Donington Park

Last updated
Donington Park
Donington circuit.svg
Location North West Leicestershire, England
Time zoneUTC+0
Owner MotorSport Vision
Operator MotorSport Vision
Opened1931, re-opened 1977
Construction cost £12,000
Major events BTCC, British Superbikes, WorldSBK, British GT, British F3, Truck Racing, Download Festival, Donington Historic Festival, Classic Motorcycle Festival
Grand Prix Circuit
Length4.020 km (2.498 mi)
Race lap record1:18.029 ( Flag of Brazil.svg Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4/8, 1993, F1)
National Circuit
Length3.149 km (1.957 mi)
Race lap record57.221 ( Flag of the Netherlands.svg Marijn van Kalmthout, Benetton B197, 2011, BOSS GP)
The Donington Circuit layout in 1937 Donington Park 1937.svg
The Donington Circuit layout in 1937

Donington Park is a motorsport circuit located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England. The circuit business is now owned by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation, and the surrounding Donington Park Estate, still owned by the Wheatcroft family, is currently under lease by MotorSport Vision until 2038. [1]

Motorsport Sport primarily involving the use of motorized vehicles

Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

Race track Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes

A race track is a facility built for racing of vehicles, athletes, or animals. A race track also may feature grandstands or concourses. Racetracks are also used in the study of animal locomotion. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.

Castle Donington village in England

Castle Donington is a small market town and civil parish in Leicestershire, England, on the edge of the National Forest close to East Midlands Airport.


Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, it was created as a racing circuit during the period between the First and Second World Wars when the German Silver Arrows were battling for the European Championship. Used as a military vehicle storage depot during the Second World War, it fell into disrepair until bought by local construction entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft. Revived under his ownership in the 1970s, it hosted a single Formula One race, but became the favoured home of the British round of the MotoGP motorcycling championship.

Donington Hall

Donington Hall is a house and residential 1,100-acre (450-hectare) estate in Castle Donington, North West Leicestershire, located close to the city of Derby. The hall served as the headquarters for the airline British Midland International until it was merged into British Airways on 28 October 2012. It is now the headquarters of the Norton Motorcycle Company.

Silver Arrows German racing car

Silver Arrows was the name given by the press to Germany's dominant Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union Grand Prix motor racing cars between 1934 and 1939. The name was later applied to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One and sports cars in 1954 and 1955, and currently applied to the Mercedes GP/AMG Petronas F1 cars from 2010 to present.

Tom Wheatcroft British businessman

Frederick Bernard "Tom" Wheatcroft was an English businessman and car collector. He made his fortune through building and construction, and was known for resurrecting the Donington Park motor racing circuit and founding the Donington Grand Prix Collection museum.

Leased by Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd in 2007 the hope that Formula One racing could return to the track, the incomplete venture failed to raise sufficient financial backing during the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. DVLL consequently lost the rights to the British rounds of both Formula 1 and MotoGP, and in its bankruptcy returned the track to the Wheatcroft family in December 2009.

Lease business contract between two parties, the lessor (owner) and lessee (user), for use of property

A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are leased. Industrial or business equipment is also leased.

Bankruptcy legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors

Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor.

Under Wheatcroft's ownership, the venue underwent significant work, with the track restored to use in 2010, before major upgrades in the following five years. At the end of 2010, it was announced that Donington would become home to an annual historic motorsport event, the Donington Historic Festival, with new events constantly being added. Since 2010, significant investment across the venue has seen major improvements made to its infrastructure, [2] while the circuit has become a regular fixture for top class motorcycling in the form of the Superbike World Championship.

Superbike World Championship is a motorsport road racing series for modified production motorcycles also known as superbike racing. The championship was founded in 1988. The Superbike World Championship consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities. Each round has two full length races and, from 2019, an additional ten-lap sprint race known as the Superpole race. The results of all three races are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers.

