Royalty from both the monarchical and racing worlds today officially unveiled a brand new Silverstone track configuration, marking the completion of the first major change Silverstone will undergo over the next couple of years.

The circuit has been extended from 3.19m to 3.66m, firstly featuring a re-profiled Club Corner before now peeling off at Abbey via a quick right hand kink, then a new section that sees the circuit rejoin on the Wellington Straight, before rejoining the previous Grand Prix configuration at Brooklands Corner.  It is calculated that the additional 760m of asphalt will only add four seconds to the lap times of the F1 cars this July.

Damn Hill opened the circuit then took HRH the Duke of York for a sideways view of the track

BRDC President Damon Hill was joined by HRH the Duke of York in opening the new section before 500 special guests, with David Coulthard flying the Red Bull F1 colours in a demonstration run against two-wheeled father and son bikers Ron and Leon Haslam.

The new configuration means Silverstone will remain one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, with the average speed likely to increase on what is already one of the quickest tracks the F1 circus visits each season.  Stage two of Silverstone’s redevelopment will involve the construction of a new pit and paddock complex that will be housed between Club Corner and Abbey, as well improvements to existing grandstands and facilities.  Silverstone’s MD Richard Phillips offered his official thoughts:

Work has already started on a new pit and paddock complex that will be completed in 2011 and we feel we are well on the way to being one of the best motor sport facilities in the world for competitors, organisers and spectators alike. At the same time  the  redevelopment  will  help  us  to  diversify  our  offering  in  the  areas  of  leisure,  education  and creating  a  technological  hub  for  motor  sport  that  will  ensure  that  Silverstone  remains  a  vibrant  and healthy business for many years to come.

The new circuit is now active and available for use.  2010 is to be an exceptionally busy one for the Northamptonshire circuit, with FIA GT1 visiting the new layout this weekend, MotoGP on 18th-20th June, F1 9th-11th July and World Superbikes on 31st July – 1st August.

You can now view a complete onboard lap of the new circuit on our SkiddPlayer by clicking here.