Donington Park needs ??600K to fix track

Donington Park’s owners will have to spend ??600,000 to restore its circuit to operational standard after its failed attempt to hold the 2010 British Grand Prix.

The track itself is mostly intact, though some sections have been dug up near where the new parts of the circuit were to have been built. Some barriers and run-off areas also need to be reconstructed.

Kevin Wheatcroft, son of former circuit owner Tom Wheatcroft who died last year, told the Derby Telegraph:

We have been assessing what is required to put things back as they were. We reckon this will cost in the region of about ??600,000, but to get it up to Grand Prix standard you could add a couple of ‘0’s. We want to get the place operational again.
Kevin Wheatcroft

Donington Ventures, the company run by Simon Gillett which held a lease on the circuit and aimed to bring the British Grand Prix back to it, went into administration last month. Wheatcroft is now looking for a new buyer for the lease.

He added:

The first thing has been to try to save as many jobs as possible. As of this week, we have re-opened the museum and cafe and race control office.Kevin Wheatcroft

The Donington Grand Prix Collection boasts dozens if not hundreds of old F1 cars. It’s one of the best – probably the best – motor racing museums I’ve visited.

I’ll try to make a trip up there again in the near future and I urge everyone else to go too and support this excellent venue which fell short in its effort to hold an F1 race.

Join the “Save Donington” Facebook campaign here

Read more: Silverstone to use ??more exciting?? Moto GP track for 2010 F1 race (Pictures)

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18 comments on Donington Park needs ??600K to fix track

  1. Ned Flanders said on 6th January 2010, 12:30

    What’s happened to Donington over the past 12 months has been an absolute disaster. Ambition is good, but why did they have to go and ruin such a great circuit to try and make it an F1 standard venue? Obviously I say this with hindsight, but there was very little chance of it paying off

    It was an all or nothing move- and they got nothing. I don’t suppose Moto GP or any major international series will be back at Donington for a long time

  2. Zazeems said on 6th January 2010, 12:53

    Lets just hope the rebuilding process doesn’t take too long and doesn’t lose any of the circuit’s character.

  3. Christian Biddon said on 6th January 2010, 13:02

    I agree that it is a shame about what has happened to Donnington this year. We were arranging a work trip to the BTCC this morning and have almost discounted Donnington as we don’t know if it will be hosting a race.

    The Grand Prix Museum is absolutly stunning. My wife and I went last January and any F1 fan will be stunned by what is on show. A link to my pictures is below. I urge everyone to visit.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/briddon/sets/72157612348267356/

  4. Sush Meerkat said on 6th January 2010, 13:18

    Important question time children.

    Where’s the Dunlop bridge?…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th January 2010, 14:13

      Good point – they put it in storage after they took it away, didn’t they?

    • Ned Flanders said on 6th January 2010, 15:03

      I think they only planned to relocate it, because its old location was supposed to be the new pit straight. But I’m not sure they could even afford to re- erect it now. What a mess this is

  5. John H said on 6th January 2010, 14:10

    This is really sad, not least because I know someone that works at the track part time over the summer and probably won’t be returning to work this year.

    Here are some comments from Gillett 11 months ago:

    “I’m an architect of change. People don’t like change and they will knock it wherever they can.

    “Financially we have no worries.

    “We are like any business, there’s a global recession and it does impact us but we’re in good health.”

    It’s all very well having ambition, but a lot of people (including the staff at the track) knew this was very silly and now a great track (it really is) has been reduced to this. I will try and visit the museum again if I can in the near future. A great shame.

  6. Visit savedonington.co.uk for all the up-to-date news on the support for Donington Park, and possibly add your own!

  7. Invisiblekid said on 6th January 2010, 15:42

    It’s such a shame, really. I live within 15mins of the circuit so am gutted I cannot go to see the F1 that close by.
    But also you have to look at the unrealistic time scale. It was complete madness yes, but remember that Bernie was behind this. Knowing how much of a strop his midgetness was in and how he said to Dono’
    “right, sod Silverstone, here you go guys. Yes time is short, but I’m sure we can sort it together”

    But from then on, he did sod all to help. He dumped them in it just as much as the recession did.

  8. Oliver said on 6th January 2010, 17:38

    This fiasco highlights the dangers of race track owners who try doing business with a certain Bernie Ecclestone.
    They have lost both F1 and MotoGP. Are unable to immediately conduct any race of any kind at their venue and Bernie himself has simply walked away from the mess.

    They were just happened to be pawns in Bernie’s disagreements with Silverstone. If he was ever serious about Donington, he’d have only given Silverstone a 2year agreement.

  9. They’ve manage to reopen the cafe and museum. So 6000 of us need to visit and spend £100!

  10. HounslowBusGarage said on 6th January 2010, 21:01

    Apparently there are twelve potential purchasers for Donnington.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if one of them was a consortium led by . . . Flavio Briatore. And wouldn’t be even funnier if they bought the track and Flav was able to get the Grand Prix deal from his good friend Bernie Ecclestone.
    Wouldn’t that make Max grind his teeth!

  11. wasiF1 said on 7th January 2010, 1:33

    It’s sad to hear that they did everything possible to host F1 Grand Prix,but now they are in trouble to fix the track.I hope their problem soon gets over.

  12. Macca said on 7th January 2010, 12:15

    Donnington have completly made a mess of this whole situation.

  13. spawinte said on 7th January 2010, 14:49

    A couple of the more sought after museum exhibits up for auction would raise 600k pretty quick.

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