* A ‘Save Donington’ day has been organised at the circuit for March 7. The public show of support for the beleaguered track, which is in need of repair work following its failed GP bid, is the brainchild of racing fan Lee Coombes. To get involved visit www.savedonington.co.uk
* World Touring Car Champion Gabriele Tarquini (left) will defend his title in a turbodiesel SEAT run by the works-backed SR-Sport. SR, a spin-off of WTCC stalwart SUNRED Engineering, will also run Jordi Gené, Tiago Monteiro and Tom Coronel in Leon TDIs.
* Double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm has been appointed as patron of the Richard Burns Foundation, a charity set up in honour of England’s only WRC title winner who died of a brain tumour in 2005, aged just 34. The foundation aims to help young people affected by serious illness or injury. Grönholm said: “It’s a huge privilege to be asked to become patron of the foundation. I respected Richard both as a sportsman and a person, and his strength through adversity was an inspiration for me.”
* John Dabbs, who helped look after Nick Mason’s Ten/Tenths car collection, has died aged 74. Dabbs worked on armoured vehicles at Chobham and later with Leslie Ballamy, creating the Lotus-Buick for Dizzy Addicot. He then went to Bell & Colville and Tyrrell before joining Mason, attending UK races as well as Mille Miglias and other high-profile events. He also worked as a film extra and once doubled for Danny La Rue. In 1992 he was made a BRDC member.
* Aston Martin has launched its first official works-backed, one-make series in the UK with the British GT4 Challenge. The series will feature Vantage GT4 and N24 cars and will include races at Snetterton, Silverstone, Spa, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Donington Park. The races will feature two-driver teams and will range in time from 90 to 150 minutes, with practice, qualifying and the race itself scheduled to run on one day. Roland Cherry, the director of GT4 racing, is keen to give car owners the chance to race in equal machinery.