Autosport are reporting that Lee Gill, Donington Park’s Chief Operating Officer, has stepped down from his role and ended his relationship with both the circuit and the owning company. Gill partnered Simon Gillett in the founding of Donington Ventures Leisure Limited early last year when they bought the circuit and its assets. Since then, the track has been awarded the British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards, the deal being announced at this years event last July.
A spokeperson for DVLL stated that Gill’s leaving will not affect the ongoing plans to invest £100m into the circuit, adding a new section of track and building new pit and paddock facilities. However, with the funds already in doubt combined with question marks over the planning approval, it could be that 2010 sees Formula One fail to visit the UK for a grand prix.
On top of this news, Pitpass have since reported that Lee Gill is not the only person to leave the organisation today, as the company’s financial controller, Peter Edwards, has also left, along with public relations company Sidhu & Simon Communications. Needless to say, things aren’t looking too rosey in the post-2009 British Grand Prix camp. Bernie Ecclestone has made it quite clear that should Donington fail to be ready in time, there will be no race essentially because no other circuit is suitable, Silverstone apparently inclusive.
Update: As Sidepodcast has just brought to my attention in the comments, Donington have released their plans for the 2010 layout and facilities at the circuit. As a very rough idea (it is late where I am), here’s how the track may look if all goes to plan. Roll your cursor over the image to see the overlay of the proposed layout.