In January 2017, the circuit business and a long term lease on the estate was purchased by MotorSport Vision, [3] with the purchase cleared by authorities in August of the same year. [4] Significant investment has seen facilities at the venue brought up to modern standards, with a new restaurant, toilet blocks, large new grandstand and new circuit offices, as well as other detail changes. [5] As well as improving the infrastructure, MSV has made additions to the race calendar, with additional major events planned for 2019 including extra rounds of the British Superbike Championship [6] and British GT. [7]

MotorSport Vision motorsport promoting company

MotorSport Vision (MSV) is a motorsport organisations and an operator of six UK venues. MSV has a portfolio ranging from major two and four wheel championships to organising the PalmerSport corporate driving event.


Creation, Pre-War racing

Donington Park motor racing circuit was the first permanent park circuit in England, which also ended the race circuit monopoly that Brooklands had held since 1907.

Park area of open space used for recreation or conservation

A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. Urban parks are green spaces set aside for recreation inside towns and cities. National parks and Country parks are green spaces used for recreation in the countryside. State parks and Provincial parks are administered by sub-national government states and agencies. Parks may consist of grassy areas, rocks, soil and trees, but may also contain buildings and other artifacts such as monuments, fountains or playground structures. Many parks have fields for playing sports such as soccer, baseball and football, and paved areas for games such as basketball. Many parks have trails for walking, biking and other activities. Some parks are built adjacent to bodies of water or watercourses and may comprise a beach or boat dock area. Urban parks often have benches for sitting and may contain picnic tables and barbecue grills.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Monopoly Market structure with a single firm dominating the market

A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. This contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity's control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly which consists of a few sellers dominating a market. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the possibility of a high monopoly price well above the seller's marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit. The verb monopolise or monopolize refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors. In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices. Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly. A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry.

Fred Craner was a former motorcycle rider who had taken part in seven Isle of Man TT races, [8] and was by 1931 a Derby garage owner and secretary of the Derby & District Motor Club. [9] Craner approached the then owner of the Donington Hall estate, Alderman John Gillies Shields JP, to use the extensive roads on his land for racing. [8]

The original track was 2 mile 327 yd (3,518 m) in length, and based on normal width unsealed estate roads. [8] The first motor cycle race took place on Whit Monday, 1931. [8] For 1933 Craner obtained permission to build a permanent track, with the original layout widened and sealed at a cost of £12,000. [8] The first car race was held on 25 March, followed by three car meetings further that year. The first Donington Park Trophy race was held on 7 October 1933, and the 20-lap invitation event was won by the Earl Howe in a Bugatti Type 51. [8]

Donington Park showing Spitfire sculpture and track (2005) DoningtonPark.jpg
Donington Park showing Spitfire sculpture and track (2005)

In 1935 the first 300-mile (480 km) Donington Grand Prix was won by Richard "Mad Jack" Shuttleworth in an Alfa Romeo P3. [10] In the 1937 Donington Grand Prix and 1938 Donington Grand Prix, the race winners were respectively Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari, both in Auto Union 'Silver Arrows.'

The circuit at Donington Park was closed in 1939 due to World War II, when it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and was converted into a military vehicle depot. [11]

Wheatcroft revival (1971–2006)

In 1971 the circuit was bought by business man and car collector Tom Wheatcroft, who funded the rebuilding of the track. Wheatcroft moved his collection to the circuit, in a museum now known as the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition which opened in 1973, and has the largest collection of Grand Prix cars in the world.

The motor racing circuit re-opened for cars on 28 May 1977, as per the original pre-war opening, the first post-war meeting was for motorcycles. The first postwar car race meeting was organised by the Nottingham Sports Car Club, sponsored by local Lotus dealers, J A Else of Codnor. That first car meeting nearly didn't happen, as the local ramblers tried to assert their rights to retain access to footpaths at the eleventh hour. The meeting went ahead as a "Motor Trial", a legal loophole that curtailed the use of single seater racing cars for that opening meeting. The NSCC continued to run race meetings at Donington until the Donington Racing Club was formed and a licence to run race meetings obtained.

