Donington Park continues its resurgence by launching its own annual Historic Festival – a new venture which aims to rival the very best UK and international historic motorsport events. The inaugural Festival will be held on the weekend of 30 April to 1-2 May 2011.
To help establish the Donington Historic Festival as a showcase for the very best historic racing, Donington has teamed up with well-known race organiser Duncan Wiltshire, who will be responsible for running the event from 2011 onwards.
Says Kevin Wheatcroft, the circuit’s owner, “After a period of uncertainty, Donington Park’s future as a race circuit is now assured. The circuit has a fabulous history that is an important part of British heritage, from the days of the pre-War Silver Arrows GP cars right through to modern times. The launch of the Donington Historic Festival is one example of how we intend the circuit not only to survive, but to thrive in the years to come.”
Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, the 12-turn, 2.5 mile Donington Park was created as a racing circuit during the pre-war period when the German Silver Arrows were battling for the European Championship. Used as a military vehicle storage depot during World War II, it fell into disrepair until bought by Tom Wheatcroft.
As the son of Tom Wheatcroft, who bought the long-disused and derelict race circuit in 1971 and reopened it for racing in 1977 thanks to huge personal investment, Kevin Wheatcroft is carrying on a family tradition by honouring Donington’s history.
Meanwhile Duncan Wiltshire, who will be running the Festival in partnership with Donington, believes that the event has something fresh to offer the historic racing world.
“The Donington Historic Festival aims to fill a very clear hole in the calendar,” states Wiltshire, “by placing the needs and wishes of owners, drivers and knowledgeable enthusiasts at its heart. This will be a truly prestigious annual event, inviting only the very best race series and the highest-calibre cars and drivers. We aim to delight serious historic motorsport fans, and the owners of the most original, most fascinating and most important cars, by focusing on the pure motor racing experience, over and above any add-on attractions.”
The first annual Donington Historic Festival will take place on the Bank Holiday weekend of 30 April to 2 May 2011. Further information will follow, as individual races are confirmed.
[Source: Donington Historic Festival; Wikipedia]