By Oliver Hall
As tyres go it was a world icon, up there with the Michelin tyre man!
But last week work began on dismantling the Dunlop Bridge as part of the operation to convert Donington Park into a Formula One circuit in time for the 2010 British Grand Prix.
The giant tyres size and branding meant it would not fit in with the new look circuit – but it’s not being wheeled off to the scrapyard just yet.
Because the Dunlop Bridge is so widely linked with the track and its history, it is possible the bridge may be resurrected in some shape or form at another part of the circuit.
Simon Gillett, the chairman of Donington Park, said: ‘As a motorsport enthusiast, I am sorry to see the Dunlop Bridge come down.
‘However, it is an iconic structure that has become an integral part of Donington Park and I will do everything in my power to ensure that we are able to resite the bridge within the circuit.’
The bridge will be stored away while a new location is considered. It is unlikely to go over the actual track as the new layout is too wide for the bridge.
Mr Gillett said: ‘Maybe (we’ll) change the ‘Dunlop’ to ‘Donington’ but in the same typeface. Part of the problem with the Dunlop Bridge is that MotoGP is Michelin, it’s Pirelli for World Superbikes, Bridgestone for F1, so commercially you can’t have it.
“There is the safety point of view because of the width of it, and also the location because the new pits and paddock are going there.
“So there are lots of reasons – its current location is wrong, it is not wide enough, and then there are the commercial reasons…we’d be constantly painting over the Dunlop.’
One possible relocation solution is to put it over the entrance – but one thing’s for sure, it’s not ready to roll off into the scrapyard just yet.