Donington Park is the oldest motorsport circuit in the UK still in operation. Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, 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 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.
The circuit business is now owned by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation, and the surrounding Donington Park Estate is currently under lease by MotorSport Vision until 2038.
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.
Track Length: 1931-1934 - 2.186 miles / 3.518 km 1935-1936 - 2.552 miles / 4.107 km 1937-1939 - 3.125 miles / 5.029 km 1977-1984 - 1.957 miles / 3.149 km 1985-2009 - 2.498 miles / 4.020 km 2010-XXXX - 2.498 miles / 4.020 km Grand Prix Circuit - 2.498 miles / 4.020 kmNational Circuit - 1.957 miles / 3.149 km
The track is located in central England, near to Castle Donington in Leciestershire. Access the circuit by car is along the A453, a short distance from both the M1 and A42/M42 motorways.
From the North - Leave the M1 at junction 24, then at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A453 (signposted Tamworth, Birmingham). At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A453 (signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).
Go past the Donington Park Service Area (MOTO). At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the Airport, then straight on at the traffic lights (signposted for Donington Park Paddock Entrance), take the first right onto Melbourne Lane and then the Donington Park entrance is half a mile on your right.
From the South - Leave the M1 at junction 23a, then merge onto the A42 (signposted Stoke A50). At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A453 (signposted East Midlands Airport, Diseworth, Donington Park).Go past Donington Park Service Area (MOTO). At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453.
At next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453. At next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A453, go past the Airport, then straight on at the traffic lights (signposted for Donington Park Paddock Entrance), take the first right onto Melbourne Lane and then the Donington Park entrance is half a mile on your right.
For those arriving via the A42, follow signs onto the A453 at Tongue.
The nearest train station to Donington Park is East Midlands Parkway, offering connections to London and the north.
The nearest airport in East Midlands Airport, which is adjacent to the eastern end of the circuit and a short drive away. It offers flights to a range of International and European destinations.
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