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Donington reveals the shape of things to come

Donington Park has unveiled the facelift that it hopes will be in place in time to host the British Grand Prix in two years' time.

The Leicestershire circuit was awarded a ten-year contract to stage the race after Bernie Ecclestone and FOM ran out of patience with long-term host Silverstone. However, both parties admit that a lot of work will be required to bring the circuit up to current F1 standards.

While sceptics have suggested that Donington will need to find a similar budget to reach Silverstone's current level as is required for the historic airfield circuit to reach the current standards being set by the most modern venues, circuit bosses have insisted that they have a backer willing to fund the majority of changes.

The revelations confirm that the circuit will be extended into the infield beyond the Goddards hairpin, plunging downhill before returning to join the current start-finish straight. A new pit complex, however, will be built on what is now Starkey's Straight, with a bigger paddock housed on the infield behind it.

There will also be circuit modifications at Coppice to allow for a pit entry road, while two connecting sections will be added at the bottom of the new loop to produce shorter independent circuits for alternate use.

The plans also include details of a new clubhouse, pit buildings, media and medical centres, public toilet facilities, hospitality suites and grandstands, the latter popping up at various locations around the revamped circuit to cater for the expected crowd.

Although the large viewing bank overlooking the sweep from the Craner Curves around to McLeans will be broken up by the groundworks, circuit officials insist that events due to be staged at Donington next season, including the British Motorcycle Grand Prix and the World Superbike Championship, will be unaffected by the redevelopment, plans for which now have to be approved by North West Leicestershire District Council before work on the revamp can begin.

"The submission of these plans heralds the start of a massive re-development project and a new era for Donington Park," CEO Simon Gillett admitted, "It's an incredibly exciting time for everybody involved. We are delighted with the plans and, when the work is completed, we will have a facility that will be the pride of world championship motorsport."

circuit officials have said that they will not be making any further comment about the redevelopment until the decision on planning permission is taken in early November.


Related Pictures

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Revised circuit layout plan for Donington Park   [pic credit: Donington Park]
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bouncebackability bw

September 06, 2008 12:08 AM
Last Edited 295 days ago

ok, im going to get slated here, but this (on closer inspecition on the DP website) actualyl looks quite promising :blush: they kept the good corners and have added a new long downhill sweep into a hairpin, also a nice long run into the melbourne loop. shame it removes the famous banking area as said above but it may turn out to be a very good racetrack, better than some of these standardised tracks we get nowadays...



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