The memory of Robert Fearnall, described as a modern day pioneer in the growth of Donington Park into a World Championship circuit, has been honoured in a double ceremony at the Leicestershire circuit on the eve of the MCE-BSB event.
Robert, known throughout the sporting world for his entrepreneurial and political skills, had played a key role in the development and growth of the circuit in an involvement spanning three decades – initially as Press and PR Manager, then Managing Director, the circuit operator as a partner in Two Four Sports and more latterly as the Director of Racing.
He was also a founding director of Bikesport News, a publication that was dear to his heart and which focussed on the motorcycle sport he loved.
His memory will be perpetuated by the naming of the right-left switch at the end of the straight as Roberts chicane. And, following a simple naming ceremony Robert's brother Michael scattered his ashes at the corner.
Following on from that, Kevin Wheatcroft, the chairman and owner of Donington Park, paid an emotional tribute to Robert who had worked so closely with his father, Tom, at the circuit. Kevin had initiated the Wheatcroft Trophy for his father, presenting it for the first time to Murray Walker on the occasion of Tom's 80th birthday.
Subsequently many of the luminaries of the motorsport world, among them Bernie Ecclestone and Dave Richards had been presented with the magnificent trophy, but ten years on from the first award, it was to return home to Donington Park with a posthumous award to Robert Fearnall.