Donington race fears

Uncertainty over the short-term future of Donington Park is causing confusion for the 2010 historic and classic racing season in Britain. Leading organisers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, but may be forced to drop Donington from their 2010 plans if decisions about the East Midlands track are not forthcoming before the end of the year.

With the future of Simon Gillett’s Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd unclear after the collapse of plans to host the British Grand Prix, the financial and legal situation at Donington has been further clouded by the death of circuit owner Tom Wheatcroft. As Motor Sport closed for press, the phones at Donington were not being answered, but it is understood that the Wheatcroft family has taken back over the running of the venue.

The circuit is no longer fit for racing, with several trenches running across the track between McLeans and the Wheatcroft Straight as well as some barriers removed. Estimates suggest that more than £1 million will be needed to restore the existing facility before racing could be re-started.

“It’s a case of wait and see,” said Grahame White of the Historic Sports Car Club. “Traditionally we have our first meeting of the season at Donington, but we’ve had no luck in trying to contact the circuit. Historic racers like the circuit as it was and we’d love to continue racing there.”

“We’re awaiting further news,” said Mike Stripe of the Vintage Sports-Car Club. “We certainly want to run there and have the first weekend of October pencilled in.”

Christopher Tate from the Masters Series said that it was keen to continue at Donington, having run three major spring events there in recent times.