Donington Park and Silverstone praise the Track Limit regulations
The management teams of Donington Park and Silverstone circuits have reiterated their enthusiasm for the track limit regulation changes made at the start of the 2014 season.
At the midway point in Season Two of all MSA circuits operating to these new rules, both the two international tracks praised the changed regulations, originally pressed for at the initiative of MSV’s Jonathan Palmer by the circuit owners’ organisation, AMRCO. Silverstone and Donington have noted that regular damage to track surroundings has been all but eliminated, resulting in the vast improvement in presentation of both venues for the benefit of spectators and competitors, with the added advantage of improved safety at the edge of the track surfaces. Operating costs have also been reduced, with less need to constantly have night-time maintenance squads out repairing needlessly damaged run-off areas.
Under the previous track regulations, competitors were permitted to stray beyond the white lines which designate the edge of the circuit, frequently leading to damaged and unsightly grass areas at the track edge. To make matters worse, grass beyond the kerbs was frequently rutted and made uneven by continuous poor driving and misuse. This rutted ground after car race meetings was particularly unsafe, especially for motorcycle users, risking unnecessary falls on bike track days in accidents caused by the poor condition of run off areas.
Christopher Tate, Managing Director at Donington Park commented: “We are delighted to see the results of the MSA track limit regulations. As a business, we have noticed a reduced number of on- track incidents caused by poor grass surfaces beyond the kerbing or the white lines, and critically, we have been able to invest in other important areas of the circuit, knowing that the need to spend money on repairing grass and other run-off areas would be significantly less than in previous years.
“From a sporting perspective, spectators are able to appreciate the skill of the drivers or riders, without the so called ‘corner cutting’ or running ridiculously wide. It’s been simple to police too from Race Control by experienced MSA officials; and of course, club competitors will have found that they also are saving money, not needing to repair kerb damage to their own vehicles, previously caused by frequently exceeding track limitations. It’s simple really – the green bits are ours; it’s only the black bits that are for racing on!”
Stuart Pringle, Sporting Director at Silverstone Circuits Ltd, commented: “We have been very pleasantly surprised at the effect that the consistent application of the new MSA track limits has had at the circuit. The Clerking at national race meetings has been consistent and fair - and there has been no adverse effect on competitors or on the spectacle of competition. We as a circuit have benefitted from a significantly less damaged track. Indeed, it highlights the very considerable difference between running an event under an MSA and then an FIA permit. The latter still operate to driving rules that allow cars to be significantly more off the track than on and this causes us as a circuit continued operational issues.
“Preparation for the British Grand Prix, although achieved with Silverstone being highly commended for its standard of presentation, was made considerably harder this year by the damage caused by FIA permitted GT events run ahead of the most important race in the UK annually. It was heartening that during the Grand Prix practice, qualification and race, Race Director Charlie Whiting was strict in his implementation of track limit rulings. I look forward to further consideration by the FIA of whether to follow the MSAs lead which seems wholly sensible to both Donington and us.”