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Donington given another chance
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Donington given another chance
Posted By:   |  05 May 2009   |  5:00 pm GMT  |  0 comments

The promoters of the 2010 British Grand Prix at Donington have been given until June 30th to provide the local council with the paperwork it needs in order to get the planning permission signed off so that the race can go ahead.

At a meeting of the North West Leicestershire council this evening it was decided to give the track once last chance to sort out its administrative problems. The promoters, Simon Gillett’s company Donington Ventures Ltd, has been hit with a £2.5 million lawsuit by the circuit’s owners, Wheatcroft and Sons for unpaid rent.

The court hearing for that case is June 8th and the NW Leics council decided today that until that case had been heard it could not act further. After a short meeting they have given them three weeks from the date of the legal hearing to come back with the vital document; a spectator safety document signed by both parties, DVL and Wheatcroft.

This will take them to the week after the final race at Silverstone is due to take place, the weekend of 20/21 June.

So you can be sure that the speculation over whether this may be the last British GP will be in full swing that weekend.

Speaking before tonight’s meeting, Gillett said
“We have a nine-month construction programme and that has never changed. We have always known we could construct everything we have to in nine months but we have the construction in hand. We need to be in a position to roll everything out by July 2009 but we are not panicking yet. We are in in-depth meetings to button down the finances and you should see a resolution on this situation soon.”

It looks very much as though Donington has being given every chance to sort itself out by all parties, despite discouraging signs all around. Gillett says that he is 110% committed and 100% confident the race will happen.

I just wonder at what point political pressure might come to bear on the situation. The government is not likely to put money into F1 infrastructure, but it got involved in the Brawn takeover of the Honda team, applying the right kind of pressure at the vital moment and it may do the same here, when the time comes.

The British Grand Prix is an important event, although less jobs depend on it than they did on the Honda deal, which was the government’s main reason for getting involved there.

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  1. Lee Grant says:

    There is going to have to be some serious discussion between Donington Ventures Ltd and Wheatcroft and Sons.

    I wonder how much it is going to cost for Tom Wheatcroft to get his pen out to sign the Spectator Safety Document?

    It’s obviously in both parties interests to have a successful GP but business is business and I believe they are the only two entities that really know what is happening at Donnington.

    I would suspect that if the document isn’t signed, then someone has a damn solid reason for not doing so and we’ll all finally get to find out what is really happening.

    I feel like I’m sat in a Theatre watching the ‘amazing Simon Gillett show’ and whilst it looks really impressive and people seem to be enjoying it, every so often he seem to forget a line, he looks nervous and worried whilst someone from the rear stalls shout ‘It’s a puppet!’

  2. For Britain to lose the British Grand Prix now would send a very worrying message to the Olympic Committee; essentially saying we’re not capable of running the event.
    IMHO Wheatcroft and Sons seem only to care about the rent; nothing about Donington’s history or national pride…

  3. brown eyed girl says:

    LDV have just received a government bridging loan and i need not get into the amount of money they have thrown at the bankers (rightly or wrongly).

    So why no government intervention? if you think about the money that would be lost by not having a british GP it seems a bit of a no brainer. Firstly job losses – at the ciruit its self and all the people it employs just for race day. Job losses through tourism – i went to Spa and you could see the impact it has on the local economy, every hotel, bar, restaurant etc for miles around is totally packed!

    just seems like they could help a bit more.

    on a seperate note…. not too long ago there rumors centered round Brands Hatch, could they not step in if Donington cant get their act together?

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