The decision of Formula E's powerbrokers to locate the innovative series at Donington Park is bringing the final healing process to a venue scarred by attempts to lure F1 on a full-time basis.

The failed bid to snatch motorsport's premier class from UK rival Silverstone resulted not only in the potential end of racing activities at the Derbyshire venue, but left physical wounds to its landscape that even nature appeared to struggle to repair. Although the generosity of the Wheatcroft family again ensured that Donington would survive, it has taken a little longer for earthworks to cover over the damage that was done to its topography.

Now, however, an end is in sight, with the final reshaping of the infield set to coincide with Formula E's arrival at its new home alongside the circuit. The all-electric championship is due to move into five purpose-built engineering facilities and a new headquarters building ahead of its September debut race in China, while work to improve spectator facilities at the Old Hairpin, Starkey's Bridge, McLeans, Coppice, the Fogarty Esses and Roberts Chicane are due to be completed by Easter.

"I think the completion of the infield work will finally consign the F1 episode to the history books," Donington Park Racing MD Christopher Tate told the local Derby Telegraph newspaper, "We are now moving forward, investing millions of pounds, to create a fantastic viewing circuit.

"Viewing banks on the infield have been enhanced. The views are ten metres higher than they were before. We've also removed Starkey's Bridge to give spectators an uninterrupted view of that section of circuit. Access has also been improved with the creation of a tunnel between McLeans corner and Coppice and, on top of all of this, we have carried out a lot of work to make the circuit safer."

The new tunnel has already been named after the late Roger Williamson, the Wheatcroft prot?g? tragically killed at Zandvoort in 1973, but Donington is looking forward, with the arrival of Formula E expected to herald a new dawn for the venue which was among the few to host racing between the wars.

"I believe that motor racing has to change with the times - and Formula E is the way forward," Tate continued, "That's why I believe Donington Park has a very bright future now."

 

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