Learn how to drive Snetterton with professional driving coach Jack Layton

Last Updated: February 11, 2022

We have had another sit down with Jack Layton to have him talk us through how to drive Snetterton since adding it to our 2022 track day calendar.

For those of you reading, in case you don’t already know, Jack Layton is a professional driver coach. His job caries day to day, from being the Chief Instructor at Goodwood Motor Circuit to 1-1 driver coaching for individuals, race teams and enthusiasts.

Jack has already talked us through driving some other circuits which you can read below:

How to drive Goodwood Motor Circuit

How to drive Brands Hatch Indy

How to drive Donington

How to drive Thruxton

But as we are taking to Snetterton 300 for the first time for an exclusive Track Day this year on 20th September, lets have a chat about the circuit.

Let’s start with the basics, talk to us about driving on track…

For those scared to take their pride and joy out on a track, what would your key piece of advice be?

A track day is a social event and non-competitive. It’s not expected for anyone to push beyond their comfort zone, so don’t feel you have to drive your car to the maximum of it’s potential. Most drivers are enthusiasts and want to look after their car having driven it to and from the circuit. If you are concerned about damage and depending on the value of the vehicle, track day insurance may be a consideration. It’s not essential but worth knowing that having an ARDS instructor with you will lower the cost. Overtaking rules are put in place to minimise the chances of car-to-car contact so any overly aggressive drivers are usually dealt with. All in all, it’s a very controlled environment to enjoy your pride and joy.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge people face on track?

One of the main challenges is managing the space around you and driving consistent laps without being distracted by other cars and following their mistakes!

In your view what needs to be done to prepare your car for a track day?

It’s always worth getting the car serviced before any day on track to minimise the chances of a mechanical issue. Fresh brake fluid and a decent amount of brake pad depth is a good idea if the car hasn’t been on track before. Also carrying a few basic tools is worthwhile to keep your car safe and mechanically sound. This could be a tyre pressure gauge, pump, torque wrench, some spare engine oil and coolant to keep levels topped up as required.   

What advice would you give to someone that has never done a track day before? 

The more you can prepare for the day the more you’ll get out of it. This could include getting your car serviced and checked beforehand, which will lower the risk of a breakdown, to memorising the circuit layout and ideally booking in some instruction. Always build up gradually so you are consistent. Remember everyone starts somewhere and you should not try to be too fast too soon! 

For those experienced drivers out there, what would your key piece of advice be to improve? 

Maximise what you can learn from your track time. Hiring a driver coach is the most effective way of doing this. They will look at what you are doing and pass on their years of experience and knowledge to improve your driving. It’s also a good idea to invest in an onboard camera so you can watch your driving back on and see what mistakes you can spot! 

Tell us all about Snetterton 300 Circuit! 

Talk us through Snetterton 300 Circuit – what should drivers focus on for each turn?

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that Snetterton 300 is a long lap and at 3 miles, is only trumped in the UK by Silverstone GP for distance covered. Add this to the 11 corners which are a great mix of high, medium and slow speed, this track gives drivers plenty of challenges and variation which may be added to or altered depending on what car they drive.

Turn 1 Riches:

The first turn is a really fast right corner. As you approach from the second fastest straight of the lap, you’ll position the car fully over to the left side of the circuit after having initially hugged the pit wall. Aim to anticipate turning in at the turn arrow board. If this is knocked down or missing then aim just before the orange square on the barrier near the marshal post on the left. To carry speed here will take some confidence and your vision should be through this corner. Try not to over slow as achieving the highest mid corner speed is the ultimate goal. The inside curb is long and in most road cars you will aim to miss the first apex point by up to a car’s width. The important apex is late on and achieving this will lessen the chances of you running wide! There may be an orange plastic post highlighting these two apexs or failing that look closely to see where the grass has been damaged by other cars exceeding the track limits.

Turn 2 Montreal:

A heavy braking zone that leads into a tight hairpin right. Brake hard down the left side of the circuit. Aim to turn in with an element of trail braking and rotation as the Armco barrier on the left ends. A small yellow strip of paint can sometimes be visible over the white line on the left. The apex is after the high step on the inside of the curb painted totally red. A tidy straight run out to the exit curb is the goal. In most cars you will be in 2nd gear so getting good traction off the corner is key.

Turn 3 Palmer:

A medium speed roughly 90 degrees left. Using all the track width on the right side, turn in gradually at the turn arrow board. There is a visible join in the middle of the tarmac all the way through this corner which you will initially stay to the outside of until half way through. Don’t feel tempted to attack the first part of the curb but apex two-thirds along it. This is an easy corner to be too aggressive on so stay smooth and limit the chance of a scrappy exit which might put a wheel the wrong side of the exit curb!

Turn 4 Agostini:

A hairpin left that is slightly more open than Montreal. Your track position whilst braking hard may depend on the car but again an element of trail braking quite deep into this corner and maintaining front end grip for a later apex will benefit most. Being slightly wider than turn 2, it might be worth trying 3rd especially if 2nd  is a short gear.

Turn 5 Hamilton:

A medium speed 90 degree left with a tyre stack on the apex curb to stop cars cutting! In my opinion, this is a corner that will test a driver’s confidence as it feels tight at speed. Approach fully on the right side of the track and turn in when inline with the elevated marshal hut. Some weight transfer forward to assist with this slightly late turn in will be needed. As cars will vary, start off by braking and maybe if the conditions and the car allow, try a lift when you are comfortable. The exit curb can unsettle the car here so stay off it and be mindful that the ground the wrong side of it is particularly rough from where others have run wide.

