The 2015 British Grand Prix may be in jeopardy as Donington Park Circuit has withdrawn itself from the MotoGP schedule. This marks the latest update to a messy transition which would move the race from Silverstone to a new track in Wales.
The Circuit of Wales signed a five-year deal with MotoGP promoter Dorna last August. The problem is the deal includes the 2015 British Grand Prix, and the Welsh circuit near Ebbw Vale is still under construction and won’t be completed until 2016.
In September, the Circuit of Wales reached out to Donington Park to host this year’s race in order to fulfill its contract with Dorna. The two circuits reached a preliminary agreement but that deal appears to have fallen through with Donington Park alleging the Circuit of Wales had missed payment deadlines.
Donington Park Racing Limited released a statement claiming the delays affected the circuit’s ability to prepare for the Aug. 30 race.
“Despite DPRL’s best efforts, the time lost with CoW being unable to complete the funding arrangements has resulted in delays in almost all of the event’s critically important operational plans, from track works to equipment hire,” the statement read. “Therefore, in the judgment of the Board of DPRL, this current position could jeopardise the safe and successful running of the 2015 British MotoGP at Donington to such an extent, that both the commercial risks and the lack of time are now too great to allow Donington to proceed.”
The Circuit of Wales released its own statement denying it could not provide the agreed-upon funding. Instead, the Welsh track claims DPRL required significantly more funds to upgrade the track in order to host MotoGP racing. Donington Park had previously hosted the British Grand Prix, but last held the race in 2009, so some upgrades may be order. The Circuit of Wales’ statement reads:
“Contrary to claims by DPRL that the Circuit of Wales is unable to meet the funding arrangements, we are unwilling to provide the significant funding that DPRL required for the necessary track upgrades to host the British Grand Prix without a signed contractual agreement. We have all of the funding necessary in place to promote and host the 2015 race in the UK.”
The British Grand Prix is now left without a track. The most logical solution, barring a change of heart from DPRL, would be to return the race to Silverstone for 2015. Of course, this would require mending some fences, after Silverstone lost the event to the Circuit of Wales, or basically the equivalent of asking your ex to host your engagement dinner with your new fiancee.