About the Venue
The venue is the Test Track at the Group Lotus Cars factory at Potash Lane, Hethel, near Wymondham, Norfolk, NR14 8EZ, off the B1135 about 3 miles from the junction with the A11. The north end of Potash Lane is closed to traffic.
The village of Hethel gave its name to the former RAF Hethel bomber station, which has been the location of the head office and factory of Lotus Cars since the 1960s. The Lotus Cars Test Track uses sections of the old RAF Hethel runway.
The track contains a series of bends, hairpin corners and straights designed to put Lotus' high performance cars through their paces. It was officially re-opened on 21st June 2011 by Nigel Mansell having been totally renovated to bring it up to FIA standards
The sprint takes place over 1.33 laps, Graham Hill, Andretti and Senna Curves being tackled twice. It contains fast straights, sweeping corners and technical sections and is one of the longest sprint courses in the country. For practice there is only one run but it consists of two full laps plus another one third of a lap, the second practice lap is a flying lap.
The start is from the pit lane. On entering the track get quickly over to the right for the first corner.
A fast sequence of left, right, left follows immediately. Your speed will be increasing and you may well find that you have to lift slightly through this section. After the final left hander you will be accelerating hard towards the Andretti hairpin.
The Andretti hairpin is surprisingly fast and has a lot of grip in the dry. It has a late apex and it is important to get a good exit onto the Senna Curves which are very fast.
At the end of Senna Curves there is an artificial chicane. This is another spot where it is important to get a good exit as it is followed by the Mansell Main Straight.
Mansell Main Straight
At the end of the Mansell Main Straight you will approach a bus stop chicane at very high speed but there is a change of surface to give you a braking point.
After the bus stop you are immediately faced with the Rindt Hairpin. The Rindt Hairpin is followed by the Fittipaldi Straight so it is important to get a good exit
Fittipaldi Straight is followed by another artificial chicane and this time there are no obvious markers other than those placed there by the organisers.
Clark/ Graham Hill
After the chicane you meet what is probably the most challenging part of the sprint course. A sequence of right, left, left, right, left, right, left corners. After the first right hand corner the two left hand corners can be taken as one but, if you carry too much speed into the right hander that follows, you will be out of position and this will compromise the rest of the sequence.
You are now back at the Andretti hairpin and the finish is just after Senna Curves.
The official Lotus Test Track, located directly on the premises of the Group Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, UK, is the base of the Lotus Driving Academy.
Originally the site served as an airfield to the U.S. Air Force during World War 2 from 1942 to 1945. Group Lotus moved its headquarters to Hethel in 1966 and it has been there ever since. Portions of the runways and taxiways were developed as a circuit that could be used for the testing of cars, which was in turn used by the likes of Clark, Rindt, Fittipaldi and Senna to fine-tune their Formula One racers.
The entire complex has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and is now a state-of-the-art facility with concrete surfacing and kerbs throughout. An FIA specification purpose-built test circuit with a length of 2.2 miles and a width of 40 feet, the Lotus Test Track combines a variety of technical aspects with a series of bends, hairpin, corners, straights and a turning circle designed to put Lotus’ high performance cars through their paces, and to train and develop your driving skills.
Closest Fuel Station
On A11 - equidistant North and South bound - both sell Super Plus - Northbound also has a Waitrose store for food and drinks.