Press release from Donington Park:
Peter Wahl – the architect who has worked extensively on the Donington Park redevelopment project – has promised that the new circuit, which will host the British F1 Grand Prix for a decade from July 2010, will present overtaking and excitement together with technical challenges for drivers and teams.
Tilke, the German concern in which Peter is a partner, has designed most of the world’s newest circuits. However, Donington Park is the company’s first project in England. On a visit to the parkland circuit last week, Peter described his work on the project as very exciting because the “circuit has to include the best of the old with the new.
“Donington presented a big challenge – there are the big spectator banks, the tradition of the flowing downhill section at Craner Curves to the Old Hairpin, the racing through what is like a country garden, but then we have to provide the new sections.”
The existing circuit from Redgate to McLeans remain unchanged, but Coppice Corner will the tightened going into the 1001 metre straight – one of the longest in the championship, which stretches through to the Melbourne Hairpin.
“The long straight will be very fast, but then it goes into a slow hairpin and I believe that will create the perfect overtaking place, and that is what we need, more overtaking, more excitement,” added Wahl.
“There is the new piece on the circuit infield, and that will be demanding and exciting. It goes downhill steeply and into a left-hander – the drivers will feel the high pressure there, and then they will have to accelerate back uphill. It will be technically very demanding for everyone.”
The design of the circuit has been handled by Wahl and his partner Herman Tilke: “We had a lot of fun – Herman is a racing driver so we added many features and are confident that the new circuit will be very good. It has been a task for us to maintain the tradition of the circuit with the necessary new designs but we have done it in such a way that it will be as interesting as when Ayrton Senna won the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe there in 1993, and that was the best race ever.”
Wahl had flown in to the adjacent East Mildands Airport to check progress on the £100m project which was given planning permission last month, and noted that works on the £750,000 tunnel to provide ready access to the infield area pits and paddock complex at all times was nearing completion while works to carefully remove the Dunlop Bridge – necessary given the re-alignment of the circuit – were in hand.
“I am confident that everything will be delivered on time – we Germans and British have a similar mentality when it comes to doing things and Simon Gillett (the chief executive of the circuit) is good – we have a friendship and have worked strongly together. Donington Park knows how to handle lots of people having the MotoGP here and the airport being so close gives good access.”
Works, despite the recent bad weather, are on schedule to deliver Britain’s newest Grand Prix circuit in good time for the July 2010 hosting of the British F1 Grand Prix.
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