Contrary to speculation earlier in the day, Alan Gow has stressed that the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Donington Park next month remains firmly on-track – as he explained that he is indeed 'more confident' than before of the event going ahead.
There were rumours this afternoon – the catalyst of which was an e-mail sent out by the series director to all of the BTCC's teams – that the meeting had been axed 'due to ongoing issues regarding the work required to obtain their track licences', and that it would consequently need to be rescheduled elsewhere 'as there are no firm guarantees at this time that Donington will be in a position to host a round of our championship at a later date'.
The problems are understood to relate to safety issues and concerns over the amount of time needed in order to complete the necessary improvements for the Derbyshire circuit to regain its national racing licence. The Motor Sports Association (MDS) rescinded the licence after work to dig a tunnel under the track left the area between Coppice and MacLeans corners with insufficient run-off area.
Now, however, Gow has sought to underline that what was reported was 'only ever a rumour' and the result of 'crossed wires' – as he stated his confidence that the third outing on the 2009 BTCC calendar will
take place as anticipated after all concerned had successfully 'found a way forward'.
“Unfortunately some wires got crossed somewhere,” the Australian told Crash.net
. “I sent a note out to the teams forewarning them of the likelihood that Donington was going to have to cancel the meeting, but that didn't come to pass. It was never actually off.
“They've gone through all their engineering and construction plans for the next week, and everyone is very comfortable with the fact that it's all doable in good time. I'm more confident than I have been certainly; as of now I don't have any doubt.
“It never got cancelled. That was only ever a rumour, which as it turned out was unfounded.”
As the result of the loss of its licence, earlier this month Donington found itself forced to shelve its British F3 and British GT meeting, which was due to take place on 26 April.
Simon Gillett's company Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) was last summer granted a ten-year contract to replace Silverstone as the host of the British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards, but the ambitious £100 million redevelopment plans have been persistently dogged by a series of setbacks – most prominently the departure of business partner Lee Gill late last year, the withdrawal of bank finance, a delay in planning permission and, most recently and perhaps most critically of all, Donington owner Tom Wheatcroft taking Gillett to court over an alleged £2.47 million in unpaid rent, and bidding to reclaim the 150-year lease on the track that he awarded DVLL back in 2007.