Donington Park could host the British GP in 2002, as part of a deal with Brands Hatch Leisure, which has wrested the right from Silverstone to stage the Formula One World Championship round after 2001. While Brands Hatch owner Octagon awaits government planning permission to redevelop its key venue, it has entered into detailed discussions with Donington, and is believed to have proposed a six-year commitment, with further options.
Motor Sport understands that Donington’s management team may consider closing the circuit down next summer, in order to make the necessary changes to the venue in time for a grand reopening in 2002 its 25th anniversary season. With Brands pushing ahead with its own plans to redevelop regardless of whether the big race returns to Kent for the first time since ’86, Silverstone could be the only international venue operational in Britain next year.
Pre-war GP venue Donington, reopened in 1977, and which hosted the European GP in 1993, is due for modernisation, with plans to build a state-of-the-art F1 pit complex on the inside of Starkeys Straight ‘We’re looking to upgrade the facility, regardless of the GP issue,” Donington’s boss Robert Fearnall told our sister magazine, Autosport.