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#1 Rockford

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 10:57

Great. F1 is about to urinate all over Donington for 2010. :cry:

http://news.bbc.co.u...one/7489662.stm

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#2 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:04

Can't see it happening; smacks of Octagon having a big annoncement saying the GP would be at Brands and then running to Silverstone and getting them to bail them out. Safety-wise Donington will need a fortune spent and that's before you talk about facilities and logistics.
Also, from my understanding the Wheatcrofts don't want the GP back, too eneconomical, so this is from the current lease-holders I'd say. I reckon watch this space and expect another announcement in two years time!!

#3 Gary C

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:08

they can't be serious???? ?

#4 Alan Cox

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:42

Have I missed something? Bernie is quoted as saying:

"Donington's development plans will give us exactly that, a venue to put British motorsport back on the map."


I wasn't aware that British motorsport was no longer on the map. Sounds as though there is someone desperately keen to pour money, unnecessarily, down the toilet.

#5 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:44

Despite what everyone in the motor sport industry thinks the reality is the UK, while it can be argued is the center of the industry, treats racing as a minority sport publically and what limited profile it does have is not positive.

#6 RTH

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:45

It would take many years to get through planning and to build.

For current standards you would virtually need to start from scratch all over again. Is there physically enough room ? what about the proximity of East Midlands airport , already looking for expansion itself ?

Access roads, traffic control, vast new areas of grandstands, acres of run off areas , media facilities parking?? It took hours for just motorcyclists to get out after the MotoGP last month !

What about the tens of millions spent over 30 years getting Silverstone to the current standard ?
What about the tens of millions spent by the British taxpayer with the A43 and all the new public road layout , bypass and public access roads which are only ever needed for the Grand Prix weekend ? The damage to the employment and economics in the Towcester area.

Above all who would pay the scores ( maybe hundreds ) of millions of pounds needed to do this at Donington ?.Surely an investment of this size now in Britain privately with no state aid could never be recovered ?

Also it was recently reported that the F1 organisers would be requiring a licence fee from Silverstone of £11M per year plus annual inflation increments just to be allowed to run the one race from 2009 onwards ?.

With a paying public attendance of circa 50-60,000 on race day ( which bears no relation to the propaganda 'sell - out ' figures that ITV put out, also of course many thousands of people get in free for " commercial reasons " ), how can any of this make any economic sense at all ? Broadcasters are also charged in the region of £1M each to transmit the pictures plus all their own costs.

Very hard to believe this idea is a runner especially in this new economic era where everything is rapidly going in to reverse. Has it really been thought through ? Unless of course there is a new policy of running Grand Prix at very basic venues and just making the best of the present facilities ?

Because technology has been allowed to take over the cars to such a large degree the spectacle has so diminished, the appetite ( together with the escallating cost ) for this in Britain has been on a steady slide over the past decade. Surely not a commercial proposition ?

#7 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:08

Originally posted by Rockford
Great. F1 is about to urinate all over Donington for 2010. :cry:

http://news.bbc.co.u...one/7489662.stm


Only one section of the current track seems perfect for F1...from Coppice back to the start line. three short straights, one slow chicane and two bottom gear hairpins all in less than a mile.Perfect. Shame about the rest of it really but no doubt Herr Tilke will have a ready made plan on his lap top.
You can hear James Allen saying ....

"And away from the line into Redgate, down through the 2nd gear Craner chicane to the newly realigned first gear New-Old Hairpin then up under the bridge and the tight Schwantz esses before sweeping right into Macleans , the fastest corner on the whole track and on up to the FANTASTIC new 2nd gear Coppice complex...."

Oh, joy !

#8 ianselva

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:15

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks


Only one section of the current track seems perfect for F1...from Coppice back to the start line. three short straights, one slow chicane and two bottom gear hairpins all in less than a mile.Perfect. Shame about the rest of it really but no doubt Herr Tilke will have a ready made plan on his lap top.
You can hear James Allen saying ....

"And away from the line into Redgate, down through the 2nd gear Craner chicane to the newly realigned first gear New-Old Hairpin then up under the bridge and the tight Schwantz esses before sweeping right into Macleans , the fastest corner on the whole track and on up to the FANTASTIC new 2nd gear Coppice complex...."

Oh, joy !

Hopefully at least we wont have to hear James Allen saying it !
Personally I think that Donington is ( at present ) a far better circuit to watch than Silverstone , however the thought of the changes required to give Bernie and friends somewhere to play probably means the end of that.
I dont believe it anyway, this is another " Grand Prix going to Brands " ploy.

