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BBC East Midlands Today's Karen Winchester
"Locals plan to fight the proposal"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Donington's Formula One dream
Tazio Nuvolari pictured within an Auto Union at the 1938 Donington Grand Prix.
Donington held the 1938 Grand Prix (Donnington Grand Prix Collection)
Formula One motor racing could return to Donington Park if a major development goes ahead.

The company which leases the circuit has submitted a 36m proposal to update the track and the spectator areas.

The race track, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, first staged Grand Prix racing in the 1930s.

The new plans include changing the shape of the track itself, relocating the pits, and building a new grandstand.

The village... is being raped every week by unlimited operation of airports and unlimited operation of racetracks

Peter Beddoe, local resident
The proposed changes to the track aim to improve safety by extending run-off areas and create more opportunities for overtaking.

The plans state this will provide more exciting racing for spectators and worldwide TV audiences.

The proposal also outlines the need for special measures to supplement the permanent facilities during Formula One events.

These include temporary garages and spectator stands.

Development opposition

Some local residents said they planned to oppose the proposed development.

Peter Beddoe: "The village is pretty good. But it is being raped and new every week by unlimited operation of airports and unlimited operation of racetracks."

Donington Park
F1 would provide a major boost
A spokesman for the American company SFX, which leases the circuit, said the development would not necessarily lead to an increase in noise and events.

"This is a chance to create a really world-class facility which could bring this prestigious event back to the area."

The first Grand Prix at Donington was held in 1935 and the final pre-war Grand Prix was held in 1938, which was won by the Italian racing hero Tazio Nuvolari.

Formula One last came to the circuit in 1993 with the European Grand Prix.

Cars collection

Donington Park is owned by Leicestershire man Tom Wheatcroft.

Mr Wheatcroft purchased the circuit after the war and brought the circuit back to racing glory in 1977.

He is also the founder and owner of the Donington Grand Prix Collection, the world's largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars.

North West Leicestershire District Council is currently assessing the application for the upgrade.

A council spokesman said a decision was likely to take some time because of the size of the proposal.

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24 Jul 01 | Motorbikes
Hodgson ambivalent about race switch
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