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F1: Former Donington partner sues for £150,000

Donington Park is being sued by a former partner in the business for reported damages of up to £150,000.

Lee Gill, who left the circuit’s management in September, two months after the deal to host the British Grand Prix from 2010 was struck, has filed court papers claiming he was dismissed from his post unfairly.


At the time his former partner Simon Gillett said that Mr Gill had left by mutual consent.

The Daily Mail has the full story:

Race to rescue the Formula 1 British Grand Prix

Gill’s unexpected departure so soon after the pair’s successful bid for the Grand Prix shocked the motor racing world. But last month, when asked about Gill’s departure, Gillett presented it as an agreed deal, saying: “The idea was to get us to a certain point.

“I would work on Formula 1 and the submission, he would work on running the business. When that was finished, there was no point in having two of us at the top of the pile. It was always agreed that when we got to that point, Lee would go on and focus on his other commitments.”

However, Gill claims that he should have been given 12 months’ notice of termination and is also owed holiday pay, salary, car allowance and other benefits amounting to more than £36,000, as well as claiming damages for breach of contract. Read full story here…

The implications of having to fund and fight this legal action at a point when money must be raised to stage the race and pay for the necessary improvements are only too clear.

The lawsuit adds a new problem to an already-lengthy list.

Gillett has promised to reveal details of a debenture scheme he says will fund the redevelopment at the end of March – something that may prove a tricky proposition in the current economic climate, and with the recent loss of Moto GP from the circuit’s calendar making the overall package it is able to offer less attractive.

Gill’s departure came coincidentally shortly after problems with the circuit’s management were highlighted by local police, including a failure to enforce age restrictions on selling alcohol at two events, and problems with runway safety at neighbouring East Midlands Airport.

And Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd was reported by The Telegraph as depositing annual accounts with Companies House showing a financial loss and a large amount of debt for the year in question, raising questions with independent auditors about its ability to stage the race.

But Gillett said no reports pertaining to 2008 had been filed and said he was “confused” about the source of the figures.


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