#9 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:16

RIP Donington. I've had many great days there. It's always been one of the best places to watch great International racing in Britain. Now it's going to be a temple to all that's wrong in the 'sport'.

No doubt the beautiful infield will be replaced by some ghastly plate-glass monstrosity, the runoffs will be widened so far that the closest you'll get to the track is East Midlands Airport and the Craners will be replaced by some poxy Tilke-inspired second/third gear 'technical' section.

Everything that made the place special will be ripped up and destroyed, no doubt.

It's too good to be a cookie-cutter 'facility'. So's Brands. Silverstone is ideal for the GP - it's big, empty, flat and can be endlessly redeveloped without adding to or taking away from its lack of charisma.

#10 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:20

Think... Anyone who's ever missed the first race at Donny because of the traffic (even on a BTCC day or whatever) will no doubt be wondering just how bad the traffic will be if they really do hold a GP there again.

Or, of course, maybe he of the silver nylon Beatle wig, may angels caress his glans, will finally get round to holding his first "no spectators" race...

#11 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:26

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Despite what everyone in the motor sport industry thinks the reality is the UK, while it can be argued is the center of the industry, treats racing as a minority sport publically and what limited profile it does have is not positive.


It's an uncomfortable fact that Ross is absolutely right on this, and so I suspect is Gregor Marshall. Many of us will remember the way that Bernie and others were royally turned over the last time there was talk of taking the GP away from Silverstone, and much of what was said about Brands Hatch back then is rather similar to much that's being said about Donington now. I don't suppose Nicola Foulston has any involvement with Donington, but maybe she's spent all the millions she made last time and is having another go.

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:05

So who's this mystery shareholder with loadsamoney then? Bernie's name is - inevitably - being bandied about. I doubt it's Nicola, but you never know.

Here's what (I assume) Joe Saward had to say when circuit was sold last year:

FEBRUARY 5, 2007
The men behind Donington's new plans

Lee Gill and Simon Gillett are the new owners of Donington Park. They come from very diverse backgrounds with Gill having spent much of his career at Marks & Spencer PLC, where he held several executive positions, working mainly in the supply chain. He then moved on to join i2 Technologies Inc, a NASDAQ-quoted supply chain company for which he worked as head of retail in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. He believes that attention to detail is the secret of success and sees much potential to improve customer focus in the leisure industry.

Simon Gillett was a regular visitor to racing in his childhood as his father was in charge of sponsorship for Elf in the UK. He started his professional career as weapons engineer with the Royal Navy but then moved into the software world, before creating his own retail consultancy business. He embarked on the plan to buy Donington in 2005.

The funding for the project is coming from the two men, from a property investment company and from the Anglo Irish Bank.


The phrase "property investment company" can of course cover a multitude of sins ....

http://www.grandprix...ns/ns18019.html

#13 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:24

Originally posted by petefenelon
Silverstone is ideal for the GP - it's big, empty, flat and can be endlessly redeveloped without adding to or taking away from its lack of charisma.


That all went in the 80s when the wide open infield was fenced and progessively 'developed' by means of inserting miles of chain link fence and armco, when the car parks were fenced off from the spectator areas (more chain link...) the F1 paddock fenced off (Christ! Makes you wonder who got rich supplying them with all that chain link???) and then the job was completed early 90s with the removal of much of the really fast stuff (Stowe, Club, Abbey) and then the admittedly decript, but actually quite historic and chaming, ex RAF buildings and other airfield features were swept away.

I agree Donington and Brands have much better settings and topography but when Silverstone was a high speed blind round what still looked like an old bomber base and Peter Scott Russell was in the commentary box it was infinately better than any modern Tilkedrome.

#14 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:32

After this lunchtime's news the BRDC membership can skip through the Silverstone meadowland daisies, tossing their flat 'ats in the air and screaming "Rejoice! Rejoice!".

The Club will miss the revenue - but at last the aggro has gone (for others to 'enjoy').

Unless this is not the end of the story...

DCN

PS - My heart bleeds for what Donington will have to become, and for what will be obliterated there....never to generate a profit...for its promoters. :cat:

#15 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:33

Originally posted by kayemod


It's an uncomfortable fact that Ross is absolutely right on this, and so I suspect is Gregor Marshall. Many of us will remember the way that Bernie and others were royally turned over the last time there was talk of taking the GP away from Silverstone, and much of what was said about Brands Hatch back then is rather similar to much that's being said about Donington now. I don't suppose Nicola Foulston has any involvement with Donington, but maybe she's spent all the millions she made last time and is having another go.


