The MSV, which owns a number of circuits around the United Kingdom, has agreed to add Donington Park to its growing collection. An agreement with owner and operator Kevin Wheatcroft sees the circuit become the fifth to be operated inside Jonathan Palmer‘s collection.
Palmer and Sir Peter Ogden, the owners of MSV, will take over the Estate on a 21 year lease. No agreed price has been officially announced yet.
“I am thrilled that MSV has now acquired the Donington circuit business.” started Palmer. “Donington has incredible history, being the first permanent road circuit in the country and the only circuit upon which the mighty pre-war Auto Unions and Mercedes Grand Prix cars raced in the 1930s.”
After being transformed into an airfield for the World Wars the circuit fell into disrepute until 1971 when it was rescued by Tom Wheatcroft, father of the current owner. The elder Wheatcroft helped build the circuit into an international facility, even hosting the 1993 European Grand Prix.
Palmer continued, saying; “Its modern-day existence is purely down to the vision and energy of Tom Wheatcroft, whom I admired enormously.”
After briefly falling into the hands of Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd., Kevin would buy the circuit back into the family because of a failed attempt by the company to host the British Grand Prix in 2009.
“Like many circuits in the UK, Donington has had a turbulent time over the last ten years, though thankfully Kevin Wheatcroft and his team have now recovered the damage done by the previous owner of the business. Donington is a good British circuit that deserves further investment, energy and expertise in order to make it truly outstanding, and MSV will provide this.”
Kevin Wheatcroft who had invested millions to regain Donington’s status, said; “I am particularly pleased to have finally done a deal with MSV’s Jonathan Palmer in what is our 40th year since my father reopened the circuit in 1977.”
“It seems very fitting in this celebratory year to hand over Donington’s reigns to Jonathan Palmer and his expert team, a man whose business model my late father and I have admired for many years. I now look forward to watching Donington continue to grow and prosper with fresh investment.”