The all-electric FIA Formula E Championship will have its headquarters and team facilities based out of England’s Donington Park circuit, a longtime staple of motorcycle racing and the site of Ayrton Senna’s legendary drive to victory in the 1993 Formula One European Grand Prix.
In addition, Donington will also serve as home testing and development site on F-E’s Spark-Renault SRT_01E race car for all 10 of the series’ teams, including American-based groups Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing.
F-E CEO Alejandro Agag said in a statement that the series looked at a number of European sites for the headquarters but felt that being part of the United Kingdom’s famous “Motorsport Valley” (also home to F-E partners McLaren and Williams) was too good to pass up.
“All 10 teams will soon have top facilities at their disposal in a modern, sustainable building, as well as direct access to the circuit to develop their cars,” Agag continued. “We are also just a stone’s throw from East Midlands Airport and the hub of our logistics partner DHL, meaning will we make substantial cost and emission savings.
“It’s also great for such an innovative and global racing series to be based at a historic race track like Donington Park and we’re looking forward to welcoming the teams.”
Construction began just after the New Year and is set to be completed by the end of April, with teams slated to move in starting May 1. F-E’s commercial wing will continue to be based in London.
More than 150 people are expected to work out of F-E’s Donington facility. True to the series’ environmental emphasis, it will comply with sustainable construction and development standards.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”