Donington Park future secured following a deal struck with MotorSport Vision to gain control over the circuit development for the next 21 years. MotorSport Vision Limited (MSV) have today confirmed a deal to bring the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit under their control for the next 21 years, adding the scenic Leicestershire circuit to a portfolio that already includes iconic British venues such as Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park. Donington Park has been in a state of turmoil for several years now as the circuit fights to regain some of its former prestige following the disastrous failed bid to wrestle away the rights to host Britain’s round of the Formula One World Championship from the 2010 season onwards. When Donington, then under the control of Donington Ventures Limited, secured a deal to replace Silverstone on the F1 calendar the circuit embarked upon an ill-advised programme of modifications to the track, resulting in considerable earth moving taking place both around and through the current layout to develop the groundwork for an extension to the circuit, bringing it up to a suitable length in order to run a Grand Prix. As the redevelopment continued racing activity at the circuit came to an end, resulting in several high profile series whom Donington was a regular fixture on the schedule having to look for an alternative location, some of which were never to return. Sadly for reasons not entirely evident at the time, Donington Ventures Limited failed to deliver the planned works and funding for the project before eventually disappearing for the scene all together, leaving Donington with no Grand Prix, a destroyed circuit and severe damage to many of the spectator areas around the circuit. Understandably at this stage things looked rather bleak for the popular venue, with the prospect of racing returning to the track some way in the distance, and several businesses and investors waiting in the wings keen to snap up a prime piece of real estate situated next to East Midlands airport in order to redevelop the venue as something other than the racing circuit, for which it has been since the early 1930's. Step in Kevin Wheatcroft, son of the late Tom Wheatcroft and architect of the circuits' first revival back in the mid 1970’s. Wheatcroft Junior and his team at Donington invested millions of pounds and many months of hard work to repair much of the damage done by the failed British Grand Prix bid, returning the circuit to operational level and once again opening up the track to regular racing activity. In the years that have followed Donington has continued to revive itself in steady if unspectacular fashion, with work having been finally completed towards the end of last year on the vast infield banking section as well as other more discrete developments to the general infrastructure of the venue. The calendar of activity at the track has once again filled up in recent years, although many of the ‘prestige’ events of yesteryear such as MotoGP, DTM and the World Touring Car Championship have yet to return to the track. Regardless of the issues overcome in recent times, it has become apparent that in the 40th year since Tom Wheatcroft saved the almost derelict track back in 1977 further investment would be required to springboard the facility up to the next level in British national, and international motorsport. With this in mind Wheatcroft and his board of directors have confirmed former Grand Prix driver and MSV chairman and CEO Jonathan Palmer has secured a deal to lease the circuit for the next 21 years, bringing with it the expertise of 12 years of circuit development and the financial backing to move Donington Park to the next level since its revival. Palmer had the following to say of todays announcement: "I am thrilled that MSV has now acquired the Donington circuit business," he said. "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. "Its modern day existence is purely down to the vision and energy of Tom Wheatcroft, whom I admired enormously. "Like many circuits in the UK, Donington has had a turbulent time over the last 10 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. "We plan a great new era for Donington, with some exciting new events and much enhanced quality of experience for all of its customers, whether spectators, competitors and track day participants, together with even better value." Kevin Wheatcroft added: "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. "Since taking the circuit back under my own control in 2009, huge efforts have been made to bring Donington back to the forefront of British Motorsport, not to mention the many millions it's taken to do so. "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." With Donington firmly back on track following the British Grand Prix episode it is heartening news to hear of the deal between the Wheatcroft family and MSV. The circuit itself and the viewing opportunities it affords has never been in question, however even the most die hard of fans would struggle to defend the rather lacklustre facilities on offer both track side and throughout the main and supporting paddocks. It will be interesting to see where MSV concentrate their considerable resources in the next few months, as the main pits buildings and media centre have all recently been subject to a major overhaul and rebuilding programme of works. Regardless of the intended development by MSV, this is indeed a welcome shot in the arm to one of the finest racetracks in the United Kingdom. If you want to find out more news from the world of motorsport look no further, RaceDepartment has you covered! Check out our dedicated forums for Formula One, Formula E, IndyCar and the World Endurance Championship as well as our general Motorsports forum. We love cars and believe you do too, so lets get together and share that passion here in our fantastic community! Are you happy to hear of the MSV / Donington Park tie up? Do you like the circuit? What is your best Donington memory? Let us know in the comments section below!