Turn 6 Oggies:

A slightly tighter than 90 degree right turn which tightens on exit. There is a bump in the braking zone which will upset some cars. Turn in to clip an apex in the middle of the inside curbing. Try to balance the throttle early as the track is slightly off-camber and most cars are likely to oversteer. Run the car all the way out to the exit of the track to keep it from scrubbing speed.

Turn 7 Williams:

A medium to fast 90 degree right that leads onto the long Bentley straight. As this leads to a very long straight it’s no surprise that good exit speed should be your priority. In a similar way to Hamilton, weight transfer forward either by lifting or braking to help maintain front end grip here is important. Turn in at the end of the green concrete on the left and try to square this corner off to limit the chance of running wide. The apex is typically shielded by a tyre stack on the inside curb to stop cutting and the exit curb here can feel quite aggressive. Do your best to not be overly ambitious with the speed you carry into this one because any need to lift off the power on exit or simply running a lot of curb will disadvantage you more than you realise.

Turn 8 Nelson:

A left right chicane that goes under the track crossing bridge. You’ll be approaching this from the fastest straight on lap fully on the right side of the circuit. Depending on the car it can be a very long braking zone and is an extremely technical part of the lap. Turn in points and lines here can vary but the safest option which will set you up for a good exit will be to turn in gradually just before the bridge. Apex fully on the right at the end of the curb which will then set you up for another short brake input before turning in to the right at the end of the grasscrete on the left. The inside apex here is high and aggressive so try not to run it. This area of track invites an ambitious fast entry but if the exit out the right is compromised, you’ll need to revaluate what speed and line to take into the left!

Turn 9 Bomb Hole:

A cambered 90 degree right with a compression in the apex. With the relatively short run from Nelson this could be potentially flat out in some cars but do build up to this. Turn in is roughly just after the marshal post on the left. Be positive with your turn to access the inside of the corner early and utilise the camber that will help you carry speed. Almost following the entire of the inside curb, be aware of the car going ‘light’ as you come out of the compression on the exit. With a relatively good distance from any barriers, drivers will naturally push the track limits on exit. The circuit has thought of this and installed sensors. You have been warned!

Turn 10 Coram:

A high speed long right that is slightly off camber. Carrying entry speed into this one will require confidence and really tests drivers’ ability to balance the car whilst at speed. There is no obvious turn in reference point, but aim to achieve two apex points. One early and another late with max load and rotation going through the car whilst it occupies the middle of the circuit at the half way point of the turn. Be careful of any sudden changes as you will need to shift weight and apply inputs in a gentle manner. The second apex should be late enough to make it possible to keep right as you approach the final braking zone of Murrays.

Final Turn Murrays:

A tight slow speed left that has a very challenging braking zone as the car is still under some lateral load from Coram. It’s really important to prioritise your exit speed here as the start/finish straight is up hill and a poor drive onto it can compromise two laps! Aim to maximise track width on the right before turning in from the drain on the edge of the circuit. The apex is as you’d expect on the inside curb but try not use too much. It’s aggressive, high and will really upset the balance of the car on exit. As you exit, keep right and hug the pit wall to slightly shorten the lap until you cross the start line for another lap at Snetterton.

Other facts about Snetterton

What is the most technical part of Snetterton 300 Circuit?

It’s a tie between Nelson and Coram into Murrays. In both areas of the lap the driver must really consider how to manage the balance of their car.

What are the most common mistakes you see drivers make at Snetterton 300?

Not prioritising corner exit speed out of Williams and Murrays.

How do you ensure you get the perfect approach to a corner each time?

It’s always tricky to answer this question. The only real way is to get some professional instruction which can help you understand your car on this circuit. If that’s not possible then being a passenger with a good driver who knows this circuit well will help. 

And finally, what are your top 5 things to be aware of when driving around Snetterton 300 Circuit? 

  1. Don’t run out of fuel or run it too low as you might experience a fuel surge in high-speed corners like Coram. Remember it’s a long lap so once you start it you can’t limp back easily.
  2. Be careful catching slower cars into Nelson and through Coram – balance is critical here and last moment changes can cause issues!
  3. Make it clear and obvious to other drivers when you’re coming into the pits – the pit entry is on your right just after the exit of Murrays. It’s always wise to go round the outside of Murrays whilst cooling the car off so others aren’t caught out by a significant speed difference at the corner apex.
  4. Check your fuel level and other gauges on the Bentley straight as once you start braking for Nelson you will be fully occupied until you almost pass pit entry.
  5. A good place to park a car for recovery is at Agostini. There is easy access to the back of the paddock through a gate here, so also be aware that marshals might direct cars off the track here if you see a red flag.

IF PEOPLE WANT TO BOOK YOU FOR TUITION ON OUR TRACK DAY AT THRUXTON WHERE CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TUITION?

I’m always happy to chat on the phone (07751941785) or alternatively via social media or email:

Instagram: @jacklaytonracing, Facebook: @jacklaytonracing, Email: [email protected]

WE’VE GOT TO GET THIS IN THERE…YOU HAVE BEEN AT MANY OF THE SALONE EVENTS TRACK DAYS, WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF THEM?

Salone Events Track Days are always very special. They’re not just any track day, from the high-end cars customers bring to the extra thought that goes in from the organisers. The words ‘relaxed’ and ‘bespoke’ comes to mind.

Thank you so much Jack, these tips are so helpful and I am sure our clients will take your advice on board to improve their driving skills. We look forward to seeing you at our next track day!