The return of Group B rally cars and the ‘Mad Jack’ race are the latest additions to the Donington Historic Festival 2011, to be held 29 April to 1 May at Donington Park.
From 1972 until the 1990s, Donington was used, on and off, as a stage on the annual RAC Rally. This included the era of the stunning Group B rally cars of the 1980s, when the Group B rules allowed unlimited boost, along with low weight and high-tech materials. The result was genuinely staggering performance, so much so that in 1986 a series of fatal accidents saw the sudden withdrawal of Group B and the outrageously quick rally cars it had spawned.
At the Donington Historic Festival 2011, a line-up of original works rally warriors will be put into action by the ‘Rallying with Group B’ club members, reviving the fire and fury of these spectacular machines. Spectators can expect to see and hear flame-spitting Audi quattros, MG Metro 6R4, Ford RS200, Lancia 037, Porsche 911 RSR, Peugeot 205 T16 – and even an example of the exotic Group B Ferrari 308 GTB. The rally cars will perform their spectacular stuff on a specially designed, all-Tarmac stage on the GP loop, with full, free spectator access.
The Donington Historic Festival 2011 will also debut ‘Mad Jack’ – a race named in honour of Richard ‘Mad Jack’ Shuttleworth, the pre-War racing driver famous for his daring exploits in both aeroplanes and cars, and the winner of the first ever Donington Grand Prix, in 1935.
“The ‘Mad Jack’ will be a truly spectacular 45-minute, 2-driver race, for the most dramatic and entertaining sports cars from the pre-War era,” says organiser Duncan Wiltshire. “We’re inviting huge, powerful 8-litre Bentleys, Type 35 Bugattis and Alfa 8C Monzas, the sort of cars which are raced flat-out, in hairy, four-wheel slides, along with a full array of pre-War models from such marques as Aston Martin and BMW, through to Talbot and Frazer Nash.
“While sports cars from the 1930s might not have the straight-line speed of more recent machinery, the wheel-to-wheel action can provide some of the most dazzling and memorable spectacles of an entire race weekend, with the extravagant, eccentric, ‘elbows-everywhere’ drivers clearly visible as they fight with the huge steering wheels – and the cars’ narrow tyres scrabbling for grip in the corners.”
These are the latest attractions to complement three days of historic racing, ranging from pre-1960 Touring Cars to 1977-85 Touring Cars; from pre-War sports cars to Group C sports cars; and from pre-63 GTs to World Endurance Championship sports prototypes from 1968-71. Plus there is off-track action in the form of historic karts, along with a trade village featuring art, photos, books, clothing, and a classic car mart and autojumble. Classic car displays of popular marques, brought along by classic car clubs, will add to the spectacle.
The first annual Donington Historic Festival will take place on the Bank Holiday weekend of 29 April to 1 May 2011. Ticket prices are being kept affordable, with advance tickets starting at just £18 for adults and free entry for accompanied under-16-year-olds. On-the-gate adult tickets will be £22. Tickets are available from the Donington Historic Festival ticket hotline: 0844 873 7355 and online at www.doningtonhistoric.com.
[Source: Donington Historic Festival]