remained unchanged since it first hosted racing in 1950, was modified in December with the addition of right-left deviations into the infield mid-way down the old Farm Straight and Westway. The 1.84-mile Wiltshire track was one of Britain’s fastest. Its outright lap record now seems likely to stand for posterity to Nigel Greensall in an F1 Tyrrell at over 130mph.