Haha, I'm never right but I can say that the video Nicola F produced for all the BRDC memebers is compelling viewing and after seeing it and speaking to her I know a lot of BRDC members agreed with her proposals (just a shame about all the proxy votes!!). I still can't see this happening and I think that I'm allowed to say that in my last conversation with Kevin Wheatcroft he didn't want a GP but I suppose if the lease-holders have got their finances in place then why not but I still don't see it happening.

Edited to say I've just seen DCN's post and whilst I'm not a member and never likely to be I can see all the other members agreeing and dancing in the meadows!!

#16 bradbury west

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:48

Quotes attributed to BCE, taken from the Daily Telegraph website
" "I am sorry we could not have helped Silverstone to raise the money to carry out the circuit improvements and run Formula One."
Ecclestone then had a dig at the British Government for not dipping their hands into their pocket and helping out Silverstone.
"I believe the government should have supported them, which would have cost probably less than 0.002 per cent of the government's commitment for the Olympic Games," he said. "
Roger Lund

#17 Rockford

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 13:50

I wonder how long before the bulldozers move in? Perhaps we should all chain ourselves to the Dunlop bridge? PM your details and I'll order the padlocks.

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 14:01

Personally I don't think F1 or the Olympics should be getting government handouts.

#19 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 14:50

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Personally I don't think F1 or the Olympics should be getting government handouts.


Well said.
If its worth doing it can usual stand on its own feet unaided by the people currently browsing their latest 'John Lewis List' in search of expensive wallpaper....

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#20 FrankB

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 15:04

Donington will need huge investments to bring it up to "standard". I have read that the track would have to be lenghtened, run off areas will have to be reconstructed, paddock and media facilities effectively rebuilt from scratch, spectator areas and grandstands reconfigured (especially where run offs extend into exisitng spectator areas), traffic provision both within and without the circuit improved etc. I would be amazed if the plans for such huge redevelopments could be drawn up, submitted for approval by the local plannig authority, thrown out by the local planning authority, resubmitted, approved, prepared for tendering, and let as contracts and then be implemented within the 24 months between now and the 2010 British GP (unless the GP is moved to December 2010, but I don't think the extra 5 months would make a great deal of difference).

#21 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 15:18

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
'John Lewis List'.....


Any relation ?

#22 MPea3

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 15:34

Originally posted by bradbury west

Ecclestone then had a dig at the British Government for not dipping their hands into their pocket and helping out Silverstone.


Helping out Silverstone? Helping out Bernie is more like it. I'm guessing that there would have been no additional profit to Silverstsone as a result of governmental subsidies, only higher fees and royalties to Bernie. The idea that facilities at Silverstone aren't up to snuff seems like one of those lies that keeps getting repeated until the general public perceives it as the truth. If facilities and not monet was what really mattered, wouldn't Brazil be the first to go?

#23 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 15:42

In all seriousness what does actually need updating at Silverstone?
I'm not saying it's the best on the calendar but surely it isn't the worst and I really don't see what needs doing other than infrastructure-wise and that seems to be getting better anyway.

As has been pointed out Silverstone has been continuously develoed whereas Donington has 25 years to catch up (maybe it wasn't even F1 standard in '93??) and I really cannot see it happening as much as I love the place.

#24 john ruston

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 15:48

Bernie was always going to win his fight with BRDC and the Donnington thing may be a cover story, with the GP being returned to Silverstone who at the time will be under new ownership.
This is just another problem for Silverstone with the MSA/FIA not agreeing to the continued use of Abbey and Vale Historic corners due to a computor projected template showing them to be unsafe. 95% of Historic Drivers disagree with this finding and they have made the Silverstone Circuit a less attractive place to race .If this computor finding is used as a rule what happens to Goodwood,Cadwell,Outon etc.I may not be Goodwood's biggest fan but I totally disagree with these jobsworths who may want to impose restrictions on people who do want to race there should this computor inspired template be imposed as a general standard

#25 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:05

It's a bit much to call the MSA and FIA safety groups jobsworths.

