Simon Gillett's Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) company has enlisted the help of the woman 'credited with turning around the Wembley project' and converting the unloved Millennium Dome into the hugely popular O2 arena as it seeks to safeguard the future of the British Grand Prix next year – but sources suggest it may now be a case of too little, too late.
DVLL has been beset by problems ever since agreeing a ten-year contract – subsequently extended to 17 years – with F1 commercial rights supremo Bernie Ecclestone last summer to usurp traditional host Silverstone as the home of the blue riband
event on the British motorsport calendar.
With the majority of legal and financial obstacles having ostensibly been overcome, the key remaining issue is the time factor, with few genuinely believing that Donington's ambitious and frequently troubled multi-million pound redevelopment project required to bring the Leicestershire venue up to F1 standard will be completed in time for the beleaguered track to hold next year's race.
Gillett has always been adamant that the circuit will
be ready – and in enlisting the services of Red Grouse Properties, run by Jayne McGivern, the Englishman has sent out a stern warning to Silverstone that the celebrated 'Home of British Motor Racing' should not get too cocky just yet about its chances of retaining the event.
'Jayne is a highly-respected businesswoman who is credited with turning around the Wembley project and was heavily involved in the purchasing of the Millennium Dome from the government to convert it into the 02 Arena,' read an official Donington Park statement, published by the Press Association
'Her appointment is a further signal of Donington Park's strong commitment to delivering a high-quality, fan-friendly Formula 1 event for the next 17 years, for which we hold the contract. Jayne will ensure that all of the new work on-site is completed in a timely manner and to the highest standards.'
However, according to motorcycling website Visordown
, the latest development in the Donington Park saga may have come too late to save the deal, and that in addition to having snatched the British round on the MotoGP calendar away from its East Midlands rival, Silverstone is now set to keep F1 too, with Ecclestone's patience with Gillett having seemingly finally run out.