The Wheatcroft family confirm that Tom Wheatcroft sadly passed away on Saturday 31 October 2009. The family respectfully request their privacy at this difficult time. They also wish to thank everyone for the overwhelming support received over the last few days.

The funeral will be a private family affair, as Tom specifically requested, and rather than floral tributes, the family request that a donation be made to their chosen charity (Hope Against Cancer). A separate memorial service to celebrate Tom’s life will be held at a later date.

The Donington Grand Prix Collection has opened a book of condolence and members of the public are invited to leave their personal tributes.

A brief history of Tom’s life:

Tom, as he was affectionately known throughout the sporting world, was first attracted to motor sport and Grand Prix racing as a schoolboy when he cycled from his Leicester home to watch the great races of the 1930’s era of his local circuit, Donington Park.

After military service during World War II, he returned to Leicestershire, soon establishing a building company which went on to prosper and has since developed into the highly successful company it is today.

Tom continued his enjoyment of racing, never missing a British Grand Prix since 1935 and visiting every other Grand Prix circuit on the world calendar. At the same time supporting many drivers in all formulas, and particularly fostering the career of the highly talented Roger Williamson, taking him into Grand Prix racing.

He also owned a growing collection of Grand Prix cars, and in 1971 bought the Donington Park Race Track, in 1973 he opened the world renowned Donington Grand Prix Collection.

After a lengthy, often bitter and very costly, planning hearing, he was given consent to re-build and re-open the Donington Park circuit, which had lain derelict after military use during the Second World War.

Racing returned in 1977 and soon the circuit was hosting major events, bringing the world's best motorcycle racers into action and then various FIA Championships for Formula 2, World Sports Cars and European Touring Cars.

Tom celebrated his 65 birthday by securing the British Motorcycle Grand Prix, which ran for the first of 23 times on his circuit in 1987 - it was voted the best in the world. Then in 1993 he achieved his dream, when at short notice, his circuit staged the award winning FIA Formula One World Championship Grand Prix of Europe, which was won by the late great Ayrton Senna and was later voted Grand Prix of the century.

Tom’s interest in the future of Donington continued right up until his passing.

His contribution to the sport has been immeasurable, and the word ‘legend' hardly does justice to the man who was Donington Park - Tom Wheatcroft.



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Updates 0

Raising money for

Hope Against Cancer

Hope Against Cancer

Charity Registration No. 1091480

We have raised over £4 million and funded over 40 research projects tackling many forms of cancer. We opened a clinical trials unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary, where patients take part in trials on new drugs and treatments to find the cures of tomorrow and we fund a HOPE nurse there.

Raising money for

Run by Hope Against Cancer

Charity Registration No. 1091480

Donations 28

Thanks for Donnington Park Tom.

Donation by Craig Mitchell on 15/06/11


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation on behalf of Bardon Contracting

Donation by Luan Isaac on 03/09/10


Donation by Simon Stiel on 04/05/10


+ £4.23 Gift Aid

God's Speed Tom. Thanks for enabling us to have the memories

Donation by Henri Greuter on 04/03/10

So long Tom. Thank you for the wonderful memories, with our love, Dan & Evi Gurney and the AAR-Eagle Racing Team

Donation by DAN & EVI GURNEY on 03/02/10


Thanks Tom.

Donation by Mark Batchelour on 18/01/10

Donation by raymond briggs on 14/12/09


+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Thankyou Mr Wheatcroft.

Donation by Peter Dring on 13/12/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Tom Rubery Owen will always be grateful to you for keeping the name of BRM alive in such a positive way. Deepest sympathy to Kevin and all your family

Donation by David Owen on 09/12/09


Donation by orouge on 28/11/09


+ £7.05 Gift Aid

In memory of Tom. Alex Holman

Donation by Alex Holman on 20/11/09


+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Thank you, Tom, for the pleasure I have derived from your lifetime's efforts and unbounded enthusiasm.

Donation by Anon on 14/11/09


+ £8.46 Gift Aid

In memory of a remarkable man

Donation by the partners of Browne Jacobson on 13/11/09


Donation by Lars Sunn Pedersen on 12/11/09


In fond memory of a great friend to Team Lotus

Donation by Clive Chapman on 11/11/09

Condolences to all the Wheatcroft family, there is nothing we can say about Tom which has not already been said.

Donation by JR Allen and sons on 11/11/09


+ £42.31 Gift Aid

condolences Kev. Tom was larger than life character. I really enjoyed his book and he will never be forgotten.

Donation by Dave Crouch on 11/11/09


Thank you Tom. With your vision and your determination, you gave many people a great deal of pleasure.

Donation by Anon on 10/11/09


I didn't know Tom Wheatcroft but I know Kevin and want to say how sorry I am to hear this sad news. Best wishes x

Donation by Marion Gibson on 10/11/09

Once met never forgotten,a gentleman and the best racing enthusiast,best wishes to Kevin and family

Donation by andy m on 10/11/09


+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Once heard, never forgotten (and not just a V16 BRM....)

Donation by Anon on 10/11/09


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

With fond memories of a great friend and sportsman.

Donation by anonymous on 09/11/09


Thinking of you Tom, thank you for everything you did for motorsport.

Donation by Elizabeth De Rosa on 08/11/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

In memory and gratitude

Donation by John Ginger on 07/11/09


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Thanks for giving us a fantastic experience

Donation by Carl Squires on 06/11/09


+ £1.41 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£3,057.50
  • Offline donations£10,070.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£13,127.50
  • Gift Aid£217.95

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