The Melbourne Loop was built in 1985 to increase the lap distance to 2.5 miles (4.02 km) and allow the track to host Grand Prix motorcycle races – at 1.957 miles (3.149 km) without the loop, the circuit was deemed too short. This shorter layout remains as the National circuit, which is used for most non-Grand Prix events.

In recent times Donington has held meetings of MotoGP, the British Touring Car Championship and British Superbike Championship, as well as the 1993 European Grand Prix.

Other events taking place at the track include a 1000 km endurance race for the Le Mans Series in 2006, the World Series by Renault and the Great and British Motorsport Festival. On 26 August 2007, the circuit hosted the British Motocross Grand Prix, with a purpose-built motocross circuit constructed on the infield of the road circuit. [12]

World Series by Renault at Donington Park's Melbourne Hairpin in 2005 WorldSeriesByRenault.jpg
World Series by Renault at Donington Park's Melbourne Hairpin in 2005

Donington Ventures Leisure (2007–2009)

In 2007, Wheatcroft via the holding company Wheatcroft & Son Ltd, sold a 150-year lease on the land on which the track and museum are located to Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL). [13]

In July 2008, it was announced that DVLL had won the rights to the British Grand Prix for 17 years from July 2010, with North West Leicestershire council approving plans for the required track and facility rebuilt design by Hermann Tilke to be constructed from January 2009.

On 27 and 28 September 2008, the Motocross des Nations, the biggest and longest running event in World Championship Motocross, was at Donington Park. [14]

it soon became clear that DVLL, led by Simon Gillett, was in serious financial difficulty. Chris Sylt, a respected journalist specialising in the financial side of Formula One, questioned Simon Gillett’s Track record, citing an earlier failure of his company Innovation Motorsport, owing £200,000, and his apparent lack of experience.

In April 2009, Wheatcroft & Son Ltd took legal action against DVLL in Derby County Court, seeking £2.47m in rent arrears, as well as forfeiture of the lease. The legal action put the future of the British Grand Prix in doubt, with Bernie Ecclestone restating that if Donington did not meet required standards to host the event, there will be no British Grand Prix from 2010. [15]

On 5 June 2009, it was announced that an out of court settlement had been reached between Wheatcroft & Son Ltd and DVLL. [16]

On 24 October 2009, media sources reported that Donington had failed to raise the £135 million needed to stage a British Grand Prix. The BBC commented in its coverage that: "Donington's bid looks over, and that Ecclestone has offered the race to Silverstone." [17] Although DVLL gave further public relations assurance that it would be able to raise the required finance and host the Grand Prix, on 29 October 2009, Ecclestone confirmed that the British Grand Prix would not be held at Donington.

On 18 November 2009, the company went into administration [18] [19] with debts to contractors and suppliers approaching £4 million and a secured loan of £14 million with Anglo Irish Bank, according to the Administrator’s report. . Acting chairman Mr Price said: "This need not be the end of Formula One racing at Donington. It still remains a fantastic location. It needs people of vision to get the dream to the starting grid. We are certainly hopeful that a 2011 Grand Prix could take place at the site." [20]

On 7 December 2009, Formula One Management announced that Silverstone had been awarded a 17-year contract to hold the British Grand Prix from 2010 until 2026. [21]

On 11 December 2009, it was announced that DVLL had lost the rights to hold the British Superbike Championship race due to be held on 10–12 September 2010. These dates will now be used for a race at Croft. [22]

Return to Wheatcroft family (2009–2017)

Donington's Dunlop Bridge DunlopBridge.JPG
Donington's Dunlop Bridge

On 24 December 2009 it was announced that a buyer for Donington Ventures Leisure had not been found, which thus meant that the 150-year lease given by Wheatcroft & Son Ltd to Donington Ventures Leisure was terminated. [23] The ownership immediately reverted to Wheatcroft & Son Ltd, now led by Kevin Wheatcroft in light of the death of his father in 2009. Wheatcroft vowed to re-open Donington Park as soon as possible. [24] There were hopes to re-open the circuit in August 2010. [25]

On 26 May 2010 Wheatcroft announced that the lease for Donington Park had been sold (Subject To Contract) to Worcestershire-based Adroit Group. Adroit proceeded to resurrect the circuit, not only rebuilding the removed track sections, but also renewing infrastructure. This included the re-alignment of Foggy's bend, but not the old Dunlop Bridge due to new built MSA/FIA regulations. As a result of a series of inspections, the circuit successfully regained its ACU, MSA and FIA Grade 2 licences. However, Wheatcrofts and Adroit failed to agree terms of a final lease contract, and hence terminated their outline agreement.

