Major work at Magny-Cours

THERE is major rebuilding work going on at Magny-Cours at the moment in preparation for the French GP. The aim of the work is to provide a better opportunity for overtaking at the final corner - known as Lycee - and at the same time to increase the number of people who can watch the racing. The track is to be reprofiled between Chateau d'Eau and Lycee with a tighter section of track to increase the possibility of passing moves. These were possible at Lycee but they were extremely tricky and often resulted in collisions. The second aim is to create an area which will provide "a stadium" feeling for racing and for other events. As part of the plan there will be a huge new grandstand constructed which will have the capacity of around 30,000 people, which will bring the track capacity up to 150,000 - which, if the seats can be filled, will give the organizers much higher income. This is a trend which is being seen at a number of circuits at the moment and has come about because of the high cost of securing the rights to hold a Grand Prix.

The work will mean that car parks and access roads will have to be moved to make room for the new grandstands although there is space available thanks to the extensive helicopter-landing area that Magny-Cours enjoys.

Other work at the track includes the laying of high-friction tarmac in some run-off areas and extra protection for marshals posts around the track.

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