#26 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:16

I hear the death knell tolling - Tilke visits Donington

I can imagine Tilke's call back to Bernie now - "the Grand Prix loop presents a superb crappy slow section where you can film the sponsor logos in slo-mo er.... technical challenge, it has a chicane AND a slow hairpin! Fantastic exposure for the sponsors as the cars are running slowly! The rest.... no Bernie, I'm afraid it'll all have to go. I mean, there's not enough point and squirt on the circuit, and those Craner curves? They're so good I'd love to race on them in my old V8-star, nearly as good as the old 'Ring... but for single seaters? No, they'll have to go. We can't have anything that separates the men from the boys on an F1 circuit. And we must replace the bits of the infield from which people buying cheap general admission tickets can see the whole circuit - we need a steel and plate glass Media Centre and somewhere to entertain all the corporate trouser limpets. The whole place is too good, Bernie. We must EQUALISE! HOMOGENISE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"

sorry, I've gone all paranoid and it's the last episode in the series of Doctor Who tomorrow.

#27 D-Type

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:25

Is the real issue perhaps that 'he of the silver nylon Beatle wig' (great description) has never been invited to be a member of the BRDC?

#28 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:27

Originally posted by D-Type
Is the real issue perhaps that 'he of the silver nylon Beatle wig' (great description) has never been invited to be a member of the BRDC?


Fifty-odd years is a long time for a sane man to bear a grudge... :smoking:

#29 Tony Lethbridge

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:30

Having been involved for the past three years in an attempt to obtain planning permission for a 300 metre speedway track with one small grandstand on the infield of Haldon Racecourse in darkest Devonshire I must totally agree with FrankB that it will take more than two years to get £100 million worth of changes approved for Donnington. Do I not recall reading somewhere that Tom Wheatcroft abandoned plans to include the original Melbourne Hairpin in his restored circuit due to the land coming under a different planning authority thus, having had had so much difficulty with the planners already, he didn't need twice the hassle?

Rather than ruin Donnington and if the GP must leave Silverstone why not build a round the houses circuit on the Olympic site in London?

#30 llmaurice

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:32

If they start with the toilets,then move on to the "NEW" garages which aren't any better than the old ,that would be a few million gone , then the access roads and paying off the Sunday market franchise at the back of Redgate , also ,maybe widening the paddock access road at Islay Walton so two trucks could pass ,all we need then is a totally new circuit because Donington being a perfect Bike race circuit is only just safe for "Classic" F1 and 5000 nails as regards big single seaters!
Back in the halcyon days of 250GP racing in the British Championships we would often be stationary for ages blocking the road from M1 to Derby whilst queing to get our vehicles in to set up for Fridays practice .
No doubt Ecclestone would want the Government to pay for the road mods. as they did for Silverstone.
For a bloke who made a couple of bob knocking out ex Government Corgi Motorcyles not many decades ago ,he is turning into our own Al-Fayad without the high street shop though
Donington is great for F/Renault , F/3 , FF and other classes though so maybe we will have to wait for the current owners to go under and then look forward to Silverstone again ,maybe ,some day , especially if the total Eastern GP audiences stay as they are ( Australia being the possible exception) or the sea level rises as predicted or maybe the Eastern oil runs out .
My 10 penn'orth !

#31 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:33

Originally posted by Tony Lethbridge
Rather than ruin Donnington and if the GP must leave Silverstone why not build a round the houses circuit on the Olympic site in London? [/B]


Which would in one swell foop give both He Whose Wad Of Money Is Significantly Taller Than Himself the London GP he professes to want, and Herr Tilke the chance to surpass himself by building a circuit that rivals Phoenix or Miramas for sheer unbounded tedium. Genius! :wave:

#32 john ruston

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:37

No and the problem with BRDC turning down Bernies help when the Walkinshaw thing went belly up.

I ,like it seems the majority ,am baffled by the Abbey/Vale decision so should I say made by unreasonable people.The reasoning is what might happen with the lawyers if there is a problem.If thats the case you might as well scrap the Historic Racing past time then there will be no problems

#33 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 16:55

Originally posted by D-Type
Is the real issue perhaps that 'he of the silver nylon Beatle wig' (great description) has never been invited to be a member of the BRDC?


BCE is a BRDC member and has been since 1989 (he was even awarded a BRDC Gold medal in 1996, the first person to get one). He might only be an honorary member but it does mean he still sees and hears all member's chat and has access to all the member's addresses/details I believe.

Maybe it's the fact he didnt qualify as a Life or Full member (both very different) that's his problem.

#34 RTH

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:10

Maybe the hidden agenda here is to set Donington an impossible time scale then when they fail to deliver take the GP away from Britain for good and all.

As I understand it The Wheatcrofts still own the circuit but a lease on the place has been sold to these new operators and this project is in their court, Gillet & Gill say they will spend £100M and they say they have now signed a 10 year deal with F1 !!!.

As a rule people who have started with not a lot and made a huge amount of money don't usually throw it all away again just like that. They would be wise to at least reconsider.