The Wheatcroft-owned company Donington Park Racing took control of the circuit in late 2010, gaining events from both World Touring Cars and the World Superbikes, plus the inaugural Donington Historic Festival.

60 race days are held each year, including events from the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbikes, World Superbikes, British GT, rallying and historic festivals for both cars and motorcycles. Racing takes place on most weekends between March and October, with visits from most British racing clubs. Donington has also been host to the annual Season Launch for the BTCC since 2013, while the British Superbike Championship also holds major test days at the circuit.

The FIA Formula E Championship and its teams have also constructed its headquarters at the main entrance to the circuit. All teams competing in the electric series are based at the venue, and Donington is host to several pre-season test dates before each season, some of which are open to spectators. For the 2017–18 season, the series switched their pre-season test venue to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.

Wheatcroft has also invested heavily to restore the circuit infrastructure to its former glories. The infield which was excavated during the late 2000s has been completely restored and raised even higher in some areas, while pit and paddock facilities have also been improved. Outside the circuit boundaries, an all terrain course has been constructed, as well as improvements to hospitality buildings and conferencing suites. [2]

Purchase by MotorSport Vision (2017-present)

In January 2017, the circuit business was taken over by MotorSport Vision, with the Donington Park Estate on a 21-year lease, until 2038. [1] . The purchase was cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority in August 2017 [26] , with work commencing almost immediately on venue improvements.

Additions over the winter period of 2017-18 included a full resurface of paddock areas and access roads, the addition of the Garage 39 Restaurant, cafe and bar [27] , and a large new grandstand at Hollywood corner. Several old toilet blocks were also demolished to make way for more modern units. while detail changes were carried out around the venue.

For 2019, work has commenced on a new main entrance area near the existing paddock entrance.

Motorsport at Donington

Superleague Formula cars down the main straight at Donington Park in 2008 SF Donington 4.jpg
Superleague Formula cars down the main straight at Donington Park in 2008

Donington Park has long been home to many prestigious motorsport events including BTCC, British F3, British Superbike Championship, WorldSBK, Superleague Formula, Truck Racing.

Formula One

1993 European Grand Prix

Donington Park was the host of the 1993 European Grand Prix on 11 April 1993, which was affected by rain. The race was notable for the dominance of Ayrton Senna where he won the race by over 1 minute from Damon Hill, having advanced from fifth to first in the opening lap.

This race was described by AtlasF1 as the 'Drive of the Decade'. [28] There is a memorial to Senna in the grounds of the racetrack, outside the Donington Collections.

Failed 2010 British Grand Prix bid

Proposed 2010 circuit Circuit Doningtonpark pre 2010.png
Proposed 2010 circuit

On 4 July 2008, Bernie Ecclestone announced that Donington Park would hold the British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards in a 17-year deal, having been hosted exclusively by Silverstone since 1987. [29] On 10 July 2008, the proposal was that the track would have a major upgrade designed by Hermann Tilke, to include an entirely new pit complex along Starkey's Straight and increasing the circuit length to 2.944 miles (4.738 km), by the addition of a new infield loop, to get it up to the standards required for modern day Formula One racing. [30] [31] [32] [33]

The proposal was that race would be the first to be accessed only by public transportation, as cars will not be allowed to enter the facility. This was in part was an answer to the lack of road access, which even when 30,000 bikers exit major motorcycle events resulted in long tailbacks. The proposal was that a shuttle-bus service would run from the close by East Midlands Parkway station, on the Midland Main Line from London to Sheffield. [34]

