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Motorsport in mourning as storm fells Snetterton ‘Scary Tree’

Tuesday, February 11 2020

The UK motorsport scene is in shock this week following the silhouette-shattering alterations suffered by Snetterton circuit's iconic 'Scary Tree' in high winds at the weekend. Dubbed 'Scary Tree' or occasionally 'Victory Tree' by visitors to the Norfolk circuit, the tree's outstretched arms were an established part of the British motor racing scenery.

Following years of poor health, the tree's once mighty arms were already beginning to suffer a little before the high winds of #StormCiara brought them crashing down to the ground on Sunday 9 February. Whilst the venue's most popular piece of topiary will remain rooted to the outside of the circuit at the Wilson hairpin close to the A11 trunk road, the plant formerly known as 'Scary' will henceforth be known just as 'Tree'.

Concerns for the tree's continued scariness were first raised by former British Touring Car Championship racer Mike Epps, who amidst the storm conditions on Sunday tweeted: "The real question in my mind is, is the scary tree at @SnettertonMSV still standing?" Alas no it wasn't, at least not entirely.

The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship dubbed the incident 'treemendously sad news for a poplar landmark' on Twitter, whilst Jez Haslam, another user of the social media platform, simply dubbed the plant an 'amputree'.

Big name grievers include stars of the all-female W-Series single-seater series Sarah Moore and Alice Powell, with the latter reacting with a long, heartfelt 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'.

The heartbreak was felt on Facebook too, where more than a thousand grievers reacted to the shocking news of the day. Dave Slate suggested reviving the tree in an even scarier form with a fundraising campaign, whilst legendary local photographer Richard Styles preferred to remember the tree's finer years.

Despite this major setback, Snetterton's 2020 motor racing season is set to go ahead as planned, starting from this weekend's Snetterton Stages rally on Saturday 15 February.

This major alteration to the circuit near Thetford is sure to send shockwaves through the motorsport community moving forward, and it's hoped by all at Snetterton that what remains of the tree will make it through the upcoming #StormDennis.

We approached the tree for comment but it refused to say anything.