Donington Park's Tom Wheatcroft receives award

Last night, July 8, Tom Wheatcroft was honoured for his unique contribution to motorsport. In a ceremony at the House of Lords, Wheatcroft received the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA)* award for 'The Most Outstanding Contribution To The UK...

Last night, July 8, Tom Wheatcroft was honoured for his unique contribution to motorsport. In a ceremony at the House of Lords, Wheatcroft received the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA)* award for 'The Most Outstanding Contribution To The UK Motorsport Industry'. Previous recipients have included: Bernie Ecclestone, Harvey Postlethwaite, Dr Adrian Reynard, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Ken Tyrrell and David Richards.

As a young man, Tom Wheatcroft witnessed firsthand the Auto Union victories in the Donington Grands Prix of 1937 and 1938 - awesome sights from which his passion for motorsport was born.

He subsequently created a hugely successful building empire - successful enough to fund the purchase of the derelict Donington circuit in 1971. The museum he created on site to house his personal collection of racing cars and automobilia now comprises five halls and over 130 exhibits, and is quite simply the largest collection of single-seater Grand Prix racing cars in the world.

With equal enterprise, Wheatcroft set about restoring and upgrading the Donington circuit, at which motorsport resumed in 1977. But Tom Wheatcroft's over-riding ambition was to see Grand Prix racing return to Donington Park, and indeed it did when the late Ayrton

Senna took the chequered flag in the unforgettable rain-soaked European Grand Prix of 1993 - a race many believe to be his finest of all.

Both Wheatcroft's enterprises have created substantial economic activity within the motorsport industry, from the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Donington Grand Prix Collection to the myriad operations involved in the running of the circuit.

Wheatcroft received his MIA award from The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP in front of more than 300 distinguished guests from the world of motorsport business.

The attendees of the event, which was supported by the Welsh Development Agency, Wales Rally GB and the Welsh Assembly Government, included MPs and Peers of the Realm. Among the many motorsport personalities were: Bernie Ecclestone, (F1 Administration),

David Richards, Alan Gow, Malcolm Wilson, Sir Stirling Moss OBE and John Surtees MBE.

-mia-

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About this article
Series Automotive
Drivers Jackie Stewart , Stirling Moss , Malcolm Wilson , Alan Gow , David Richards , Bernie Ecclestone