Donington Park will be 'best in world' BEFORE Grand Prix
BOSSES at Donington Park say they aim to make it the best racing circuit in the world ahead of the F1 Grand Prix in 2010.
And the park's joint chief executive, Simon Gillett, also hinted he was hoping to attract another major motoring event to add to the World Superbike, Moto GP and F1 races already lined up – but would not yet reveal what it was.
TOP TRACK: Donington Park race circuit.
A planning application for the track was due to be submitted today, giving the public the first glimpse of the changes which need to be made before the first Grand Prix in two years' time.
At a meeting last night, Mr Gillett listened to concerns from local residents and laid out his vision for the future of the circuit for the first time.
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He told Donington Parish Council: "The reason I invested in the track was not to make it the best in the UK or Europe but in the world."
Mr Gillett brushed aside concerns that the contract for the Grand Prix was in jeopardy and assured residents that the track would be ready by 2010.
He unveiled a two-stage plan to maximise benefits for the local area.
The first would focus on opportunities for businesses, such as hotels, bed and breakfasts and supermarkets.
The second would look at the circuit's use outside F1. This could include making some of its new leisure developments, such as gyms or pools, publicly available.
The meeting also heard that noise and traffic were top of residents' concerns.
With just two years until the first F1 race, Mr Gillett admitted there was not enough time to make major changes to the local infrastructure and said a carefully-laid traffic management plan would be more effective.
He said: "We could have dual carriageways all the way to the A50, the M1 and the M42 but the main problem is always going to be the last 300 yards and altering the road layout won't change that.
"We are not looking to bring 30,000 to 50,000 cars into the circuit and clog this place up.
"We would look to use off-site parking, probably using the airport's facilities as we already have a great relationship with them.
"Public transport will also play a big part, as will car park management, making sure people travelling north are not placed in the south car park and those travelling south placed in the north."
When questioned about noise, he said that levels would not be any higher than now and that the number of days allocated for racing and testing would also remain the same.
The planning application for the circuit's proposed changes was due to be submitted today to North West Leicestershire District Council. Four months of consultation are expected before the council's 13-man planning committee makes a decision.