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GP Week : Issue 27
Donington plans revealed DONINGTON Park has unveiled the plans for the modifications it intends to make to its racing circuit, in preparation for its hosting of the 2010 British Grand Prix. The plans, as previously revealed by GPWeek (Issue #18), include a new F1 pit lane and paddock complex to be built on Starkey’s Straight, with the track’s lease holder planning to use the infield to create a new loop. The plans were submitted last week to the local council for approval. “The submission of these plans heralds the start of a massive re- development project and a new era for Donington Park. It’s an incredibly exciting time for everybody involved,” said Donington’s CEO Simon Gillett. “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.” The unveiling of Donington’s plans came in the same week that Donington COO Lee Gill parted company with his long-term business partner Gillett. “We wish to thank Mr Gill for his work at the circuit over the past 18 months in which we secured the prestigious FIA Formula One British Grand Prix,” Gillett said. “Mr Gill is pursuing other interests and we wish him every success. The move is part of the planned re-structuring of the company as it turns its attention fully towards the future, working towards the development of the circuit and the running of the 2010 British Grand Prix.” The dose of good and bad news for the circuit has done little to assuage concerns within the F1 community over the project’s future. With F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone recently claiming that the British Grand Prix would happen at Donington or would not happen at all, the viability and rigidity of Gillett’s plans have come under increased scrutiny. There are some who believe that the plans will be impossible to realise within the timeframe and that any failure to deliver a credible Grand Prix venue will give Ecclestone the ability to legitimately drop the British Grand Prix in favour of new races in destinations such as Mexico, Russia and Korea. ADVERTISE in GPWEEK to access a huGE global audience 10