Sir Stirling Moss has said that he believes the Donington Park race circuit cannot be ready in time to stage the British Grand Prix in 2010, and that the event should remain at Silverstone.
He also predicted that the refusal of Bernie Ecclestone to keep the race at the Northamptonshire circuit would lead it it moving abroad
The 79-year-old veteran racing driver, a member of the Board of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, the organisation that runs Silverstone, told BBC Northampstonshire that he didn’t think its rival was up to the task.
He said: “Silverstone can cope with it, it’s greatly improved. The drivers like it and it’s quite exciting there. I’m hoping that it will happen and it would be good for all of us.”
“Have they [Donington] even got planning permission yet? I doubt that and to get it done it’s very difficult. I think you’ll find that when it comes to it there won’t be anywhere else it can go other than to another country.
“England is so important in motor racing. We have so many drivers and cars, so many parts and we manufacture a lot of cars here too.”
Donington Park has submitted its plans for expansion to North West Leicestershire District Council and expects a decision by December 19.
The planning authority is currently carrying out an environmental impact assessment and a public consultation to inform its decision. It has very recently received two environmental impact assessment documents prepared on the circuit’s behalf by consultants.
These show that the circuit’s approach to getting planning permission is to argue that: “The development will neither increase the frequency or the intensity of the use (in terms of racing and spectators) of the circuit.
“Therefore, the impacts of the development relate to the permitted and lawful operational use of the circuit for pre-race practice and motor racing within the permitted 40 days allowance and restricted testing.”
They also reveal that the application is being handled by the planning consultancy Turley Associates, based in Birmingham.
If successful, the circuit would then have around 18 months to do the work that will bring its track and facilities up to the necessary standard.
To view the planning application’s progress, visit the council’s planning pages and enter the reference number 08/01534/EAS in its application search.