Donington Park set for 2001 DTM date

Donington Park is set to host a round of Germany's born-again DTM tin-top series next summer

Donington Park set for 2001 DTM date

The Leicestershire track, which hosted four DTM and International Touring Car Championship races in the early 1990s, would be one of four non-German fixtures on the 11-date 2001 calendar. Zandvoort, Zolder, Spa, A1-Ring and the Helsinki street track are vying for the other slots.

Donington boss Robert Fearnall agreed an outline contract with the series' organisers at Hockenheim last week and is now awaiting final confirmation of the calendar.

"When I left the meeting, I had every indication to feel confident about hosting an event next year," he said. "We have always prided ourselves in running DTM races, but now its down to the organisers."

Mercedes sport chief Norbert Haug and privateer Audi boss Hans-Jurgen Abt have expressed enthusiasm over plans to race in Britain, but Opel sports boss Volker Strycek warned that the costs of the event should not be shouldered by the manufacturers.

"Belgium and Holland are big Opel markets and would also attract German fans," he said. "But for Opel, the UK isn't so interesting. We need to be a bit more international, but not if it increases costs. We need the circuit to finance our extra costs."

"All sorts of items had to agreed in the framework of the agreement," countered Fearnall, "including things such as assistance with ferries."

The 2001 DTM calendar is set to start and finish at Hockenheim on April 22nd and October 21st, with single rounds scheduled for Oschersleben, Sachsenring, Nurburgring, Norisring and Lausitzring.

Despite the DTM racing on its road course this year, the Lausitzring race will be run on the venue's tri-oval if FIA permission is granted and enough testing can be scheduled beforehand.

The Nurburgring round remains provisional following a dispute between the track's promoters and the ITR, the organisers of the DTM.


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