Multi-million pound infield restoration now underway
26 September 2012
Donington Park, one of the UK’s most popular racing circuits and host to World Championship races for cars and motor bikes, has started work on a multi-million pound project to reinstate, re-shape and landscape the infield spectator and outdoor exhibition areas of its world-class race track.
The two-year project will see new spectator banks created on the infield overlooking the Old Hairpin, Starkeys Bridge and McLeans. When complete, this work will also greatly improve the viewing areas around Coppice, along the main Straight, and into both the Fogarty Esses (Grand Prix circuit) and the newly-named Roberts chicane on the National track layout.
Bob Adams, Donington Park Circuit Manager, commented: “This is a major project for the Park and will create a fantastic viewing area for all the fans. We’ll be shaping 250,000 tons of material with topsoil and new grass lawns, right across these 24 acres, to make sure they will work well as our new spectator banks. We are also taking the opportunity of constructing new roads to improve access to the infield area, both for show cars at major events to reach display areas, but more importantly for the many manufacturer displays and the traders who enjoy the advantages of the Infield.”
The original Donington Park infield was excavated by contractors working for the previous operator’s ill-fated Formula 1 circuit rebuild in 2009. Now placing that whole episode firmly into the history books, the new Donington ownership and management has, following a successful council planning application this summer, now committed to transform the circuit over the next two winters.
Phase One of the infield restoration will be completed by end-March 2013. This will see the eastern half of the infield restored. Phase Two will take place during the 2013-2014 winter circuit closed period, thereby ensuring that all the new spectator banks are completed and ready for the significant growth plans for the 2014 racing season.
In 2012, Donington Park has hosted its busiest racing schedule ever, with more than 30 events of the very best in World, European and British motor sport, including the World and British Superbikes, the British Touring Car Championship, the British Truck Grand Prix, and the European Le Mans Series. In addition, Donington Park will this weekend, 29th/30th September, host the concluding round of the FIA GT1 World Championship.
Christopher Tate, Managing Director at Donington Park, added: “We’ve had an amazing year of dramatic racing and a return of the crowds, for both the two and the four wheel events at the circuit. Now, with the infield work already fully underway, Donington Park continues its rebirth as the heart and soul of British motorsport.”
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