British GP in Doubt, Donington Park Operator Sued by Owners

Things just don't seem to be working out for the Donington Park circuit and its track operator, Simon Gillett. We were almost 100% percent that Donington Park would re-enter the F1 circuit in 2010 when we found out that Donington Park's owners, Wheatcroft & Son Limited, are suing Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd over unpaid rent.

According to, the Wheatcroft family's company is seeking £2.47m in rent arrears and for Donington Ventures Leisure to forfeit its lease on the circuit.

This isn't a laughing matter, but the funny thing is we actually believed Mr. Gillett when he strongly denied the allegations in early February 2009 that Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd president Tom Wheatcroft was planning to sue him for unpaid rent.

“The Wheatcrofts and I get on incredibly well. Tom is our president, and we are working with them. Tom is as wedded to the success here as we are,” he said at that time.

Well, over the course of a couple of weeks, the success wedding or the wedding's success has worn off.

"It is with great reluctance that we have taken this decision. 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,” Kevin Wheatcroft of Wheatcroft & Son said.

As we reported a while back, the British venue has until September 2009 to convince Bernie Ecclestone that they are worthy and capable of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Well, given the circumstances, it will take a lot of convincing from Simon Gillett to get the approval from the F1 supreme.
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