Donington COO Gill steps down

Donington Park's chief operating officer Lee Gill has ended his involvement with the circuit and the company that runs it, autosport.com has learned

Donington COO Gill steps down

Just two months after it was announced that Donington Park had poached the British Grand Prix from Silverstone after agreeing a deal with Bernie Ecclestone, Gill has ended his partnership with chief executive officer Simon Gillett.

The reasons behind the departure are unknown. And although a Donington Park spokesman said that the matter would not affect the track's ongoing planning for the British Grand Prix, the development will only add to questions about whether the track has what it takes to be ready in time for 2010.

Gill and Gillett were co-founders of Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL), which acquired the operating rights to Donington Park in February last year. Their takeover also included the purchase of land around the circuit and the historic Donington Grand Prix Collection.

Donington Park is planning a £100 million investment programme to improve the track in time for the British GP in 2010. As well as a new pits and paddock complex, a new loop is planned for the final corner to extend the length of the track.

Ecclestone said recently that if the circuit was not ready in time for the 2010 event then there was no back-up plan to keep the event at Silverstone.

"We've been playing around for six or seven years," he said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live. "If Silverstone couldn't do it before then why could they do it now?

"We scaled back so much for them and agreed things we shouldn't have, to keep things at Silverstone. If there is no Donington there is no British GP."

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