Palmer adds Donington Park to his circuit empire


Jonathan Palmer, father of Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon, has acquired the Donington Park circuit, his Motor Sport Vision (MSV) company said on Thursday.

MSV, who reached the agreement with Donington owner Kevin Wheatcroft, also owns and operates Britain’s Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park circuits as well as the Bedford Autodrome.

The company, who will take over the Donington circuit business and have agreed to lease the Donington Park Estate for an initial 21-year period, also holds the promotional rights for the British Superbike and Formula Three championships.

“Donington is a good British circuit that deserves further investment, energy and expertise in order to make it truly outstanding,” said Palmer, who also competed in Formula One between 1983 and 1989.

“MSV will provide this. We plan a great new era for Donington, with some exciting new events and much enhanced quality of experience…,” he added.

The East Midlands circuit hosted the British round of the MotoGP championship, now held at Silverstone, for 23 years and Formula One in 1993 with a one-off European Grand Prix won by the late Ayrton Senna in the rain.

It was also home to grand prix racing in Britain before World War Two.

The circuit fell into disrepair after it was awarded the rights to host the British Formula One Grand Prix from 2010 but then failed to secure the necessary funding. The race has continued at Silverstone.

Donington’s then-owners had promised Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone they would invest 100 million pounds on revamping the circuit over a five-year period.