Donington gets green light

Revamped East Midlands track passes final inspection ahead of Superbikes return

Last updated: 2nd March 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Donington gets green light

Donington: Superbikes return

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Donington Park has been given the go-ahead to stage its first world championship event later this month since the flirtation with Formula One that almost closed the East Midlands track.

The FIM, motorcycle sport's world governing body, has given final confirmation that Donington will host the second round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, its first major event since 2009, on March 25-27.

The circuit's problems stemmed from the audacious bid of previous lease owner Simon Gillett to stage the F1 British Grand Prix at Donington. Having signed a long-term contract for the race, he also planned a £100million redevelopment of the track and its facilities.

However, a lack of funding for the venture led to the collapse of Gillett's company and also meant that Donington - where preparatory work had already got underway - fell into a state of limbo.

Kevin Wheatcroft, the son of circuit founder Tom, then resumed control and vowed to return it to its former glory in memory of his late father.

Considerable updates to both the circuit and the facilities have taken place since and Donington's final inspection saw its facilities declared fit for a return to the international calendar.

"The whole team deserves appreciation for their hard work in getting to this point...the major effort has had to focus on restoring and preparing the track itself to meet FIM regulations and bring World Superbikes back," Wheatcroft told

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Comments (1)

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Chris Lammas says...

This place is extra special and I'm so glad its back on the international and world scene again. after a laclusture last 18 months or so, where it wasn't able to stage major events such as BSB or WSB, it really is nice to have one of the best - if not THE best track in the Midlands back. I have been to watch Touring Cars, Superbikes both British and World and even a couple of MotoGP races. (one of which was the 500cc race in 2000) am a huge fan of the place. I was really surprised it was going to be ready to stage its first event as early as last year after what happened to it hosting the Formula 1 race....this really is a historic racetrack with great viewing, but maybe not first-class facilities like Silverstone or Brands......lets hope the racing there this year will be as good as it always has been.....This year I'm surprised its hosting the World Touring Car Championship and the World Endurance Championship bike race - a couple of events that it wasnt hosting before. the best piece of track in my opinion to watch motorcycle racing - The Craner Curves!! - it kills the speed on TV but to stand trackside and watch it - it really is jaw-dropping stuff!! - good luck to all the Brits in the World Championship rounds that are held at Donington for this race meeting I ever went to....the 2000 British Superbike Championship final round!!

Posted 14:27 2nd March 2011

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