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Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 13:37 UK

Legal settlement saves British GP

Donington Park
Donington Park was the host of the 1993 European Grand Prix

Preparations for the British Grand Prix at Donington Park will continue after the race operators reached an out of court settlement with the track owners.

Owners Wheatcroft and Son Limited had threatened to cancel the lease because Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) owed £2.47m in rent.

The two parties have also agreed a united front over the outstanding planning issues at the circuit.

Donington has a 10-year contract to host the race, starting in 2010.

Details of the settlement itself are being kept confidential between the parties.

"This is another positive boost for Donington Park," said DVLL chief executive Simon Gillett, who secured the 150-year lease for the track in 2007.

We have always shared and supported the vision of ensuring that Formula 1 returns to Donington Park and are hopeful that, with the settlement achieved, that vision will be turned into reality

Track owner Kevin Wheatcroft

"We were always aware that saving the future of the British Grand Prix was an enormous task, but it is one that we are fully committed to and will make happen.

"So far, all of our efforts have been achieved in the face of adversity and it's reassuring to know that the Wheatcroft family shares our vision and passion for British motorsport."

The two parties were due in court next Monday after initial proceedings against DVLL were started at Derby County Court in April by lawyers at Browne Jacobson LLP, acting on behalf of the Wheatcrofts, Tom and Kevin.

After reaching the settlement, Kevin Wheatcroft said: "We are pleased that significant progress has been made in recent weeks and I am delighted that we have now reached an amicable agreement.

"We have always shared and supported the vision of ensuring that Formula 1 returns to Donington Park and are hopeful that, with the settlement achieved, that vision will be turned into reality."

606: DEBATE

Donington won the rights to host the British Grand Prix after current hosts Silverstone stalled over signing a new deal and Gillett impressed Ecclestone with his plans for redeveloping the East Midlands venue.

In January this year the green light was given to begin work on a £100m redevelopment to bring the venue up to standard.

However, despite work beginning immediately the track was not granted a safety certificate by the Motor Sports Association, leading to the cancelling of a number of events.

Following the settlement, planning arrangements are now being finalised by the Council and Gillett has claimed the circuit will be ready in time for 2010.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had stated that if Donington does not meet required standards to host the event there will be no British Grand Prix after next year.



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see also
Legal battle threatens British GP
24 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
British GP will move to Donington
04 Jul 08 |  Formula 1
Donington to bridge F1 gap
13 Feb 09 |  Formula 1
New Donington is granted approval
09 Jan 09 |  Formula 1
Donington Park pit plan revealed
10 Jul 08 |  Leicestershire
Donington owner rejects sceptics
11 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Team bosses back Donington switch
05 Jul 08 |  Formula 1
Donington 'to be ready for 2010'
06 Jul 08 |  Formula 1


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