In light of the financial crisis and Donington's potential inability to raise finance, on 20 June 2009, Bernie Ecclestone stated that there would be a British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2010 if Donington was not ready to host it. This was a change from his previous "Donington or nothing" standpoint and he cited changes in the structure of the BRDC meaning there was a better way of negotiating with them over future commercial rights. Furthermore, during an interview with the BBC about the Formula One Teams Association threatening to break away and form their own series, FIA president Max Mosley said it was "highly likely" the 2010 British Grand Prix would return to Silverstone. [35]

Donington was given an extended two-week deadline to prove it had the funds to host the 2010 British Grand Prix, however, on 22 October 2009, fundraising attempts fell through. [36] Ecclestone later confirmed that Donington would not be hosting the British Grand Prix. [37]

On 18 November 2009, less than one month after it was confirmed that the Donington had lost the right to host the British Grand Prix, circuit owner Donington Ventures Leisure Limited was placed into administration. [38] Although Ecclestone gave the option of reviving the deal for new owners, in December 2009 Silverstone won the contract for the next 17 years. [39]

FIA World Touring Car Championship (2011)

After five years at Brands Hatch, the WTCC moved to Donington Park in 2011. The event attracted thousands of people on race day, where the two races were both won by Yvan Muller for Chevrolet. The weekend also had two races for the Auto GP series as well as the Maserati Trofeo.

MotoGP (1987–2009)

Donington Park has also been the home of MotoGP. After the Isle of Man TT Races lost World Championship status, [40] from the 1977 UK inaugural race, MotoGP was held at Silverstone until 1986. For the next 23 years, Donington held the race up until 2009, but in light of the proposed Donington Formula 1 deal, MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports agreed a five-year deal with Silverstone from 2010. [41] Following the failed 2010 Formula 1 bid, Donington has lost both competitions for the foreseeable future in less than a year.

Donington Park was proposed to host the MotoGP British Grand Prix as an alternative venue chosen for 2015, since the Circuit of Wales, having won the Dorna contract from 2015, will be unfinished. [42] However, in February 2015, it was announced that Donington had called off the deal, and that 2015 MotoGP would likely remain at Silverstone. [43]


Donington is the venue for 2 rallies [44] , with one of the events being a round of the MSN Circuit Rally Championship [45] . These events do not take place exclusively on the circuit, including sections on the looser sections surrounding the track itself.

Lap records

F1 1:10.458 Alain Prost Williams FW15C 1993 European Grand Prix Qualifying [46]
Group C 1:15.281 Derek Warwick Peugeot 905B 1992 500 km of Donington [46]
Auto GP 1:17.707 Kimiya Sato Lola 2013 Auto GP season [47]
LMP1 1:20.756 Jean-Marc Gounon/Gregor Fisken/Alexander Frei Courage LC70 2006 1000 km of Donington [48]
LMP21:20.921 Matthieu Lahaye OAK-Morgan 2012 6 Hours of Donington [49]
FIA GT 1:22.870 Ricardo Zonta Mercedes CLK LM 1998 FIA GT Donington 500km [50]
F2 1:23.116 Tobias Hegewald Interwetten Racing 2009 Donington Formula Two round [51]
Superkart 1:25.888Peter Elkmann Anderson DEA 2017 MSA British Superkart GP [52]
WSB 1:27.071 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 2015 Donington Superbike World Championship round [53]
MotoGP 1:27.676 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC211V 2006 British motorcycle Grand Prix [54]
FIA GT11:27.693 (cold weather) Michael Bartels/Yelmer Buurman BMW E89 Z4 GT3 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season [55]
F3 1:27.930Alex Craven Dallara F307 2013 [47]
DTM 1:28.206 Bernd Schneider Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2003 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season
Formula E 1:28.910 Sébastien Buemi Renault Z.E. 16 2016 Formula E pre-season testing [56]
LMGTE1:29.328 Jonny Cocker JMW Ferrari 458 Italia 2012 6 Hours of Donington
GT3 1:29.679 Zak Brown McLaren MP4-12C 2012 British GT season [47]
BPR 1:31.600 (cold, cloudy weather slowing laptime) John Nielsen Mclaren F1 GTR 1995 BPR Global GT Series season [57] [58]
F4 1:31.603 Charlie Robertson HHC Motorsport 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship season [47]
Formula Ford 1:31.730Antti BuriJTR 2012 British Formula Ford season [47]
GT4 1:37.355 Jody Fannin/Warren Hughes Ginetta 2012 British GT season [47]
WTCC 1:37.380 Robert Huff Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 2011 FIA WTCC Race of UK [59]
Mini Challenge1:45.549 Chris Smith Mini John Cooper Works 2013 [47]
Formula Vee 1:46.320 Paul Smith Formula Vee2013 [47]
Fun Cup 1:54.757 Volkswagen Beetle 2010 [47]
Rally 5:51Ian Woodhouse & Paul Rowland Ford Escort Mk II 2017 [60]

