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Le Mans circuit modified for improved security
After four months of modifications to the circuit of Le Mans, the new look track was finally unveiled last week. The French venue was selected around a year ago for flattening work after several complaints of uneven asphalt and dangerous corners. A petition was made by the FIM in the interests of security and work at the Bugatti circuit began over the winter, in readiness for the Grand Prix of France on the 19th May.
Judged too dangerous because of the proximity of the safety wall to the bikes, the Chapelle curve has been completely redesigned. The apex has been transformed into an open parabolica on the Museum kerb. Additionally the Dunlop descent has had a new kerb put in, all of which means riders will be able to pass more quickly through the Chapelle section, and which makes the bend much more testing than the old one. This section now requires riders to brake against the camber making it much more spectacular, but at the same time safety is being improved. Further security measures include new sand-bags and escape routes.
The famous circuit has now been reduced from 4,305m to 4,273m, although with the added corners the lap times are not expected to be significantly different. The modifications have reached cost of 2.9 million euros and are expected to continue next year with the reformation of the Village area in the paddock.