Donington and the GP
WE all know that at present the annual British GP alternates between Silverstone and Brands Hatch, by mutual arrangement. Recently, however, in a House of Commons debate on Sport and Recreation, MP David Ashby (Leicestershire, North West) raised the position of Donington Park Racing’s circuit in respect of the Grand Prix, pointing out that Donington’s owner, Tom Wheatcroft, has recently spent another 0,000,000 of his own money on further improving the magnificent course he renovated back in 1960. Yet only after much debate in official circles and a writ has Donington’s request for the British GP to
be held there been accepted, and then not for another Ave years.
Mr Ashby paid tribute to the help he has had from Mr Neil Macfarlane, Minister for Sport, but said he felt it unfair that, while waiting for its 1988 British Grand Prix, Donington Park complains that it has not been allocated any other Formula One race. It would also like to stage the ACU Motorcycle GP but the ACU does not even want to discuss this. Mr Ashby made the point that it must be advantageous to Silverstone, who must lobby the ACU with considerable success, but a year-after-year one-circuit monopoly is unfair to other tracks and a breach of the governing body’s trust as holders of a race-title. The MP intends to go on raising the matter until it is justly treated, as he believes the existing monopoly to be bad for regions, not good for spectators, and not good for motor-racing. Thus, in the words of a Donington spokesman, Mr Tom Wheatcroft’s circuit is very much “alive and kicking”.