Other events

Beside motorsports, many other events are held at Donington, including music festivals such as the Download Festival; and the Donington Grand Prix Museum exhibition until it closed down in November 2018.. The Donington Park Sunday Market used to be held in the grounds of the park for nearly 40 years before being closed down in September 2016, the owners citing changing shopping habits contributing to fewer traders and customers. [61]

The Senna Memorial at Donington Park. Ayrton Senna Statue - Donington Park.JPG
The Senna Memorial at Donington Park.

Music festivals

Donington Park has a long history of holding rock festivals having played host to the Monsters of Rock festival from 1980 to the mid 90s, when groups such as AC/DC, Metallica and Iron Maiden performed there. With a few years off the park then played host to Stereophonics' A Day At The Races event and the Rock and Blues Festival in 2001, and the Ozzfest in 2002.

In 2003, the Download Festival (owned and operated by Live Nation) began annually at the venue and continues to an increased three-day event with five stages, though as of 2008 the event is now held outside of the track boundary.

Donington Grand Prix Exhibition

The Donington Grand Prix Exhibition first opened to the public in March 1973. Five halls, with over 130 exhibits, illustrated the history of motor sport from the turn of the 20th Century. Cars included examples driven by such famous names as Nuvolari, Mansell, Prost, Moss, Senna, Fangio, Clark and Stewart. The Donington Grand Prix Exhibition housed a collection of McLaren and Vanwalls racing cars. Notable exhibits included the 1936 twin engined 500 bhp (373 kW) Alfa Romeo Bimotore which had a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h), Jim Clark's World Championship winning Lotus 25, the 'howling' flat 12 Ferrari 312B, and Stirling Moss's Lotus, in which he defeated the Ferrari works team in the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix. The Collection also featured the World's largest collection of Driver's Helmets.[ citation needed ] There were several different type of simulators that allowed users to experience the thrills of racing at speed.

After closing briefly in 2009 following the death of Tom Wheatcroft and Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd. entering administration, the exhibition reopened on 6 January 2010 along with the cafe and race control offices. [62] . With dwindling visitor numbers, and not being part of the core MSV business plan, the museum closed permanently on 5 November 2018.


Historic racing down the hill, 2014 Donington Park hill 2014.JPG
Historic racing down the hill, 2014
Truck racing down the main straight, 2013 Donington Park truck racing 2013.jpg
Truck racing down the main straight, 2013

Donington Park lies south west of Nottingham, south east of Derby and is situated in Leicestershire. It is a matter of a few yards/metres east of the border with Derbyshire and indeed has a Derby postcode and telephone code. The western end of the runway at East Midlands Airport is just 400 yards from the eastern end of the racing track. It is also fairly close to the M1.

East Midlands Parkway railway station and Derby Midland Station are close by and the owners have expressed their desire for spectators to use these stations and coaches to the circuit. [63] The owners are also in support of any future light rail transport to East Midlands Airport itself.

