Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd., the company that owns the leasehold of Donington Park racing circuit, has gone into administration, the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection.
The company was plunged into financial difficulty after a final attempt to raise the funding for the track redevelopment works through a bond issue failed last month. The revamp was required in order for Donington to host the British Grand Prix in 2010, the track having signed a 17-year deal to hold the event.
Corporate recovery company Begbies Traynor is handling the administration process, and is hopeful that DVLL will be bought by a third party with the aim of holding the British Grand Prix in 2011.
"We are certainly hopeful that a 2011 grand prix could take place at the site," said Nigel Price, a partner in Begbies Traynor. "We are looking for a purchaser for the business and the potential opportunity to bring Formula 1 to this part of the Midlands by funding the work that needs to be carried out to the circuit. It still remains a fantastic location – next to an airport and main motorway (freeway) connections. It needs people of vision to get the dream to the starting grid and we would be very interested in talking to interested parties."
However, speaking last month, Bernie Ecclestone ruled out the possibility of the British Grand Prix going to Donington, with negotiations now ongoing with Silverstone.
"There's no Donington. They've missed the deadline which we kept extending for them," said Ecclestone. "It's unfortunate for them, to be honest with you. It was the credit crunch that caused them to be in trouble because their intentions were good, that's for sure."
Donington Park is owned by Wheatcroft & Sons Ltd., the company set up by Tom Wheatcroft, who passed away earlier this month and, if no buyer was found, the ownership of the leasehold would return to the company. DVLL had signed a 150-year lease in 2007.