Honda on Thursday announced that it will base its European racing operation in Milton Keynes, U.K. in preparation for participation in the F1 World Championship starting in '15. The new facility will be the European frontline operation for Honda's F1 participation and will rebuild and maintain the power units developed at the Honda R&D center in Tochigi, Japan. Honda will also base its trackside support operations from this new European office. The office will be located in the new engine research and development center of MUGEN EURO, where Honda plans to start operations in June. It was important for Honda to establish a European facility. The U.K. offers a convenient location, as it is the home of McLaren and the base for many F1 suppliers. With seven of the 19 races taking place in Europe this year, the U.K. acts as a global hub for the transportation of parts as well as team personnel (Honda).
Asbestos-covered irrigation piping dating back to the '70s is being removed from Canberra, Australia's Manuka Oval athletic stadium, according to Lee Gaskin of the CANBERRA TIMES. Heavy machinery took to the venue "to begin the resurfacing process, the first time since the ground's initial construction" in '24. Economic Development Directorate Dir General David Dawes said that "all necessary steps had been followed to ensure the safe removal of the pipes." With "all going to plan," the ground will "be ready for the annual Prime Minister XI cricket match against England" on Jan. 14. Capacity "will be boosted from 13,500 to more than 15,500 and will increase the chances" of Canberra hosting games in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. This stage of the redevelopment is part of a long-term A$35M ($32M) investment into Manuka Oval "expected to be finished by the end of the decade, by which time the ground will be able to take 19,000 people." Manuka Oval will also host four GWS Giants games a year -- three of which will be part of the AFL Premiership season -- until '21 (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/11).
Handball Bundesliga (HBL) club THW Kiel "is planning to build its own practice facility," according to SPORT1. The proposed 12,000 square meter facility "is expected to be built in the Kiel outskirt of Projensdorf adjacent to the youth academy of 3rd League football club Holstein Kiel." Construction "will start at the beginning of '15 at the earliest." THW Kiel Managing Dir Klaus Elwardt said the costs for the proposed facility "will not be less than" €5M ($6.5M) (SPORT1, 7/10).