Donington Hall was, for a time, the HQ of the airline British Midland, led by Sir Michale Bishop.


Donington Park has been simulated and can be driven in several racing simulations, such as Spirit of Speed 1937 (the 1937 version of the track is featured, as the name suggests). Another 1937 layout features in the popular rFactor simulation. This version is far more accurate than that of the Spirit of Speed version. The track also features in Sports Car GT , Le Mans 24 Hours, ToCA Touring Car Championship, ToCA 2 Touring Cars, ToCA Race Driver, ToCA Race Driver 2, TOCA Race Driver 3 , Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano , GTR, GTR2 , GT Legends , F1 Challenge '99-'02 (with a mod), Grand Prix 4 (1993 configuration, unofficial add-on track), MotoGP 3, Redline , rFactor , SBK-07 , Race Driver: GRID , Need for Speed: Shift , iRacing , Assetto Corsa (as a mod) and Project CARS . Donington Park also appears as a venue in the game Guitar Hero: Metallica .

See also

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Motorsport in the United Kingdom

Motorsport is a popular sport in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is a key player in the world of motorsport, hosting rounds of the Formula One World Championship, World Rally Championship and Grand Prix motorcycle racing, amongst others. It is also the home of many of the current teams in Formula One, such as McLaren and Williams, while teams such as Red Bull Racing, Mercedes and Renault are also based in England. There are also a range of popular national series held such as the British Touring Car Championship. The Motor Sports Association is the official governing body of motorsport in the United Kingdom.

The Tom Wheatcroft Trophy has been awarded annually since 2002 in recognition of a person who has made significant contributions to the motorsport world and industry. It was founded by Kevin Wheatcroft in commemoration of his father Tom Wheatcroft, a lifelong motorsport enthusiast, team owner, constructor, the owner of Donington Park motor racing circuit and the Donington Grand Prix Collection.

2000 British motorcycle Grand Prix

The 2000 British motorcycle Grand Prix was the ninth round of the 2000 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on 9 July 2000 at Donington Park.

2009 British motorcycle Grand Prix racing

The 2009 British motorcycle Grand Prix was the tenth round of the 2009 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on the weekend of 24–26 July 2009 at Donington Park. It was to be the final motorcycle Grand Prix at Donington, with the race moving to Silverstone for the 2010 season. The MotoGP race was won by Andrea Dovizioso, securing the first win of his MotoGP career.

2010 British Grand Prix Formula One motor race held in 2010

The 2010 British Grand Prix was the tenth race of the 2010 Formula One season. On 7 December 2009, it was confirmed that the race would take place at Silverstone for the next seventeen years after the failure of Donington Park to raise the necessary funds to hold the race. The event was staged on 11 July, the same day as the 2010 FIFA World Cup final . The race was won by Red Bull driver Mark Webber, taking his third victory of the season.

Street circuit motorsport track composed of public roads of a city

A street circuit is a motorsport racing circuit composed of temporarily closed-off public roads of a city, town or village, used in motor races. Facilities such as the paddock, pit boxes, fences and grandstands are usually placed temporarily and removed soon after the race is over but in modern times the pits, race control and main grandstands are sometimes permanently constructed in the area. Since the track surface is originally planned for normal speeds, race drivers often find street circuits bumpy and lacking grip. Run-off areas may be non-existent, which makes driving mistakes more expensive than in purpose-built circuits with wider run-off areas. Racing on a street circuit is also called "legal street racing".

Development history of Silverstone Circuit

Silverstone Circuit is built on the site of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber station, RAF Silverstone, which opened in 1943. The airfield's three runways, in classic WWII triangle format, lie within the outline of the present track. Since its first use in the 1940s, the circuit has undergone several changes.

The 2015 Moto2 season was a part of the 67th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. Marc VDS Racing Team rider Esteve Rabat started the season as the defending riders' champion, having won his first championship title in 2014.


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Coordinates: 52°49′47.3″N1°22′46.4″W / 52.829806°N 1.379556°W / 52.829806; -1.379556