Donington's British GP is in doubt once more, as circuit owners take operators to court

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    Ross
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    Donington's British GP is in doubt once more, as circuit owners take operators to court

    Post by Ross on 23rd April 2009, 12:24

    British GP at Donington thrown into doubt


    Lawsuit: Donington's owners have taken legal action against circuit operator over unpaid rent

    The future of the British Grand Prix has been plunged into renewed uncertainty after the Wheatcroft family, which owns Donington Park, announced that it has launched legal proceedings against the circuit operator.

    Wheatcroft & Son Ltd is seeking £2.47m in upaid rent and for Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd to forfeit its lease of the Leicestershire circuit, which last year was awarded a 10-year deal to host the British GP from 2010.

    Proceedings were issued by law firm Browne Jacobson LLP at Derby County Court on Thursday.

    “It is with great reluctance that we have taken this decision,” said Kevin Wheatcroft.

    “Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd owe us nearly £2.5m in rent dating back to September 2008.

    “Despite receiving numerous reassurances over a number of months they have consistently failed to meet their financial obligations under the terms of the lease.

    “We have held off taking legal action for as long as possible but have been left with no choice but to commence proceedings to recover the outstanding rent and forfeit the lease.”

    Donington Ventures CEO Simon Gillett has faced scepticism about his plans for the British GP from the moment the event’s surprise switch from Silverstone was announced last July.

    He won over some doubters by gaining planning permission for an ambitious circuit revamp in January, but has yet to reveal any details of how his proposed debenture scheme will raise the necessary finance.

    Gillett's company was awarded a 150-year lease of Donington Park in January 2007.

    Formula 1's commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that the British GP will be dropped from the calendar rather than revert to Silverstone in the event that Donington is not ready to stage the race.


    Source: itv.com/f1


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