Donington loses racing licence over safety concerns

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, April 2nd, 2009

 
 

Donington Park has had its racing licence taken away by the UK’s motorsports regulator after work to dig a tunnel under the track left an area between two crucial corners with insufficient run-off.

The Motor Sports Association (MSA), which functions as the British arm of the FIA, inspected the circuit following recent work to dig a tunnel under the track and dismantle the famous Dunlop bridge. It concluded that the area between Coppice and Macleans corners was no longer safe as a result.

However Donington’s motorcycle racing licence has been renewed by the Auto-Cycle Union, meaning two-wheel events will be able to go ahead.

According to the Derby Evening Telegraph, the MSA has granted a temporary licence – described as “a stay of execution” – and is negotiating with insurers to make sure this weekend’s classic racing events can go ahead.

But, the paper says, a spokesman has spoken of “no quick resolution” to the “substantial” problem.

He said talks were being held with Donington Park about exactly what work would need to be carried out.

Read the Derby Evening Telegraph’s story here >>

* A slated announcement on the exact details of Donington’s long-awaited debenture scheme, to provide the cash to fund the circuit’s redevelopment, is now due.

In January, Donington CEO Simon Gillett told F1Fanatic.co.uk: “You may have noticed I’ve not said an awful lot until the press until now. That’s because we’ve been thinking about delivery. I’m talking now because I’ve delivered something.

“I’ll go back into my little box now and you’ll hear from me at the end of March when I say ‘here’s the debenture scheme, here’s what it’s going to cost, here’s what you get’ and then I’ll get back on with delivering again.'”

And at the same time he told ITV.com: “We’re going to be announcing the debenture scheme at the end of this financial quarter. By the end of March you will be hearing more about the debenture scheme, but it’s in place and going very well.”

The 2008/09 financial year ends on Saturday, so therefore an announcement must surely be imminent…

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