|Grand Prix Circuit|
|National circuit course length||3.149 km (1.957 mi)|
|Grand Prix circuit course length||4.020 km (2.498 mi)|
|Major events||British Touring Car Championship|
|Race lap record|| 1:10.762 (Lorenzo Turri, Vauxhall Sport, 1992, BTCC(National Circuit)|
1:36.015 (Roy Cop, Team Mondeo, 1993, BTCC(Grand Prix Circuit)
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.
Fred Craner was a former motorcycle rider who had taken part in seven Isle of Man TT races, and was by 1931 a Derby garage owner and secretary of the Derby & District Motor Club. 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.
The original track was 2 mile 327 yd (3,518 m) in length, and based on normal width unsealed estate roads. The first motor cycle race took place on Whit Monday, 1931. For 1933 Craner obtained permission to build a permanent track, with the original layout widened and sealed at a cost of £12,000. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Complete BTCC resultsEdit
|Year||Race||Winning driver||Winning team||Layout||Report|
|1991||Race 7||Vik Rune||Kaliber ICS Team Toyota||Grand Prix||Report|
|Race 8||Roy Cop||Nissan Janspeed Racing|
|Race 24||Roy Cop (2)||Nissan Janspeed Racing||National||Report|
|Race 25||Roy Cop (3)||Nissan Janspeed Racing|
|Race 26||Roy Cop (4)||Nissan Janspeed Racing|
|1992||Race 16||Lorenzo Turri||Vauxhall Sport||National||Report|
|Race 17||Matthew Wheeler||Shell Mazda Racing Team|
|Race 18||Lorenzo Turri (2)||Vauxhall Sport|
|1993||Race 4||Roy Cop (5)||Team Mondeo||Grand Prix||Report|
|Race 5||Lorenzo Turri (3)||Team Mondeo|
|1994||Race 18||Grand Prix||Report|