Legal scrap puts British GP in doubt

The future of the British Grand Prix is again under threat as Donington Park’s land owners begin legal action against Simon Gillet’s Donington Ventures Leisure company over unpaid rent.

Gillet’s company obtained a 150-year lease of the circuit from owners Wheatcroft & Son Limited in 2007, and last year it secured a ten year contract to host the British Grand Prix from 2010, pending a major redevelopment of the track and its facilities.

But there are fresh doubts about the event as the Wheatcroft family call in £2.47m in unpaid rent and put pressure on Donington Ventures to give up its lease.

“It is with great reluctance that we have taken this decision,” Kevin Wheatcroft of Wheatcroft & Son told Autosport.

“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.”