Begs the question what sort of racing will now go to Silverstone ?

Is this new 'Formula 2 ' idea a genuine runner could that be developed with road car manufacturer participation as a European or world championship ?

What about an international 24 hr race for GT3 type sports cars ? ( there was a club 24 hr race last year )

What about reinstating some of the big races held at Silverstone over the last 40 years, more big national meetings and more very popular historic festivals ?

This might not be all bad news something very good could come out of it and the place may get returned to the true motor racing enthusiasts ?

Its an extraordinary turn of events this afternoon by any standards.....who would bet on the GP starting at Donington in just 24 months from today ? Not me .
Local council planning consent alone will take longer than that and there would be road chaos, any changes to the public road layouts will take at least 10 years to achieve....if ever !

#35 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:11

I'm a little puzzled that this announcement came from the FIA not Bernie's lot, I thought they didn't involve themselves with this sordid (!!!!) commercial stuff. Has there been a statement from BCE yet, and is 'Spanker' Mosley on some kind of PR kick to try to un-persona-non-grata himself into the UK motor racing public's affections?

#36 RTH

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:21

Damon has just been on the radio , the BRDC have received no formal notification.

He did say Silverstone just could not meet the required fee for 2009 onwards.

There was a certain amount of relief in his voice.

#37 Rockford

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:26

Originally posted by RTH

Begs the question what sort of racing will now go to Silverstone ?


MotoGP? :rolleyes:

#38 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:27

Originally posted by RTH
Damon has just been on the radio , the BRDC have received no formal notification.

He did say Silverstone just could not meet the required fee for 2009 and onwards.

There was a certain amount of relief in his voice.


So no race next year?

#39 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 17:27

Originally posted by RTH
Damon has just been on the radio , the BRDC have received no formal notification.

He did say Silverstone just could not meet the required fee for 2009 and onwards.

There was a certain amount of relief in his voice.


I've just heard it, and there was a certain amount of relief in my hearing. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I think I'd bet a reasonable sum that the 2010 British GP will be at Silverstone.

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#40 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 18:06

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Unless this is not the end of the story...


:cool:

#41 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 18:19

A Tilkefied Donington? Please, God...no.


Jack

#42 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 18:26

I collected my new Alfa Romeo 159 this afternoon. Right now, I don't care about anything!

#43 taylov

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 19:23

Originally posted by RTH

Its an extraordinary turn of events this afternoon by any standards.....who would bet on the GP starting at Donington in just 24 months from today ? Not me. Local council planning consent alone will take longer than that and there would be road chaos, any changes to the public road layouts will take at least 10 years to achieve....if ever !


Wasn't there a problem with planning permission when Donington re-opened? I recall that the old pre-war Melbourne loop is in a different county from the rest of the site, hence its exclusion from the present track. If so, then one is looking at getting agreement from at least 2 County Councils, several Parish councils, Highways Agency, CAA, Dept of Transport, Dept of the Environment etc etc.

Having been involved of late in a local planning application involving just a single field, I cannot see this new Donington project getting through the planning system in anything like the stated timescale even if the finance is available.

#44 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 19:42

I dunno, I would think the money and PR factor would help grease the wobbly wheels of local councils.

#45 Ian Stewart

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 19:42

Re Donington planning permission:

http://www.grandprix...ns/ns20554.html

Smoke and mirrors all around. You just don't know who or what to believe. My own bet is a ploy to slide out of the British Grand Prix altogether.

#46 Rockford

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 19:50

Originally posted by Ian Stewart
My own bet is a ploy to slide out of the British Grand Prix altogether.


Yes, I would wager that as well and I would rather have no British GP than have Donington massacred.

#47 Macca

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 20:51

I agree.

Actually, Jonathan Palmer has the best place for a new GP track...........he owns the old RAE airfield at Bedford where he has a driving experience circuit. Just get rid of the thousands of new cars parked on the runways, and it's practically a Tilkedrome already...........

http://maps.google.c...086174&t=h&z=14

Flat, boring, artificial, nowhere near anything...........it could be another Mangy-Curse.


Paul M

#48 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 20:59

I drove there once, it was confusing (and very slow) because I couldn't figure out where the new corner was or which way it went.

It was all a bit "Okay...turn! Was that an apex?...blimey"

#49 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
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Posted 04 July 2008 - 21:38

I think I'd bet a reasonable sum that the 2010 British GP will be at Silverstone



Or nowhere at all.

#50 sterling49

sterling49
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Posted 04 July 2008 - 21:44

Wildcard, maybe Lydden Hill :cat: