As expected North West Leicestershire District Council approved plans for a £100 million track revamp. The Donington Park boss Simon Gillet is confident his venue will host the 2010 British Grands Prix.
But will they also be able to come up with all the money required to complete the project on time ?
To come up with £100 million will not be easy in the current conditions althoug there are suggestions that Gillet might have secured the funding before the finacial crisis.
Many people doubted Gillet would be able to get all the permits on time given the way the system works in the UK. He managed, so perhaps he is the kind of person who simply gets things done.
Ron Dennis (speaking at the Autosport International Show) is not convinced:
“I applaud anyone coming into Grand Prix racing and bringing competition. But I really do struggle to understand how the economics of Donington will work. They have had a 25% swing in the dollar and the contract will be a dollar-based contract. It has got a massive investment into infrastructure. I don’t understand how we are going to get in and out of the place, although I can tell you I will be in a helicopter! But the reality is that I want successful grands prix and I am concerned that, as we go down this path, the economic model, especially in this climate, won’t work. And that could be to the detriment of us hosting a grand prix in this country.”
We will see. Donington Park and Simon Gillet have until September 2009 to convince Bernie Ecclestone.