Hosted by the MGCC
14th & 15th July 2018
Donington Park is the oldest motorsport circuit in the UK still in operation. Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, it was first used for motorsport on Whit Monday in 1931 on the narrow lanes that formed the access roads of the hall. The track was widened in 1933, made permanent and became a venue for Grand Prix car racing, with the final pre-war races featuring the legendary Auto Union Silver Arrows driven by Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari. The circuit was closed at the outbreak of World War II, and was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence to be used as a military vehicle depot. The land was purchased by businessman Tom Wheatcroft in 1971 who rebuilt the circuit and established the famous Grand Prix Collection at the site. Racing returned in 1977 and the circuit quickly became one of Europe's premier venues. With the addition of the Melbourne Loop section in 1985 came Grand Prix motorcycle racing with the first World Championship Grand Prix event in 1987. Eventually becoming known as MotoGP, Donington was the host venue for 23 years, and was also the location for the debut round of World Superbikes in 1988, an event still held at the circuit today. One of the most famous events at the restored circuit was the 1993 European Formula One Grand Prix, which was dominated by Ayrton Senna and featured the legendary opening lap, still described by many as the best in F1's history. Under new ownership, ambitious plans to host the Formula One British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards were left unrealised, and with the circuit in a state of disrepair, racing ceased once more at the end of 2009. History repeated itself in 2010 as Kevin Wheatcroft, son of Tom, rescued the circuit and rebuilt the areas left heavily damaged by the previous leaseholders. Motorsport returned to the circuit once more in the Autumn of 2010, and the circuit is again held in the highest regard by competitors, spectators and officials.
Donington Park is a fast and flowing circuit and is favourite among drivers with its elevation changes and sweeping corners. Across the start finish line moving over to the left ready for the first corner Redgate which is tighter than 90-degree turn requires heavy braking and is a good overtaking spot. A late turn into Redgate maximizes exit speed for Hollywood and the famous Craner curves. The very fast downhill section requires smooth and precision driving as it can go wrong very quickly here. On to the old Hairpin which isn’t actually a hair pin but a fast 90 degree right, that can catch people out as the cars run out of room on the exit. The uphill Schantz curve leads to the tricky right hander at McLean’s as cars go light over the crest. The next corner is Coppice and probably the most important corner on the circuit as it onlit leads on to the longest straight so a good entry and fast exit are paramount here. On to the last corner, the Goddard's chicane again an important corner as it leads on to the long start finish straight but is also a favourite overtaking place famous for last lap lunges. Back over the down-hill start finish line to begin another lap. .