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Mixed Future for Donington’s Formula E Base

Donington Park, the spiritual home for the first generation of the FIA Formula E Championship, is unlikely to be the base for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series in the future….

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Donington Park, the spiritual home for the first-generation of the FIA Formula E Championship, is unlikely to be the base for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series in the coming years.

E-racing365 has discovered that a logistics and operational home for the Formula E support series was looked in to, but the over-subscription of the units made it unlikely that the all-electric Jaguar series will have a future home there.

Two teams have recently expanded its factory space at the Donington site, with NIO and Andretti Autosport doubling its work space by taking some of the facilities previously occupied by other teams.

Techeetah has also moved on, while DS Virgin Racing now operates from a facility at Silverstone, and Renault e.dams and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler run from France and Germany, respectively.

Dragon Racing is also known to be considering an expansion into an adjoining factory space at Donington.

Mahindra run from bases in both Spain and Oxfordshire, while Venturi is now solely based in Monaco.

The Panasonic Jaguar Racing operation has long since been conducted from the Williams facility in Grove, Oxfordshire.

Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate confirmed that teams relocating after the first tightly structured three years was always factored into its deal with Formula E Holdings Ltd.

“We did the deal with Formula E for them to act as overall tenant/overall sub-landlord to the site,” Tate told e-racing365.

“They [leased] everything out to the teams as part of the teams’ total package to start the series, and so they managed that property relationship.

“However, we always knew that at the end of the three years there was going to be a shuffle around and some teams would want to go. It is more so the European manufacturers who quite naturally want to go to their European overall race bases.”

Tate confirmed that NIO and Andretti have expanded and stayed in their existing premises to fill out the Formula E compound at Donington, with Techeetah in a single unit.

“Jaguar have gone to join their partners at Williams, so essentially what we have ended up with, is what you might call the intercontinental teams, the Americans and the Chinese, who are happy to stay at Donington and they are very welcome to stay here,’ he said.

“Formula E themselves, owing to their own expansion and their own need for more space, have also got more units.”

The additional units taken on by Formula E is part of what e-racing365 believes is not only to cater for the expanding series promoters’ event logistics set-up and transport package, but may include additional hardware for when it begins Season Five in 2018/19.

Additionally, the 40 current Formula E cars, which the teams will effectively be handing back next summer, could be restored and maintained at Donington on a short-term basis before being potentially being sold to teams and sponsors.

Sam Smith is e-racing365’s Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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