Circuit Spotlight: Donington Park

Introduction to Donington Park

When it comes to the world of motorsports, few places hold the same allure, prestige, and historical importance as Donington Park. Located in the heart of England, in the county of Leicestershire, Donington Park is more than just a race circuit; it's a testament to the enduring spirit of competition, a testament to the love of speed, and a testament to the passion of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts who have flocked to its hallowed grounds over the years.

Despite being the oldest UK motorsport circuit still in operation, the circuit itself is a masterpiece of design, a challenging blend of high-speed straights, tight corners, and dramatic elevation changes that test the mettle of even the most experienced drivers. But Donington Park is more than just its track; it's the atmosphere, the history, and the sheer sense of occasion that make it a must-visit destination for any motorsport enthusiast.


Donington Park's story began in 1931, when local businessman and motorsport enthusiast Fred Craner persuaded the owner of the Donington Hall estate to allow him to create a race track on the land. The first race, held in 1933, was an immediate success, attracting a large crowd and cementing Donington Park's place in the annals of British motorsport.

The years that followed saw the circuit play host to a variety of races, including the prestigious Donington Grand Prix. However, the outbreak of the Second World War brought racing to a halt, and the circuit was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence.

It wasn't until 1971, after years of disuse, that Donington Park was finally resurrected. Under the stewardship of Tom Wheatcroft, the circuit was meticulously restored and modernised, and once again opened its gates to the world of motorsport. Since then, Donington Park has been home to countless races, and has become a beloved fixture on the British and international racing calendar.

For many, Donington Park is much more than just a race circuit. It's a place that embodies the spirit, passion, and adrenaline that define the world of Motorsport. Whether you're a seasoned veteran of the track or a wide-eyed newcomer, Donington Park has something to offer.

The circuit itself is a true driver's track, offering a unique and challenging mix of high-speed straights, tight chicanes, and sweeping bends. The iconic Craner Curves, named after the circuit's founder, are a particular highlight, providing a thrilling and technical challenge that separates the great drivers from the good.

But Donington Park isn't just about the track. It's about the experience. The roar of the crowd, the smell of burning rubber and petrol, the camaraderie among fans and competitors alike. It's about the sheer, unadulterated joy that comes from being a part of something bigger than yourself, something that unites people from all walks of life in their shared passion for speed and competition.

British Touring Cars at Donington Park

BTCC & Donington Park

If there's one event that embodies the spirit of Donington Park, it's the annual British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). A staple of the British racing calendar, the BTCC at Donington Park is a high-octane spectacle of speed, skill, and nail-biting competition.

The BTCC is renowned for its close racing and combative style, with drivers battling door-to-door in a variety of cars. The diversity of the field, combined with the challenging Donington Park circuit, makes for some of the most exciting and unpredictable racing on the planet.

A day at the BTCC is a feast for the senses. The roar of the engines, the smell of burning rubber, the sight of cars jostling for position at breakneck speeds - it's an experience that leaves you on the edge of your seat, your heart pounding in your chest. And when the chequered flag finally drops, you're left with memories that will last a lifetime.

The Circuit

Circuit Information:

Track Length - (National 3.149km) 10 Turns

Track Length - (GP 2.498km) 12 Turns

Capacity - 120,000

Lap Record GP Circuit (4 Wheels) - 1:16.92 set by Harrison Newey in a 2004 McLaren MP4/19

Lap Record GP Circuit (2 Wheels) - 1:26.04 set by Jonathan Rea in 2023 on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR

C1 Endurance Racing at Donington Park

While the BTCC may steal the headlines, Donington Park is home to a wide variety of racing events, each with its own unique charm and appeal. One such event is the Citroen C1 Endurance Series which often include a rounds at Donington

Endurance Racing is a test of skill, strategy, and stamina, as teams race against the clock and each other in a bid to complete the most laps within a set time limit. The result is a thrilling and unpredictable spectacle, as drivers jostle for position, manage their fuel and tyre strategy, and deal with the physical and mental demands of long-distance racing.

Despite the modest performance of the Citroen C1, the racing is anything but. The tight, technical nature of the Donington Park circuit, combined with the evenly matched cars, makes for some incredibly close and competitive racing. It's a testament to the ethos of Donington Park, a place where it's not about the car, but about the driver.

Major events at Donington Park

In addition to the aforementioned races, Donington Park plays host to a variety of other major events throughout the year. From the annual Superbike World Championship to the British GT Championship, there's always something happening at this bustling hub of motorsport.

One of the most popular events at Donington Park is the annual Download Festival, a rock and heavy metal music festival that attracts thousands of fans from around the world. While not strictly a motorsport event, the festival's inclusion on the Donington Park calendar is a testament to the venue's versatility and its commitment to providing a wide range of entertainment options for its patrons.

But regardless of the event, a visit to Donington Park is always a memorable experience. Whether you're there for the thrill of the race, the roar of the crowd, or simply to soak up the atmosphere, Donington Park is a must-visit destination for any motorsport enthusiast.

Donington Park is more than just a race circuit. It's a living, breathing testament to the spirit of motorsport, a place that captures the essence of competition and the passion of those who live for speed. Whether you're a seasoned racer, a casual fan, or a newcomer to the world of motorsport, a visit to Donington Park is a journey you won't soon forget.

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