Mention Donington, and three distinctly different images spring to my mind: the sight and sound of Bernd Rosemeyer manhandling his aluminium silver Auto Union through gates and farmyards in 1938, Ayrton Senna on that opening lap of the 1993 European Grand Prix, and the rows of delectable machinery gathered in the five sheds making up the Donington Collection.
But, Simon Gillett, CEO of Donington Park Leisure Limited, is aiming to add a fourth to the mix, namely 'Home of the British Grand Prix', and is moving earth and heaven to make it happen.
Only a blinded enthusiast or exceptionally brave man presents what many believe to be a pie-in-the-sky plan to save the endangered race to an auditorium full of hardened motorsport professionals and media members, but, all credit where it is due: Gillett did just that during the annual Motorsport Business Forum in Monaco last week.
Donington Park CEO Simon Gillett © LAT
But, then 37-year-old Gillett, as son of Elf's former motorsport manager and a British motocross championship competitor in his own right, could be said to fit the first category, whilst an armed forces record which includes tours of duty in the first Gulf War and the robust manner in which he faces down his critics prove he is most certainly no wimp.