Donington gets green light
Revamped East Midlands track passes final inspection ahead of Superbikes return
Last Updated: 02/03/11 1:13pm
Donington: Superbikes return
Donington Park has been given the go-ahead to stage its first world championship event later this month since the flirtation with Formula One that almost closed the East Midlands track.
The FIM, motorcycle sport's world governing body, has given final confirmation that Donington will host the second round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, its first major event since 2009, on March 25-27.
The circuit's problems stemmed from the audacious bid of previous lease owner Simon Gillett to stage the F1 British Grand Prix at Donington. Having signed a long-term contract for the race, he also planned a £100million redevelopment of the track and its facilities.
However, a lack of funding for the venture led to the collapse of Gillett's company and also meant that Donington - where preparatory work had already got underway - fell into a state of limbo.
Kevin Wheatcroft, the son of circuit founder Tom, then resumed control and vowed to return it to its former glory in memory of his late father.
Considerable updates to both the circuit and the facilities have taken place since and Donington's final inspection saw its facilities declared fit for a return to the international calendar.
"The whole team deserves appreciation for their hard work in getting to this point...the major effort has had to focus on restoring and preparing the track itself to meet FIM regulations and bring World Superbikes back," Wheatcroft told crash.net.